When it comes to talking to your senior mom 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 in the best way possible.
1. Communication is Key
From the very moment assisted living enters your mind, be open with Mom about it. If possible, approach the subject of assisted living before your senior mom needs to make the move or is actively looking into it. Starting this kind of discussion early can help Mom be more open to the idea later when the time is right for her 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 though 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 Her Research and Plan
Get online, call different assisted living communities in your area, and ask questions. Helping your senior mom do her research and learn about her 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 for Mom, call and schedule a visit. A tour of the assisted living community can give her the chance to see the place for herself and get used to the atmosphere and the people with whom she 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 and Mom are discussing a very big life change for her, so remember to choose your words carefully and be gentle with her responses. If Mom seems sad or distant during this time, remember that it is natural and expected that she might grieve the loss of an old part of her life. Tell her it’s ok to feel sadness about the change, but it’s also ok to feel excitement as well. If your senior mom doesn’t want to talk about the subject at first, back off for a little while and give her a chance to think things over by herself then approach it again at a time that feels better.