Age happens to all of us. And with it often comes the declining ability to take care of ourselves. When this happens to senior parents, a loving, adult child usually steps up to take on the responsibility of caring for their aging parent.
Eventually, balancing caring for a parent and working full-time or living your own life becomes challenging. This is when talking about your parent’s moving into assisted living becomes an important conversation.
Fortunately, many organizations out there pride themselves on compassionate care and offer an incredible quality of life to aging adults. So, let’s look at a few tips on approaching the conversation of moving into assisted living for senior parents.
Tips For Talking to Parents About Moving into Assisted Living
There isn’t typically one conversation that solves this dilemma because it’s often a sensitive topic to someone who is getting older. Many aging adults have lived in their family homes for a lot of years. They are often hesitant to even have the conversation about leaving it.
Plant the Idea
Before actually having a serious conversation, it’s a good idea to plant the idea of assisted living in your parent’s minds. For example, you could mention in the course of a regular conversation about the positive social connections that your parent could make in a senior community. But leave it at that.
You may want to do this several times in various ways before sitting down to have a more direct conversation.
Weigh Available Options
Research the available options for your parents. Consider things like budget, health requirements, or hobbies when looking at the various senior communities. A great first step is to find a community that ticks as many of the desired or required service and amenity boxes as possible.
Another part of weighing the options is including your parents in this search. They may not be able to do the level of research you can, but even showing them what you find and allowing them to have a voice in the process goes a long way to making them more comfortable.
Take Time and Include Parents in the Discussion
Don’t approach the idea of your parents moving into assisted living with the expectation that it will be a super quick process. Try including everyone involved—other siblings and parents—with each discussion, so everyone is on the same page.
An important note about including your parents in the discussions is to hear what they say and validate their feelings and thoughts. Even if you know what the correct choice is for them, that doesn’t mean you can’t make them feel heard.
Stay Positive Throughout the Process
The thought of moving to assisted living is often accompanied by negative emotions and thoughts, especially if the aging adult has been somewhat independent until this point. So, it’s very important that you inject as much positivity into the process as possible.
Focus on the benefits your parents may experience. Here are a few things you can build off of:
- Healthy and balanced diets
- Opportunities for socialization and making friends
- No need to do any housework
In addition to focusing on the benefits, positive language is also essential. Avoid terms like “facility” or “old folks home” and anything else that has a clinical or negative connotation. Instead, you could try saying things like “community” or “condo-style living.”
Understand that Your Parents Might Not Want to Move
No matter how patient or positive you stay, your parents may simply resist or refuse a move outright. This is nothing you can fault them for. After all, it’s a massive life change for them. A little understanding of their feelings goes a long way to help you stay calm and logical.
This may be easier said than done if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for your senior parents. One possible solution is to arrange respite care, a short-term solution that offers you a break.
Plus, if you arrange the respite care in a community on the short-list of places for your parents to live, this will give them a chance to experience a taste of the wonderful life they can still have in assisted living.
Understanding the Progressive Illness Factor
The other thing to understand is the possibility of dementia or progressive diseases like Alzheimer’s playing into your parent’s unwillingness to move. Quite often, people with declining cognitive ability will not realize when they need help.
Finding Out More Information
There’s only so much you can learn about an assisted living community by looking at a website. Give us a call today, and our compassionate and helpful staff can answer any questions you or your parents have. We will also book you a tour so that everyone can see the wonderful lifestyle that Villa De Anza Assisted Living community will offer.