Tips for Having the Conversation About Shared Senior Living with Your Older Loved One

Having a conversation about senior living with your older parent or loved one can be tricky. And if you’re encouraging them to consider shared senior living accommodations, there are some additional issues to address.

The senior living conversation can be charged with high emotions on both sides. Advance preparation is key for a positive discussion for all who are involved.

Tips for having the conversation about shared senior living with your older loved one

1. Set the stage:

Before diving into the conversation, it’s crucial to find the right time and place. Choose a calm and comfortable setting where you, your parent, and anyone else who is to be involved like siblings can chat without distractions. Consider having the conversation over a cup of tea or during a leisurely walk. The goal is to create an environment where your parent feels relaxed and open to discussion.

2. Communication dos and don’ts:

Now, let’s talk about how to make the conversation as productive and comforting as possible:

Do be patient: Remember, your parent might have concerns or fears about shared senior living, so give them time to express themselves.

Don’t pressure them: Avoid pushing your agenda onto your parent. Instead, let the conversation flow naturally and listen to their thoughts and feelings.

Do use empathy: Try to see things from your parent’s perspective. How would you feel if you were in their shoes? Empathizing can go a long way in making them feel understood.

Don’t interrupt: Allow your parent to finish their sentences and thoughts. Interrupting can lead to frustration and hinder the conversation.

Do stay positive: Highlight the benefits of shared senior living, like companionship, cost-sharing, and the opportunity for new friendships.

Don’t ignore their concerns: Address any worries your parent might have and reassure them that their well-being is a top priority.

Download our free ebook, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living.

3. Talking points to help you stay on track:

To keep the conversation focused and constructive, prepare some talking points in advance:

Benefits of shared senior living: Discuss the advantages of shared living, such as having someone to talk to, share chores with, and split the bills. Emphasize how it can enhance their quality of life.

Safety and security features of senior living communities: Explain how living with a roommate can offer an extra layer of safety, especially in emergencies.

Shared interests: If you have a potential roommate in mind, mention common interests or hobbies that might make the idea more appealing.

Privacy concerns: Address privacy issues and be sure that your parent’s personal space will be respected.

Compatibility: If possible, introduce your parent to their potential roommate beforehand. Arrange a casual meeting to ease any initial apprehensions.


Remember, the key is to make this conversation a two-way street. Encourage your parent to share their thoughts and feelings and be ready to listen and adapt to their needs.

For more information about the assisted living lifestyle that a senior living community can offer, check out our free ebook, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living.

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