The conversation about whether or not it might be time to consider moving into an assisted living community is one of the most difficult conversations for adult children to have with aging parents. But it is one that must be had when your parent's need for care or assistance surpasses your capacity to provide for them.
But some adult children struggle to raise the issue despite knowing their parents may be better off receiving care in an assisted living community. You know your parents best. You're probably well aware of how they feel about assisted living based on what these communities looked like decades ago, when they went through similar experiences with their parents.
These tips will help you address the need for assisted living with your parents without guilt and before you find yourself frazzled and in failing health due to your efforts to care for an aging parent.
Have the Conversation Early
This is a conversation best had long before your parent needs assisted living. Begin the conversation armed with facts and figures, and be honest with your parents about your ability to provide the care they need if it comes down to it. Explain to them that you want them to have the best possible care and not what's left over from you at the end of a busy day.
Show Your Parent What's Available
Fortunately, assisted living communities have changed drastically over the past twenty or so years. Rather than being places where people go to die, today's assisted living communities are places where people go to live. Visit a few before having the conversation. Get brochures that point out amenities, living arrangements, and levels of care available at various communities to bring with you when having these conversations. Some of the amenities that might appeal to your parents include things like:
- Community gardens
- Art classes
- On-site libraries
- Music classes
- Exercise classes and physical therapy on-site
- Gourmet chefs
- State-of-the-art fitness centers
- Swimming pools
- Lecture series
- Group outings and excursions
- Private living quarters
- 24-hour on-site nursing staff
- Community gatherings and activities
- A sense of community
While all communities are different, you can focus on those that offer amenities and services, in addition to the assisted living aspect of care, that will appeal most to your aging parent.
Make It About You
Even if your parent resists your initial requests to consider assisted living, they are still your parents and want to do what will be best for you. Rather than focusing on what assisted living has to offer them, a new tactic may be that it will take some of the load off of you.
When you know, in your heart, that assisted living is the best choice for your parent, the hardest part can be to convince them to accept the help it offers. These tips will help you have those tough conversations.
To learn more, contact an assisted living center.