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How to Talk to Your Parents About Assisted Living

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A lady in a white collared blouse sits on a chair face to face with his elderly father in a blue shirt. Her right hand is touching her father's left shoulder while they are talking about assisted living.

When your parents can benefit from extra care and support, assisted living can help. However, your parents may have questions, concerns, or problems about moving into a new community. If you’re talking with your parents about assisted living, how can you make this conversation go smoothly? 

Continue reading to learn more about how to talk to your parents about assisted living. 

What Is Assisted Living? 

Assisted living is a lifestyle for older adults who require extra support. Your loved ones may live independently and care for themselves, but they may struggle with some daily tasks. If your parents have difficulty cooking, cleaning, or caring for their hygiene, they may benefit from assisted living. 

Every resident in an assisted living community receives a customized care plan suited to their needs, including help with activities of daily living, medication management, housekeeping, and more. Besides daily care, your loved ones enjoy various services and amenities in the community, such as a lounge, salon, library, and common areas. 

Some of the services provided in an assisted living community include: 

  • Licensed support staff
  • Custom care plans
  • Medication management
  • Pharmacy services
  • Housekeeping
  • Daily meals
  • Planned activities
  • 24/7 security
  • Religious services
  • Physician visits

How Can You Talk to Your Parents About Assisted Living? 

It’s no secret that moving into a senior living community is a big decision. Your parents may not realize they need more support with daily living, and it can be difficult to have this conversation. However, you can make this discussion easier by following a few tips. 

You can use several strategies when talking with your parents about assisted living. 

Understand Why They May Want to Live Independently 

While you may see the benefits of senior living for your parents, understand why they may want to stay at home. They may have built a life there for many years, connecting with their neighbors, maintaining a home, and experiencing their community. 

Another possible cause of resistance to senior living is the idea that this is the final stage of their life. Your parents may worry that they will lose their independence or sense of individuality. 

Learning more about why your parents may prefer to stay in their current home can help you find ways to relieve these anxieties. 

Learn About Your Local Communities

Learning more about the senior living communities in your area can help you better explain what your parents can expect in their new home. Your parents likely have questions that you should be prepared to answer. 

A man in a long polo shirt is sitting on a couch beside her mother in a blue shirt while he is showing a virtual tour of the services and amenities inside an assisted living facility.
https://www.shutterstock.com/create/editor/CiRkNTI4YmQ3OS1jZmVhLTQxZmQtODljMi1kNjFiNGRlMGY4ZmM

Researching local communities can help you learn more about their pricing, available lifestyles, services and amenities, events, and what the homes look like. Many communities offer tours so you can see the campus in person. You can get a sense of what your loved ones can expect during daily life in the community. 

Listen to Their Concerns

In a best-case scenario, your parents will be thrilled to move into senior living and have no worries on their minds. It’s more likely that your parents likely have concerns about moving. 

They may wonder what to do with their things, what to do if something happens to one of them, and what will happen to their current home. It’s important to listen to your loved ones’ concerns and address them. 

Ask each parent about their concerns about moving and take note of them. You can work together to help address these concerns, whether it involves managing finances, updating their will, or organizing belongings. 

Discuss Senior Living Frequently 

When discussing senior living, don’t expect a single conversation. Your parents likely need time to process everything you’ve discussed and make a decision. Having frequent discussions can make their final decision less intimidating or scary.

Keep your conversations casual and open, so your parents don’t feel like you’re telling them they must move into an assisted living community. 

Watch How You Frame Your Words

You never want to use accusatory or seemingly threatening words when discussing assisted living. Your parents may struggle with cooking or cleaning, but explain this to them positively. Saying that they may benefit from some extra help is better than telling your parents they can’t live alone. 

When discussing assisted living, focus on the positives of the community. Explain the services and amenities they’ll enjoy and how they can have more free time to pursue their hobbies and friendships.

Keep Them Involved in the Process

The last thing you can do when discussing assisted living with your parents is to keep them involved in the process. Let them decide the community they choose to live in, let them ask questions, and bring them along when you visit a community for a tour

Assisted Living Can Benefit Your Loved Ones

Assisted living is beneficial for many older adults, providing the daily care they need. While the conversation may seem difficult, you can help your parents find a new place to call home. 

Contact your local senior living community if you’re interested in care for your loved one. 

Written by Arcadia Limerick Pointe

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