There may come a time in your relationship with your parents when you feel that your roles are shifting. Suddenly your parents, the people you relied upon for support and advice for years, will need your help. You might find yourself completing errands for your parents, lending them a hand on the stairs, or making excuses to “check in” on them. Eventually, if you notice that they are struggling to complete basic daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and bathing, you might want them to move into an assisted living facility. But do you know how to talk to your parents about assisted living?
The discussion can be quite uncomfortable (especially if you aren’t prepared for it), as your parents might feel blindsided, offended, or misunderstood. So today, we’ve prepared a list of tips so that you can learn how to talk to your parents about assisted living and help them live a happier, healthier life.
How to Talk to Your Parents About Assisted Living
- Discuss the future regularly. Instead of suddenly confronting your parents one day (and expecting that single conversation to convince them), discuss assisted living regularly. Plant the seed of the idea and then let it grow through numerous, casual, light discussions. After a few talks, they might slowly come around.
- Do some research. Be prepared to tell your parents about the services offered by most assisted living facilities. Specific information regarding activities, amenities, and safety services should help you make your case.
- Accept that the choice is in their hands. Don’t try to force assisted living on your parents. The choice is theirs. Instead of using commanding statements, explain that it would make you feel better if you could discuss the possibility of assisted living. Focus on your love for them. Then, ask your parents to do you one favor. What will that favor be? Simply visiting an assisted living facility. Choose the facility carefully and let the staff members show your parents how lovely a retirement community can be.
- Focus on the positives. Your parents might have a lot of negative ideas built up regarding “old folks’ homes.” To combat these misconceptions, focus on the many benefits of assisted living, like making new friends, events and activities, no housework or cooking, and easy access to medical services.
- Back off but don’t give up. If your parents refuse and become angry with you after repeat conversations, don’t push it. Back away for a bit, and then look for conversation openings so that you can discuss it again. Sometimes all it takes is one alarming situation (a fall, a burglary scare, etc.) for someone to come around to the idea of assisted living. Although it can be scary to sit back and wait for that alarming situation to happen, sometimes it’s for the best.
- Get support. Although we wouldn’t recommend that you gather a group of people to confront your parents (like an intervention), it’s a good idea to discuss your thoughts with other close loved ones, like your siblings, aunts, and uncles. Make sure that they know how to talk to your parents about assisted living as well. If your parents hear concerns from multiple people, the issue will be hard to avoid.
– – – – –
Learning how to talk to your parents about assisted living can be tough, so we wish you lots of luck! When your parents agree that it’s time to transition to assisted living, be sure to check out Hearthside Senior Living Place if you live in the Midwest. Our eight senior living facilities are located in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee. If you would like to schedule a tour of one of our facilities, please click here.