The best course of action isn’t always the ideal one.
In a perfect world, our parents would be able to stay in their homes their entire lives and maintain the independence they’ve always enjoyed.
Unfortunately, as we get older, living alone doesn’t just become a burden — it can be dangerous.
Assisted living centers exist to give our loved ones the freedom and space they deserve, while also giving them the help they need. However, talking about moving your parents into one is never a fun conversation.
Thinking about moving your parents into assisted living, but aren’t sure how to start the conversation? We’re here to help.
Here are a few tips to help you begin talking to your parents, so you can get them the help they need sooner.
The Big Talk: How to Talk to Your Elderly Parent About Moving to Assisted Living
Do Your Homework
We’ve all heard the horror stories. And the worst part about these horror stories is that a lot of them are real.
There are dozens of nightmarish assisted living centers out there.
If your parents happen to be considering palliative care or hospice care, they shouldn’t be subjected to stressful environments.
That said, there are also plenty of excellent assisted living places.
The trick to finding the perfect place for your parents is to start by doing a little research.
Not all assisted living centers are the same.
Senior independent living homes will give your parents all the same freedom they have now.
But, with the facilities to help them out should they need it.
Read up on a few different types of assisted living centers before talking to your parents.
By doing this, you can present them with a few options that might suit them.
You can also check the National Council on Aging’s BenefitsCheckUp to find out what programs you may qualify for.
Get the Whole Family Involved
Odds are, you aren’t the only one who cares about the health and wellbeing of your parents.
So, before you approach your parents, you should take the time to rope your siblings, cousins, and other relatives into the conversation.
By including your family in, you may stand a better chance of convincing your parents that assisted living is the right choice for them.
At the same time, getting a few additional opinions may help you pinpoint a better option you hadn’t considered.
While bringing family into the chat can be beneficial, remember to be careful about who you invite into the conversation.
For some people, moving into assisted living can be embarrassing.
So, they wouldn’t want the fact that they’re considering that move spread throughout the entire family.
Meet Face to Face
Some conversations need to happen in person.
Sure calling, emailing, or texting can put some distance between you and the issue and make this particular talk seem a little easier.
But, it’s essential that you remember that this conversation isn’t about your comfort levels.
There is a real possibility that your parents won’t like that you’re considering having them move to assisted living.
But, they deserve to hear it from you in person.
So, try to take the time to visit them, if only for a day, to at least attempt to start the “assisted living” talk.
From there, you can continue the conversation with whatever method is most convenient for everyone involved.
Keep it Light
A spoonful of sugar can make even the most bitter medicine go down.
No one wants to think or talk about getting older and losing mobility.
This is why talking about assisted living can be such a challenge.
So, you must try to keep the conversation as light as possible.
Swapping funny stories and telling jokes can ease the gravitas of the situation, and make the conversation go a bit smoother.
Make sure your parents know that the only thing that’s changing is where they live.
Make sure they know that you still see them as you’ve always seen them and that no matter where they live, you’ll all continue to enjoy life as a family.
Listen to Them
Remember, your parents moving into an assisted living center will not affect anyone as much as it affects them.
So, you must give them time to share their thoughts on the matter.
After all, your parents are bound to have some concerns about moving they’ll want to address before making any final decisions.
Listen to what your parents have to say.
If you cannot answer or address their questions or concerns, help them find the information they need.
Finally, remember to be empathetic.
Parents seldom want their children to pity them or see them as incapable.
So, while having this conversation, try to put yourself in their shoes and keep in mind how they may be feeling about the situation.
Nothing is Definite
Just because you’re talking about moving your parents into an assisted living center doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
And you must let your parents know this before the conversation starts.
Talking about moving into assisted living is the first step in what can be a long process.
A process that may end with your parents deciding not to move anywhere at all.
And remember, in the end, it’s your parents’ decision.
So, while you can suggest the idea and provide them all the information they may need, you can’t force them into anything they don’t want to do.
There’s a good chance that your parents will decide that they don’t want to move into an assisted living facility just yet — and that’s ok.
Remember, this is a significant life decision and a massive change for your parents.
So, they may be a little hesitant to leave their homes.
But, just because they say no right now, doesn’t mean their decision is final.
Things can change, and there’s a good chance that they will change their minds on the matter later on.
Give your parents a little time to think about it themselves, and try bringing it up again later.
The trick is to keep trying. If your heart’s in the right place, then they’ll change their minds eventually.
Moving into an Assisted Living Facility
Deciding to move is always tough — no matter what the circumstances are.
That said, deciding to move from your home into an assisted living center is so much more profound than just moving from one house to another.
Talking to your elderly parents about moving into an assisted living facility will never be easy.
But, by following these tips, you’ll be able to take a little bit of pressure off and help the conversation go a bit more smoothly.
Are you looking for more life advice, tips, and tricks?
We’ve got you covered.
Check out the rest of our blog for information on everything from finding the right assisted living facility to how to downsize during a move.