Talking about moving your loved one to an assisted living program can be difficult for you both. However, the conversation can be necessary to ensure that your loved one can live more safely and in a more fulfilling way. Here are some tips for when you need to speak with your loved one about moving to assisted living.
Preparing for the Conversation
Before you initiate the conversation with your loved one, you should be adequately prepared.
- Create a List of Concerns
Are you worried that your home may no longer be a safe environment for your loved one? Are they having health issues or difficulties with their daily routine, such as managing their medication, grooming, or bathing? Create a list of these concerns so that you can go over them with your loved one. You can discuss these concerns with other members of your family as well.
- Educate Yourself
Learn more about retirement communities and senior living options. This way, you’ll have a better understanding of what will fit your loved one best. While admitting that your loved ones need help is not easy, and you might find yourself downplaying their need for help, it is important to remain objective. You will need to know how retirement communities handle health emergencies and what amenities and services they have on-site.
Tips for the Conversation
Here are some tips for having the conversation with your loved ones.
- Have the Conversation Sooner Rather than Later
Instead of waiting for a health crisis to develop before tackling the issue, making this decision early can help all of you start planning with less pressure and a clearer frame of mind.
- Have the Conversation in Person
Having the conversation face-to-face is ideal. If that is not possible, arrange a video call. It is important that you be able to see each other during the conversation. Arrange a time when both you and your loved one are well-rested and relaxed and can talk without interruptions.
It is important to remember that this conversation is not just difficult for you. It can also be difficult for your loved one. They might have anxieties and concerns about moving from their home to a retirement community. Don’t minimize or downplay these feelings. You must acknowledge them and try to understand your loved ones’ reservations. It is important that you respect your loved ones’ wishes, and that they know that their thoughts are taken into account. Remember to show empathy instead of sympathy—maintain a kind, calm voice and demeanor. Allow your loved ones to take their time to express themselves. Make sure that the agreement you come to is unpressured and mutual. Remember that it is unlikely that you both will come to a decision from a single conversation, so be prepared to speak again. A large decision like this is a process.
Arrange a Visit to a Community
After the conversation, visiting the retirement community you have in mind can be a way to alleviate both your and your loved one’s worries about the move. A visit can help your loved one see what a community is like and get a better idea of the lifestyle, programs, amenities, and culture of a retirement community. You can contact your retirement community to schedule a tour.