Your dad has been, and always will be, your hero. He made you sandwiches when you were young, he helped you with your flat tire, he constantly made you laugh, and he was ​always​ there for you when you needed him most. Now, it’s your turn to return the favor.

The average retirement age is 63 – a good time to start talking about the future

It’s extremely difficult to watch your dad age and struggle with tasks that used to come easily to him. The average age of retirement in the U.S. is about 63 years old, and if he’s around that age, you might find him starting to have trouble with certain things. Maybe he is beginning to find it difficult to get out of the house to grocery shop, or he’s struggling to perform daily projects that used to take only minutes. Whatever it may be, if your dad is having a tough time with old age, it is time to talk to him about the possibility of nursing homes.

Obviously, this is a rough conversation to have no matter the circumstances. Even if your father can barely take care of himself, he’s still going to push back, at least initially, at the thought of living in nursing homes. That’s where you come in. You have to talk to your father and explain to him how this move will actually help him and the entire family. Though these conversations are quite hard, as long as you take a realistic and careful approach, you should be able to get through to your dad and start making moves to get him inside an assisted living facility.

Listen to your dad instead of talking at him

The best communication tip you can implement when discussing these difficult issues is to not just talk at him, but rather to be quiet and actually ​listen​ to what he has to say.

Simply listening to what your dad has to say can make the entire conversation much more productive. Even if he scoffs at the idea, don’t just ignore his feelings, really listen to what he’s saying and why he doesn’t want to make this move. This is clearly a major life decision, so it’ll require some additional thinking on his part. He might push back extremely hard in the beginning, but if you have an open discussion about the topic, you might discover that he’s really just nervous about the future. Listening to your dad will help you figure out the best way to approach the next step.

As long as you are approaching these conversations with care and actually listen to what your dad has to say, you should be able to make the right steps to ensure a happy future for everyone.