How to Talk About Making a Move | Avalon Memory Care

How to Talk About Making a Move

How to Talk About Making a Move: Tips for Discussing a Caregiving Plan with Your Parent

 In a perfect world, dementia wouldn’t exist and we’d never have to face tough decisions about leaving a beloved home. But with so many aging adults being diagnosed with cognitive diseases each year, some of us will have to address an inevitable caregiving need for a parent.

It isn’t easy to bring up alternative living arrangements with Mom or Dad because most people’s dream is to live out their lives at their family house or condo—a place full of memories and heirlooms, a gathering hub for kids and grandkids to visit, a space they’ve invested in and put their heart into making a home. It’s emotional to give up these comforts and consider a big unknown, which is why it takes thoughtfulness and empathy when talking about making a move.

There are many low-key ways to start the conversation with your parent. However you approach it, put yourself in their position, and proceed with gentleness and respect.


Include All of the Siblings and Don’t Go Rogue

Before you even mention your concerns to your parent, gather your siblings to share your thoughts and get their perspective. See if they see similar behaviors or issues and get their ideas on next steps. There will probably be disagreements and differing opinions, but try to overcome any sibling rivalry for the greater good—your parent(s).

Even if you spend more time with your parent and think you know best, it’s a show of respect to your brothers and sisters that you value their input and help. Try to agree on a plan together and keep each other in the loop with major decisions.


Start One of Many Conversations Early 

Your parent may currently be in tiptop shape—and we hope they continue on that healthy path. However, while they’re still active and cognitively sound, it’s a good time to discuss what their future looks like. It can be as simple as, “Mom, do you see yourself staying in this big house for the next ten years? Or are you still considering that townhouse?” Here are some other ways to initiate a discussion:

  • “Dad, you seem like you’re really tired of doing yard work. Would you ever consider a smaller place with a lawn service?”
  • “Mom, you shouldn’t have to do all of this cleaning by yourself every week. Is there some way I can make this easier on you?”
  • “Jenn’s parents moved to this cool independent living community. What are your thoughts on that?”
  • “Dad, if you ever needed some caregiving help down the road, what would that look like for you?”
  • “Mom, sometimes I worry because you’re living here all by yourself. Would you feel less lonely if you had better neighbors and a social group to join?”


Get Your Parent’s Advice 

While our parents might need care, they aren’t babies. They’re mature adults with physical and emotional needs that come along with getting older. They’re also at an age in which they’ve done a lot of life—and they know stuff!

Your mom or dad might already be quietly thinking of what will happen as they get older. Gently broach the subject by asking if they’ve ever envisioned themselves living in a different residence. You might be surprised by what they say.

If your parent is openminded about moving, offer to accompany them on a variety of community tours. Visit all of the places they’re interested in and compare notes on what you each thought about the ambiance, staff, location, amenities, and price. Make a list of pros and cons that you each can reference whenever you need to and list your top picks as possibilities.


Avoid Bringing Up the Things They Can’t Do

It’s depressing to know that age and health have forced limitations on us when we used to be so independent and energetic. And it’s doubly depressing to be reminded of it by our kids.

Try your best to keep the conversation positive. Instead of saying, “Mom, you don’t remember anything anymore,” say, “Mom, it might be a good thing to have someone help you with daily appointments and chores, kind of like a personal assistant! You, of all people, deserve it.”

Or if Dad won’t stop cleaning out the gutters, don’t say, “Dad, you’re way too old to be climbing a ladder.” Instead say, “Dad, do you think I could hire someone to do that for you? I’m so scared of ladders and it would be easy for anyone to get hurt being up that high.”

Of course, this all sounds easier said than done, especially when a stubborn parent is beyond frustrating. When you feel like you might implode, that’s when it’s time to take a break and then leave the discussion for another day.


Don’t Make an Impulsive Decision

If your parent has declined at a rapid pace, you may have no other choice than to quickly find a community. If this is the case, we welcome any questions you may have. Avalon’s staff is here to help, whether or not you choose us.

But if you have the luxury of a little extra time, do as much research as you can, then let it process in your subconscious over weeks or months. Most likely, your intuitive thinking will start to guide you as your mind continues to lean toward one community over another. Here are some additional tips:

  • Visit that community again, see if it’s consistent with the last visit, and do some additional comparisons.
  • Conduct visits at different times of the day or evening and on various days of the week. This approach will expose you to more staff members, personalities, and situations.
  • Bring a friend along to get their opinion.
  • If it’s a pet-friendly community, bring your mom or dad’s dog to see their reaction. Are they relaxed, skittish, or disturbed by any noise levels or staff members?
  • Call the community to see how the phone is answered. Are they friendly, warm, and helpful? Or are they impersonal, curt, or disorganized? The front desk can tell a lot about a residence.

Ask as many questions as you need answered. We don’t think you can overthink it too much when it comes to finding a safe, comfortable, and happy home for your parent.


Give Your Parent Hope By Not Setting Anything Into Stone

The permanence of leaving home and never going back to what’s familiar can be terrifying to anyone—especially an elder. Comfort your mom or dad with the assurance that if things don’t work out at one location, there is room for change. Remind them that there are many options out there, and if they’re unhappy with a community, that you’ll do everything in your power to help them find a new one.

Once your parent has moved, they may long to see their old house or childhood hometown, something they had the freedom to do before. Make a point to schedule day trips with them to revisit nostalgic places, gravestones they used to place flowers on, favorite restaurants, and any other locations that have special meaning.

We want the best for our parents, and the emotional burden of figuring that all out is tough on the entire family. By doing your research, talking to others and getting advice, and trusting your heart to lead you in the right direction, you can be better prepared to have conversations with your mom or dad. For a perspective from one of our caregivers, please contact Avalon at (972) 713- 1383 or (888) 522-1918. Before any major residential moves, this is one of the best moves you can make. We’d love to help.


See More Articles

  • Visiting Your Aging Parent With Memory Loss at Avalon Memory Care

    As a loving son or daughter, you naturally want the best of care for your senior parent. The compassionate assisted living caregivers at Avalon Memory Care want you to know that while your parent is living with us, he or she will receive nothing less than respectful, loving care within our comfortable, safe, and fully-staffed

  • Celebrating New Year’s Day in Memory Care

    Families often find that celebrations with their loved ones in memory care are easier when they embrace new traditions. For instance, it may not be practical to expect your loved one to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve. Instead, consider throwing a New Year’s Day celebration, complete with a countdown to the first

  • Understanding Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia

    Parkinson’s disease is an incurable neurological disorder, with progressively worsening complications. Perhaps the most well-known symptom of Parkinson’s is a hand tremor, but it can also cause speech changes, muscle rigidity, and impaired posture. Eventually, as the disease progresses, more than half of all individuals with Parkinson’s will require dementia care. This particular type of


“Since my mother has lived at Avalon, I have had peace of mind for the first time since Alzheimer’s began to exact its terrible price from my mother’s life. Thank you for your part in making our lives better.”
Daughter | Ft. Worth, TX
“I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the care and love afforded to my mom over the last two weeks. Your success in finding such quality people has my gratitude and respect.”
Daughter | Dallas, TX
“We are very pleased with all of the efforts that your caring staff has made to smooth this traumatic transition.”
Son | Plano, TX
“I know my husband had the very best care in his final days. I regret that I did not know about Avalon sooner.”
Wife | Dallas, TX
“Mom spent the final 8 months of her life in Avalon Memory Care in Allen. The staff was great. There was rarely a day that my brother or I did not come by and they were always friendly to us and did their best to make mom comfortable and happy. We really appreciated them for everything they did.”
Daughter | Allen, TX
“Making the decision to place my mother in residential memory care was the hardest thing I think I have ever done. But living at Avalon has been the best thing for her at this stage of her life.”
Daughter | Allen, TX
“My grandmother has lived at Avalon Memory Care for 6 months now. I cannot speak highly enough about the warmth, dedication, and caring compassion of the staff. They always make us feel welcome and go out of their way to work with us to accommodate grandma’s needs.”
Grandson | Arlington, TX
“My grandmother spent her final days at Avalon and we couldn’t have asked for a better place to care for her. The caregivers are attentive and kind, and many of them have been with Avalon for years. If you are looking for a place to love on you and your family in a season that is inevitably difficult, Avalon is a wonderful choice.”
Granddaughter | Arlington, TX
“We are delighted with the facility of Avalon Memory Care. We just placed Grandma in an apartment with them and couldn’t be happier. It is clean and well-lit, and everyone greets us, down to the folks who clean up.”
Granddaughter | Arlington, TX

Schedule a Tour

Visit one of our 30+ campuses and experience our unique approach to memory care.

Book Now

Careers at Avalon

Explore our wide range of
career opportunities!

Learn More