Opening up the lines of communication about assisted living is difficult in some families. If you have never discussed assisted living or elder care with your mom then you may be concerned about how she will react to the topic. There are many older adults who are resistant to even discussing the options. If you want to broach the topic of assisted living with your mom the best way to start is by listening to her thoughts and concerns on the topic. Once you understand where your mom is coming from then you can talk to her about the burdens than come with staying at home and the benefits offered at assisted living.
Start by listening
Your mom will likely be much more opened to hearing your thoughts about assisted living if she feels like you will listen to her as well. Begin the conversation by asking your mother about her ideas and worries about assisted living. Take the time after you've asked the question to truly listen to what she has to say.
Discuss the burdens that come with staying at home
Once you have listened to your mom’s thoughts about assisted living you can start discussing what it will look like for her to remain in her home as she ages. Many older adults argue that staying at home is less expensive-especially when they have a home that is mortgage free. The reality is that owning a home comes with many costs other than the mortgage. Home repairs can be unexpected and expensive. The costs of home maintenance tasks-such as cleaning and lawn care-can quickly add up if your mom is unable to complete them on her own. Other monthly costs that are associated with staying home include property taxes, property insurance, utilities, cable, and internet. Helping your mom understand what it will take and cost to remain home may open her up to the possibility of moving into assisted living. You can help your mom directly compare the costs of staying home to those of moving into assisted living with Eskaton’s cost comparison guide.
Point out the benefits offered in assisted living
You can help your mom get a clearer understanding of what it is like in assisted living by pointing out the benefits she will experience. Moving into assisted living can help stabilize the costs in your mom’s life by taking out unknowns such as home repairs. In assisted living your mom can maintain her independence while having access to help should the need ever arise. You can also point out the opportunities for socialization provided in assisted living. Many communities offer residents a long list of social, cultural, and community activities to participate in. These are just a few of the many benefits and amenities offered in assisted living. If your mom opens up to the idea of assisted living as you talk through the benefits you can suggest a community visit as a next step.
The way you approach talking to your mom about assisted living can make a big difference in how she receives the information. Listening first is the best way to ease into this potentially difficult conversation. You can find additional resources to help you with this conversation on the Eskaton website.
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