Assisted Living: Six Strategies To Get A Parent To Consider a Change

Few topics evoke such emotion as the talk about assisted living with an aging parent. For adult children, the urgency associated with assisted living is enhanced by a parent’s health difficulty with everyday activities or even a recent fall. For parents, their reluctance may stem from a fear of losing control of their lives. If you have a parent who requires additional support, there are six real-world strategies you can use to get them to consider assisted living.

Strategy Number One: Build a Dialogue Based on Trust

You may have all the logical and practical reasons why a move to assisted living makes sense, but your parent has emotional responses based on a lifetime of habits and memories. Understanding those feelings requires building a bridge of empathy and trust. Chronic illness, cognitive decline, and other factors of aging can be used to start building a dialogue with an elderly parent about their long-term care options.

Strategy Number Two: Plant a Seed About Assisted Living

Older adults often view the home in terms of their legacy. Listening to their stories about the home, even ones we’ve heard before, can help them process and deal with the eventuality of change. Exploring the question of where they will live instead of attempting to control the discussion can be instrumental in helping a parent make their own choice about their future care.

Strategy Number Three: Involve Medical Professionals

Helping a parent cope with the physical and mental challenges of aging is not as simple as urging them to follow doctor’s orders. Today’s complex medical environment can make people feel as though they are losing control of their lives. Framing the conversation about assisted living as a possible solution to managing their care can reduce the feeling of loss. It also helps to include medical professionals and demystifying medical jargon in favor of real-world language an aging parent can understand.

Strategy Number Four: Emphasize the Advantages

An approach that emphasizes the advantages of retirement living will likely be seen more positively than concepts that suggest limitations. Many older adults perceive assisted living as a nursing home, but the concept of senior living has radically evolved over the years. Luxury amenities, on-site health services, and chef-inspired dining are more often included in modern-day assisted living communities.

Strategy Number Five: Speak Plainly About Money

A parent may be concerned that assisted living will exhaust their resources. This could be your opportunity to take your parent to tour senior living communities. An in-person visit and discussion of the possibilities will not only help to dispel any fears, but can also reinforce the idea that personal choice is at the heart of the decision. Educating your parent about the different types of assisted living contracts will also aid in building trust. A rental community with a lease option, for example, maybe a better fit with their budget to avoid the large upfront fees associated with life care communities.

Strategy Number Six: Be Ready to Be Flexible

Coaching a parent through long-term care options can involve a willingness to back off and re-examine your approach. Be prepared to discuss what your parent would miss about home and provide reassurance that you will continue to be a part of their lives. Taking a flexible view means rising above occasional setbacks as well as not taking negative reactions personally. Keep the goal in mind, which is to move your parent to a safer environment, and remember that building trust is the first step. Sonata’s senior living offers a full range of lifestyle choices, including rental-based independent living assisted living and memory care. Call today for assistance in talking to a parent about their long-term care options.

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