Caring for elderly parents comes along with challenges, and it can become even more difficult if they live far away. Moving closer to family members is often a good option to receive more support. However, moving can be a daunting task for older people, and they may be resistant to taking on a new chapter.
Here are five tips for convincing elderly parents to move closer.
Start the Conversation Early
A common mistake that families make is waiting until a crisis to have a conversation about moving a parent. When the conversation starts after an accident or health scare, families no longer have the luxury of making the decision on their own time.
Don’t let this happen to you. Starting the conversation about moving elderly parents can give them time to get used to the idea.
In addition, making the move before it is absolutely necessary gives the family time to make arrangements without rushing. Convincing elderly parents to move closer can be a process that takes time, so it is best to start earlier rather than later.
When talking about a big decision like moving, it’s best to make it with as much information as possible. It’s best to lay out all costs and benefits on a financial, physical, and emotional level. Some of the costs worth discussing may include:
- The financial cost to move
- Moving away from friends
- Leaving a home
- Adjusting to a new environment
- The stress of moving
Even if it seems like the costs are manageable for you, the downsides of moving can take a real toll on older people. It is important to talk about the emotional and monetary impacts and listen to your loved one’s concerns.
On the other hand, it’s just as important to highlight the benefits of moving closer, including:
- Being close to kids and grandkids
- More certainty for the future
- Fresh start
- Get the care and support needed
Every family’s cost-benefit analysis will look different. Make a list of the costs and benefits of the move, and take the time to discuss each side of the equation fully. You may even consult the advice of professionals like a financial advisor, doctor, and caretaker to help provide context and perspective as you make the decision.
Talk About the Future
Convincing elderly parents to move closer usually starts because of growing concerns about the future. Making a move during retirement is a big commitment, and it should be considered in light of the future, not just the present.
Help paint a picture of what life could look like five years or ten years down the road. Highlight the benefits of living close if your parent experiences health or mobility issues.
Paint a Clear Picture
One of the number one reasons older people are hesitant to move is the lack of certainty. When moving to a new environment, there are a lot of unknowns that can be scary.
Your parent may experience stress and anxiety about what the future holds and what their new life will entail. Help your parent understand what their life could look like, and help take away as much uncertainty as possible.
Listen to Their Concerns
When convincing elderly parents to move closer, they may understandably have concerns about making the move. Instead of dismissing concerns or trying to gloss over them, take the time to truly listen.
Understand why they are feeling the way they feel, and validate their feelings. Address the concerns that you can, but acknowledge that there may be factors you simply cannot control.
Having elderly parents nearby can have benefits for the whole family, both now and in the future. Moving your parent or parents is a big decision that should be made with input from the whole family.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.