Tips for a Successful Conversation About Senior Living with Your Family

Talking about moving an older loved one to senior living can be a tricky topic, even for the closest of families. But the conversation about senior living doesn’t have to be contentious or even difficult. Before jumping right in, consider these expert tips for a successful conversation about senior living.

4 tips for a successful conversation about senior living with your family

#1: Research the possibilities: Long before sitting down to have the conversation about senior living, take the time to research senior living communities in the desired location. Compare everything that each has to offer from levels of care to housing to services and amenities. If assisted living or memory care is preferred, pay close attention to the types of care and safety and security measures provided. If you know anyone already living in one of the senior living communities call or visit them and ask their opinion. They may already have insights that can help shorten the list. For more ways to research senior living options the article, “How To Find The Best Senior Living Communities,” is a great resource.

#2: Be prepared to discuss reasons for moving: Every senior’s situation is different so it’s a good idea to create a list of reasons for moving to senior living, whether it’s for yourself or a loved one. A list of reasons can help support and guide the conversation about senior living.

From a caregiver’s point of view, reasons might include how much time and energy caregiving requires and how it is affecting the caregiver’s home and work life. It also might be that the caregiver can no longer provide the care due to illness, moving, or other reasons.

Many families also may not understand the situation if they don’t visit regularly. In our blog, “Wandering, Falls, Medication Mix-Ups and More: Warning Signs for Seniors Living at Home” we look at some of the reasons that signal a senior’s health and safety may be at risk if they remain at home without full-time help on hand. When any one of these problems occur it’s a red flag that more consistent care is needed.

When a senior is making the move for themselves, reasons may include wanting more social interaction, fewer home care responsibilities, or a more engaging and independent lifestyle. Some may also feel unsafe at home, struggle with mobility, or just don’t want to be a burden on their families or friends.

Download our FREE guide, Family Decision Toolkit with tips on how to choose the right senior living community! 

#3: Be prepared with details about the costs: One of the most contentious aspects of a conversation about senior living is often the cost. For seniors who need daily care, family members may want to consider hiring in-home care instead of moving to senior living. Although costs vary by location, the 2023 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, offers the following data about in-home care as well as care in assisted living.

The national hourly median cost of a home health aide is $33 per hour, an increase of 7.14% from 2022. The national monthly median cost of a home health aide is:

  • $2,860 for 20 hours per month.
  • $5,720 for 40 hours per month.
  • $24,024 for 168 hours per month (around-the-clock care).

Conversely, the national monthly median cost of assisted living is $5,350, which increased just 1.36% from 2022. Keep in mind that, unlike in-home care, assisted living also includes nutritious meals, housekeeping, socially engaging activities and events, a safe and secure home, and help on hand 24/7/365.

To further prepare for the conversation about senior living it’s important to understand that there are several ways to pay for senior living that many families may not be aware of. These include the obvious options like savings and long-term care insurance as well as other possibilities defined in our blog, “Ways to Pay for Senior Living Expenses.

#4: Plan and hold a family meeting: Getting every family member at the table for the conversation about senior living is essential. No one wants to feel left out or that decisions are being made without their input so be sure to contact everyone and choose a date and time to meet in person or via a video call.

Before the meeting compile all the information from research, all the reasons for moving and the cost data and create an agenda to share and follow. During the meeting allow each family member an equal amount of time to express their options and ask questions. Answer every question possible but keep a list of unanswered questions to resolve afterward and keep minutes of the meeting for later distribution. For more expert tips on having the senior living conversation, check out article, “How To Hold A Family Meeting.

After the conversation about senior living, download our “Family Decision Toolkit” for more helpful info. Then contact us to schedule your tour of Thrive Senior Living.

Thrive Family Decision Toolkit Guide