Accepting that your aging parent needs help with daily living is tough. You also know how much they have to gain by moving to an assisted living community. Your parent, on the other hand, may look at moving as nothing but loss.
What Your Parents Fear
Imagine you’ve lived in your home for decades and in the last few years you’ve dealt with a lot of change, most of it unwanted. Friends, neighbors and maybe even a spouse have passed away. You find yourself relying on others for shoveling the sidewalk and mowing the lawn. You avoid driving at night. Sometimes you forget if you’ve taken your medication.
Aging isn’t easy. It’s frustrating. And sometimes it’s scary.
Now your children are talking about assisted living. They want you to leave everything that’s familiar and comfortable to move to a new place. Your mind whirls: What if I don’t know anyone? What if my children just leave me and never visit? What if I don’t like it?
The Stages of Grief
Your elderly parent is transitioning from one phase of their life into a new one. Understanding their emotions as you navigate through conversations about what’s best for them can help you prepare for what’s to come.
Their emotions can be like the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages are a part of the framework that can allow your parent to learn to live with what they feel they may be losing.
Here’s a closer look at the different stages of grief your parent may experience as you broach the topic of assisted living, and some tips to make your conversations and the process easier.
The stages of grief are universal and are experienced by people from all walks of life and circumstances. Grief occurs in response to loss. Moving a parent to assisted living can be a scary thought. But with the right approach, realistic expectations about what you might encounter, and a desire to find the best possible quality of life for your parent, any challenging conversation can be navigated.
For more tips and ideas to make having “The Talk” with your parent and siblings easier, download our guide Having “The Talk” With your Parent: It’s Time for Assisted Living.