Did you realize there are nearly 40 million Americans over the age of 65? As the number of senior citizens grows with each passing year, so doe the need for assisted living facilities and communities. For the children of aging parents, talking about assisted living is a struggle.
Most older Americans are fiercely independent, which is why they tend to shy away from the idea of going into assisted living communities. Often times, the children of these senior citizens just want the happiest and healthiest life possible for their parents.
If you start to notice your parent is having trouble doing tasks around their home, then don’t wait to bring up the subject of assisted living to them. It is best to have this tough conversation before a senior citizen is injured due to their inability to get around in their existing residence.
The following are some of the things you need to consider when having a talk about assisted living communities with your aging parent.
1. Avoid Approaching Your Aging Parent With Pent Up Emotions
Watching your parent struggle to do normal everyday tasks can be very emotional at times. The longer you allow this problem to linger, the harder you will find it to avoid turning into an emotional wreck.
Before you approach your aging loved one to talk about assisted living, try to flush out all of the emotional baggage you are carrying around regarding this subject. Often times, you can do this by finding a bit of humor in this depressing situation.
By going into this talk focused on facts instead of emotions, you can have more success. If you are upset and emotional, it may lead to your aging parent getting upset as well. This is why you need to focus on removing as much emotion from this process as possible.
2. Keep Lines of Communication Open
Instead of jumping right into an in-depth conversation about assisted living with an aging parent, try easing them in. Starting a conversation about assisted living, in general, will allow you to get an idea of what your parent’s view on the subject is.
This conversation is easy to start if you simply share an article about seniors who are struggling to live on their own. Luckily, there are tons of blogs online that cover this topic in detail. Once you get a general sense of how your loved one feels about assisted living, you can plot out the approach you want to take.
Neglecting to have a bit of tact when it comes to this difficult conversation can lead to lots of problems. The time and effort you put into planning out this process in detail will be worth it in the long run.
3. Abide By the Golden Rule
Some people let the feelings of helplessness they have about their parent’s inability to care for themselves to manifest in anger. Regardless of the problems you and your aging parent have had in the past, you need to put these differences aside to ensure they are well taken care of.
Attacking your aging parent for their unwillingness to embrace assisted living communities is a horrible idea. In most cases, a senior who feels like they are being judged or attacked will lash out and completely write-off the possibility of assisted living.
This is why you need to put yourself in the position of your aging parent. Thinking about how you would want to be approached about this sensitive subject is vital. By doing this, you can speak to your parent in a loving and caring manner, which is crucial when trying to convince them about the benefits of assisted living.
4. Include All Family Members in This Important Discussion
For most families, taking care of an elderly loved one is a team effort. Whether you are making decisions about new medicines for your aging parent or assisted living, including everyone in the discussion is important.
Not only will this give everyone a chance to state their opinion, but it can also lessen the amount of stress you have when talking with your parent about this difficult subject.
Before having this meeting with your parent, you should get family members together to make a game plan. Having a rough outline of how to approach the subject of assisted living communities can be helpful when trying to have success with this meeting.
Allowing all of your family members to have a part in this process can create an environment of solidarity.
5. Have Information On Assisted Living Communities in the Local Area
In some cases, the talk you have with your aging loved one about assisted living will go incredibly well. This is why doing a bit of research and having some information on local assisted living communities is a good idea.
Having this information ready can help you and your loved one choose the right community for their particular needs. Once your aging parent has chosen a handful of assisted living communities they are interested in, schedule a few tours.
Going to see what a facility offers firsthand is crucial before making this important decision. The time and effort invested in going on these tours will be worth it in the long run.
Take Your Time When Choosing an Assisted Living Community
The only way to choose the right assisted living communities is by doing a great deal of research. Once your aging loved one has agreed to go into an assisted living facility, you need to involve them in the selection process.