Starting a conversation with your elderly parent about assisted living can be difficult but, unfortunately, the longer you wait, the more difficult it could become.
We find that the best time to first bring up assisted living is often when your parents are still fully in control of their own affairs and health or safety is not a concern.
Posing assisted living as a someday possibility as in “How do you feel about assisted living? At some point when this house becomes too much work, have you thought about what you’d like to do next?” can open up a non-threatening conversation.
You can bring up other friends or relatives who have made such a move and point out the advantages without making your parent feel that you are pushing them into something he or she is not ready for. The message is, “I want to know how you feel about this so that I can help when the time comes.”
Even if your parent insists that it’s too soon to think about a move, at least you’ve got the conversation started. How you proceed from there depends on your unique circumstances.
People typically begin thinking about assisted living for one of three reasons. Health concerns, such as trouble with medications or poor nutrition; safety issues related to mobility or accidental falls; and social isolation or loneliness.
Start any conversation about your parent’s future by acknowledging your love and concern for their well-being.
If you believe your parent is in decline and safety is an issue, then that needs to be communicated gently and with compassion. Be specific about your concerns. For example, if medications are a concern, you might say, “I see that you are having trouble keeping up with your medications, and that worries me.”
Or maybe your parent needs assistance with meals. You might say, “I know it’s getting harder to cook for yourself and I wonder if you wouldn’t enjoy living someplace where others did the cooking and you had a menu to choose from every day?”
For many residents, the initial reason for moving to assisted living is to simplify their responsibilities—no more home maintenance worries—and increase social interactions.
For a good article about initiating a conversation about moving to assisted living, see this article at Aplaceformom.com.
According to Aplaceformom.com, accidental falls and mismanagement of medications are leading causes of hospitalization for seniors and can start a downward spiral of exacerbated existing health conditions.
At Daystar Retirement Village, our mission is to make sure that your loved one receives the care and attention he or she needs to ensure that the “golden” years truly are healthy and happy. If you’ve been putting off a conversation about assisted living, today might be the day to start.