9 Easy ways to help talk to your parent about moving to assisted living

9 Easy ways to help talk to your parent about moving to assisted living

Talking about Assisted Living doesn't have to be hard


    1. 1.  Plant the seed. Don’t approach your loved one(s) as though you’ve already made the decision for them. Simply mention that there are options out there that could make life easier and more fun for them.
    2. 2.  Research assisted living options (including Communities and Residential Care Homes) nearby and offer to take them on some tours. If he or she is willing, great! But don’t push it. Drop the subject if they resist, and wait for another day to tackle this next step.
    3. 3.  Wait for a “teachable moment” to present itself. Did Mom fall but manage to avoid getting badly hurt? Use that as a springboard. You may want to wait a bit or immediately say something like, “Wow, that was a close call, and I’m sure it was a very scary experience for you. Once you’re feeling better, maybe we could go look at the new assisted living center over by the church. We’d both feel better if you had people around.” Go with your gut on the timing, but use this unfortunate event as an opportunity to give your loved one a gentle reality check.
    4. 4.  Don't push hard...unless you consider your loved one’s need for placement in assisted living an emergency. It’s hard to wait, but you will likely need to. Wait for, say, a very lonely day when Mom is complaining about how she never sees her friends anymore. Then gently try again. Do your best to make them feel they are in control of their life and this decision.
    5. 5.  Ask around to see if anyone you know has a loved one who is already thriving in a local assisted living community. It’s even better if you find that one of your loved one’s friends has already made the move.  You and your parent would feel much better if there was a familiar face already in the center.
  1. 6.  Even if they don’t know anyone in a specific facility, you can still take your parent to enjoy a meal or participate in an activity, such as playing cards or wii bowling. Show off the social aspects of a good center. Keep it light and don’t force the issue. Tour more than one center, if possible, and ask your parent for their input. Do they prefer a larger community or the smaller ones? Does a new and modern center fit their personality or an older, cozier one?
  2. 7.  On tours, show interest in how much privacy residents have. Ask about bringing furniture from home and how much space there is in each room. Take a measuring tape and visualize how your love one’s apartment could be set up and decorated. Demonstrate the same level of excitement as you would if you were helping your parent move to a new apartment or home, because that’s exactly what you are doing.
  1. 8.  Stress the benefits and peace of mind that increased safety measures will offer both of you.
  2. 9.  Highlight the fact that assisted living allows seniors to forgo daily chores and hassles so that they can focus on things they actually want to do. There’s no yard work, but gardening activities are offered. Meals are available in the dining room, but some apartments feature kitchenettes, so seniors can cook if they wish. There’s plenty of freedom to be alone, but also plenty of opportunity for company when they desire it. You know your loved one best, so stress the aspects that you know they’ll enjoy.

And lastly, let it all sink in with your loved ones.  Focus on how it will help you feel better knowing someone is there for them if they need it.

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