Getting parents to discuss assisted living can be difficult. The fear of moving out of their homes often prevents seniors from discussing it. Adult children and spouses avoid discussing this topic because they don’t know how their parents will react.
Although moving is a major adjustment, assisted living can improve a senior’s social life, increase independence, and provide assistance with daily activities (ADLs). More than 800,000 people live in assisted living communities nationwide, according to the National Center for Assisted Living. Long-term care planning increasingly focuses on assisted living since it’s a common need with health benefits for seniors.
It’s a good idea to discuss the move as far ahead as possible. The following tips can encourage a healthy, collaborative discussion when it comes time for the move.
4 Tips for talking with your Loved One About Assisted Living
If your parents are healthy enough, ask them to tour senior living communities or visit friends and family who’ve already moved into one. To make an informed decision, it’s good to see these settings firsthand, get a feel for how they function and talk to the community’s sales team and even current residents.
Find out about the different types of senior living facilities and the level of care they provide before discussing it with your loved ones. Your parents may wish to relocate to a different county to better meet their needs. Spend time doing research to learn about the types of senior living.
It’s important to research the average cost of senior housing communities, even though prices change over time. A private one-bedroom assisted living unit costs $4,300, according to Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care survey. The Quartet senior living facility offers residences and care packages starting at $3,300. Know your parents’ finances and how they plan to pay for their care. Ask if they’ve purchased long-term care insurance, for example.
You can discuss the future in a non-threatening, hypothetical manner if you talk about it early on while seniors still live safely at home. The ‘talk’ can be viewed as an evolving process that includes everyone’s input but does not require immediate action.
Make sure to have the conversation at a casual, comfortable place like your parent’s house. Start with something like, “I need to know exactly what your wishes are. I realize it is hard to talk about, but I want to honor your wishes for your future. We don’t have to decide anything today, but let’s start a discussion to keep this in mind and prepare for the future.”
Most seniors are aware that senior living is likely to be their final residence if they move there, even if they don’t want or can’t express it. Although many seniors don’t want to move because they fear losing their independence and may not be prepared to have their relationship with you change, they may not be able to articulate or admit it to themselves.
Your answers to questions and responses to objections will be more tactful if you keep their concerns in mind during these discussions. Explain that moving into assisted living doesn’t mean they’ll lose control over their daily lives. The housekeeping, laundry and meals are taken care of, allowing them to focus on the things they enjoy.
Now THIS is the Way to Live!
Quartet Senior Living offers Assisted Living, Memory Care and Carefree Living, sometimes called Independent Living. If you’d like more information about how your parents can thrive here, contact us today.