When the warning signs that your loved one will benefit from senior assisted living are getting too great to ignore, you may be apprehensive about broaching the topic for numerous reasons. Maybe your parent had expressed their desire to age in place before their circumstances changed, or perhaps they may be under the mistaken impression that you find them a burden. In this guide, we share with you some top tips when it comes to having this difficult yet important conversation for transitioning to assisted living.
Assess the Situation
The first step is to understand why aging in place is no longer working out for your loved one. Are you worried about leaving them alone at home because of their mobility limitations? Are these limitations keeping them confined to their bedroom, where social isolation can set in? Or does your parent require specialized help that you cannot provide?
Regardless of the specific reasons, does your loved one seem reluctant or upset when you bring up the topic? If so, find out the reasons why. Sometimes, it can be out of concern for you or others around them. For instance, they may be worried that family will miss gathering in their home.
Get Everyone Involved
Transitioning to senior living is a major change, and this isn’t a decision you can make on your own. If you aren’t the only child, get your siblings involved and let everyone have the chance to express their concerns and opinions. This is especially true if you, and other family members, will be helping to fund senior living. Give yourself some time to consider the change this will mean for your family as well as the challenges ahead.
Be Open and Honest
Sometimes, it can be the case that your loved one sees themselves as a burden to you, or thinks that you simply wish to get rid of them. Explain that this is not the case while letting them know about the many ways an assisted living community can improve their quality of life. This can include:
- Having all the services and amenities they need right at their doorstep
- Increased opportunities for socialization and participating in the activities they enjoy
- Peace of mind, both for them and yourself, that they will receive the medical attention and personal care assistance they require
- … and more!
Always end the conversation by reassuring your loved one that you will continue to be as supportive as you have always been, and that the move will be in their best interests.
Involve Your Loved One
Never make the mistake of deciding everything for your loved one – let them get involved. After all, this decision will impact their lives first and foremost. Take a collaborative approach by visiting senior living communities with them, letting them have a say in the kind of floorplan and lifestyle they want, and reviewing finances together.
Most of all, keep in mind that you may need to have this conversation more than once if you are unable to reach an agreement the first time. Exercising patience and understanding is crucial in this process.