Starting the discussion with your relative
If you feel that your relative is lonely or isolated, no longer able to maintain their home or not safe living on their own, you may need to initiate a discussion on their living options. Making the choice to change your way of living takes considerable thought and planning and the subject should be brought up slowly with your relative, over time.
It is important to emphasize the positive aspects of retirement living such as no worrying over maintenance or meals, 24hr emergency assistance and great social and recreational programming. Learn more about retirement living.
If in discussion your relative reacts negatively, you may be able to point out how they seldom do what they used to do and like doing (such as playing bridge, going shopping, having friends over etc.). Impress upon them how much more enjoyable their life could be with the companionship available in a retirement community and lack of need to travel elsewhere for activities and social opportunities.
If your relative says, “I like things done my way. I’m the only one who knows what I like to eat (do, buy etc.)”, tell them they can still maintain a considerable level of autonomy while living in a retirement home. Retirement living is all about choice. Start by asking them some basic questions about what they would want and need. Use the home finder to find retirement homes in your area and start calling them and asking whether they provide the services, amenities or activities that are important to your relative.
Arrange for site visits of several different retirement homes. All will be happy to meet with you and your relative, serve lunch or dinner, introduce your relative to other residents, and can arrange for a trial overnight stay. This may allay many of the fears your relative has.