How to Talk to Your Parents about Assisted Living

Open the Conversation by Talking Hypothetically

Your parents might not think they need any extra care or assistance, even though the signs may seem obvious to you. If this is the case, it may be helpful to start off by speaking hypothetically or start sharing what mutual friends or acquaintances have experienced.

Focus these on the benefits of assisted living. Talk about how nice it would be to have someone help them remember to take their pills throughout the day, have someone else take care of the daily housekeeping, or to not having to pay for putting new shingles on the roof.

It takes elderly parents time to warm up to the idea of moving into a senior living community. You should talk about it frequently, but carefully, treating it as an ongoing conversation rather than an ultimatum.

Bring Fellow Family Members or Caregivers into the Conversation

Make sure everyone is on the same page. These discussions can quickly escalate when there are too many relatives and family dynamics involved. It’s important to talk to your family members first about assisted living and know what each person’s role will be. It can also help to bring a third party into the discussion like a doctor, a church leader or a friend who can help alleviate tension and mediate since they don’t have familial ties.

Speak Cautiously and Calmly

When speaking about assisted living, always stay positive. Don’t approach the conversation as if your parent is becoming a burden. Highlight the benefits of assisted living and moderate the tone of the conversation. It’s important to approach the conversation openly, don’t act as if a decision has already been made. This is a chance for you and your parent(s) to warm up to the idea of assisted living as well as clear the air of any misconceptions or misunderstandings they may have surrounding assisted living.

Discuss Their Worries and
Reassure Them

It’s possible your parents are afraid of losing their autonomy when they move into an assisted living community or maybe they’re afraid you won’t visit them as often. It’s important to talk through their fears and phobias. For example, discuss setting up a regular day/time where you will come see them or offer to take them on tours of different communities so they can see first-hand what it would be like to live there. Let your parents know they’re allowed to bring their prized possessions, or pet, with them too.

Be Empathetic

Let your parent(s) know that you’re going to figure this out together, as a family. Change is difficult. Respect their feelings and listen to their concerns. It’s important you recruit them as a team member in the decision-making process rather than trying to tell them what to do.  Don’t treat the potential change as a problem, but rather present it as a solution to their health, memory or mobility concerns. Bring up the perks of living in a community where they can socialize with other people their age. Showing them you genuinely care about their feelings and well-being will often open them up to the idea of assisted living.

Know your Options

Learn about your parent’s financial situation and learn about different living options as well as options for funding such as long-term care insurance or special federal programs. Research communities in your region for things like reputation, safety reports and testimonials.

Thinking about how to approach the conversation ahead of time helps to create a smooth decision-making process. These discussions aren’t easy but they are very important to the well-being of your parent(s) and family.

Summit Pointe is the only established senior living community in Marion, Iowa. We have won numerous awards based on our quality of care including our most prestigious awards which are the Bronze and Silver National Quality Awards.

We offer many levels of care, including assisted living. Our goal is to encourage vibrant, active lifestyles in an all-inclusive setting for all of our community members. Schedule a tour today or contact us and we can help you and your parent(s) weigh all of your options.