Speaking to your aging parents about assisted living can be an emotional experience for the whole family. It marks a transition and the beginning of a new chapter for your parents. Maybe you’ve decided to start this conversation because you noticed your parents need or because have expressed being lonely. Whatever the reason, having an open dialogue from the research stage through the decision-making process can assist in ensuring this is a positive experience.
Here are some things to consider when starting the conversation about assisted living:
It’s better to have a plan in place before assisted living becomes necessary. If you are exploring senior living communities only because of a recent health problem or another emergency situation, it's hard to make a decision with a clear head. If your parents are 65 or older, it's good to begin talking about senior living (even though assisted living may be years away). Some senior living companies, like Fieldstone Communities, offer both independent living and assisted living together to encourage easier transitions in care levels when an individual’s needs begin to change.
INVOLVE THEM IN THE DECISION
As long as your parents can make sound decisions, it's important to involve them in the decision-making process. Do not start the conversation by telling them what will happen, instead ask them what they would like to have happen. Think of yourself as a partner in this journey and be there to help them make an educated decision. Start by doing some preliminary research on available assisted living communities in your area. Doing this research helps create a starting point and narrow down options.
RESPECT THEIR EMOTIONS
The prospect of moving and having a life change is very emotional for people. Be respectful of whatever emotion they may be feeling and communicate appropriately. Use reassuring language like "I understand" and "we will figure this out together." It's important to be empathetic and sensitive to their position and to communicate that you are committed to finding a solution they find comfortable.
SEEK OUT RESOURCES AND HELP FROM PROFESSIONALS
Fieldstone Communities and other assisted living communities are here to help your family throughout this process. Whether you need advice, a recommendation on local movers, or have questions about financial aid, our team is ready to assist. Find your local Fieldstone community and contact us today.