Talking to your parents about assisted living
Seeing your parents struggle with simple tasks is difficult.
But talking to them about assisted living doesn’t have to be.
Here are some tips to help your parents see the many benefits a move to assisted living can bring.
- How do I pitch the idea of assisted living to my parents?
Give examples of how their daily lives will be easier.
Assisted living communities can take care of a lot of chores people may not want to do anymore, like housekeeping, yardwork and cooking.
Since assisted living communities are licensed healthcare providers, your parents can also get help with health-related issues and everyday activities they may be struggling with, like bathing, getting dressed or taking medication.
A move to assisted living can help your parents with things they need, and free up time to do the things they want.
- What if Mom feels like I'm taking control of her life?
Focus on telling her how you feel, not what she should do.
Use "what if..." language instead of "you should..." or "you need to..." language that may make Mom feel defensive.
Express why you're concerned about her health or safety, and offer information she can look at to learn more.
Encourage her to keep an open mind, and assure her the final decision is hers to make.
Most assisted living communities allow residents to choose exactly what they want assistance with, and to adjust their care plans if their needs change.
- What if my parents are afraid of losing their independence?
When your parents get help with daily activities and cut out household chores, they’ll likely find they actually have more time and energy to do the things they truly care about.
Whether your parents prefer to stay in their apartment and watch a movie, or they want to attend a group activity, each day at an assisted living community offers the chance to live life exactly how they want.
- What if Dad says he's OK on his own?
Your parents may feel isolated and lonely at home, even if they don’t want to talk about it.
Moving to an assisted living community can help them connect with other seniors and keep them active.
Knowing 24-hour medical assistance is available can also give you peace of mind and help your parents feel safer.
- What if Mom isn't convinced a move is right for her?
It’s easy to gloss over a problem your parents have been just “dealing with” on their own.
Ask them questions they might not have considered yet, like:
- Can you do everyday tasks easily, without assistance?
- Are you eating as healthily or as well as you should be?
- Do you always feel safe in your own home, and when you’re running errands?
- Do you wish more people were around to talk with?
Have them take a closer look and consider how their lives might be better with a little assistance.
- How will Mom and Dad pay for this?
Assisted living costs vary by location and the level of care and services chosen.
It’s important to talk about payment options with your parents and the assisted living communities you’re looking at together.
- What should we be looking for in an assisted living community?
Talk to your parents about what’s most important to them, and find communities that offer those options.
- Do they want a full-sized kitchen to cook in, or would they rather have meals prepared for them?
- Is it important to have a second bedroom, or would a studio apartment be easier to maneuver in?
- Is there scheduled transportation to help them run errands, or is there a private parking lot for their car?
- Do they want help with housekeeping or laundry?
- Is there an on-site beautician? Wellness classes or equipment? A chapel? Social activities? A place to have coffee and snacks?
Take some time to find an assisted living community with amenities and apartment layouts and that best suit your parents’ lifestyles and preferences.
The best way to know if assisted living is a good fit is to take a look in person.
Talk to people who live there. Ask the staff about any hesitations you have.