How do you talk to your parent about moving into assisted living?

Unfortunately, there isn’t one right answer for this question. However, the best advice is to include your parent in the discussion and let them have a lot of input in the decision.

The first and most important thing a family member needs to be prepared to do is to listen. Listening to what the parent wants and what is important to them is crucial. Is it important to be close to the church they’ve attended all their life? Is it important to be close their doctor of 40 years? Is it important that the community have a great bridge club? Whatever it is, it’s very important to listen.

When calling around to assisted living communities for information make sure to convey these items to the Marketing Director. Often Marketing people will get in a habit of giving a memorized speech about the benefits of their community. Be prepared to tell them what is important to your parent and if they don’t have it ask if they are able to arrange for the service, activity, club or whatever the request.

Next, move slowly! Schedule a lunch at the community with your parent. Then schedule a trial stay for a weekend and if that goes well then schedule a short-term stay for a month. If all works out your parent will not want to come home. Most likely, they will have made new friends and are enjoying the multitude of activities that are available.

The key is to include them in the process, let them know you’re listening and take the small steps necessary to introduce them to their new home. It may end up that they make the decision themselves and sooner than you thought.

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