Talking to your parents about moving into a senior assisted living facility can be one of the most difficult conversations of your life. The subject can be complicated and emotional for everyone involved.
Everyone Should Take Part in the Caregiving Conversation
Perhaps you are the main caretaker and feel that you know what’s best for your parents. While that may be true, it is important to include everyone in the conversation about what care they need.
Even family members that don’t have daily involvement in caregiving have a right to be heard when it comes to a loved one’s care.
Not only will talking through care options give you greater confidence in the decision-making process, but it will also help your parents understand that it is not you vs them. It will help them to know that all the people they love and trust have come together to present an idea for improved caregiving.
People that should take part in the conversation include:
Sometimes – despite everyone’s best efforts – it can be difficult to come to an agreement. If you reach an impasse in the conversation, there are family and elder mediation services that can help you and your decision-making team find a workable outcome.
Be Prepared for the Assisted Living Conversation
When you sit down to talk to a parent about assisted living, be sure that you have covered all of your bases and are prepared to answer the many questions they will surely have.
Be sure you can answer any questions they have about:
What Assisted Living Really Is
Dispel their preconceived notions of assisted living as being a ‘nursing home’.
Help them understand that assisted living communities help them maintain their independence while providing services and amenities that improve both their safety and quality of life.
For instance, if your parent is having difficulty keeping house, eating nutritionally, and managing their medications safely, explain that you will both have peace of mind knowing that they are being assisted with these daily tasks.
You Still Being An Important Part of Their Support System
Being encouraged to move into a senior living community can make one feel that they are being swept aside. Assure your parents that nothing could be farther from the truth.
Let them know that you have every intention of continuing to be involved in their lives and that you will still be there to support and care for them.
How Assisted Living Communities Meet Changing Needs
Perhaps they only need a bit of help with housekeeping and meals now, but down the road, your parent may need help with self-care and taking medication properly.
Make sure they understand that assisted living services are designed around their specific and changing needs, assuring that their needs will always be met, no matter what happens with their health down the road.
How Assisted Living Makes Things Easier
Caring for an aging family member can be very difficult and stressful. It’s okay to tell them that assisted living will help you both know they are getting all of the help they need.
Explain that both of you will have an improved quality of life if they are safely cared for in an assisted living facility.
How Assisted Living Will Help Them to Socialize
The idea of community living can be daunting for someone who has lived on their own and can make them feel like they’re going to be sharing their living space.
Assure them that they can still have their own separate living quarters, but with greater access to activities and amenities that allow them to socialize.
Their Options for Local Senior Living Communities
Do your due diligence on this one. Your parent will want to know all about their living options and will certainly want to take part in the decision making process.
Making sure that they have a say in where they end up will help them maintain ownership of the move to assisted living and assure that they get to live in a place that speaks to them.
It can be easy to put off the conversation with your parents about moving into an assisted living facility. But the longer you wait the harder it will become.
If your parents require assistance with some of their daily needs and it is time to talk to them about assisted living, be sure you’ve discussed care options with loved ones and are prepared to answer all of your parent’s questions.