How to Help a Senior Make the Transition to Senior Living
Tips for Talking to Your Parents About Senior Living
Research Available Options
There are several options available for senior living, including assisted living, independent living, and in-home care. Do your research before beginning the conversation. Knowing the right terminology will help you better understand how to talk to your parents about assisted living and other options. You’ll also have a clearer idea of the benefits of senior living communities. For example, home maintenance and household chores are no longer a worry for residents of assisted living.
You may also face misconceptions about senior living from your elderly parent. They may not realize that they can bring their pets with them to assisted living or that they will be encouraged to remain as independent as possible in their new home.
Listen to Their Needs
You’ll probably come to your loved one with concerns about why they need to transition to senior living. Maybe they’ve recently been hospitalized or maybe you’ve noticed that they’re having trouble keeping their house in good condition. Voice these concerns honestly but create space for your loved one to discuss their point of view. Hear their concerns and show empathy—don’t start an argument. It may help to table the conversation if you or your parent become agitated. Transitioning to a new living situation at any stage of life is a stressful, emotional process. Be open to the emotions that your loved one may express.
Bring Others into the Conversation
Be Prepared to Have Multiple Discussions
Don’t expect to create a plan for your elderly loved one’s future in a single conversation. In fact, it’s best if you can start bringing up the idea of assisted living before it feels like an emergency need.
Plan Visits to Local Senior Living Communities
Seeing is believing, so your parent may not come around until they get a real sense of their options with community tours. Touring different facilities is also an opportunity to better understand the difference between independent living and assisted living communities. You may even have a chance to talk to some current residents of the community or book a trial stay to ensure that your loved one ends up in the right place.