Communication in serious matters like this is important, so before you have the discussion about assisted living, look into the things you need to know and give yourself time to process.

Keep the Discussion About Senior Living Options Ongoing.

Making this life-changing decision is tough, but stay positive. There are many seniors living in senior living communities around the country who are thriving, but it is a process. Talking to your parents about their future needs and their options on a continual basis is a must. Conversations like this are too big to only have once or even twice. Be sure to listen to their thoughts, feelings, or possible fears about their care and living options. Talking about their health and possible loss of independence will be difficult for them.

Keep Your Aging Parents Involved in the Decision-Making Process.

Adults are adults and this includes your elderly parents. Allow them to be involved in where they would like to live their life. Older children who become primary caregivers for their parents can become obsessed with the idea of control. They may find it too challenging to communicate and would rather take charge. This is not helpful to either side and it will only cause more stress in the long run and could possibly even fracture relationships in the process.

Staying Positive When Talking About Housing Options With Your Parent.

Keep the tone calm and quiet, and avoid using words like “facility.” Highlight all the amenities of an assisted living community when talking to your parents. Remember this is a conversation with family, not a lecture. Show respect to your parent, and don’t ever talk down to them no matter their age. Listen to their concerns and validate every feeling that your family member shares with you during the conversation even if you disagree.

Talk About All the Unknowns and “What-Ifs”.

What happens when one of your parents passes? The health of a loved one can be dependent on the next course of action, but this is a legitimate question once parents reach a certain age. Forcing yourselves to talk about hypothetical situations will help bring some peace of mind and clarity to your parents when everyone is on the same page. Support of family is key.

Understand Why Your Parents Wish to Remain Living at Home.

Listening to what your family members are saying can be a learning process for you. Avoid becoming angry if they don’t want to move into senior living even if you feel they should. There are reasons behind their thoughts and feelings on these things. Remember their reality is not yours. When you have a talk with them, be patient, compassionate, and empathetic.

Bottom Line.

Having a conversation about assisted living and long-term care is difficult, but not having them is even worse. With them comes peace of mind for both the children and parents. Try to keep emotions out of everything and truly think rationally about assisted living and, ultimately, what is best for your parent.


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