How to talk to your parents about assisted living

The mere idea of talking to your parents about assisted living can be scary and uncomfortable. But if you think assisted living could improve the life of your parents then you have no option but to have the talk. However, the tips mentioned below may help ease up your anxiety and prepare you to speak with your parents about assisted living.

Assess and plan –

  • Bring up the topic conversationally just to gauge their initial reaction. If they seem open about it, gently mention more about it.
  • Plan to have the talk before a complete decline in the health of your parents. Do both of your parents are in immediate need of an assisted living facility? Consider the state of your parent’s health and if they really need to move into a long-term care home. Are your parents having difficulty performing daily tasks? Is their mental health declining? Do they find walking without assistance a problem? Assess such questions and more before you begin a discussion about assisted living.
  • If you have siblings, discuss it with them before talking to your parents. Take care of all disagreements, if any, before meeting your parents about it. Also, it helps if one person talks to them first, so that they don’t get overwhelmed.

Discuss and talk –

  • Begin by inquiring about their health. Let them voice their concerns first rather than making vague assumptions.
  • Talk about the benefits of assisted living such as security, round-the-clock care, ready meals, social activities etc. Ask them if they would like to see some materials or visit a facility to make the assessment on their own.
  • Be ready to talk about finances and the expenses for the assisted living home. Can you parents or you afford it?
  • Don’t force the discussion. Often times more than one attempt is required before your parents are ready to accept the reality of assisted living.
  • Give it time.

It helps to remember that for parents, it may not be easy to give up a way of life and start again at their age. Have patience and empathy.