When it’s time to discuss assisted living, no one wants to do it. There are risks of hurt feelings, offending your parents, or even suggestions that you ‘don’t care’ about them or don’t want to take care of them yourself. Fortunately, the right way to approach the situation will help you avoid all of these issues. In order to get the right outcome and send the right message, here are some things to keep in mind.
-Don’t gang up on the person. While it might seem effective to have the whole family present, when your loved one sees all of you against them, it might feel like they are being ganged up on and attacked. Approach them individually, or start a discussion that doesn’t come off like an attack.
-Be honest. The worst thing that you can do is sugarcoat the situation or not be open about your concerns. Let them know that you DO care and that you want to make sure that they are protected.
-Give them power. Too often, these discussions go bad because the child creates an impression that the parent has no say in the matter. Discuss your concerns and make sure that you give them the opportunity to understand and choose what they feel is best.
-Create a pro/con list. Putting it on paper can often help your parents realize that they really would be better off in assisted living.
-Don’t rush and don’t push. Have a nice, relaxing discussion and don’t make your parents feel pressured. You might make the wrong decision if you are too hurried to find the best possible solution.
It’s not about taking the hassle off of your hands. It’s about making sure that your parents are where they need to be at this stage in life. The bottom line is to have a discussion, be open, and listen to each other instead of attacking them or telling them they ‘need’ assisted living.
Top 5 tips on talking to your parents about assisted living
Every family is different and everyone is going to have their way of approaching uncomfortable conversations. Here a 5 things to remember when having this discussion.
1. Do not wait for a crisis to occur to have the talk. By then it may be too late
2. Do not try to tackle everything at once. Do it over multiple conversations
3. Get the support of other family members or a professional if necessary
4. Ask open ended questions
5. Be factual. Do your research before you have the conversation.