It can be difficult to bring up the idea of senior care options with your parent or loved one. Unfortunately, the timeline is never the same for everybody. However, there are usually signs that your loved one may be ready for an alternative to living alone.
Assisted living is ideal after the loss of a partner, for those with chronic health conditions, a dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis, or for seniors who do not have loved ones nearby. The sooner the conversation is had, the more options you will have to devise a plan for your parent or loved one.
Here are some tips to make the conversation less stressful:
Typically, something drastic occurs, such as a fall or a chronic health condition, that becomes a “wake-up call” during which you might not make the right decision for your loved one. Your parent might be struggling with household tasks or complaining about loneliness, creating an opportunity to discuss options. If you are going to broach the subject, it’s better to lead with the benefits rather than the burdens caring for them may pose.
Use the Right Language
When discussing living options with your parents or loved ones, phrases like “assisted living” or “nursing home” may cause fear. These places bring to mind the idea of a restrictive living environment. Instead, use the word “community”. It is more inviting and embodies a home where your loved one will have the opportunity to live life to the fullest.
For example, assisted living communities are vibrant living communities with activities that promote healthy living and socializing. Additionally, they offer onsite nursing support and health-related services.
Visit As Many Communities As Possible
Starting the conversation early allows you to visit several communities, providing more options. Tours allow you to see what a community is like, how entertained the residents are, what the dining options are like, etc.
Approach the Conversation as a Possibility
Telling your loved one that you’re moving them to some unknown location without prior knowledge or time to prepare can be scary. Bring up the topic as an opportunity rather than a decision being made for them.
Don’t Dismiss What They’ll Miss
It can be frightening for your loved one to feel like they won’t have the same freedom and access to family. Many times our parents will be worried that they are being removed from the life they know or that they won’t be able to see the ones they love anymore. Ask them why they are worried and find solutions to bridge that gap.
Now is the Time
The sooner you begin the conversation, the better. It can be made much easier by planning ahead. This way, the decision will come as less of a shock. Senior living can be an exciting time for moving into a community with peers who share the same interests, worries, beliefs, and hobbies.The Lodge at Natchez Trace is an assisted living and memory care community located in Bellevue, TN. We provide experienced around-the-clock care and respectful assistance throughout daily activities. Every resident in our small, intimate community is guaranteed our most thoughtful and undivided attention. If you feel The Lodge may be the right option for your loved one, start the conversation with them and contact us to schedule a tour!