Having the difficult conversation about assisted living with your parents

Above: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels Lifestyle | 9 Jul |

There are around 28,900 assisted living communities with an average of 33 beds each in the United States, and over 650 of those are in Arizona. Most of the residents at assisted living facilities are age 85 and older, with new residents moving in at around age 84.

When you need to talk to your aging parents or elderly grandparents about moving into an assisted living facility, you’re probably putting it off, fearful of what they might say. It isn’t an easy conversation to have with someone you love.

Here are some suggestions, from the team at CarePatrol of Northwest Phoenix. CarePatrol is a free service that provides senior citizens and their families with safe senior living options based on care needs and quality of life.

Arrange a Meeting Time to Talk to Them

You don’t want to have this conversation over your Sunday meal or drop by for an unannounced visit and start the conversation unexpectedly. It’s a good idea to set a specific time to talk to your loved ones, so they’re not taken by surprise.

It’s okay to be vague about the purpose of the meeting, but you might mention it’s about the future or even about them taking the next step. You want your parents or grandparents to have a little time to get their thoughts about the subject in order. Springing this type of conversation on your family members will likely feel like an ambush to them and create a hostile environment before the conversation even begins.

Be Prepared

Your loved one may present reasons why they aren’t ready for an assisted living facility. If there are specific behaviors or specific incidents that show they need help with their daily routine, it’s important to bring them up. You also want to present the benefits of an assisted living center.

Many older people have a bleak outlook on assisted living centers. While it’s true that some nursing homes get a bad rep, many modern options are  far cry from the assisted living facilities of the past. By doing due diligence and a bit of research, you can reassure your loved one that you have some reputable options in mind.

Bring Brochures and Make Them Part of the Process

During the meeting, you want to present your loved ones one with brochures of assisted living communities in the area. This gives them the chance to see the available facilities in your area, and more importantly, it includes them in the process.

You want to encourage your parents to weigh the options and help choose the right one for them. Empowering your parents or grandparents to make this decision helps them feel more comfortable with it. You want them to be happy about the decision to move into assisted living. It will help make the transition from their own home to an assisted living facility easier for everyone involved.

As a child with aging parents or grandparents, you might be faced with having this conversation now or in the near future. You can make it easier for all of you.

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