Discussing the Move

Talking about Residential Care

it is one of the most stressful times that we will experience as a family.

How to Talk about Moving

Moving to Retirement Living is usually easy - but moving to some level of care being provided can lead to feelings of guilt and sadness and are all part of discussing the move with someone close to you. Even though the decision to move is usually inevitable, it is still one of the hardest moments we will experience as a family. This is something most of us will have to face. We have known family carers who will do just about anything to avoid talking about a move with Mum or Dad.

There is no easy way to do this; however, there are some helpful points to keep in mind.

Be aware of each others feelings

that both you and your older family member have varying feelings that are attached to this decision. Make sure you recognize them and address them if you can.

Remain calm

Raised voices or outward displays of anger will only leave both parties feeling hurt. This is a highly emotional time for both of you; recognize it, but try not to let it enter the conversation.

Give your loved one some time

A chance to react to this decision and voice their concerns. Do not console them by saying how great it will be to move. Instead, hear them out.

Listen to their fears

Acknowledge how hard this is for them. Empathise.

Explain it in practical terms

Don’t be emotional. Explain how they need more medical expertise or attention than you can provide; that you want them to be safe and well-cared for.

Stay focussed on the practical

and do not address any emotional reasons; you’re stressed, your family is unhappy, etc.

Do not make false promises

such as “if you don’t like it, you can move back home.”

Reassure your loved one

telling them that you and your family will continue to be actively involved in their life. For seniors, moving from a home to new accommodation feels like they’ve been severed from their family – Knowing that you will continue to see each other on a regular basis.

Let your loved one make some decisions

such as a choice between facilities, what to move and what to leave, room colors,etc… Anything that will help them feel they’re part of this decision.

Allow time to absorb the news

If you’re family member is having a difficult time accepting this decision, allow them time. You may also consider seeking professional help, such as a counselor or a senior moving specialist like the friendly team at Senior Moves. Sometimes it helps to have a neutral outside party to talk to.

Don’t be hard on yourself

try not to feel bad about this decision. Be good to yourself and know that this is the best thing for the entire family. Dealing with your emotions outside of the decision will help ensure that your conversation remains calm and focused.