Are you planning to open up a discussion regarding a lifestyle change with your parents?
Our elderly loved ones often become frustrated when the topic of moving to assisted living is brought up in a conversation. They are worried that they will lose part of their independence, will have less control over their daily tasks, and won’t have much time to spend with their grandkids.
As we become older, maintaining our freedom becomes a touchy subject, and not many of us are at ease with the thought of living in nursing homes or retirement facilities. These discussions are challenging, but they are also critical. If your elderly parents are not receptive to the idea of moving to a retirement home, how do you even open up to them about it?
When Should You Move Your Parents to Assisted Living?
Data from the American Health Care Association (AHCA) indicates that most seniors who move into senior living communities and facilities are between the ages of 75 and 85. However, there is no specific age at which elders should move into a retirement home. The time when it’s appropriate to start those difficult conversations about residential care facilities is when you observe the following indicators.
Changes in personal hygiene
A sudden change in your parent’s level of personal hygiene might be somewhat alarming if they were previously very clean-minded. Because of health problems or aging-related changes, it could be difficult for individuals to take care of themselves.
Physical and cognitive health issues
You may have also noticed that your parent’s health began to deteriorate as they became prone to injuries, bruises, cuts, and more. Despite their best efforts to appear otherwise, they cannot move around with the same energy as they once could. You might want to consider moving your elderly parents to an elder care facility.
When you need to work, sometimes you can’t be at home to look after your parents. If your elderly parents have been getting involved in minor accidents at home while you aren’t around, or you see them having cuts or bruises that they can’t explain how they got, it’s time to think about sending them to a nursing home where they can be supervised and better cared for.
It is doubtful that your parents will suddenly cease caring about keeping their home tidy. But when they are starting to forget or are no longer able to undertake the responsibilities of housekeeping or daily tasks, it might be a sign of an illness such as memory loss or dementia, which could be one of the telling signs you need to move your parents to an elder care facility.
5 Factors to Consider Before Talking to Your Parents About Assisted Living
You must actively look for possible age-related problems to enforce your stand to send your seniors to elder care. Have this difficult conversation with them as soon as possible—preferably before an accident or unexpected turn of events happens—to spare yourself from headaches.
Here are things to think about before you raise the topic to your aging parents.
Explore senior care facility options
Before bringing up the subject, learn about the various senior living environments and the levels of care they offer. Research your choices as senior housing services might vary from what your parents need. You could also consider respite care and in-home care as your other choices. Also, consider the cost of each type of senior living facility.
Introduce the subject gradually
It’s time to start the conversation once you are aware of all the options available to your loved one. Your main objective should be to encourage them to consider the reality of aging rather than persuade them that they must immediately move into a senior community. Ask them about their future intentions and explain how senior citizens’ homes can help ease some of their fears.
Identify the what ifs
You should consider the possibility of one of your elderly parents passing away, and learn beforehand what each of them wants for the other. It would be ideal for them to want to see their partner safe, taken care of, and financially secure. Also make sure to involve the whole family in this discussion.
Understand why your seniors want to stay at home
If your elderly family member refuses to move into a senior living facility, don’t react out of anger right away. Aging seniors are reluctant to move because they think that it would be their final home. Prepare yourself to talk with them about many wonderful programs offered in retirement communities, including outdoor activities, 24/7 medical attention, etc.
Keep in mind that their opinions on these things—not your decisions—are the deciding factor. You may be thinking of what is best for your aging parents, but make sure that they are involved in the discussion, especially since it’s them who will be potentially sent to a new living arrangement.
Keep an eye on the illness’s progress
Certain age-related illnesses can significantly negatively impact a senior’s capacity to stay at home. Find out what medical conditions your aging loved one has—whether they’re suffering from Parkinson’s disease, dementia, heart problems, memory loss, etc. Verify that facilities provide a care program suitable for your parent’s health needs. Making the decision also entails understanding your loved one’s needs for immediate care.
Tips on Talking to Your Aging Parents About Assisted Living
When you’ve decided that sending your elderly parents to senior care when the time comes is the proper course of action, You need to properly plan on how to ask for their support and understanding. Plant the seeds by having the initial conversation with them about the topic way ahead before a health scare or other issues arise that require your parents to move into an elder care facility.
After that first talk, you must keep in mind to bring up the topic in your future conversations occasionally. Remember that you’re merely letting your parents know that this is a possibility; do not pressure them into moving, nor attempt to sway their decision. Instead, gently encourage them to decide whether it is the best option for them.
Highlight its advantages
Promote the benefits of living in an extended care facility to your seniors. You can tell them that the staff will be on call round-the-clock to assist them with daily tasks, including reminding them to take their medication. You can’t go wrong by emphasizing how much safer your parents can be at elder care compared to living at home all alone.
Use recent accidents as examples
When your parents forget to pay their electricity bills, miss taking their vitamins or medications, or break their ankles while walking, the time might be right to talk to them about moving to senior care. Tell them that staying at an assisted living facility might provide them with better security and protection.
Get help from others
Perhaps your elderly parents tell you that you alone see the problem. Make sure to get the support of your siblings or a third party by asking your parent’s friends, neighbors, or medical professionals. It will be harder for them to dispute you if more people can vouch for what you are saying.
Go on a tour
Because they have no idea what retirement facilities are actually like, your parents can feel like you are sending them to jail. So arrange a visit to the nearest facility you believe would be the best fit for your elderly loved one. Once they find they can enjoy activities suited for them there, they will see that what you’re providing them isn’t a prison, but a sanctuary.
Ultimately, Moving Your Parents to Assisted Living Is Not Your Choice
If your parents are still of sound mind to disagree with you, all you can do is back them up and maintain an open mind. But still, watch out for any signs that will tell you that it’s time to move them to assisted living, but make them understand that it is for the sake of their health and wellbeing, first and foremost.
Residents can take advantage of the various services and amenities we provide. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need assistance guiding your loved ones through upcoming changes.