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How to Talk to a Loved One About Assisted Living 

This image shows an adult daughter talking to his aging parent about moving to an assisted living or senior care facility.

Navigating the conversation about assisted living can be one of the most challenging conversations between a parent and an adult child. It requires a deep level of empathy and patience for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some way to approach this conversation. If done with grace, your loved ones will feel respected and supported as you decide together about a senior care facility.

Prepare Yourself

Grab the tissues. it. This conversation will temporarily turn the tables of your parent-child relationship. Remind yourself (and your loved ones) that you care about them. Afterall, the reason you’re talking about assisted living, is to find the best possible care for them.

When you find that caring for your loved one makes you more of a caretaker than their son or daughter, then it’s time to have the conversation.

Talk Early and Often

You don’t always have to wait until your parents are elderly to talk about how they want to age and whether they want to live in an assisted living community or age in place. While this conversation is always difficult, it only gets harder if you delay it.

Start the conversation early. Are they talking about retirement plans? Cleaning out their closets? Find ways to weave questions into the conversation that help them think about how they want to age. Questions like:

  • How have you been feeling about maintaining the home? Is it manageable on your own?
  • In a few years, do you ever see yourself downsizing? What does that look like for you?
  • Have you talked with your friends about their retirement plans? What do those look like?

It’s important to remember that the earlier you have these conversations, the more care options you’ll have. You can always get your name on a waiting list for when you need it. But if you delay talking about this, it’s likely you’ll be forced to make a rushed decision with limited care options available.

As uncomfortable as the first conversation will be, be prepared to settle into that discomfort. It’s not uncommon for conversations about again to take several conversations spread out over the years.

Visit During a Community Activity

A lot of aging adults come to assisted living for additional support for their health needs. But one of the hidden benefits of assisted living is the social activities. When an aging adult has an active social life, it affects their emotional, mental and physical health as well.

When you talk with your loved one about moving to an assisted living facility, be sure to visit during a mealtime or a social activity. This will help them to see the type of activities that they might join in. As you visit, talk with the residents at the assisted living facility, to hear an unbiased opinion of the community and activities. When they decide to move into the assisted living facility, they’ll have familiar faces to welcome them.

Get a Doctor Involved

We can all be stubborn at times. If your loved one is struggling to make a decision about moving to an assisted living facility, it might be time to get the doctor involved. Many senior living communities require a doctor’s evaluation before moving in, so it never hurts to be proactive.

Be Clear

When it’s time to make the move, be clear with your loved one that they are moving to the assisted living facility. Don’t sugar coat it or tell them that they are there for a few weeks. But do visit them as often as you’d like. Before too long, they’ll adjust, but as a parent, they’ll always appreciate seeing you.

Explore Assisted Living at Brentwood

Still unsure if your loved one is ready for an assisted living facility? At Brentwood, you can try it out. Whether you want to have an intentional weekend stay to try it out, or are in need of some additional care coverage for the weekend, you can call Brentwood Health Care Center to arrange an overnight stay.