When it’s time to consider whether a senior should move into an assisted living community, it’s usually up to loved ones to start the conversation. After all, as people age, they want to hang on to their independence, and admitting that they need help can be difficult. If you have an aging loved one who needs help only an assisted living community can provide, you likely feel trepidation about broaching the topic with them.
Fortunately, assisted living can help seniors preserve their independence and continue to lead the lives they want. The conversations you have around assisted living – and the future in general – can positively impact how your elderly loved one feels about the situation.
Follow these tips to make conversations with your loved one about assisted living as open, loving, and productive as possible.
Bring It Up Early
The earlier you discuss the topic of assisted living, the less emotionally charged it will be. Plus, if you and your loved one jointly decide what factors will require a move into assisted living long before there’s a need, there will be less uncertainty if they later have trouble making important life decisions on their own. Most people who move into senior living do it between the ages of 75-84, according to WhereYouLiveMatters.org. However, many seniors move in earlier, such as when they retire or when memory loss or other health issues make living alone too challenging. So, it’s never too soon to bring up the topic of their future.
Do Some Research
Before starting the conversation about assisted living, research possible places so that you can highlight the services and amenities provided by different communities. When you discuss assisted living options, you’ll have great things to say about the places your loved one might decide to call home!
Give Your Loved One the Reins – Within Reason
As long as your loved one can make decisions about their own care, frame the conversation in a way that makes it clear that the decision to move into assisted living is one they’ll make. Even if they can’t decide this on their own, they still need to have a voice. Involve them by touring the communities you’ve researched together.
Talk About Timing
The inability to dress, bathe, and take care of oneself are signs that assisted living is necessary. Balance issues are also a cause for concern, as falling at home can seriously threaten your loved one’s safety. If your loved one needs more coordinated care than you can give them at home, that’s when they should transition to assisted living. Discussing these factors ahead of time can make the transition easier. Make sure you talk about things like dementia, as this can impact when a move to assisted living makes the most sense.
Consider All Factors
In addition to talking about the specific assisted living community and timing, discuss what will happen to your loved one’s home and belongings. Your loved one might also be worried about how they’ll stay connected with family members and the community. Use the conversation as an opportunity to brainstorm and show your loved one how the assisted living community will help them continue to lead a full, happy life.
Use cheerful language to speak about assisted living and focus on how an assisted living community will improve your loved one’s life. Reiterate that assisted living can help your loved one continue to live as independently as possible. Plus, you can reassure them that you’ll visit frequently.
If you need any other tips for discussing the future with your loved one or you’re looking for just the right community for them to join, turn to Maple Ridge. We welcome the opportunity to tailor our services to fit your loved one’s needs and make them feel right at home. Contact us today for more information!