How to get my elderly parents to consider assisted living?

by | May 1, 2020 | Retirement Communities - Assisted Living

how to talk to your parents about assisted living

We want to do our best to show our parents that we care, especially when we see how much they have aged. They worked hard to set us up for a good life and we want to return the favor— this is why it is a good idea for you and your aging parents to discuss assisted living options. This presents a drastic change in their lives and we should keep into consideration how our elderly parents will feel about moving into assisted living homes: 

  1. We have to understand their fears about moving. 
  2. Use healthy and supportive language instead of forceful language.
  3. Educate ourselves about the options we are presenting to them so that we can answer all their questions and ease their anxieties.
  4. Respect their decision, even if they disagree with you; be able to take their wants and needs into consideration.

Ease the fear of moving to an assisted living facility

You may find that your parents will have a handful of reasons why they don’t want to live at an assisted living facility. Some of the common concerns they may bring up are:

  1. “There are so many memories at home!”
    You can reassure them that the memories will always stay with them. 
  1. “I don’t want to be surrounded by strangers”
    You can let them know that they are only strangers the first time they meet and that it’s very likely they’ll make new friends that they share similarities with.
  1. They are unwilling to make changes to their current lifestyle.
    Explain how life at an assisted living facility is not hectic and other than having someone be attentive to their needs, it can remain as simple as ever.
  1. “What will happen to Mr. Snoggle?”
    If they are worried about their pets, you can let them know that there are homes and facilities that allow pets, or that you can take care of Mr. Snoggle for them.
  1. “It’s too expensive”
    There are various forms of paying for these services. Money is not a reason to neglect the safety and peace of mind if your parents are being cared for by professionals.

Avoid accusatory language and use “I” statements

Most people do not respond well to being told what to do, or have their personal decisions made for them, even by people that have good intentions for them. Instead of telling them “You need help and it would be best if you lived in an assisted living facility,” tell them how you feel about them living on their own. You may express your concerns and worries to them— explain that it is safer for them to have supervision or assistance if they are already having a hard time doing daily tasks on their own. 

Figuring out the details

Even after you have managed to get your parent to consider the idea, there will be a lot of questions you will both have. You can do all the research or consult with a senior living consultant from A Right Place for Seniors. The senior living consultant will be able to provide you with a list of facilities that meet the needs of your loved one and take you on a facility tour of each of your top picks. There is no pressure to move into any specific facility and we can work with facility managers to accommodate a specific need your mom/dad may have.

Respect their decision. Don’t be afraid to bring it up again.

We want the best for our parents and we try to make decisions for them later in their lives, but the most important thing to do is to respect your parents’ decision. If they are still capable of making their own decisions, you should allow them. It does not mean that you should not bring it up again since things change and they may be more open to the idea months later. You should also consider that you may not be the best person to persuade your parents. Your parents may be more accepting of the idea if it comes from a medical expert, a senior living consultant, or another person who is working at an assisted living facility.

Although we will try to convince our elderly parents to do what we think is best for them, we should not go into this conversation thinking that they do not know what’s best for themselves or force them to accept our point of view. The best way to approach this is to have a conversation without expectations of their decision and this conversation may span several months.

Your three main goals will be to bring up the idea, to educate, and to facilitate. If you have any specific questions or would like us to help talk to your parents about their options, feel free to give us a call at 800.804.3840 or email us info@arightplaceforseniors.com.

If you are worried about Covid-19, here’s an article on 6 questions to ask if your loved is in a quarantined facility. Covid-19 has already changed how facilities handle epidemics, and there are plans to even restructure the architecture for safety and comfort.

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