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Top 6 Things to Remember When Talking To Your Parents About Moving

 Posted by Bradley Ryan on January 23, 2018 at 2:33 PM

It is never an easy discussion when you are addressing the fact that your loved one may need to physically move in order to meet all of their needs. There are many reasons why your parents may need to move in order to be safe and healthy.  Perhaps they need to downsize and move to a location that allows them full mobility. They may need to move into assisted living to make sure all health needs are met.  Having this conversation can be an extremely difficult task full of emotion on both sides. Caring Transitions Cincinnati West have compiled a list of the top 6 things you should consider before having the conversation with your loved ones. 

1) Don't get into a power struggle- Imagine living your entire life, in control of everything from your home to finances to social life to medical needs. Every decision was yours and you spent years making the best choices not only for yourself but your family as well. Then imagine someone coming in and taking over without your invitation. It would be incredibly difficult.  Acknowledge the fact that this is your parent's life and you want them to have as much control as possible. Having the conversations early can allow your loved ones to have more control overall than waiting until it is an emergency situation where someone else is in charge. 

2) Watch your tone- No matter what needs your loved ones have, they deserve respect from you and anyone that works with them. It is an extremely difficult thing to transition your role from child to caregiver.  Your parents have taken care of you your entire life and now they are depending on you to care for them.  When your parents become dependent on you, it can be very easy to treat them as if they are your child or inferior.  We know that there is a fine line in this situation and balance can be very difficult. One of the easiest things you can do is to watch your tone of voice when speaking with your parents. Be respectful and clear. Give your parents the dignity they deserve. 

3) Be transparent- We know it is very difficult especially when things can be uncertain about health conditions or physical or mental needs.  But it is always easier if you are open and honest with your parents.  You can state the facts in a loving & supportive way. You can invite your parents to help make the decision with you. Acknowledge the tough stuff in a direct way. It's ok to tell your parents  that you are unsure of something.  As long as they know you have the best intentions for them, the conversation can go much easier.

4) Be prepared for some resistance- As we said, imagine how difficult it would be for someone to tell you it is time to move onto a phase that you are not ready to acknowledge.  None of us would react positively for so many reasons.  It can be scary and it can be sad. Expect some resistance, even if you have already mentioned this to your parents or they are already aware of the circumstances.  Do not react overly emotional or personally get upset with your parents. Go into the conversation knowing that you are going to have to answer some tough questions and deal with emotions.  React lovingly and with respect. Your parents may be upset now, but they will thank you for it later. It's ok to grieve or be sad with your parents when they get upset. This can be really tough and acknowledging that can be a powerful thing. 

5) Listen- We have seen this many times at Caring Transitions.  Once someone depends on another for their basic needs, things can feel really out of control for them. It is so important that they are given a chance to communicate and that they are heard. There may be things that your loved ones ask for that are just not possible. But you can talk through this with them and have a team approach when making the big decisions.  Even if you think they may not be concerned with certain things, tell them anyway. Ask them anyway. This is their life and they have a right to as much information as possible. 

6) Offer Hope- Yes, this can be very difficult but it can also be a positive thing for your loved ones.  Transition to the next step can offer them resources or amenities that they do not currently have. It can also be a relief to have basic needs met.  Imagine not being able to care for yourself like you once did.  This would cause anxiety & fear in any of us.  Do your research about the options for your loved ones. Make sure to tell your parents about the positive things that the next move has to offer. Collect any brochures or information for them to review.  They may react negatively but with time to process could gain a new perspective on the situation. If needed, offer your parents therapeutic resources throughout the process.  Counseling or support groups may be helpful to someone going through a tough transition.