Talking to your parents about assisted living can be difficult. Explore all your options with this guide to how to talk to your parents about future housing.
As our parents get older and their health shifts and, in some cases, worsens, it may become obvious to us that they need assisted living accommodations.
Having that conversation, however, can be difficult. We may be afraid that our parents will be offended by the suggestion or that they are incapable of being part of the decision-making process.
One thing to remember during this time is that you are not alone.
Let’s discuss the subject of how to talk to your parents about assisted living and what your options are.
How to Talk to Your Parents About Assisted Living
Don’t feel like you have to plunge head-on into making a plan. Start by approaching the subject with your parents in a way that does not make them feel antagonized. Say things like, “I’d like to get your opinion on something I’ve been thinking about.”
If avoidable, don’t go it alone. You don’t want to make your parents feel like they’re being ganged up on, but you also need to alleviate some of the pressure from yourself. Ask your siblings or other close family members to get involved in the conversation, as well as your parents’ doctors.
Make it clear that assisted living is one of a few options that are up for consideration and that you wouldn’t make decisions without their input. At the same time, once the conversation has been on the table for a few weeks or even months, it may be a good idea to set a firm deadline. Say things like, “This is still an on-going conversation, but I think we need to make a decision by this time and start moving forward.”
Finally, remind them that you’re having this conversation with them because you care. Some seniors feel like they are being put in assisted living because their family no longer wishes to deal with them, but you know that this is not the case. Try your best to help them understand that, too.
Assisted Living Options
Nearly one million American seniors are in assisted living homes, but those are not the only options you have for your parents.
There are retirement communities that offer the luxury of personal living space. The transition from their own home to a smaller home in a retirement community may be more comfortable for your parents. Retirement communities tend to have amenities such as nearby senior care, on-call medical staff, and coordinated social activities.
If your parents are very reluctant to leave their own home and aren’t in need of constant medical attention, consider elderly home care services. Depending on your needs, elderly home care workers can help with mobility, administer medicine, assist with hygiene, and more.
In the event that your parents are experiencing medical and mental changes that inhibit them from basic day-to-day functions, assisted living is certainly the way to go. There, they will receive round-the-clock care and attention and you can rest easy knowing that they are getting the help they need.
Be Kind to Yourself
This is not just a tough time for your parents. It’s also a tough time for you!
Have patience with yourself and with the process. Learning how to talk to your parents about assisted living isn’t always easy or linear. There will probably be good days and bad days, but remember that you are doing what is right for everyone.
Have any experience with talking to your parents about difficult subjects and want to share? Leave a comment and let’s discuss.