Throughout your life, your parents and other loved ones have been there to provide guidance, support and direction. As they reach their twilight years, these roles are often reversed and can lead to some tough conversations. It’s likely that one of the conversations will be about them potentially moving to an Assisted Living community. We know this conversation can be difficult, but with a bit of preparation, research and the right attitude, it can be little easier than expected. Check out our tips for having the Assisted Living talk with your loved one.
Before you sit down to talk with your loved one, it's important for the entire family to reach a unified opinion. Speak with each responsible party about their thoughts regarding moving the loved one to an Assisted Living community, and be sure to resolve any disagreements ahead of time. The conversation will be much more impactful if you are able to say, "we all agree this is what's best," instead of, "this is what I think but I haven't spoken to anyone else about it yet."
Research Different Communities
Once everyone decides on a direction, it's time to do your research. Familiarize yourself with all the services, amenities and levels of care offered at different communities. This research will come in handy as positive selling points for the community you recommend. Additionally, you'll want to research the cost of the community and your loved one's ability to afford the it long-term.
There will never be a perfect time to have the conversation, but you’ll feel better suited to talk about relocating and its advantages if you’re prepared. To get started, you might consider lightly easing into the topic while out for lunch or dinner. Then, if it goes well, continue the conversation elsewhere. Be sure to speak slowly and clearly, choosing your words carefully to highlight the physical, mental and social benefits of an Assisted Living community.
Remain humble and sincere during the conversation and aim to make it a dialogue between all parties. Help them process the emotions brought up by this topic and let them know you're looking out for their best interest. After you present all the options, give them time to mull it over. You may even have to revisit the discussion several times before a final decision is agreed upon by all parties.
A decision like this can take time, so be patient with your loved ones. For example, unless they've already been thinking about Assisted Living, it's unlikely you'll get a positive answer right away. Take this time to let them know they have a say in the decision and that you are there for them if they have any questions or would like to visit a community. Continue to talk casually about the topic and as they get a better sense of your sincerity and concern, they will likely open up to the idea.
After the Talk
After your loved one agrees that an Assisted Living center is the best move for them, continue to be there for them. Reassure them of the decision and help them see this does not mean they have “lost.” By moving to an innovative, vibrant community with many amenities and top-of-line care, they will come to realize the decision they'd been dreading ends up rewarding them with many fruitful years of life.