Have you been concerned about your parents living alone? Do they need help with some of the basic tasks of daily living?
If so, you may be interested in how an assisted living community could make a difference in their lives.
Having the conversation with loved ones about assisted living can be challenging but with a little guidance and a few suggestions, your parents may soon be living a meaningful and engaged life with the comfort of knowing they’re not alone.
Tips for talking to your parents about assisted living
When it’s time to have the discussion about assisted living, you’ll want to make sure your parents are aware of the benefits they’ll enjoy. But you will also want to avoid making some common mistakes.
The following information can start you off in the right direction:
Benefits of assisted living
Be sure to highlight the advantages of an assisted living community and especially how it can directly solve any problems or challenges they may be experiencing.
- A private residence and independent lifestyle
They won’t sacrifice privacy or independence if they make an assisted living community their home. Along with personalizing their space to reflect their style, they’ll continue to make all of their own decisions, including how they spend their time.
- Maintenance-free living
If your parents are still homeowners, this benefit may rank near the top. Most people truly enjoy the freedom of no longer worrying about upkeep or repairs. Remind them of all the extra time they’ll have to spend as they wish.
- Healthy dining
They’ll no longer need to plan, shop and prepare meals. Instead, they can leave all of that, including the cleanup, to someone else while they enjoy chef-inspired, delicious and nutritious food prepared for them when they’re hungry.
- Wide variety of activities
There’s no boredom in assisted living. The community typically plans a monthly calendar of activities that your parents can choose from. With such a variety of options, there is bound to be something of interest.
- Opportunities to make friends
Loneliness and social isolation can seriously impact health but an assisted living community offers many opportunities to meet and make new friends. Whether it’s at activities, social events or in the common areas, friendships come easy.
5 mistakes to avoid when talking to your parents about assisted living
Talking to your parents about the benefits of assisted living is easy. But that doesn’t mean the conversation will always be. There may be a few bumps along the way, but if you’re prepared, it can go much smoother.
Try to avoid these missteps:
- Not doing your research ahead of time
Planning ahead for the conversation is your best bet for having a successful discussion. Begin researching everything an assisted living community has to offer and how it could benefit your parents.
It’s also helpful to think ahead to what concerns or questions they may have. Find the information needed and prepare answers so you can help put their minds at ease.
- Making the decision for them
Don’t decide before-hand that an assisted living community is the right answer before you’ve had the discussion. Your parents will pick up on that if you do and likely resist.
Instead, assure your parents that this is their decision and that you’re there as support. You can help gather information and do the leg work but it ultimately will be up to them. This way they won’t feel backed into a corner.
- Pushing for a decision to be made quickly
Unless there’s a reason to rush the decision, it’s important not to make your parents feel pressured. Unfortunately, many families don’t discuss this topic until there is a crisis so the earlier the conversations can occur, the better.
Let your parents know that this is only the beginning of exploring all the options. After discussing, let things sit for a while. Ask them to think of any questions they have and then get back to them with answers.
- Not scheduling a tour of communities
One of the best ways to show your parents what life could be like in an assisted living community is to visit one. Or two.
Ask your parents if they would like you to schedule tours for a few communities that they might like to consider. Create a list of questions together to ask. Look at different floor plans, check on available activities and arrange to have a meal there if possible.
- Not connecting their needs to the benefits of assisted living
If your parents seem hesitant to move or protest that they don’t really need the help, try matching up the needs that they may have with the benefits they’ll find in community life.
For example, if they struggle to shop and eat healthy, talk about the nutritious dining options they’ll find. If they’ve been anxious about living alone, explain how comforting it will be to know that help is there if it’s ever needed.
Life at Tapestry Senior Living communities
We understand the challenges of having a conversation with your parents about assisted living and hope that these suggestions can help. To make the discussion go smoother, what not to do is often just as important as what you say.
If you’re interested in all the options community life might offer your parents, we invite you to consider one of our Tapestry Senior Living communities, where you’ll find:
- An active and engaged community who supports each resident to live life to the fullest
- Eating well and staying in shape is easy with our chef-inspired meals and fitness center
- A wide choice of activities to challenge both mind and body – or just to have fun
- Meeting and making new friends naturally at our many activities and social events
- And much more!
We understand that choosing the right community is an important decision. If you would like more information, we invite you to download our complimentary guide which contains helpful information for families, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a personal tour, please contact one of our advisors at a community near you.