Talking to your aging parents about assisted living is probably one of the hardest conversations you will ever have with your parents. Some seniors may not like to entertain the fact that someday assisted living care will be needed. But how can you start the conversation with your aging parents about assisted living? What are the things that you should consider when talking about assisted living?
Things to Consider When Deciding on Assisted Living
KNOWING IF YOUR LOVED ONE NEEDS HELP
- Signs of Depression
- Loss of Weight
- Memory Loss (conversations, taking meds)
- Uncommon behavior
- Reoccurring injuries
- Bad Hygiene
- 10 Signs That It’s Time For Assisted Living
Holidays or family parties are a perfect time to discuss with the family what’s best for Mom and Dad since everyone is together. It’s ideal to get siblings and immediate family members involved, as taking care of the elderly loved one is a family decision and responsibility.
- Choose a designated point person (located closer to loved one or whomever has the most time available)
- Address financial issues, Power of Attorney, etc.
- Determine important factors:
- Location of how close you want your loved one to be?
- What are their Care Needs?
- What is the budget for rent/care per month?
UNDERSTANDING WHAT LEAVING THEIR HOME MEANS
- A loss of independence, diminished capabilities. Some can even view it as a sign of failure, mentally and physically.
- Researchers say some aging parents may even go into a grieving process due to the loss of their home, independence and just as important, their privacy
- It is important to be sensitive towards their feelings when you prepare for your conversation about moving
PREPARING WHAT TO SAY
- Get your parents involved in the conversation: ask them open-ended questions, get their ideas, understand their worries
- Express your concerns about their safety, health, being alone
- Create brainstorming and interaction: “Mom (or Dad), can you do me a big favor? Can we visit this assisted living facility nearby the house? It might make your daily routine much easier and a lot safer.”
TIME IS YOUR ALLY
- Start the conversation early and don’t hold off. Too often families wait until the last minute, making the entire process rushed, stressful and not giving themselves enough time to make the best decision possible for their loved one.
- Being under time pressure, you’re forced to do make rash decisions and not thoroughly weigh all of your options.
- Follow the 7 Tips for Selecting an Assisted Living Facility
Remember, just like raising children, there is no “perfect way” or one-way approach for your aging parents. However, if you prepare for it and give yourself enough time, you can make finding the right assisted living a lot easier for everyone involved, including getting the best care options for your aging parent needing care.
The most important reminder is to let your parents know your desire for them to be independent, but their safety always comes first.
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