Convincing your parents to move from the comforts of home to an assisted living situation can be a difficult task. The best way to begin the conversation is to approach it sooner rather than later. Ideally, you should begin speaking with your parents about the prospect while they're still in good health. This will help them to become accustomed to the idea so that it'll be easier when the time actually arrives. If you haven't yet discussed it or made plans to transition your parents to an assisted living center, there are some tips that can help.
Your parent's safety is paramount. If you recognize that it's no longer possible for your parents to safely remain in their own home, don't let your emotions take control of what should realistically be done. Do not wait for an accident to happen before you decide to take action. While it can be difficult to accept the role reversal, it's important to recognize that just as your parents kept you safe as a young child, now it's your turn to ensure your parents are kept safe. Consult with your parents’ health care professionals to speak with them and provide encouragement for the idea of making the transition to an assisted living facility for their own safety. In some cases, you may find that your parents accept the idea of the need to move to an assisted living facility from a health care professional better than they will from you.
Remind your parents that there are many different types of assisted living facilities available today, including services that are designed for seniors who are still very much independent and active. In looking at which type of facility will be best for your parents, make sure you consider facilities that offer multiple care levels. Such a facility will provide additional services as the health of your parents decline in the future. This will help you to avoid the confusion and turmoil that can arise from having to move them once again, should they need more help in the future. Today, many elders begin with their own apartment and later move through various stages of assisted living within the same facility. Keep in mind that while your parents may be able to dress, bathe and handle their own medications with no problems today, that might not always be the case.
When discussing the idea of moving to an assisted living facility with your parents, it's important to make sure they understand they can still flourish in a new environment. Locating a facility that offers a wide range of activities can provide peace of mind for your parents and alleviate your own guilt. In fact, your parents may just find they have the opportunity to participate in activities they have not had time to enjoy for years or even take up new activities. Possible activities available at many assisted living facilities include singing, crafts, games, field trips, dancing, bingo, cooking, exercising, gardening, movies and more. By reminding your parents of the activities available to them it's possible to demonstrate that this move is not the beginning of the end, but simply a transition to a new phase of their lives and that can be rewarding and fulfilling.
Another effective method for convincing your parents to go ahead and make the transition to an assisted living facility is to create a sense that your parents will be able to meet a need. Everyone wants to feel needed and that desire does not decline with age. While your parents are still in good health, they could very well provide assistance to other seniors in such a facility, by helping out with activities and entertaining other residents. Providing your parents with a job will go a long way toward helping them to feel comfortable in such a facility. If they already have friends there or if they make new friends, it will greatly help to ease the transition.
Rather than making all of the decisions for your parents, elicit their opinion and discuss the situation with them. Remind them that such a move is for their best interest. One way to do this is by demonstrating empathy for your parents. Making such a move is naturally emotional and difficult. It is important that you show an understanding of your parents’ feelings while at the same time communicating your concern regarding their well-being.
Enlist your parents help in choosing the right facility. Research all of the options that are available thoroughly. Locate references from other families who have used those facilities. Make arrangements to visit the facilities in person with your parents. It's particularly important that you arrange for your parents to meet the staff. Developing a relationship with the staff is a critical aspect of ensuring your parents feel comfortable when they do move into an assisted living facility.
It can also be helpful to obtain support from family and friends. It is never easy to recognize that the time has come when your parents are no longer as competitive as they once were. It is a sad part of life, but it is a part of life, nevertheless. Asking for assistance from family and friends can help to ease the way for everyone.
Finally, work to create a sense of excitement that will demonstrate the benefits of moving into a facility to your parents. While your parents might feel a sense of trepidation and concern regarding the move into an assisted living facility, it is also important to remind them of the benefit they will receive as a result.