Conversation Advice: When your loved one needs to transition to an Assisted Living

Aging Family Members need our support

It is important to keep in mind that in most areas of life, preemptive measure are far more valuable than damage control. This is extremely applicable when a loved one is no longer able to stay in their own home independently.

Professional in-home care and a personal alarm are sufficient for some Seniors to remain at home safely, but there are several factors that make staying at home detrimental to the quality of life for a senior:

-Living alone or with a frail spouse

- No one to help them in case they fall and can’t set off their alarm

-Fewer opportunities to socialize

-Nutrition declines as meal preparation becomes a chore

- Failing memory can lead to dangerous scenarios such as leaving a stove turned on

Contrast this life with living in a reputable assisted living community (ALC). There are many choices for senior living communities, and it’s important to seek the guidance of a professional to advocate for you through these choices. In any of these senior communities, seniors can thrive for several reasons. They don’t have the responsibility of maintaining a home. This relives the pressure and financial burden to hire help, tackle household projects themselves, or let the house deteriorate. ALCs offer:

-trained staff around 24/7 in case residents need medical help or other assistance

-Fully prepared nutritious food and snacks available

-Engaging activities and likeminded friends to connect with, improving quality of life

The conversation about if and when to move a parent to an assisted living community can alter family dynamics and divide siblings. Some parents may be resistant to move even after their health and the condition of their home deteriorate. Emotions can run high, and it’s important to approach any dialogue in a compassionate and fact driven way.

First, plant the seed. Don’t approach your loved one(s) as though you’ve already made the decision for them. Simply mention that there are options out there that could make life easier and more fun for them.

Next, reach out to your educated Senior Living Experts J’adore Seniors for recommendations and tours of trusted communities that fit your budget, needs, and location

Utilize teachable moments that present themselves to approach your family member. Did your loved one experience a fall scare or avoid getting badly hurt? Use that as a springboard. You may want to wait a bit or immediately say something like, “Wow, that was a close call, and I’m sure it was a very scary experience for you. Once you’re feeling better, maybe we could go look at the new assisted living center. We’d both feel better if you had people around in case of an accident or fall.” Go with your gut on the timing but use these event as an opportunity to give your loved one a gentle reality check. Don’t push, unless you consider your loved one’s need for placement in assisted living an emergency. Waiting for a very lonely day when Mom is complaining about how she never sees her friends anymore, will allow for better reception of the conversation. The decision to transition to a Senior community should be a way to empower your loved one and help them to take control of their life and this decision, stressing the benefits and peace of mind that increased safety measures will offer both of you. Paint your loved the one the full picture of what ALCs offer. Imagine forgoing daily chores and hassles for enjoying the freedom to focus on things they actually want to do. Trade laborious yard work and cores for gardening, luncheons, and social engagements. Meals are available in the dining room, and in addition some apartments feature kitchenettes. Depending on their preference, there is the freedom for individual time and plenty of opportunity for company when they desire it. Knowing your loved one, stress aspects that will encourage an excitement of the possibilities of the next phase of life. Allow a sinking in period for all the new information to digest. Depending on one’s family dynamics, arranging a meeting to discuss with Mom or Dad concerns about their living arrangements needs to be done with sensitivity. Avoid the conversation(s) feeling like an intervention; consider this more like planning a family trip. Everyone’s input and feelings are valid and knowing your resources available will ease the planning. Sensitivity to your parent’s feelings about leaving a home full of memories is a very difficult and emotional decision. Make the focus of your efforts about making it be about your parent and not about you.

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