15 February, 2022 | 5 min read

Tips for a Successful Conversation with Your Family About Moving to Senior Living

Take a moment and consider what life could be like for your aging loved one if many of their daily tasks and concerns were taken care of.


  • A life free of home maintenance
  • Someone else taking care of shopping for and preparing meals (and the clean-up!)
  • Planned and scheduled activities and social events 
  • Transportation to medical appointments, shopping, and entertainment
  • A home designed to be age-friendly and easy to navigate

What we’ve just described is merely a glimpse into the world of senior living. There is much more for potential residents and family members to discover and enjoy.

Moving to Senior Living

If you are looking for ways to make life easier and more fulfilling for a parent or loved one, you may already be exploring all the benefits senior living has to offer.

In addition to the advantages listed above, residents enjoy:

  • Assistance with the daily tasks of life, such as bathing, dressing, and managing medications
  • Opportunities to meet and make new friends
  • Fitness centers and/or exercise classes
  • Amenities that have a wide variety of appeal

The advantages of senior living communities are many. Yet families often find themselves hesitating to have the conversation about making a move, even though this choice could provide a boost to their parents’ quality of life.

The real question is . . . Why?

The reasons can be as varied as families themselves, but here are a few of the more common ones:

  1. They don’t want to upset their parents.
  2. They don’t want their parents to feel angry or sad.
  3. They don’t want to admit or accept that their parents are growing older and possibly require assistance.
  4. They don’t want to admit that time is passing so quickly.
  5. They don’t want to lose their childhood home and the ability to visit.
  6. They don’t know where to begin to have a good conversation.

If any of these sound familiar, you’re not alone. However, it's important you don’t avoid the discussion, especially if you feel it is in the best interest of your family member. The good news is there are ways to approach the topic that can help you achieve the best possible results.

Tips for a Successful Conversation About Moving to Senior Living

The following are a few suggestions to help guide your family:

  1. Talk early and often

    Families typically have the most success if they’ve been talking about senior living or options their parents would like to explore before there is a health crisis that requires a rushed decision.
  2. Have an all-inclusive discussion

    If your parents are able, make sure to include them in any conversations. Adult children often make a decision and then announce it to their parents, which can lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings. If at all possible, this should be the parents’ decision to make.
  3. Get educated and come prepared

    Before getting together to talk about moving to senior living, it can be very helpful for one or two family members to take some time and research all the services and amenities available. Your parents or other family members may have misperceptions about what today’s senior living looks like; this can be a great way to get everyone on the same page.
  4. Ask your parents what they want

    Make sure to ask your parents what they are looking for. You may be surprised to learn they are also having concerns about living alone. They might feel that their home is no longer safe or that it would require expensive renovations to make it age-friendly.
  5. Be good listeners

    Encourage everyone to listen closely to what the others are saying – or what may be left unsaid. If there is hesitation from your parents, explore what might be holding them back. Ask them to help you understand any concerns they may have.
  6. Discuss options

    If your parents need a helping hand on a daily basis, there are many available options for assistance to choose from. It might be helpful to compare the benefits (and costs) of in-home care services and those of senior living to see which option offers the best possibilities and most appropriate care.
  7. Match up your parents’ needs with a community’s benefits

    Try to show your parents how community life could meet their needs – both today and in the future. For example, if they no longer drive and hesitate to ask others for rides, talk about the transportation provided. If cooking has become too challenging, arrange to have a meal at the community.
  8. Schedule a face-to-face visit

    If your parents agree, arrange to tour a few communities in the area so they can see firsthand what life could be like if they decide to make a senior living community home. Make sure they understand they won’t be pressured to make any decisions while they’re there.
  9. Arrange to have a second (and third!) conversation

    If time permits, it is always better to have several conversations about senior living options so that no one in the family feels rushed into making a decision. Agreeing to “come back to the table” to discuss a possible move to a senior living community after an initial conversation is a good way to make sure everyone feels involved and heard. In the meantime, offer to get answers to any of their questions or concerns.

Life at Eskaton Communities

The word Eskaton means “dawn of a new day.” In our communities, we see each day as an opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents. We’ve been serving the Sacramento region and Northern California for over 50 years.

The Eskaton Difference starts with our life-enriching programs and collaborative partnerships. With a national reputation for innovation, we focus on creating communities that provide our residents everything they need for purposeful living.

We invite you to visit one of our award-winning communities to discover some of the benefits we offer, such as:

  • Private residences
  • Delicious and nutritious meals
  • Social opportunities to meet and make new friends
  • Creative activities and therapies
  • Fitness centers and exercise classes
  • Housekeeping services
  • Transportation services
  • 24-hour staffing
  • Pet-friendly
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • And much, much more!

If you’re considering whether senior living could be the best choice for you or a loved one, we’re here to answer any questions you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary information, Family Decision Toolkit: How to choose the right senior living community.

To schedule a personalized tour, call us at 1-866-ESKATON (or 1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.

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