It’s never easy to approach your loved one with a difficult topic. This is especially the case if the conversation is highly personal. However, these talks can end up being some of the most transformative and healing, as long as we approach them the correct way. One hard subject you might need to bring up to your aging parents or another loved one? The idea of transitioning from independent living into an assisted living facility.
Today, we’re sharing a few tips that can help you navigate this important but challenging discussion so everyone involved can feel confident and empowered moving forward.
Research Your Assisted Living Options
Before you bring up the idea of assisted living, it helps to do your homework first. As soon as you recognize the signs that your loved one needs assistance with day-to-day activities, you can begin researching your local facilities.
As you do, remember that they are not one-size-fits-all. In fact, there are many different assisted living communities with varying services designed to cater to your loved one’s needs.
At Brooking Park, our assisted living services provide a home-like atmosphere and center on around-the-clock care. Your loved one will also enjoy personalized assistance, as well as access to daily activities.
Research the options in your area and prepare a shortlist to present during the conversation. As you do, remind your loved one that they have a say in the final decision and you’ll be happy to help them explore any option they’d like.
Speak in Person
If possible, this is a conversation that you should have with your loved one face-to-face. Though it’s easier and quicker to send a text or even call them on the phone, making the effort to be there can speak volumes.
Make sure you pick a day and time that works well for everyone involved and block off a few hours to make sure no one feels rushed. Put away your devices and distractions and look at each other in the eye.
Allow Time for Questions
You’ll naturally have plenty to say when you initiate this conversation. However, remember to leave plenty of space and time for your loved one to give feedback and ask questions.
If the conversation is beginning to feel one-sided, you can prompt dialogue by asking pointed questions yourself. Rather than simply asking, “What do you think?”, you can inquire a little more deeply into their feelings.
Ask what their biggest questions and fears are, as well as what they’re most looking forward to in the years to come. Then, don’t rush the answers but give them plenty of time to process and come up with a response.
As they open up, you can reassure them that this isn’t a negative move, but one that can open up new doors of opportunity and allow them to enjoy their life in a safer way.
One of the biggest reasons why seniors tend to push back against the idea of moving into an assisted living center? They feel as though their freedom and independence are being stripped of them forever.
Approaching the conversation with a “my way or the highway” attitude can exacerbate these feelings of helplessness and despair.
Instead, present the idea to your loved one and allow them the time to process the choices. This might mean introducing the idea one day and following up a few days later once they’ve had time to read through the information and fully digest it.
Ultimately, they should feel like an active and important part of this decision. Allowing them that autonomy can make a world of difference and help set the stage for a successful move.
Offer Reassurance of Home
Wondering how to talk about assisted living? Start by asking your loved one what they love most about their current home.
Is it the fact that you’re close by and visit often? Do they enjoy working in their garden or taking walks in the neighborhood?
Explain how they don’t have to lose all of these simple pleasures simply by changing their address. Reassure them that you’ll still visit as often as you can, and list all of the activities they’ll be able to do once they’re settled.
When listing the benefits, mention that many assisted living amenities can help residents feel a connected sense of community. From garden clubs to movie nights, there’s no shortage of activities and events designed to help it feel as much like home as possible.
Take a Tour
At the end of the day, brochures and websites can only go so far. It often helps prospective residents to visit an assisted living facility in person!
When you’re ready, you can schedule a tour of Brooking Park right on our website! During the tour, we’ll show you around our grounds and help answer any questions that you or your loved one might have.
If you’re sensing some hesitation during the first conversation, reassure your loved one that you’ll take them to see the facility in person before making a final decision. This way, they’ll feel comfortable moving ahead in confidence. This is another way to help ease their mind and involve them in the decision.
Visit Our Assisted Living Facility
You’ve seen the signs and you know the time has come. Still, it can be challenging to convince your loved one that assisted living is the right move.
Thankfully, you have plenty of resources at your fingertips. Before we meet in person, take a few minutes to search our website.
Then, once you’ve broached the topic, you can visit our community to learn more about the services we offer. Along the way, make sure to include your loved one in every decision, big or small. This is a step you’re taking together, and no one should feel like they’re walking alone.
Looking for an assisted living facility in or around St. Louis, MO? If so, we’d love to connect. Schedule a tour to learn more about Brooking Park and our community.
Need more help? Download our free Assisted Living Resource Guide.