Assisted living communities can provide dynamic settings to truly thrive as one ages up.
However, making a shift in one’s life can be challenging–even if the shift will be rewarding and beneficial in the long term.
As an adult child of an aging parent, you may find that your mother or father will insist that assisted living isn’t needed, and that he or she is perfectly safe, happy, and comfortable living at home.
You may be wondering what you can do to help your loved one begin to see eye-to-eye with you when it comes to making a move to assisted living.
If your parent doesn’t think he or she needs assisted living, here are some helpful tips for addressing the challenge…
Ask your Mom why she thinks assisted living isn’t necessary.
Sometimes your mother simply wants to feel heard, and her opinion on the matter affirmed.
Giving your parent a chance to voice concerns provides you an opportunity to constructively address and work through any issues or fears she may have regarding the concept of moving to an assisted living community.
Oftentimes, these fears can be addressed and you can have the opportunity to clear up any misconceptions she may have about the concept of an assisted living community.
Simply giving your parent the chance to explain why he or she doesn’t think it’s needed can open up the conversation to potentially see things in a new light.
Evaluate your parent’s safety.
Perhaps your father has experienced one or more falls in recent months.
Or he’s left the stove on one too many times.
Gently addressing your father’s lack of safety in his current living situation can help him realize that a move to an assisted living community can grant him greater peace of mind.
No need to make your parent feel less independent or dignified.
Instead, remind him that assisted living communities make daily tasks such as bathing and dressing easier and safer, enabling him to continue living an enriched life.
Evaluate your parent’s social interaction.
Research has found that socialization for seniors is essential when it comes to their quality of life.
In fact, the University of Miami’s Global Business Forum conducted a study that concluded that for seniors, strong social ties are more influential in preventing illnesses than genetic backgrounds.
Therefore, ensuring your parent is surrounded with engagement opportunities is critical.
When discussing assisted living with your parent, be sure to highlight the positive aspects of having a community of fellow residents and team members just a few steps away.
If your mother realizes she won’t have to drive 15 minutes away to meet up with friends for a game of bridge, or play phone tag with that friend she’s been meaning to meet for lunch, she may end up changing her mind.
Evaluate your ability to provide care, or evaluate current caregivers.
If your loved one expects that you or other at-home caregivers can provide sufficient assistance, it’s important to openly weigh the pros and cons with him or her.
Oftentimes, family members don’t have the time or training to assist on a daily basis with tasks like bathing, dressing, and medication management.
Moving to a senior living community can ensure that time your loved one spends with family members is higher quality and more focused on engagement and conversation versus caregiving.
Additionally, although at-home professional caregivers are trained to assist with important tasks, this solution still lacks the significant socialization opportunities and easy access to enriching activities that assisted living communities provide.
Bring in other family members.
A chorus of voices can at times be more effective than a single voice.
Although you don’t want your mother or father to feel overly pressured, it can be helpful to bring in other family members to provide gentle encouragement in considering assisted living.
From highlighting the social opportunities to emphasizing the benefits of help with activities of daily living (ADLs), ask your family members to engage your parent in a conversation about the benefits of such communities.
Have multiple conversations with your parent; don’t just make an executive decision.
Changing one’s mind and being open to change take time—give your parent the time and space to come around to the idea.
Making a quick executive decision can backfire and cause more issues than you want.
Instead, you may be surprised by your loved one’s thought process and decision after given the chance to contemplate the pros and cons a bit further.
Sometimes simply seeing an assisted living community in action can turn the wheels in your loved one’s mind and help him or her see how wonderful the option could be.
We’d love to host you and your parent for a tour of The Ashford on Broad and The Ashford of Mt. Washington—schedule your tour today!