Some seniors recognize they may need to move into an assisted living community or facility, and start looking at assisted living facilities or communities in advance regarding cost, moving, and amenities. Others however may not realize their sudden limitations or how things can be better in an assisted living facility.
If your parents belong in the latter group, here are some tips and guidelines to help you start a necessary yet daunting conversation about settling into a new living situation they need (but may not necessarily want).
Take Your Time
If you have noticed that Mom or Dad are suddenly forgetting little things, like where they put their keys or what day it is, this may not be cause for alarm just yet. The reality is, it is likely to keep getting worse and as they get older. You cannot move your aging relative into an assisted care facility in a week or less. These things take time, preparation, and a fair amount of paperwork.
It’s important to start the discussion later with your aging relative earlier rather than. Tell them why you feel they may need an assisted living facility or community then offer to help them find their perfect fit.
Help Them Make The Transition
Many seniors are fiercely independent. This is especially true if you have elderly parents who still see you as their child. Your role as caregiver to your parents may make them uncomfortable.
Help them ease into the transition by offering to help them sort their belongings. Go with them on facility and community tours. Make sure they understand your concerns, such as health and well-being, making sure they take their medication as directed, and making sure they don’t miss any doctor’s appointments.
The more you help them with making the transition, the more likely they may be to decide to move into an assisted living facility or community.
Request Help From Their Doctor
For some, voicing their concerns to a doctor or medical professional they trust may be more helpful to plead the case for assisted living. Some elderly relatives may have the false impression that you only want to put them in an assisted living facility to be rid of them, and they will only take advice from their doctor or a nurse practitioner.
If this is the situation, talk over the idea of introducing your elderly relative to an assisted living facility or community with their doctor. The doctor may be helpful in either convincing them they need additional help, or the doctor may have other resources available, such as live-in assistance or a daytime assistant who visits. The doctor may also have resources to help you ease your elderly relative’s fears.
Medical professionals are always willing to help, especially if someone’s life is at risk.
Voice Your Concerns
If you discuss assisted living from the aspect of concern for their best health and well-being, this may be more helpful than forcing an issue they may not be ready to face. Some elderly people may not realize they are suffering from signs of early dementia or failing health until a fall or an unexpected trip to the hospital happens.
When you approach the situation in a positive and proactive manner, they will be more willing to see assisted living as something that will offer them a better quality of life instead of feeling like they are being deserted by their family.