How to Talk to a Parent about Moving to an Assisted Living Community
Talking to parents about moving to a nursing home or assisted living community can be one of the harder tasks a child will ever have to undertake. Here at Concordia, we understand what you are going through and how heart-wrenching it may be. When older seniors have an unrealistic view about their future and their ability to care for themselves, it makes this conversation even more difficult. However, when it’s evident that a parent needs 24/7 care in a specialized facility and/or it’s unsafe for them to be without supervision, it’s a topic that needs to be addressed for your loved one’s wellbeing.
Below are some ideas to consider when getting ready to approach a loved one about moving to a personal care or assisted living community that may make the process go a bit more smoothly. With the following tips, we hope that you’ll feel more comfortable and have the support you need to approach this sensitive subject:
- Family Support – Leaning on family members and consulting with them when deciding what is best for your loved one can help to take some of the burden and guilt off of your shoulders. You could have a family meeting without your loved one being present to discuss the important topics of what is best for your loved one, what is possible based on finances and who will be delegated to make critical decisions. This also helps to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Expert Advice from Doctors – If you are able to talk to your loved one’s doctor without violating their privacy, schedule a time to meet with him or her. This can help you to gain expert advice on what type of care your doctor feels your loved one actually needs. If your doctor suggests nursing home care, then perhaps the doctor can bring up the subject at your loved one’s next appointment.
- Tour Local Personal Care or Assisted Living Communities – Taking your loved one with you to tour local personal care or assisted living communities can help to alleviate some of your loved one’s fears while also giving them a chance to provide their opinions about what they like and don’t like. For example, if your loved one is worried about feeling isolated, taking them to tour a facility during one of the community’s activities or a church service can help them to see a different perspective and overcome their fear.
- Acknowledge Their Concerns – It’s important to acknowledge your loved one’s thoughts and feelings and empathize with them. Respond in a caring way, and let them know that you understand. Even though you might not be able to let them do what they want, letting them know that you hear them is important and can make the conversation easier.
- Talk Regularly – Bringing up the future and your concerns with your loved one can help your loved one understand your point of view. For example, if they recently experienced a fall, kindly remind them of this incident and tell them that you’re concerned for their safety in their current living arrangement. Showing them that you are their advocate – not their adversary – and that you genuinely care for their wellbeing can help them to understand the importance of the care you are suggesting.
Many children find it difficult to bring up this topic to the parents they love, and delay these important conversations until the move to an assisted living community becomes an immediate need. With the tips shared above, we hope that you will find it easier to be proactive and talk to your loved one about their future.
If you’re unsure if your loved one needs nursing home care, personal/assisted living care or in-home care, or if you have questions about the senior care services we offer at Concordia, feel free to contact us any time via our online contact form or by calling our administrative headquarters at 724-352-1571. You can also visit the Long-Term Nursing Care page of our website for details. For information on other services we offer, such as In-Home Care, Memory Care, Adult Day Services, and Hospice Care, visit the care levels & services page of our website.