How to Talk to Your Parents About Assisted Living

Apr 27, 2016
Stephen Bleeker

Assisted living can be one of the most difficult decisions your family makes. Though the benefits of assisted living (for both you and your parents) are undeniable, the first steps can seem impossible.

A person and an elderly person are talking and smiling indoors. Sunlight floods the room, suggesting a comforting and warm atmosphere. They seem to be enjoying a pleasant interaction.

Whether you’re looking for personal in-home care, a long term care facility or simply additional support for your family, here are a few tips for you and your loved ones:

Make it a regular topic of conversation

Bringing up the topic of assisted living for the first time can be awkward. No matter what age or state of your parent’s health, it’s important to talk about it early. It should become a regular topic of conversation to ensure that your parent is aware and comfortable with assisted living.

Be aware of your language

Talking about assisted living can bring up unexpected emotions of anger or guilt from both you and your parents. Therefore, it is important to frame the conversation around feelings. Tell your parents your concerns for their health and safety. Understand and highlight how assisted living can benefit your parent’s lifestyle – not just your own.
As your parents age, you will take on more of the caretaker role in your relationship. Nonetheless, try and avoid role-reversal. You would never want your parent to feel like a child during difficult conversations.

Talk to your siblings

It is incredibly important to have the same conversations with your siblings. It can be difficult to make sure that everyone is on the same page, especially when you are separated by distance. However, inconsistent points of view can be confusing and discouraging for your parent.  In order to avoid this, make sure that your siblings understand the benefits of assisted living and feel as though they are an active part in the decision making process.

Don’t wait for an emergency

As your parent ages, the risk of an accident or a health-scare becomes far greater. The last thing you want to have a decision about assisted living forced upon you in an emergency. Therefore, it is important to know what your parent wants and develop a plan before anything happens.

Research together

Ultimately, this is a decision your family will make together. It is important that you’re all comfortable with whatever choice your parent makes. So research different options, visit different homecare facilities and meet different caretakers to ensure you are making the right decision when the time comes. You will find that your parent will be happier when they are an active part of the research. It is important to reassure your parent that it is their choice, while urging them to take action now.

Home Care

If you’re dealing with resistance  from  a parent and expressions of wanting to stay at home then home care is always an option.  This can extend the time that Mom and Dad are at their home but helps them to understand that maybe they do require a certain level of assistance.  Even if it’s just for now, getting that help at home is an option.

At Assurance Home Care, we understand that every family’s needs are unique and place a great deal of emphasis on making sure it’s a good fit for your family. Our caregivers are individuals who are passionate about what they do, understand and respect the desire for independence while working closely with family members. Find out more about the Assurance difference here.

It’s natural to feel mixed emotions including a sense of guilt while you’re talking to your parent about assisted living. But at the end of the day, choosing quality care and assisted living (whether it is with Assurance Home Care or another care provider) will be the best choice for both you and your parent.