December 10, 2020 - Assisted Living
How to Start the Conversation About Moving to Assisted Living
Bringing up the subject of assisted living options for seniors can be the hardest part. Mom or Dad may resist discussing assisted living because they’re afraid of losing their sense of independence. And you might avoid the talk because you’re concerned about how they’ll react. However, starting the conversation before a crisis arises removes anxiety and uncertainty, making it easier on everyone.
Remember that you and your parent most likely have different goals. You might be ready to tackle the subject of assisted living options for seniors head on and come up with a solution. But your parent might be chiefly interested in maintaining a sense of control and dignity.
Step One: Do Some Research. Get familiar with what assisted living options exist for seniors. By gathering some facts and gaining a good understanding, you can help guide your loved one through the process. That might mean you visit a few communities, or at least check out their websites and call their sales counselors. Find out if your parents have long-term care insurance, or if one is a wartime Veteran and thus eligible for special funding.
Step Two: Start as Soon As You Can. Bring up the topic before an emergency arises and you can discuss the future in a non-threatening way. Sitting at the kitchen table chatting, with no need to make a decision that day, makes the talk much more comfortable. Rather than delve right into the topic of assisted living options for seniors, try something casual. “I see the gutters are getting full. It’s hard to keep up with all the upkeep of the house, isn’t it?” Or, “Looks like you’re running low on a few things. Would you like me to take you to the grocery so you don’t have to drive in all the traffic?”
Comments like these might open the door for your parent to express their fears or frustrations about living on their own, which in turn, can help you offer positive alternatives. Definitely do not make the conversation negative. Try not to criticize your Mom or Dad’s appearance, housekeeping, or ability to care for themselves.
You might even mention you’ve read an article on assisted living options for seniors, or have a friend whose parent is dealing with the same challenges. This helps your loved one know they are not the only ones going through this situation.
Step Three: Acknowledge Their Wishes. Always present senior housing options with positive language and an upbeat tone, and let them know it’s important to you that they make the final decision. Remind them how much you and your family care about them, and how you want them to live a worry-free, healthy life in a safe and affirming environment.
And don’t assume you are the only one who wants to talk. Many seniors find it difficult to talk about these issues, but it’s not always for the reasons one might think. Dad might be hesitant to discuss a lifestyle change because he’s concerned he can’t afford it. Mom might be embarrassed that she’s unable to keep things tidy these days. Invite your parents to tell you what is on their mind, and then let them know support is available.
And when the time is right, take your loved one with you on community visits. They might have no idea of the many exceptional assisted living options for seniors available today.
Assisted Living the Peregrine Way
Peregrine Senior Living offers a distinctive approach to assisted living that focuses on the changing expectations of seniors. It is our goal to provide an environment where we challenge, nurture and collaborate with our residents. Learn more about our unique philosophy and find out if we would be a good fit for your loved one. Contact us today to learn more about Peregrine Senior Living.