How to Talk to a Loved One About Assisted Living
Talking to your parents, grandparents, aunt, or uncle about moving into assisted living can present challenges. In some cases your suggestion will be met with resistance, and may cause tension between you and your loved one. While it might not be easy, there are a few things to keep in mind to help the conversation go as smoothly as possible:
- Bring up the topic early
It’s never too early to talk to your parents about assisted living. Bringing up the topic before you’re forced to (i.e. before a health emergency strikes) will not only ensure that your parents are in a logical, sound state of mind during the conversation, but will also give you the opportunity to fully understand their wishes. Plus, if your first attempt at having the discussion doesn’t go as planned, you’ll also have plenty of time to revisit the conversation.
- Look for an organic window of opportunity
If you’re already missed your chance to have the conversation early, be sure to have it at the right time. Bringing up assisted living out of the blue may make your parents feel defensive. If you bring it up after, say, a minor accident, like a fall, you can suggest that the next fall may be worse, or that you won’t always be there to respond to such an accident. Chances are, they’ll see where you’re coming from.
- Listen, have an open mind, and give them options
Nobody wants to feel like their feelings don’t matter, or that they do not have control over decisions about their own life. Be sure to treat the conversation for what it is—a conversation—rather than a demand. Ask your parents about their fears and concerns and be ready to help them work through those concerns. Furthermore, giving them several options for assisted living, may help them to see how they are in control.
- Consider independent living at a senior living community first
The assisted living conversation is infinitely easier to have if your loved one already lives at a senior living community, such as in Kingsway Community’s Parkland Gardens or Kingsway Village. The actual move itself will be much simpler, some of the friends they’ve made may also be making the transition to assisted living at the same time, they’ll already be familiar with the dining services and activities programs, and you can rely on the staff to help you know when the time is right. The same is true when the time comes for your loved one to move from assisted living to skilled nursing care.
- Show them what modern-day assisted living looks like
In some cases, your parents may have a vision of assisted living is that doesn’t line up with reality; they may see this senior living option as life with rules, schedules, and only for those with severe health issues. If your parents are open to it, bring them on tours of a few assisted living options, and see where they feel most comfortable. With choices and time to consider, you may find your loved one will be worried less about loosing their independence and become more receptive to the idea of moving once they see what life can be like with the daily activities, amenities and social engagement that a premiere assisted living residence such as Kingsway Manor Assisted Living residence offers.
Is your loved one ready to take the next step toward assisted living? Click here to schedule a tour at Kingsway Manor Assisted Living residence today.