Is it time to have “the talk” with your aging parents about moving to an assisted living community? This isn’t going to be easy, but it is necessary. We’re here to help.
Over 810,000 people live in assisted living communities. They’re great for seniors who need a bit of extra help to stay safe and comfortable, but who don’t have family members who are able to offer full-time care.
We’ll help you with a few tips that can help you open up the conversation about moving into a senior living community.
First: Do Your Homework
Before you even try to talk about assisted living with the seniors in your life, make sure that you’ve done your homework ahead of time. You want to learn as much as possible before you broach the topic.
Research local assisted living communities in your area (or in areas where your loved one would want to live). Look at various amenities and levels of care.
You should also take this time to consider your concerns about your loved one. Why are you bringing up assisted living in the first place? What have you noticed about your loved one that’s making you concerned about their living situation?
Take notes so you have something to refer to when it’s finally time to talk.
Have the Conversation Early
Too many people shy away from having these conversations until some type of emergency occurs. By that point, emotions are already running high, and you might have to make rash decisions instead of working together with your loved one(s) to plan their new living situation.
This should be an ongoing conversation as your parents get into retirement age. By starting early, you’re not centering the conversation around your loved one’s potential inability to live alone, or their health issues. You’re centering it around their future comfort and wellbeing.
You’re also giving your loved one(s) plenty of time to make a decision about where they want to go. This will decrease stress for everyone.
Listen and Show Empathy
Remember that this is a big decision, and it can be an emotional one. Give the senior in your life autonomy over this decision and make sure that you listen to all of their concerns, even if they don’t make sense to you.
Don’t minimize your loved one’s feelings or concerns. Find ways to work with them until you come to a solution.
For example, your loved one might be worried about living far away from their family and friends and feeling isolated. You can work together to find an assisted living community that’s close enough to everyone and that also offers transportation services so they’re never too far away.
Research and Visit Assisted Living Communities Together
Again, you want to give your loved one autonomy. Encourage them to research communities and visit them with you (preferably in person, but virtual visits may also be an option if your community of choice is far away).
Visiting a community will make it less scary. Your loved one will be able to see other happy residents, the beautiful location, the rooms, and all of the amenities. This will make them feel more comfortable.
It’s Time to Discuss Assisted Living
Talking about assisted living with your elderly parents might not be easy, but it’s something that must be done. Start discussing it as soon as possible, even if your parents have many independent years ahead of them still. It’s always better to be prepared.
Are you looking for a wonderful, assisted living community for your aging parents? At Dimensions Living, we aim to offer all of our residents a lifestyle that they’ll love.
Contact us to learn more about our assisted living communities today.