Here are some common concerns you may have:
1) Health Concerns – Your parents may have already experienced falls, accidents, or a diagnosis with an illness that will affect their ability to live on their own long-term
2) Mental Issues – Your parents are experiencing forgetfulness, dementia, or depression
3) Home Maintenance – Your parents are continuing to do home maintenance tasks that might be risky such as cleaning gutters, changing light bulbs or air filters requiring a ladder, raking leaves or shoveling snow
4) Caretaker Concerns – One parent is the sole caretaker for the other which puts pressure on the caretaker with no outside assistance. Or your parent is single and there is no one designated to help if needed
5) House Getting Old and Needs Repair or Updating - A lack of energy-efficient appliances or parents are spending a lot of money on a house that might not be worth the investment
6) Distance – Being far away in case of emergency; travel distance and cost to travel makes it hard to visit one another as often as you would like
7) Quality of Life – Your parent might be living in an area that gets a lot of harsh cold or hot weather or an area that is rural or not as safe or desirable as it used to be
Here are 5 suggestions to get your adult parents to seriously consider the possibility of moving:
1) Be Patient. This is not going to be a quick decision. Your parents will need to come to terms with the reality that staying in their current house doesn’t make good sense, even though that would be their preference.
2) Start with Little Things. For example, you can tell them about trends in organizing and recycling and how they could do it at their home by recycling unused items or decluttering to have a new look.
3) Try to Bring in Experts to Help – You can suggest a professional organizer, real estate agent, or financial planner who is trustworthy and professional. Sometimes having an outsider say the same thing that you say is heard differently.
4) Family Solidarity – Try to create united front between siblings with your parents. If you and your siblings fundamentally disagree on whether your parents should move, it will be hard for your parents to make their own decision because they know it will be perceived that they sided with one child over the other(s). Having a family meeting does not mean a face-to-face intervention – just knowing that you’re concerned about them will mean a lot to your parents and if they feel your recommendations are coming from a place of love and concern, they will be more likely to take them to heart and give them serious consideration.
5) Be Sympathetic – Remember how you felt when you were a teenager? You probably thought or said, “No one understands.”, “I want to do it my way.”, or “I can do it myself – I don’t need help.” – these are some of the same thoughts aging parents have when their adult children tell them what to do.
Moving can be a difficult decision at any stage of life but it can be made easier by communicating and educating your loved ones about their housing options. There are condos, townhomes, one story ranch style homes, and active adult communities designed for residents 55 and older.