When an adult child is confronted with the necessity of moving an aging parent or other family member to a senior care facility, creating a plan of action can help to make the transition as smooth as possible for all parts involved. One critical step to include in the plan is to talk to the person in need of special care about assisted living and the option of moving in an adequate facility.
Sometimes a senior whose health is in decline becomes aware of needing assistance and will somehow be inclined to the perspective of being assisted and cared for more easily than in the present condition. Other times can be the lack of proximity to family members or other similarly problematic circumstances that bring the issue home for them. However, the idea of assisted living can evoke fears of being abandoned or losing their home and possessions, worries of being mistreated or become less independent. It is never an easy decision to take, but it can become less intimidating with the right approach.
Don’t delay the conversation
Start gently bringing up the idea, especially when a chronic health condition is obviously worsening or after a fall or injury, or when the senior complains or acknowledges the difficulty of managing everyday activities. Mention how assisted living could help preventing other injuries or provide assistance for their difficulties allowing them to enjoy their favorite activities.
Involve other family members
Before bringing up the subject with your parents, you might want to talk to your siblings or other close family members about the possibility of moving them into an assisted living facility. It is really important to reach an agreement and secure their help on how and when to talk to the elderly about the change. A relaxed family dinner could be the right time to start the conversation and encourage them to look at the pros of assisted living.
Ask the family doctor to help
Your parent’s doctor might support the idea of assisted living as a needed option, especially in the presence of serious health issues. Have the doctor tell you how much and what type of care he thinks your parent needs and will need in the future. If the doctor supports the idea of assisted living as useful or necessary, he might be willing to propose the option during his next visit to your loved one.
Choose the right words
As previously mentioned, the idea of assisted living can evoke fears of being abandoned, losing one’s home and possessions, even being mistreated or dying prematurely. When talking to your parent, avoid terms like ‘nursing home’ altogether and rather than ‘assisted living,’ use terms like ‘senior community’ or ‘retirement-style residence’ which will sound more pleasing and less discouraging. Keep your calm and be gentle in your tone and manners. Try to think of how you would like to be treated in similar circumstances and that your parents deserve all the love and help you can give them in a delicate moment like the present.
Be prepared to answer their questions
Issues like finances, unknown environment, lack of privacy and independence are commonly raised by the elderly during such conversations. Do your homework in advance, examine their finances accurately and know the various options offered by the different assisted living facilities in your area for the specific care services they will need. Have with you the brochures of some of the facilities you visited or show them the related websites. In other words, help them by showing them something that can be real, and they can think with.
At Angels on Tracy, we provide excellent senior care in the Simi Valley area and can work with you and your loved one to ensure a smooth and successful transition.