It’s not easy to ask an elderly family member to move into an assisted living community. In most cases, people prefer to stay in their homes, surrounded by their possessions and memories. The best option for them, however, may be assisted living communities when their care needs increase. In most cases, your loved one’s desire for familiarity is outweighed by the benefits they offer in terms of safety, support, and social contact.
For elderly people, this change can be difficult to accept, though. The thought of moving to assisted living communities evokes fear and they may feel a sense of loss. Hence, special attention must be paid to easing them into the idea of moving. Here are four key tips on how to start the conversation with them.
Consider Their Point of View
You have probably a very different perspective on this transition than your elderly loved one does. Among other things, you think that this adjustment will provide your parent(s) with access to wholesome meals, on-site care, social activities, and transportation. This relocation, however, represents a significant loss for your parent(s).
Even if they move into a brand-new assisted living community from an older house, they leave behind a significant bit of their past.
While many older adults are aware of and grateful for the numerous advantages that assisted living has to offer, the actual transition is still difficult.
Be empathetic to your loved one’s complex feelings throughout the move by making it a point to check in on them every step of the way. It can be helpful if you’ve already toured the retirement community you’re considering in order to be prepared to answer any concerns they may have.
List the Benefits of Assisted Living
To convince them that the move will improve their well-being, it’s critical that you lay down all the benefits of senior living that they stand to benefit from:
- They will have access to nutritious, chef-prepared meals
- They have access to round-the-clock care from trained medical personnel
- They can get support with daily tasks like bathing, which gets strenuous with age
- They no longer have to worry about housekeeping and maintenance thanks to the service provided by retirement communities
- They will have opportunities for social interaction through daily games, and more, thereby keeping feelings of loneliness at bay
Offer Some Alternatives
Sometimes a parent will turn down an assisted living community for personal reasons. Each person has their own reasons for disliking a particular location or accommodation type.
Be respectful of your loved one’s viewpoint if you believe this may be the case. Try giving them a selection of brochures to peruse and listen attentively to the concerns they have.
Assure Them That They Won’t Lose All Their Belongings
Sometimes, the fear of moving to an assisted living community stems from the reluctance to let go of treasured personal belongings.
However, this may not be necessary given that your loved one will still be able to bring some personal items such as photos or sentimental décor with them to the retirement community, to make it feel like home. The rest of the items can be stored by family members, allowing your loved one to move to the retirement community with greater peace of mind.