As your parent ages, you may think about the day they need assisted living. This is an inevitable part of aging. But it can be difficult to bring up the subject with your aging parent. You want them to have a comfortable and safe life, but you don’t want them to feel like they are being pushed out of their home or abandoned by their family. There’s a way to help them move to assisted living without causing stress—and we’ll show you how!
Begin The Conversation Early
You should begin the conversation early on when you and your parent can still take care of themselves. It may be difficult for you to bring up this topic if you’re worried about how it will affect them, but it’s important to consider the potential benefits of assisted living for your loved one. The best way to broach this subject is by starting with positive examples: “I met a woman at church who lives in an assisted living community,” or “My neighbor said his mom loves her home there.” You might also try asking questions like: “Have you ever thought about what options you’d have if something happened?”
It’s helpful if both parties are in good moods when talking about moving into an assisted living—it will make it easier for them and make them feel more comfortable discussing their feelings. If there is tension between you, the discussion probably won’t go well unless they’re happy first (or until after a calm talk). If this is true for your case, ask someone else, like an unbiased family member or friend, to help instead!
Explain What Assisted Living Means
If your aging parent is hesitant to consider assisted living, you must explain this type of housing. A retirement community is designed to help people age by providing assistance with daily activities, such as meals, hygiene, and transportation. These communities also offer companionship and assistance with medication management.
Many times children may feel guilty about moving away from their parents. Still, once they understand what assisted living entails, they will become more comfortable with the idea of relocating them there permanently instead of remaining at home where they can no longer live independently without any help from others outside their immediate family members who might not always be around full time due to work schedules or other commitments like school activities.
Don’t Expect Immediate Commitment
The best way to help your aging parent move into assisted living is to not expect immediate commitment. Yes, it may be easier to get them to commit if you pressure them into the decision. But that’s not fair and it won’t help them in the long run.
Instead, let your aging parent know that you’re willing to help them with their research on assisted living and other options for their future care needs. Offer to drive them around town so they can see different types of communities in person. Offer to make phone calls on their behalf or even do online searches with them as needed (you will have access as an adult child). This can also serve as a way for you two to stay connected during this process since talking about what’s going on could offer some comfort and reassurance during a stressful time like this one!
Relieve Their Fears About Moving
When your parent expresses concerns about moving to assisted living, it’s important for you to listen without dismissing their fears. Don’t argue with them or try to force them into making a decision they aren’t ready for. Instead, acknowledge what they have said (e.g., “I understand that you’re worried about this”) and remind them that they can always come back home if they decide that is what’s best for them (be sure not to make promises of future visits, though).
Tour Assisted Living Communities Together
Before trying to persuade them, familiarize yourself with the process. You should know what to expect from the community and its staff before you take a tour.
Knowledge is power! You may feel uncomfortable asking questions about the retirement community or its services, but don’t be afraid to speak up when touring together. You need this information so that you can make an informed decision about which community is right for your family member—and so that they have all of their questions answered before moving in.