When it comes to talking to your senior parent about moving into assisted living, knowing what to say and how to start the conversation can be the most difficult part. Below are a few tips to help you start your talk with mom or dad in the best way possible.
1. Communication is Key
From the very moment assisted living enters your mind, be open about it. If possible, approach the subject of assisted living before your parent needs to make the move or is actively looking into it. Starting this kind of discussion early can help your mom or dad be more open to the idea later when the time is right for them to move. Having more time to plan means you will be able to research different assisted living communities and discuss hypothetical moves ahead of time. Often times, the subject of moving into assisted living is only discussed when a move becomes immediately necessary. Don’t stress if that’s the case for you and your family. Approach the subject as soon as possible no matter where you are in your planning process.
2. Help With Research and Planning
Get online, call different assisted living communities in your area, and ask questions. Helping your parent do research and learn about different options can take a huge weight off. Chances are, you’re going to have several questions yourself. So when you find an assisted living community that seems like it might be the right fit, call and schedule a visit. A tour of the assisted living community can give you both the chance to see the place and get used to the atmosphere and the people with whom they may soon be living near.
3. Don’t Rush the Conversation
While it’s important to be on top of things, this conversation is not going to be a short one. You are discussing a very big life change, so remember to choose your words carefully and be gentle with responses. If mom or dad seems sad or distant during this time, remember that it is natural and expected that they might grieve the loss of an old part of their life. Tell them it’s ok to feel sadness about the change, but it’s also ok to feel excitement as well. If your senior parent doesn’t want to talk about the subject at first, back off for a little while and give them a chance to think things over and then approach it again at a time that feels better.