How to Start the Conversation About Assisted Living
Having the conversation with your loved one about assisted living can be stressful and overwhelming for everyone involved. This is a transition that some seniors tend to resist. They tend to feel that they are being forced out of their home and that they are losing their independence. Children and spouses might resist this topic as well because they are afraid of how their loved one might react.
Being prepared before a crisis arises can remove a great deal of anxiety and worry from an already difficult situation. When it’s time to talk to your loved one about going to assisted living, these next few tips can create a smooth conversation instead of one filled with anger and frustration.
Make it an Ongoing Discussion
If your loved one is able to live alone and they don’t currently need the care provided by an assisted living facility, you can try to talk about their future needs in a non-threatening way. Start the conversation by saying, “I know this isn’t easy to talk about, but I want to be sure that I honor what you want. In order for me to do that, I need to know what your wishes are so I can help you when the time comes. Nothing has to be decided on today, but let’s talk about it a little bit so we can think on things for a while”.
Watch Your Language
You can’t avoid having the talk. Discussions can sometimes escalate into arguments if you don’t handle the conversation properly. A good way to diffuse a potential argument is to highlight the positives and control the tone of the conversation. When talking about assisted living, call it a “community” rather than a “facility”. Talk about apartment-style living rather than a room. Highlight the social opportunities and the activities rather than nurses and medications. The tone of your voice can make a really big difference. Keep your voice pleasant and calm. Do not respond to your loved one’s anger.
Talk About the What-Ifs
If both of your parents are still alive and together, talk about what would happen if one of them passes away. It can be difficult, but it will help you to learn about the wishes of your parents. Tell them you know that this is a difficult topic, and that you know you can’t control what happens. Let them know you want what they want. Tell them that they are ok now, but ask them what would you do if that changes.
Understand Why They Want to Stay at Home
Your loved one may not want to express how they feel. They might be feeling that if they move it will likely be their last move. Your loved one may feel like if they make this move they feel like they are going there to die. Even if they know it’s a good move, it’s not easy for them to acknowledge they are in the twilight of their life. They may also be unprepared for their role with you to change from them taking care of you to you taking care of them. They may also fear that they are losing their independence.
Go easy on them and keep their concerns in your mind while having this important discussion. Since your loved one may want the ability to decide where, how, and with whom they are going to live out their final years, tell them you want them to have as much control as possible.
Know Your Options
Learn about the different types of senior living communities, especially in the state where your loved one is living. Even though costs change from time to time, research the cost and learn about your loved one’s financial situation and options for funding. Research the reputation of the community and the safety reports from their area.
Ask your loved one to join you when touring senior communities if they are able to do so. Some seniors keep their finances private. Encourage them to let you in on their finances. Tell them in order to abide by your wishes, you need to have an idea of what they can afford.
At Stillwater Senior Living, we don’t want to alter your loved one’s life for our convenience. Your loved one won’t have to conform to a regimented schedule. Open dining and personalized assistance plans help you have the flexibility you desire to maintain your loved one’s current lifestyle, and still have assistance nearby if needed.
CONTACT US TODAY us today for more information and for a tour of our beautiful state-of-the art facility.
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