Starting the Conversation About Assisted Living with Mom and Dad

December 1, 2022 | Assisted Living
Supportive hands. Close up caring young man adult child caregiver sit at table facing old man retiree support comfort express empathy

Perhaps you’ve noticed that one of your parents has been having challenges with daily tasks due to mobility changes, or maybe it’s’ become difficult for them to keep up with the stresses of home maintenance. 

Nobody wants to think about leaving their current home, but these changes in behavior and ability can become a cause for concern in aging adults. The longer these concerns go unaddressed, the higher the risk of an injury or accident occurring. 

If you’ve noticed these changes or other areas of concern, it might be time to talk to them about the benefits of moving to an assisted living community. These communities provide maintenance-free living and supportive care options so residents can enjoy social activities, events and amenities that enhance their lifestyles. 

Our assisted living community in Franklin, Indiana, is redefining senior living and wellness. Astral at Franklin wants to help you and your family navigate senior living with ease and confidence, so we’re sharing tips for approaching the conversation of assisted living with Mom or Dad.

Create a List of Concerns for Your Parent

Start by creating a list of any concerns you’ve been noticing. If you don’t know where to begin, pay attention to how they handle Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). ADLs are defined as the daily tasks that are essential to one’s self-care and wellness. 

  • Has your parent started to struggle with their hygiene? 
  • Do they make strange choices when choosing their outfit for the day?
  • Is it difficult for them to manage their finances, bills or medications? 

Maybe you feel home maintenance is becoming too much for your parent to handle on their own. For example, if your parent’s home has too many stairs, and they’ve started to have mobility problems, it could lead to an accident or a fall. Having bulleted concerns can help approach the conversation of assisted living, as you can pull examples from their daily life. In addition, make sure they know you’re only bringing these concerns to their attention because their health and safety are to you.

Tips for Starting the Conversation

Research assisted living communities before beginning the talk with your parent, and make a point to highlight the amenities and benefits each community provides. This can start an open-ended conversation where your parent can contribute and give you more information on what they would look for in a community.

Listen to any of your parent’s concerns regarding how they feel about an assisted living community. Remember, this decision directly impacts their life, and you should not minimize their feelings. Instead, put yourself in their shoes, and think about how it might feel if you had to admit that you were no longer able to continue living independently in your current home. Acknowledge their anxieties and feelings, and continuously ask questions so that you can clearly understand all of their reservations. 

During this conversation, it’s essential to be empathetic rather than sympathetic. No older adult wants their child to feel sorry for them or feel like they’re being talked down to. By exhibiting empathy, speaking in a calm voice and using an understanding demeanor, your parent will know that you are listening and processing their opinions and frustrations.

Conversation Starters

When beginning the conversation, be sure to use open-ended questions to direct the discussion topics with ease. This will allow the situation to feel less like you’re preaching to your parent and let them contribute their feelings and express their opinions. Here are some options:

  • [If applicable] How are you feeling about living alone? What would you do in the case of an emergency?
  • Does it get lonely sometimes being at home by yourself?
  • I noticed you have some unopened bills. Would you like some help going through those?
  • Would you consider thinking about hiring some extra help for housekeeping, maintenance or yard work? If so, how can I assist you?

Keep your conversation simple at first, and avoid any information overload that might confuse, frustrate, or overwhelm your parent. This should be an ongoing conversation to come to a decision everyone is comfortable with. However you start this important conversation, remember to use empathy and kindness.

Discover all the benefits of our assisted living community in Franklin, Indiana, by visiting our website today!

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