How to Convince a Parent to Go to Assisted Living
Your parents took great care of you, and now the roles are reversing. When you begin to consider questions like “should your aging parent move in with you?” it’s probably time to have a heart-to-heart discussion.
How do you tell mom and dad that moving to a senior community would improve the quality of their life and their health? How do you express your love and concern while saying something your loved one may not want to hear? How do you persuade them to be open to the idea of a move and help them face the realities of their circumstances?
Prepare Yourself for “The Talk”
You’re reading this article, and that’s a great start, but it’s harder to advocate for senior living without first-hand knowledge. Give us a call. We’ll be happy to arrange a personal tour and share information about care and costs.
Get Siblings on Board
Some of your brothers and sisters might not have the same emotional resilience as you. That’s okay. They may be in denial about your parents aging and their health. Share what you’ve observed and why you’re concerned. While the ideal situation would be to present a united front, you might have to give them the option of participating only as much as they are comfortable doing. Invite them to tour our Tiffany Springs Senior Living community with you so they can see for themselves the enriching lifestyle we offer.
Even when the family agrees that now is the time to make a move, decide whether to make this a group or private conversation. You wouldn’t want Mom or Dad to feel ambushed. Since you’ll probably have to talk to your parents multiple times about this topic, your siblings can choose other opportunities to broach the subject.
Find a Quiet Moment
Wait for a less stressful day in a place that feels peaceful and uninterrupted. HINT: Put away your phone.
Start with a Question
The first words are the hardest. Open-ended questions loosen things up and the answers are always enlightening.
- What gives you the most difficulty these days?
- What are you worried about?
- What do you miss that you can’t do anymore?
- Do you feel lonely sometimes?
- What are your hopes for the future?
Open up the discussion to talk about declining health and increased care options and preferences. Psychology Today has five suggestions from an adult child who has been there.
When you want to convince someone of something, active listening can be hard to do. Lean forward. Nod. Smile. Keep eye contact. When you’re tempted to interrupt, put your finger against your lips.
One effective technique is to paraphrase, repeating in your own words what your parent said to you. If you disagree, do your best to stay calm and logical to keep the conversation flowing.
Seniors mistakenly believe that moving to independent living, assisted living, or memory care will be the end of their independence. Nothing could be farther from the truth. At Tiffany Springs Senior Living, our residents’ days are full of choices – from their daily activities to their meal selections. Tell your parent that senior living is no longer the “old folks’ home”, and you can visit communities together to prove it.
Just like you did with your siblings, gently but honestly tell your parents the concerning things you’ve observed. No judging, no emotional language, just facts. If caregiving has been causing you stress as you try to balance your family and job, share that, too. We’ve found that after a parent moves into senior living and the responsibilities of day-to-day care have been lifted from adult children, relationships rekindle and blossom.
Be Patient, But…
Try not to wait for a health or life event to force the transition and talk your parents into moving. Like everyone, seniors adjust best when they’re not undergoing a huge amount of stress.
We’re Here to Help
Because we’ve been working with seniors and their families for decades, feel free to talk to us any time. We can show your parent around the Tiffany Springs Senior Living Community, introduce them to our residents, and invite them (and you) for a meal or an event to explain our continuing care levels.
Contact us at 816-621-3800 to find out more about our assisted living program. Bring your questions.