Have you recently noticed that your parents aren't really able to care for themselves anymore? Has their home simply gotten too big for them to handle on their own? It may be time to begin the discussion about moving into assisted living. While many people associate assisted living with moving into a nursing home, residents can actually live rather independent lives while receiving the little assistance that they do need. But how do you have the conversation about giving up their home and moving into assisted living?
Start the Conversation Early
If you know that your parents are still relatively independent, start the conversation before the situation gets out of hand. You want to give them time to think over their options before you find yourself in an emergency situation. Think about the things that they need help with. Can they still cook, manage their medications and get around independently, but the upkeep of the home is a problem? Or maybe they have problems with their bladder and need assistance with toileting. Either way, you want to know what you will be discussing with them and what type of assisted living options you will be looking for.
Research and Preparation
While you want to let your parents guide the decision making process, it is important that you are prepared when the conversation starts. Have some information regarding what assisted living consists of and how it is not a nursing home. You can also stop by different communities such as Twin Oaks Estate and pick up brochures to have on hand while discussing different options with your parents. Look at the different amenities and services provided by each community, and consider what your parents will deem important.
Things Not to Do
It can be easy to try to overtake the process of moving to assisted living in order to make things easier on your parents. But there are some things that you should just step back and allow them to do. Make sure that after you voice your concerns, you allow your parents to make the final decision. Also make sure that you offer to help with the packing, moving and selling of their home, but allow them to take the lead. Try not to make any negative comments about the move or the community they have chosen.
Having a conversation with a loved one where you're trying to point out that they can't live on their own anymore is never easy. But you can help the conversation go a little more smoothly by taking some time in advance to prepare. Once the conversation is over, give your parents some time to think, and be there when they need someone to lean on. Doing so can help strengthen your relationship and make the entire transition a better experience.