Talking to an Elderly Loved One About Moving into Assisted Living

Talking to an Elderly Loved One About Moving into Assisted Living

It can be emotional to watch an older loved one slowly lose their ability to perform simple activities of daily living (ADLs), such as dressing, grooming, housekeeping, and other tasks. Over time, it might become necessary for the senior to move into assisted living within a senior living community where they receive the support they need to maintain an optimal quality of life.

As practical as this move might be, you might find that your loved one will resist the idea of leaving the home they've lived in for years for a senior living community. This reaction is perfectly natural – no one likes the idea of needing help to perform basic tasks they've been doing with ease their entire lives. They may feel as if they're losing their independence. However, the added support they receive with ADLs in senior care will actually give them more independence.

Seniors might also resist a move because they don’t want to leave a home they’ve lived in and have felt comfortable in for years. This too is perfectly understandable. Upon moving into a senior community, however, many seniors are happily surprised with how much richer their life becomes with increased social interaction and the elimination of household caretaking duties.

That said, initial discussions about your concerns over their health, safety, and well-being might still be difficult. Here are seven tips that will keep the conversations positive and keep their mind open about this important topic.

1. Research senior living communities

Early on in the discussion, your loved one will likely have lots of questions about senior living communities. Conduct online research beforehand so you have the information ready, keeping the conversation as productive as possible. You can also send them informative articles or senior living websites to kickstart the conversation. Let them read them in their own time, and always show that you're considering their needs and not just taking everything over.

2. Be honest and open

Remember, moving into assisted living is about helping your older relative have a better quality of life. However, they might not recognize that they need help. If their living space is unusually unkempt, they're forgetting to take their medications, or they’ve let their personal hygiene lapse, gently bring these concerns into the conversation in a calm, supportive manner, without judgment.

3. Focus on their needs and well-being

The conversation should always be centered around the older person's health and safety, not what's easiest for you and your family. Ask what's most important to their lifestyle, such as healthcare needs, socialization, and activities. You can then steer the conversation toward how senior living communities can help fulfill those needs. Senior living advisors at Assisted Living Locators can help match older adults with the perfect senior living community in your area.

4. Present choices, but let them decide

You can take the lead in researching and presenting options to your loved one, but refrain from making decisions on their behalf. They will still want to be in control of planning their senior living to retain their independence. Include the older adult in every decision to keep them engaged, interested, and open to new ideas.

5. Consider their budget

 Let's face it – assisted living isn't cheap. Talking about financial matters with family members can be tricky, but their budget will have to be considered when selecting a senior living community. Many options, such as long-term care insurance and veterans’ benefits, may help pay for care down the road while preserving as much of the older adult's wealth as possible. An Assisted Living Locators advisor can help you identify ways you can fund senior care.

6. Let them take their time to decide

 Chances are, your loved one won't be making a decision within the first few conversations. As our bodies and our brains age, our ability to process information slows. Seniors may need more time to decide than you would due to the physical and mental changes that naturally occur as one ages. Becoming impatient or frustrated if they have trouble deciding about moving into senior care right away can quickly bring discussions to a halt. Allow the decision-making to happen at their pace, so they feel in control throughout the process. 

7. Be empathetic

Throughout the discussions, always imagine yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if you were starting to lose your independence or facing health issues? Show empathy with your older loved ones as they realize that they might need help to maintain a good quality of life, and always let them know that you're in their corner.

Once the decision has been made to move into assisted living, your older loved one can still be involved in the decision-making. They should help choose what is going to be moved into their new apartment and can help with the loading and unloading process during the move. This allows them to maintain a sense of control that will make the transition easier for everyone involved.

No-cost help finding assisted living and memory care in the Nashville Metro area and Middle Tennessee

When it's time to consider a move to assisted living or memory care in the Nashville Metro area or Middle Tennessee, you need as much information as possible to be able to make an informed decision.

Researching all the different options can be a daunting task, especially if you're doing it alone or for the first time. That's why local families turn to Tim Tuttle of Assisted Living Locators at 615-375-3553 or Tim makes the entire process easier by doing all the research for you, accompanying you on community tours, and providing you with a list of best-fit options based on your loved one's individual needs. Tim and his team genuinely care about helping your loved ones spend their vintage years in a community where they will be happy and thriving.

Contact us today. We're always happy to help!

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