How to Talk to Your Parents about Assisted Living

Most people would like to stay in their own homes, living an independent life for as long as they can, but sometimes that just isn’t possible. Sometimes, elders need extra support and security that can’t be provided by family members. When this time comes, it can be difficult to convince your parents that it’s time to move to a retirement home. Elders are often fearful of change, concerned about losing their independence and reluctant to accept that they can’t competently take care of their own needs anymore. No matter how strong your relationship is with your parents, you’ll need to broach the subject of assisted living carefully and with sensitivity.

Talk about Future Options Ahead of Time

The best time to talk about moving to a retirement home is while your parents are healthy and still have full control of their mental faculties. Having a conversation at this stage will be much easier than having the same conversation when your parent is suffering from the early stages of dementia and your patience has been worn thin by months of stress and worry.

It’s a good idea to go and tour some retirement communities and independent living facilities like Riddle Village with your parents so that they can see for themselves that these places are bright, vibrant, caring environments that offer a good opportunity to live a rich and fulfilling life.

Seize Teachable Moments

If it’s too late to make plans with your parents and one or both of them are starting to have difficulties, then watch for moments where you can show them that it’s inadvisable for them to continue living independently.

You may find that one day mom or dad has had a fall, but escaped any serious harm. This gives you a perfect opportunity to suggest that living where they have help on hand would be a good idea, because next time the fall might be worse.

Stress the Positives

Make sure that your parents understand that retirement communities are not just for people who need propping up in a chair all day long. Modern retirement homes cater to a wide variety of people, from healthy and active seniors who enjoy the convenience and community life that an independent living facility can provide, to those who need help with washing and dressing or have nursing requirements.

Living at a retirement home means no more daily chores or finding someone trustworthy to come in and clean the house. No more dealing with home maintenance problems like blocked sinks or failing furnaces. No more worrying about security issues like burglary, home invasion, or falling prey to a doorstep conman.

Instead, seniors get to enjoy freedom from mundane responsibilities, the pleasure of making new friends, the opportunity to discover new hobbies and interests, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing that whatever happens, help is always just moments away.

Above all, be patient and try not to push your parents into a decision. If you sense resistance, drop the subject and try again another day. Get other family members involved in the discussions, and ask your parents’ friends to talk to them. Ultimately, your parents will either agree to move or they won’t. Sometimes all you can do is wait until the day comes that leaves them no choice.

Dan Booth ()

British gamer, tech addict and F1 enthusiast. Blogs about his adventures in gaming on his site called The Boo Tube.