You’ve decided it’s time for your aging parent to move into an assisted living community, but when you try and talk with them about it, they become resistive and angry. Meanwhile, you know their health is declining and it’s no longer safe for them to live alone. What are you supposed to do?
Here are six ways to approach your resistive parent about moving to assisted living:
- Make an appointment with their doctor.
Call the doctor ahead of time to discuss the issues your parent is facing, such as declining health because of their living environment. Start with giving the doctor copies of your parent’s signed health care proxy or durable medical power of attorney. Ask them to do an assessment of your parent and attend the appointment with them. This will help aid the discussion with your parent.
- Reach out to other influential people in their life.
This may be a religious authority or trusted friend. Talk with them about your parent’s issues and how they might be able to help. Having a third party involved often helps the conversation go smoother. In many areas, the Area Agency on Aging also offers counseling for seniors about their care options.
- Explain the benefits.
Talk with them about the benefits of moving, such as no longer needing to rake the yard or shovel the sidewalk. They can still have independence of living in their own environment, but with a less amount of work.
- Ask family members for help.
Talk with your siblings or other family members about the issues your aging parent is facing. Discuss how they can help influence your parent to move. Your parent may be more open to talking with your sibling who lives out of state and doesn’t care for them each day.
- Introduce them to assisted living.
Visit a local assisted living community with your parent by attending a community event. If they want a more formal introduction, schedule a tour.
- Try a respite stay.
Many communities offer short-term stays, called a respite stay. This offers the same amenities and services as assisted living, just on a short-term basis. They’ll get to experience restaurant-style healthy meals, social programs, and personalized attention from the staff. It’s a great way for your parent to experience what living in an assisted living community would be like.
Be mindful of your parent’s feelings. It can be an emotional time for them as they’re leaving a place they called home for many years. Explain to them how moving to an assisted living community can only benefit them and their overall health.