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How to Talk to Parents About Assisted Living

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A senior woman and her adult daughter sitting across from each other holding hands while discussing assisted living.

When your parents enjoy being independent but need some help here and there, it’s likely time for assisted living. But this conversation can be a delicate and emotional process—people rarely want to admit that they need some help! It’s important to be open, honest, and supportive about the situation; you’re making an excellent decision to help your parents.

To talk to your parents about assisted living, try to maintain a positive outlook. Make sure to focus on the benefits, and involve your parent in the decision at every step of the process. Research potential communities ahead of time to make sure they meet your parents’ needs. This lets you make an informed decision to better find your parents’ future home.

The Basics of Assisted Living

Sometimes, age can pose unique challenges that can complicate your parents’ living situation. Mobility, cognitive abilities, and flexibility—these can all change as the years pass, and this can make it more difficult to navigate daily activities that were once simple. These changes are natural, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be frustrating!

So when your parents are starting to struggle to safely perform their daily tasks, what can you do? Leaving your parents at home alone increases the risk of falls or injury, and it can be difficult to act as a primary caregiver. If this situation sounds familiar, then it’s time to consider assisted living.

How Assisted Living Helps

In assisted living, your parents move to a senior living community that encourages independence and autonomy—while stepping in when needed to help your parents with the tasks that give them trouble. Whether your parents need help with housekeeping, bathing, dressing, cooking, or any other daily activity, assisted living can help.

Your parents receive a customized care plan that clearly outlines their needs and abilities. As things change, the plan changes as well; whenever needed, a team of caregivers can step in to support your parents. This means that your parents can stay independent where possible, and when they start to struggle, they’ll have easy access to a proper support system.

It’s about more than caregiving, though; it’s about providing a place to call home. Assisted living communities offer easy access to all kinds of services, experiences, amenities, events, and more. There’s always something interesting going on, so your parents will be able to enjoy every day doing the things they love!

Starting the Conversation

It can be difficult to open the conversation about assisted living, but it’s the first step to getting your parents the care they deserve. Start by choosing the right time and place for the conversation—you don’t want to rush anything here.

Make sure you’re in a calm, private setting where you can all speak without interruption. Make sure your parents know that you’re there to support them and have their best interests in mind. It’s important to listen actively, and give your parents plenty of time to speak—they may have concerns or questions that they want to address.

Maintain a Positive Outlook

When talking about assisted living, it’s common for parents to feel anxious or worried. They may think they’ll lose their independence, be lonely, or not fit into the community. These are understandable fears, but take the time to address them by doing some research together.

During the conversation, try to:

  • Listen to any concerns or fears
  • Acknowledge their feelings as valid
  • Provide reassurance where possible
  • Prioritize a positive outlook

It’s important that your parents feel heard and understood. Make sure you’re constantly reiterating that it isn’t about restricting their independence in any way! Instead, it’s about a move to a community where their needs can be met and a life in a place they can call home.

Research Potential Communities

Before making any decisions, it’s important to research potential assisted living communities thoroughly. There are plenty of factors to consider, so make sure you’re learning about:

  • The financial side and fee structures
  • The on-site amenities and services
  • The physical layout of the community
  • Proximity to family
  • The available healthcare services and staff qualifications
  • The overall vibe and atmosphere of the community

By gathering detailed information, you’ll be better prepared to discuss options with your parents and answer any questions or concerns they may have.

Involve Your Parents in the Decision-Making

It’s crucial to involve your parents in every step of the decision-making process. This can help your parent feel more reassured about the process by knowing their chosen community lines up with their preferences, needs, and lifestyles.

A senior man and his adult son sitting on the couching laughing while discussing assisted living.

Schedule visits to the potential communities together, and encourage your parents to ask questions. After every visit, make sure to sit down together and discuss their thoughts. Their comfort and happiness are paramount, so take their feedback seriously.

Schedule a Tour!

Here at Bellevue Village at Neese Road, we know how important it is to find the right home for your parents. Our team is here to answer any questions your parents may have, and we can help ease the transition to your parents’ new home. Schedule a tour with us today to find your parents’ future home!

Written by Angela Clark

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