When a parent or aging loved one starts to have trouble managing tasks of daily living without assistance, it is probably time to begin thinking about the different senior living options available.
Starting the conversation is an important first step, but also one of the most challenging. Here are some signs it’s time to talk to your loved one about assisted living and some helpful tips to guide the conversation.
Recognizing When It’s Time
For many families, the decision to move a parent or family member to assisted living is based on the realization that the older adult requires more help than the caregiver can offer. Here are some things to watch for to identify the right time to begin the transition.
- Chronic or worsening health problems
- Forgetfulness, such as not remembering to take medications, unpaid bills, and missed appointments
- Mobility issues, including trouble walking and climbing stairs
- Poor hygiene or changes in appearance
- Dramatic changes in mood, such as fatigue, irritability, or depression
Starting the Conversation
Start talking early. It is never too early to begin talking to your parents about their plans for later in life. Waiting for a major health or life event to change before you start the conversation will only make the discussions and transitions more difficult. Involve siblings, other family members, and healthcare providers as well so that everyone is on the same page and can provide positive, helpful support throughout the process. As you discuss a move to senior living with parents, it can be helpful to remind your loved ones of the benefits of downsizing and assisted living life. These include:
- Maintenance-free living and housekeeping
- 24/7 safety and assistance from trained professionals as needed
- Planned programs and social activities
- Access to health care
- Prepared, home-cooked meals
- Resort-style amenities and services
- Peace of mind for themselves and their family
Research senior living options. One benefit of talking about senior living plans early is that your loved one will have the opportunity to visit as many communities as possible in their local area. Sit down with your parent and make a list of things they desire in a community. Include any questions they may have. Schedule tours to understand where your loved one would feel most at home and get answers to specific questions while you are there. Scheduled tours will give you and your parent a good idea of the lifestyle, amenities, residents, and culture within the community.
Keep your loved one involved. Throughout the entire process it is important to keep an open dialogue and involve your loved ones in the decision-making process, remembering that the final choice is ultimately theirs. Older adults often think a move to senior living is the end of their freedom, but in reality it can be a path to maintaining independence, social connections, hobbies, and interests. With your support and guidance, you can help communicate the ways that assisted living can enhance their life while giving them time to come to their own decision.
We’re here to help you! It’s hard to acknowledge that someone you love requires full- time care. But if you’ve noticed some changes in your aging loved one’s safety, health, or happiness, now might be the time to start talking about their options for senior living. At Vista Grande Villa, we’ve walked alongside many families to make their loved one’s move to assisted living as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Our assisted living neighborhood is designed to give seniors back the vibrant lifestyle they’ve enjoyed for years, all while enhancing their independence and providing the support they need. To learn more about our community and assisted living services, contact Vista Grande Villa today.