Your parents have been there for you for as long as you can remember. As they’ve aged, though, you’ve become more concerned about their health, safety, and security. While it’s true that your parents are active and independent, that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit greatly by becoming part of an assisted living or continuing care community. But how do you broach the subject with your senior parents?
How to Talk About Assistance with Your Senior Parents
Start the Conversation Early - Before Assistance is Needed
It’s better to start the conversation sooner rather than later. If at all possible, you want to have discussions before you are facing an absolute need for assisted living and have no choice. This will give your parent an opportunity to come around to the idea on his or her own.
Present Facts and Figures About Assisted Living
Show brochures. Present facts and figures. Explain the benefits of making the move to a community that is built around his or her needs, interests, and abilities. Benefits you might want to bring up specifically include:
- Ability to Maintain Independence
- Social Interaction with other Older Adults
- Scheduled Activities Daily
- Maintenance Free Lifestyle
Some communities even offer dining options and meal plans to residents so there is no need to cook or clean in kitchens every day.
Keep Your Language Positive When Discussing Assistance
Sometimes, it’s not about what you say, but how you say it. Many people have an outdated opinion of what retirement communities are like. Today’s communities are designed with vibrant and passionate living in mind. They are built to become communities that encourage spirituality, commitments to health, and growth – both socially and intellectually, among their residents.
Keep that in mind when speaking about options to a parent to choose language that is positive and uplifting rather than focusing on any perceived negatives your parent may have.
Find out Why Your Parent is Resistant to the Idea of Assisted Living
Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of overcoming your parent’s objectives. Find out what they are and then come armed with facts, figures, brochures, and a boatload of empathy and understanding.
The last thing you want to do is leave your parent feeling alienated and abandoned by pushing too hard. At the same time you must sometimes convince your parent that this is the only viable option available – for the good of the family.
The sooner you begin the conversation, the faster you will be able to sleep comfortably knowing someone is watching over your parent at night.