It’s emotionally and physically tolling to be the caregiver of someone who once met your every need. However, discussing a move to assisted living is challenging – especially as the child of an older parent. How do you talk to aging parents about assisted living? What if they aren’t receptive to your concerns?
Feeling apprehensive about the conversation is normal, but you’re not alone. At Sundale Senior Living in Huntsville, TX, we understand your nervousness. We’re here to help – we’ve compiled valuable tips for speaking with your parents about moving to assisted living.
Should you wish to learn more or ask questions, speak with our Executive Director today.
Preparing for the Conversation
Predicting how the other person will react to your suggestions is hard, especially when discussing an emotional decision. Regardless of how your parents respond, it’s important to remember that you’re on the same journey.
Whether you believe your mom would be safer in a community setting or your dad would receive better nutrition if he didn’t cook for himself, you can do a few things to ensure you’re adequately prepared for the conversation.
Speaking with your siblings beforehand isn’t to make the discussion “us vs. them” – instead, it’s to ensure all parties are aligned, and the conversation flows smoothly. You can hash out the details before speaking with your parents.
Whether they ask for your reasoning or you want to volunteer the information upfront, ensure you have a solid idea of why you believe assisted living is the right choice. When creating a list of your concerns, remember to craft them in a loving, respectful way.
You don’t have to choose a specific community but ensure you can list the benefits of moving to assisted living. For instance, you can state that your parents no longer have to worry about home maintenance, chores, or transportation.
The conversation will undoubtedly be emotional. Consider writing your main points on paper to ensure you share everything.
Although you can only prepare to a certain extent, scheduling the conversation is wise rather than speaking out of the blue. Setting aside some time ensures that all relevant parties are in attendance.
Talking to Your Parents About Assisted Living
Be compassionate, respectful, and loving when speaking with your parents about assisted living. Stress to them that you want what’s best for all parties involved. Moving to assisted living is a life-changing event – having empathy for your parents, and their points of view should be your priority.
Additionally, if your parent has a dementia diagnosis, they may be unable to rationalize or fully come to terms with your idea. However, speaking with compassion and from a place of love is still of utmost importance.
Below are helpful tips for guiding the discussion:
Lead the conversation with your concerns and observations. Don’t charge through the discussion from a place of fear – instead, be loving and understanding.
Emphasize how much you love your parents and want them to be as happy, independent, and healthy as possible. Consider sharing specific examples that led to your conclusion about assisted living.
Follow each concern with a benefit of living in an assisted living community. For example, say your mom struggles with household chores. Express your concern and specific examples, then explain how assisted living communities provide residents with light housekeeping and laundry services.
Additional assisted living services communities offer older adults include the following:
- Apartment-style living
- Nutritious, chef-inspired meals
- Engaging programs
- Transportation services
- Support when needed
- Prioritized independence
- And more.
Moving from a home filled with memories into an unfamiliar place is daunting. Enter the conversation from a place of empathy – how would you feel if the roles were reversed? Listen to their point of view, even if they disagree with you.
Once you’ve addressed your concerns, give your parents the freedom to ask questions and state their opinions. Don’t interrupt, especially if their thoughts don’t align with yours. Active listening is a sign of respect and can boost positive outcomes.
Ideally, you’d discuss your concerns, and your parents would be 100% on board. However, that’s often not the case – you’ll probably have to revisit the conversation multiple times before arriving at a mutual decision.
Consider giving your parents time to think about your discussion and scheduling a follow-up conversation. Allow them to explain their feelings and give them space to reach conclusions.
Determining the Next Steps
The following steps will differ from one situation to the next. However, some immediate actions you can take include the following:
- Involving family and friends who can give insight and advice
- Scheduling tours at various communities
- Coordinating a short-term respite stay
It’s important to note that although you can’t predict the outcome, you can prepare for various circumstances. Keep your line of communication open for your parents to relay their thoughts and concerns, and remember that you’re not alone. Communities such as Sundale Senior Living in Huntsville, TX, can help you navigate the next steps.
The Lexington Center staff are very friendly to everyone who comes in. You can tell immediately that they love the residents because they love what they do. There is always just “happy” noise in the atmosphere. The community has beautiful, Southern Plantation decor and architecture. The rooms are spacious and the common areas are beautiful as well with lots of windows and feels open with lots of sunshine!
It’s a really great place to work at. The staff are really joyful to work with everyone works as a team and gets along great with each other. The main reason I work there is because the residents are so happy there you can tell they really enjoy the community and how well thay are looked after by the nursing staff we all go the extra mile to make them feel right at home.
When I moved here, I didn’t know what to expect since I’d never lived anywhere but home. From the very start, I felt nothing but absolute concern and interest in my health and well-being. There has never been anytime that I’ve doubted I was in the right place.
The staff and administration at Sundale are simply outstanding. I feel so blessed to be here with such caring people.
I have been so impressed by the compassion and care the staff has for residents. The relationships are truly that of family. I can’t imagine a better place for late in life care.
Sundale Can Help Make Moving to a Senior Living Community Hassle-Free
At Sundale Senior Living, we aim to smooth the transition to assisted living. When you visit our renovated community for an in-person tour, we’ll answer all your questions and ensure you feel welcomed and comfortable.
We offer short-term respite care if you or your loved one is unsure whether assisted living is the right fit. All individuals in respite stay enjoy the same amenities and engaging programs as full-time residents – without the commitment.
If you’re interested in an in-person tour or learning more about moving to a senior living community, we’re here to help. Call us today.
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