It is not uncommon to find retirees either refusing to live in senior living communities or refusing to socialize with other people once they are there. This is a problem that becomes more prevalent the older they get. If your loved one has such a problem, the first thing to do is understand that theirs is not an isolated case, and that they may need a little more persuasion for them to become more social. Part of their resistance is the fact that they may misconstrue your actions as you treating them like children or patronization. There are a few things you can try out to change their minds such as:
Talk To Them as Adults and Not Children
When trying to convince a retiree to take actions such as moving to a retirement community or encouraging them to socialize, try to put yourself in their shoes first. Chances are that when they were younger, they might have had a negative attitude towards people much older than them and would not want to be treated in the same manner. Once you have understood their point of view, you can then talk to them in a way that does not come across as patronizing. You may need some time to craft a message in this way.
Avoid Making It an Argument
Don’t turn your talk into an argument. Human beings are wired to become even more defensive when you talk to them in a way that seems argumentative. Even if you are frustrated, try to be calm and avoid a shouting match. This makes them dig in even more, and sabotages future attempts at convincing them to socialize or even move into a senior living community. If you are the type to get annoyed quickly, you could ask someone else to talk to them on your behalf and advise them to talk to them as adults and avoid confrontation.
Remember That You Will Need Time to Convince Them
You need to strategize your approach when talking to retirees if you want to convince them of anything. You need to be patient and break down the process into a series of small talks. For instance, the first time you talk to them, it should be all about trying to understand why they don’t want to socialize or take part in activities in the first place. The first talk should only revolve around this, and in the end they will feel heard. Later on, they will be more open to new ideas and it will be easier to convince them to socialize.
Convince Them Using Facts
You should have a convincing reason as to why they would need to consider your argument. When attempting to convince them about socializing, first find out why it’s important for retirees in such an environment to socialize, and then present this information to them. Also remember that hard facts alone may not be enough; you may also need to account for their emotional side especially if your loved one is a female. A combination of both would be ideal.
You may also seek the help of team members in the senior living community. They will have had experience interacting with guests who have a personality type similar to your loved ones’. They would be in a better position to know how to convince them. Asking for their help might save you a lot of time and effort.