Tips to help you talk to your parents about assisted living

Photo of elderly dad

Sometimes, it becomes clear that assisted living would be a better option for your elderly parent. For example, a series of falls may bring clarity, a chronic health problem in decline, the loss of family members nearby to offer assistance, or increasing difficulty with daily tasks such as taking medications, grooming, eating, and housekeeping.

Children with aging parents are often hesitant to talk about their moms and dads because the subject is laden with fears. Older parents often worry about their mortality, losing their independence, and uncertainty. This issue affects their children as well.

Even so, assisted living doesn’t have to be a scary or contentious topic. Here are some tips when discussing options with aging parents:

1. Keep the conversation open and ongoing.

In the event of an injury or when your parents complain about the difficulty of keeping up with health and household needs, that is the time to suggest they might be easier to manage in an all-inclusive continuum of care community. The conversation must be ongoing and open to get the best response. Make sure you listen to your parents’ concerns and needs, as well as the pros and cons of various options.

2. Involve others in the conversation.

You can ask your siblings or extended family members to help out if they agree that Mom and Dad need better care. Introduce the idea individually so your parents don’t feel outnumbered. A group conversation can feel supportive and caring once the concept is explained. You may ask your parents’ doctors if they agree that assisted living would be the best choice, and you may request that they also ask your parents about it. Hearing it from a medical professional can sometimes make it seem less like an emotional decision and more like a medical necessity.

3. Keep your wording positive.

The phrases’ community’ and ‘retirement-style living’ sound much nicer than ‘nursing home.’ Use words with positive connotations that will appeal to your parents. You also want to keep your discussion focused on the benefits of assisted living that you know your parents will appreciate.

4. Visit local assisted living facilities as a family.

It is an opportunity to see how welcoming and engaging our communities are. You can discuss with a specialist the different levels of care for your parents — independent living, assisted living, memory care — and figure out together what they need. Your parents are also allowed to ask lots of questions. Listen to the things they’ll miss about home, and help them to look for those things in their next place of habitation.

5. Know finances in detail.

It is essential to know what your parents can afford and their realistic options. Go over their financial situation with a professional if possible. When looking for assisted living options, you’ll want to make sure they can enjoy the new living arrangements without fear of running out of funds.

Whenever you talk to elderly parents about assisted living, you should emphasize care-your care for them and the care they will receive from professionals and others in the assisted living facility. Whenever decisions are made from a place of love, they are always the right ones.

If you and your family are interested in learning more about Three Tree Vista and our options for your parents, please get in touch with us for a tour. We look forward to meeting you.