How to Convince Parents to Live in Independent Living Communities

Are your aging parents struggling to cope with their daily activities at home? Perhaps they keep tripping over things or brushing off recent falls as “one-time incidents.”

Getting your parents to accept assisted living is challenging. However, armed with the right information, you can help them make this important life transition.

Ask Questions

It’s important to discuss your parent’s options for senior living early while they are still healthy and active. The subject matter can get emotional quickly, so try to remain objective and ask questions about what services are available and how much it costs.

Be sure to compare the cost of independent living with other expenses, like utilities, maintenance and property taxes. Show your parents how they can trade in the worries of homeownership for an active and social lifestyle.

Please encourage them to visit a community and attend a tour, event or meal. This will give them a firsthand experience of the benefits of community living and help them decide for themselves whether it is a good fit. Ask about the amenities and activities offered and how the staff keeps up with current trends in fitness and wellness.

Schedule a Visit

If you have friends or family members who live in retirement communities, ask if they would be willing to talk with your parents and share how much they enjoy their new lifestyle. Many senior citizens have stereotypes about retirement living, so hearing firsthand how happy someone else is in the community can help dispel myths or misconceptions they may have.

Once your parent has agreed to visit some communities, be sure to schedule enough time for each one so that you can get a good sense of what they offer. Ask your parents to list their top needs and compare the communities that provide those services to determine which suits them best.

Browse independent living communities through websites like, which often offer onsite amenities like beauty salons, fitness centers and game rooms. They also have much to offer outside the facility, including transportation to and from local shopping, social events and restaurants.

Be Honest

It is important to remember that while you are bringing up the topic of independent living communities out of love, it is ultimately their decision. It’s easy to get caught up in emotions and forget that your parents are adults who have earned the right to make their own decisions.

Instead of focusing on how moving to an assisted living community will negatively impact their life, could you concentrate on its benefits? Your parents will likely be more receptive to a move if you convince them that it will give them freedom, independence and a better quality of life.

If you can’t talk to your parents alone, consider bringing in a trusted friend or clergy member. A third party will bring a new perspective and help you understand your loved one’s objections more objectively.

Be Patient

Most elderly parents want to remain in their own homes as long as possible. But as they age, this may not be in their best interest. Living alone can lead to isolation, a risk factor for certain health conditions.

Even if your parent initially rejects the idea, try not to get discouraged. Instead, keep bringing it up in conversations and ensure they see assisted living communities’ benefits. It is important to listen to their concerns and objections but avoid talking about them in a hostile manner. Doing so could make them angry and more resistant to moving.

Be Flexible

You may think you’re being objective when talking to your parents about assisted living, but the conversation involves a lot of emotion. If your parents express any misgivings or concerns, it is important to take them seriously.

It’s also helpful to learn what a community offers to understand better why it might be the best option for your parents. Things like onsite restaurants and a pool can make a difference. However, it would help if you were careful about pointing out benefits irrelevant to your parents’ vision for their retirement. This could put a strain on your relationship. Ultimately, the decision is up to them. They need to feel that they are making an informed choice. They will then be more likely to trust you.


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