As your parents age, your roles in each other’s lives change. Their declining health and increasing daily challenges might prompt you to consider more serious care options. While you might visit your parents weekly or daily, there’s no substitute for professional care.
Despite assisted living care offering excellent options for elderly people, it can be difficult to know how to convince a parent to go to assisted living. Many older generations associate assisted living communities with “old folks homes” of the past that significantly limit autonomy and independence.
A modern assisted living community offers elderly parents independence, social stimulation, and 24/7 care, making these communities ideal living options for many older people. However, preparing for the conversations necessary to begin the transition into elder care can avoid stress and negativity.
What Is an Assisted Living Community?
An assisted living community is a residential community for senior citizens that offers services to manage their daily tasks. These communities usually provide seniors with multiple residential options, from apartment-style living to small cottages.
While these neighborhoods offer residential independence, professionals working in these communities handle daily tasks like cleaning, cooking, laundry, and transportation. As a result, seniors can enjoy their old age and relinquish the stresses or potential danger from these daily jobs.
How Does an Assisted Living Community Differ From a Nursing Home?
Many elderly people confuse assisted living facilities with nursing homes, which can make them resistant to these arrangements. Modern assisted living communities offer residents a home that allows them to maintain an independent style of living. Tenants occupy their own housing with full residential amenities.
Nursing homes provide a clinical environment for seniors with medical challenges. In these facilities, patients may occupy a shared room or space that doesn’t necessarily feel like their own home. Thus, many elderly people resist these options if they don’t deem them necessary for their current conditions.
Best Practices for the Conversation
Because of the misconceptions about assisted living facilities, your elderly parents may not embrace this conversation. Learning how to convince a parent to go to assisted living in an empathetic manner can help you effectively navigate the transition.
Thoroughly Prepare Beforehand
Reading about this upcoming conversation is an excellent preparation step for a potentially difficult talk. However, remember that preparation also includes checking in with your own feelings.
You may feel strange about your evolving role in your parents’ life or find yourself increasingly worried. Either way, emotional and logistical preparation will foster a more effective conversation.
Consider Inviting Siblings or Other Family Members
If you have siblings or close family involved in your parents’ care, consider inviting them into the conversation. Presenting a united front might help your elderly parents understand the importance of actively planning their future.
Pick Your Moment Wisely
Not every moment will be the right time to start this conversation. Initiating this serious discussion out of the blue may shock or surprise your parent, making them more resistant.
Choose a teachable moment to demonstrate the importance of considering their future. If your parents recently suffered an injury or are expressing growing fatigue, it might be time to suggest senior living.
Start Discussions Early
While a minor medical incident could be the ideal catalyst for conversation, you don’t want to put it off for too long. Delaying this discussion could put your parents at risk of suffering a major emergency without the necessary care infrastructure to save their life. Additionally, it may take them time to acclimate to the idea.
Seek To Empower
During the discussion, ask open-ended questions that empower your parents to come to their own realizations about their age and current condition. Remember that you don’t want to seem like you’re commanding this change and should avoid a forceful tone or patronizing position.
Express Honest Concerns
Language and demeanor guide the efficacy of the conversation, but the content should still include your main reasoning for suggesting this living option. It’s likely that you’re starting conversations about elder care because you have genuine concerns about their current condition or situation. Remember to state these concerns and remind them that you’re speaking from a place of love and caring.
Give Them Autonomy in Decision Making
Part of fostering a healthy transition includes keeping your parents’ independence at the forefront of every consideration. Demonstrating to them that this move won’t impact their autonomy and independence reassures them that their life is still their own.
Consider arranging a trip to visit different communities, ask about their preferences, and acknowledge their limitations and needs. Stay open to assisted living options they suggest or alternatives like in-home care.
Highlight the Benefits
At the end of the day, assisted living communities offer residents innumerable benefits. Highlighting the stress reduction and freedom from mundane daily tasks that these facilities offer could make your parents more excited by the idea. Furthermore, the social environment these communities provide might be the perfect remedy for elderly loneliness.
Reassure and Be Patient
Reassure your parents that everything is going to be ok and this can be an exciting step in their future. Furthermore, remember to allow ample time for them to adjust and accept their new move.
Dealing With an Unwilling Parent
It can be difficult to understand how to move forward with a parent who refuses to consider their situation seriously. Depending on their mental and physical condition, you may need to take more drastic measures to ensure the safety of your loved ones.
Conservatorships and guardianships might be necessary for seniors with dementia or other cognitive impairments. These legal arrangements give you the power to make decisions that you deem appropriate for your parents.
Call Unlimited Care Assisted Living Cottages for Additional Help
If you don’t know where to turn when your aging parent refuses help, call Unlimited Care Assisted Living Cottages. Our cottages offer comfortable homes for seniors wanting to maintain their independence and could be a great first step for your aging parent.
For more information about how to convince a parent to go to assisted living, call (713) 419-2609 and consult with Unlimited Care Assisted Living Cottages professionals today.