How can I convince my elderly parents to move closer?
As your parents get older you might start to wonder if they should live closer to you. Maybe you’d like to see more of them now they’re retired or you’re concerned about their health and want to be on hand to help. Perhaps you’d like to be able to support them with things like DIY more easily or, perhaps, you’d like some help from them?
As we’ve discovered, there’s a growing trend for older people to help their adult children with everything, from looking after grandchildren to food shopping.
It could be a mix of all these reasons and more, but how do you go about convincing your elderly parents to move closer – or should you move closer to them?
Should I move closer to ageing parents?
You may wonder if it would be easier for you to move to be closer to your parents. If you’re looking to relocate this could be a brilliant solution, especially if your parents are reluctant to move home. But often the demands of your job and/or school-aged children make it more impractical.
Another consideration is that your parents may actually benefit more from a house move than you, especially if they are looking to downsize to a more practical, future-proof and more cost-effective home, like a retirement bungalow or apartment. Read more about the benefits of downsizing.
Everyone’s situation is different and you’ll only uncover a solution if you talk about it openly – you don’t want to put plans in place to move nearer to your parents only to discover that they’re relocating to their dream home on the coast.
If you’re finding it hard to broach the subject of moving your elderly parents read our guide to starting the conversation.
5 ways to convince elderly parents to move closer
While the benefits of moving to be closer to family makes perfect sense to you, and many parents jump at the idea, concerns are understandable. Here’s five tips to help you to help them to see your point of view.
1. Do your research before you reach out
To find the right retirement housing for your parents, you need to consider their age, circumstances, wellbeing and health.
Fortunately there are a wide range of retirement living options to suit all types of people, for instance:
- Low maintenance independent living in retirement villages with bungalows.
- Assisted living apartments with thoughtful services like on-site bistros and bespoke domestic help and care packages if required.
- Residential care homes are suitable for those who need round-the-clock care.
As well as the property, your parents will want to consider what sort of lifestyle they’d like. For instance, our lively communities offer communal spaces with regular events, clubs and parties for homeowners to get involved in.
Location is key too – consider things like proximity to shops, eateries, transport options and amenities as well as the closeness to you.
2. Start the conversation early
The earlier you can start talking to your older parents about moving closer the better. It will help them to go over the pros and cons and do some research for themselves without feeling rushed into a decision by a change of circumstances.
“Having to move an elderly parent a long distance to be closer to you can be a very emotional and stressful time. After viewing several settings we visited Ryland Place, the McCarthy Stone complex in Edgbaston and were immediately impressed by the facilities, size and accessibility of the apartments but most of all by the atmosphere.
We went down the part exchange route so we could get my father moved as quickly as possible and this option really worked for us and included excellent removal services… My father is now settling in and starting to enjoy making new friends. There are regular activities and get togethers that he can choose to be involved with and he’s very much enjoying the bistro and the excellent food it serves! From start to finish our experience of Ryland Place and the lovely staff has been really positive and we would highly recommend them.”
- Homeowner’s daughter, Ryland Place, Edgbaston
3. Share the benefits of moving closer to family
This move should be a positive one. You want them to be happier and even healthier as a result. Focussing on the benefits will help your parents see you have their best interests at heart. After all you are asking to see more of them!
The benefits of moving closer to family:
- They’ll see more of you – and the grandchildren.
- You are on hand to help with odd jobs or anything they need.
- Some parents will love the idea of being useful to you – and giving you a helping hand with childcare, pet care or even gardening.
Of course you’ll have your own reasons for wanting them to be closer, so be honest and open about what you want.
4. Acknowledge your parent’s concerns
Moving home is a big step for anyone, but even more so if you’re moving away from everything you know to be closer to family. While some may see it as the start of a new adventure, it’s natural to have worries and objections. Listen to your parent’s feelings and be empathetic. You might be able to counter some of their concerns, but the main thing is to plant the seed. You want them to know the move is possible and you’ll be there to support them in whatever they want to do.
"Mum has moved from the house she’d lived in for over 40 years into a McCarthy Stone apartment at Brideoake Court in Standish, so she can be nearer to us/family. It’s not an easy move to make and we appreciated the help of the sales consultant Julie who was very friendly and professional throughout. Nothing was too much trouble. We liked that everything was fully explained to us and the costs and charges were transparent, nothing hidden. The apartments are modern and beautifully finished. The house manager Gemma and other residents have all made Mum feel very welcome, Brideoake Court has a lovely, warm and friendly feel to it."
- Homeowner’s daughter, Brideoake Court, Standish
5. Set the scene for life in retirement
Your parents may have misconceptions about retirement living. Your research can help you to explain the differences between the independence of retirement living and care homes. Explain, for example, that retirement homes in retirement villages or developments are completely private and self-contained. They are their own homes that they can personalise and decorate however they like.
You could also explain that while they’ll benefit from a friendly community on the doorstep and shared gardens and living spaces to enjoy, there is no obligation to join in with events.
Offer to take them to a McCarthy Stone open day to get a feel for the retirement homes and communities. They may be able to arrange an overnight stay so they can ‘try before they buy’. Also, encourage them to sign up to the weekly newsletter to get a sense of life in the communities – they’ll be first to hear about special offers too!
McCarthy Stone retirement living - tailored living to suit the needs of elderly parents.
You want your parents to have the best retirement possible. McCarthy Stone developments span across the UK so you can find beautiful retirement homes near you, conveniently located in the heart of the local community and with plentiful amenities on the doorstep.