How to Help Parents When a Move Separates Them

As seniors age it’s not unusual for them to need some added care in order to live the lifestyle they desire while staying happy and healthy. Unfortunately, it’s also true that when seniors begin to need care, it may be necessary for couples to separate as a result of different care needs. For example, if one parent needs assistance with activities of daily living and the other parent is more independent but is unable to care for their loved one, it can cause there to be a need for one parent to move in order to get him or her the care that’s required. 

According to Diane Reier, Lifestyle Specialist at Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights, a senior living community in Prospect Heights, IL, separating parents can be heartbreaking not only for them but for their adult child, too. “It’s not easy when a loved one needs to move to a senior living community for care, but it’s especially difficult when another parent has to stay behind,” says Diane. “The adult child may be riddled with guilt and sadness at seeing their parents moving away from each other, all the while having to help support both parents through this difficult time. It may not be easy and will likely take some time to get settled into a routine and to accept this change, but there are ways to help ease the process along while helping your parents through a move that separates them.”

Helping Couples Cope with a Move to Senior Living When it Separates Them

When couples move away from each other it can be difficult. Chances are, they haven’t been separated for a long period of time before, making it crucial for you to help them cope. Try some of the following tips. 

Ensure your parent knows their emotions are normal. When one parent has to move to a senior living community, they are already nervous about what’s to come, and are especially upset about all that’s being left behind. Ensure your loved one knows and understands that it’s normal to be anxious or upset. It’s also ok for them to feel excited and happy. Moving to a senior living community can cause your loved one to feel a lot of complex emotions and reminding them that these emotions are normal can help them to successfully move while helping them to keep an open mind. 

For the parent who is remaining at home, it’s important that they also understand that all their feelings are normal. They may feel as though they failed their loved one because they were unable to care for them, but that’s not true. It simply means that they want the best care possible for the one they love, and the best is what they deserve. Be sure to let your parent know that they will be able to visit and speak to their loved one often. 

Be their support system. While this may be difficult as you are dealing with your own set of stresses and issues, it’s important to remain as strong as possible for your parents. Be sure that they both know you are there for them to talk to and that you understand what they are going through. Keep in mind that your support and understanding can make this journey a lot easier for all of you but that it’s also possible you need some support yourself. If needed, attend a support group or talk to someone about how you are feeling. This could give you insight on how to deal with both parents’ emotions and your own, while making this move easier. 


Find ways to bring them together as much as possible. Many senior living communities allow couples to participate in programs and activities together. Make sure that’s an option at the senior living community you chose for your loved one. If it is, find some common programs that your parents would both enjoy participating in together. This can help them to have fun with one another while bonding and growing in their experiences. If possible, take your parent over to visit a few times a week and surprise your loved one with little presents or flowers once in awhile to keep them feeling special.


Video chat and talk on the phone. If there are days you can’t get your parent over to see their loved one, or the community doesn’t provide transportation, video chatting and talking on the phone can be a great replacement. Teach your loved ones how to use video software such as Skype®  in order to get in touch with each other or suggest they talk on the phone to make the distance seem much less far. 


Keep up with date nights. If your loved one is in good enough health to continue going on outings, schedule a weekly date night for your parents where they can go out to dinner and perhaps a movie or show. If that’s not possible, take your loved one for date nights at the community where they can dine together and enjoy spending time along while still receiving care if necessary. 

If your parents do not want to separate, look into a senior living community that will accommodate both of their individual needs. Not only will this help to keep them together, but it will also ensure they get the care they need and live the lifestyle they deserve. Leading senior living communities such as Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights can provide both the care one person needs along with the other’s desires. Differing care needs are no problem with our personalized care plans, call us today at 847-243-6920 for more information.


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If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also welcome you to read our recent blog articles on current caregiver and memory care topics. 


Live Well. Age Well. Be Well.

Offering Independent, Assisted Living and A Knew Day Memory Support, Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights is a distinctive senior living community designed to offer seniors residing in the Chicago Northwest Suburbs area a fresh alternative to “typical” senior living communities.

Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights provides residents with the ideal balance of personalized support, dignified privacy and enhanced independence complemented by luxurious amenities and our life-enriching, award-winning VIVA!SM programming by Pathway to Living®.

Managed by Pathway to Living®, an innovator in senior living, Aspired Living® offers the choice of a private studio or a one- or two-bedroom apartment and the beauty of a brand new community, stunningly appointed and decorated for unsurpassed comfort and style by the award-winning senior living design firm, Thoma-Holec Design, Inc.


For more information, please call Diane or Janette, Lifestyle Specialists, at 847-243-6920.


Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.