Talking to an older loved one about moving to assisted living can be overwhelming. You may be met with resistance or possibly even anger about the topic. Your loved one will likely express numerous emotions, and it’s best to be prepared for the conversation before it starts.
Thankfully, there are ways to help make the conversation easier. This blog shares five tips on how to talk to a family member about assisted living.
5 Ways to Have a Collaborative Discussion About Moving to Assisted Living
1. Research Assisted Living Options for Your Loved One
Research assisted living communities before you have a conversation with your loved one. Learn about living options, meals, housekeeping services, amenities, and activity programming. Ask about the costs of each level of care and what additional fees, if any, can be expected.
You may want to list the information you gather so you can share it with your loved one when they’re ready. Jot down the benefits an assisted living community can provide. Here are a few examples to get you started:
- Socialization opportunities
- Activities and outings
- Housekeeping and linen services
- Prepared meals
- Safety and security features
- Peace of mind
- Supportive care for bathing, grooming, and medication management
- Improved quality of life
Related: How Does Assisted Living Improve Quality of Life for Seniors? >>
2. Plan for the Future
Plan for future health needs rather than waiting until an illness or other life change has occurred and prompted more immediate action. Preparing for the future will give your loved one space to consider assisted living options, and they’ll likely feel more involved in the decision-making process.
Explain that you want your loved one to choose where they’d like to live rather than decide that on their behalf in a crisis. Encourage them to assess how they’re handling daily activities like meals, transportation, medication management, and household chores. If their health needs change, talk about how an assisted living community can help support your loved one and keep them independent longer.
3. Show Empathy and Patience
Consider what your loved one is going through – place yourself in their shoes and imagine how you might react. Acknowledge your loved one’s feelings. It’s important to validate that moving to assisted living is a significant life event. Share that you realize this is a difficult conversation.
Stay patient and plan shorter, ongoing conversations with your loved one, so they feel less overwhelmed. Allow time for your loved one to process their feelings and the discussions you’ve had together.
4. Involve Your Loved One in the Decision
Make sure you include your loved one in the conversation. Keep the tone respectful and positive while asking for honest feedback throughout the discussion. Actively listen to any concerns or feelings they share.
It’s essential to reassure your loved one that they have control and will be involved in all the big and small decisions.
5. Visit a Community and Talk About the Benefits
A great way to involve your loved one is to bring them along for assisted living community visits. They’ll have the chance to see the community in person, meet residents and staff, and ask questions that may alleviate some of their fears or concerns.
It can also be helpful to identify the needs of your loved one and match them with services assisted living can provide. For example, if your loved one finds grocery shopping and meal preparation challenging, show your loved one the dining options in an assisted living community. Schedule a time to try the food and experience life in the community.
Life at Sonrisa Assisted Living
If you’re looking at options for senior living, we invite your family to visit Sonrisa Assisted Living, designed to support your loved ones to live their highest quality of life.
We offer studio and one-bedroom private apartments for our assisted living residents as well as private or shared memory care suites for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Our memory care residents are cared for by our compassionate and specially trained team — who meet them wherever they are in their journey with patience and kindness. The residents also have access to customized activities, programs, and an elevated secured courtyard.
Our amenities and services encourage our residents in assisted living to engage with others, remain as independent as possible, and be reassured that help is available whenever needed.
In addition to our personalized services, we offer:
- Assisted Living dining room, bistro and two sitting lounge/living room areas
- Memory Care living and dining room
- Elegantly designed common areas
- Fitness and wellness center with physical and occupational therapy room
- A commercial kitchen
- Barber and beauty salon in both assisted living and memory care areas
- 24-hour on-duty care staff
- Secured community
- Art room
- Multipurpose room
- Large state‐of‐the‐art theater
- A large secured Assisted Living and separate Memory Care courtyard with walking paths
- On‐grade parking for immediate use of visitors and staff
- Dog Park
If your family is considering retirement living, we hope you will visit Sonrisa Assisted Living. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a tour.
You may also download our complimentary brochure to get additional details about Sonrisa Assisted Living.