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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

How To Talk To Your Parents About Assisted Living

Sometimes it becomes clear to adult children that your parents need to move to an assisted living facility. This could be because of a chronic health condition, repeated falls, or a recent close call, no family members who live near enough to help them, or increasing difficulty dealing with managing everyday tasks like taking medications, grooming, eating, or managing chores. 


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It’s natural to find it hard to raise the topic of assisted living with your parents. The idea of assisted living can come with a lot of fears or mortality, loss of independence, and the need for help from a Nursing Home Law Center. A lot of people will put off these conversations for too long, until the need for more help becomes more pressing. Don’t let this happen to you. Be proactive about talking to your parents and tackle the issue in a reasonable time and place. 


Keep The Discussion Going

Start by planting the seeds, perhaps after an injury or when a parent is complaining about the difficulty of managing everything they want to accomplish. Mention how assisted living could help to prevent similar injuries in future, or how it could give more help that would lighten your parent’s burden. 


Recruit Your Siblings To Help

If you have siblings, talk to them first to get their opinion on assisted living. Come to an agreement about how, when, and where you want to talk to your parents about taking this big step. You might want to talk to them individually or have a group meeting. You could combine the chat with a family dinner to take some of the pressure off. 


Take Your Parents To Tour Local Assisted Living Facilities

Contact a senior living placement specialist to help you to assess your parent’s needs, arrange tours, and evaluate each community. A lot of modern facilities are more like retirement communities than nursing homes and you can relieve some of your parent's fears by showing them the kind of place they might live and the activities that are available. These facilities usually have everything from bingo to dance classes, so seniors can stay active and social. 


Get The Family Doctor Involved

If your parent’s doctor is able to speak with you about your concerns about your parent’s health and care without violating any privacy concerns, then arrange to meet with them. Find out how much care their doctor thinks your parent really needs. If their doctor agrees with you that assisted living could be a good idea, see if they are willing to approach the topic with your parent. They may trust the assessment of a doctor more than yours. 


Don’t Act As If The Decision Has Been Made

Approach your parent with the possibility of assisted living, but make sure that you also present them with some other options, such as an in-home nursing service, an elder’s helper to do housekeeping and prepare meals for them, or an emergency alarm. Talk through the pros and cons of each possibility together. 


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