Whether because of fear, reluctance or both — many parents adamantly refuse to move into assisted living. We, as their children, are concerned for their health and only have the best intentions for their well-being, but it can come across as irritating or offensive if we don’t openly communicate this to our parents early on.
Learn more about how to convince a parent to make the move into assisted living by creating an open communication channel with them, before it’s too late.
Discussing a Move into Assisted Living with Your Parents
Watching our parents as they age into frail versions of their once fit and resilient selves is difficult. But, even more distressing, is how we allow our aging parents to live without assistance — possibly risking their health, should they unrealistically try to care for themselves the rest of their lives.
Many of us know that we need to have the conversation with our parents about their future plans, but can’t bring ourselves to discuss them having an in-home caregiver or making a move into assisted living until a crisis occurs. By then, it’s too late, and if we use the emergency to address the issue with our parents, they can still refuse and resist a move.
This is why it is of the utmost importance for us to create an open communication channel and have a discussion with our parents as early and as often as possible, about their move to assisted living.
What Experts Recommend Doing to Convince a Parent to Move into Assisted Living
Stella Henry, R.N., author of “The Eldercare Handbook,” states that in addition to having a regular conversation with your parent about a move to assisted living, you should:
“Make it your problem instead of your parent’s problem… If you say ‘you have to do this, or do that, ‘you’ll lose them. Instead say something like, ‘Mom, I’m concerned about you; it makes me worried to see you like this.'”
She continues, “Parents sometimes hide things from their adult children because they don’t want to scare them… Yet, if you show them that you are trying to be their advocate, and that you are genuinely concerned about their wellbeing, it can make all the difference.”
Consistency and persistence is key, and it is also helpful to address common concerns about assisted living with your parents, like:
Although life in an assisted living community will be an adjustment for your parent, you can help them become more comfortable with the idea of a move by introducing them to what everyday life will be like there. Share “Assisted Living: An Insider’s View” with them, which provides just that — a look into everyday life in an assisted living community — thanks to Carol Netzer, author and retired clinical psychologist who details life in assisted living from both a clinical and personal standpoint.
If you and your parent are concerned about downsizing from a home to an assisted living community, or aren’t sure which items to pack, read this checklist which features the top five things to bring to assisted living, as well as the items that would be better left behind.
When it comes to ways to pay for an assisted living community, the payment method that’s best for your parent will depend on your family’s unique circumstances. But, you can learn more about 10 of the most common ways to fund assisted living from our Senior Living Advisors, who have had the honor of helping educate thousands of families about ways to pay for care.
Is your parent looking to make the move into assisted living? More than 200 Senior Living Advisors who have in-depth knowledge of assisted living your area, can send you a list of communities today. Contact us to get started.