You may have noticed the signs like your parents are struggling to prepare healthy meals. Or it may seem more difficult for them to socialize with friends or maintain an active lifestyle.
You might have researched how the many benefits of assisted living could support achieving a high-quality life but you may also be uncertain about how to have a productive conversation with your family.
Keys When Talking About Assisted Living
Eskaton has assisted living communities throughout the Sacramento area and across Northern California. We offer a wide array of resort-style amenities and conveniences in addition to personalized assistance with activities of daily living. If you are seeking a safe, supportive environment where independence and personal choice is celebrated and fostered for yourself or a loved one, look no further than Eskaton.
The following guidelines can play a significant role when talking about assisted living with your loved ones and can get you started in the right direction. Use these points to help prepare.
The conversation is about much more than a change of address
When talking about assisted living – with both your parents and siblings – you may know it’s the right solution for their challenges but keep in mind it also represents a change in lifestyle and the way your parents may see themselves.
Other family members may struggle with the decision
Prepare ahead of time for how you’ll respond if there isn’t consensus on the best solution. You may discover a sibling is struggling to accept that a parent is older and may need help. You’ll want to prepare and tailor your conversations when talking about assisted living for both your parents and siblings.
Plan ahead to increase the likelihood of a successful discussion
Many families wait until their loved one is in crisis before having a conversation. A decision made in haste often leads to feelings of regret at not having the opportunity to become familiar with the choices. It's best to have an inclusive conversation where everyone comes prepared with questions, concerns, and possible solutions.
Tips for Talking About Assisted Living with Family Members
If you’re ready to discuss the subject of assisted living, consider following these tips to have a positive family conversation:
1. Have casual conversations as early as possible
Try talking about assisted living early and in a casual and conversational tone. Ask your parents for ideas they may have about what they would like to do if they could no longer live alone.
2. Choose the right place and time
When it’s time to sit down and have the discussion, it’s generally best to plan ahead. Choose the time and place that will be most conducive for your loved ones to hear what you have to say and not feel pressured.
3. Include everyone in the conversation
Consider what will be best for your parents when talking about assisted living, including who should be there or whether it would be best to choose one or two family members to begin. If there are geographic constraints, consider if others could join in a video call. It's important for your loved ones to not feel overwhelmed or ganged up on by having too many family members present.
4. Do your research ahead of time
You’ll want to be as prepared as possible so spend some upfront time discovering all the advantages community life can offer. Understand the services available as well as pricing and fees. Tour several communities first to ensure that they are appropriate for your loved one.
5. Prepare for opposition
It’s best to be prepared in case a parent is not in favor of the idea. Try not to be caught off guard. Think ahead to what some of the objections may be and how you will respond. You can gather information from communities and how they deal with opposition and questions.
6. Tie in the advantages of community life with current challenges
When talking about assisted living, it can be very effective to use the advantages of community life as a way to showcase how it would solve specific problems or challenges your parent is facing.
7. Acknowledge the difficulty of the decision
Acknowledge that moving can be challenging. Let your loved ones know you understand what this decision means, which can go a long way toward creating empathy and comfort.
8. Encourage open discussions
Encourage everyone to feel they can express any concerns they may have. Begin these conversations as attempts to find the best solutions instead of as a summary of a decision that has already been made. In addition to concerns, encourage sharing actual positive stories and research.
9. Offer to schedule a visit to a community
Your parents may feel better about the choices once they can visit a few communities and see for themselves what life would be like there. Arrange for them to have lunch with the other residents or participate in an activity.
10. Plan for more than one conversation
Unless your family is in crisis, it’s better to plan for several conversations when talking about assisted living. After the initial discussion, give everyone time to think about the ideas that were considered. Offer to find answers to any questions and schedule a time for another discussion. Make sure that all of their concerns are addressed and that they understand the answers.
Life at Eskaton Communities
The word Eskaton means “dawn of a new day.” In our communities, we see each day as an opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents. We’ve been serving the Sacramento region and Northern California for over 50 years.
The Eskaton Difference starts with our life-enriching programs and collaborative partnerships. With a national reputation for innovation, we focus on creating communities that provide our residents with everything they need for purposeful living.
We invite you to visit one of our award-winning communities to discover some of the benefits we offer, such as:
- Private residences
- Delicious and nutritious meals
- Social opportunities to meet and make new friends
- Creative activities and therapies
- Fitness centers and exercise classes
- Housekeeping services
- Transportation services
- 24-hour staffing
- Free Wi-Fi
- And much, much more!
If you’re considering whether senior living could be the best choice for you or a loved one, we’re here to answer any questions that you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary information, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living. To schedule a personalized tour, call us at 1-866-ESKATON (or 1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.