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Tips for Having the Assisted Living Conversation with Your Loved One

Talking to your loved one about the need for additional help, or a move to an assisted living setting, is not an easy conversation to have. When this discussion comes from a place of love there are ways to make it a constructive conversation versus a contentious one. When it’s time to broach the topic of assisted living, consider these tips to ensure your loved one feels respected, loved, and part of any decisions made about their future.

Tips for Having the Assisted Living Conversation with Your Loved One

Tip #1 – Organize your thoughts and know the options

Whether a move to assisted living is proactive or reactive, it’s best to prepare talking points to explain why it’s an option you want to explore. Reasons may include falls or challenges at home when performing everyday activities, changes in their health, or caregivers who have their own challenges related to family or career responsibilities. All anecdotal evidence should be presented compassionately and honestly.

It’s also important to spend time researching assisted living options that are nearby; this will help you to answer some of the initial concerns or roadblocks that are raised. Visit websites, request information, and tour a few places to better understand what an assisted living community has to offer. You’ll want to have a general understanding of the amenities and services that are provided, housing options, waitlist processes, dining details, programming and the emphasis each community has on engagement, wellness and independence. The proximity to family and friends will also be important to note.

Tip #2 – Start the discussion early

Many families put off a conversation about assisted living as long as possible to avoid an argument. But often they find that waiting to have this important discussion is their biggest regret, especially when a crisis makes the move an urgent need versus a desire to improve safety and quality of life. The ideal time to initiate the conversation is shortly after you start to notice changes in the way your loved one is able to handle day-to-day tasks. Even if they prefer to remain in their home, it may not be the ideal scenario to keep them safe and ensure their best quality of life.

By starting the conversation early, families are sometimes pleasantly surprised to find that their loved one recognizes how much assisted living has to offer. They realize their family home won’t always be the safest place for them to live and are ready to take the next step of joining a waitlist and reserving an apartment. Even if your loved one seems reluctant to discuss assisted living, it’s important to remember that you’ve planted a seed, giving them time to mull things over for themselves.

Tip #3 – Be open and empathetic

Regardless of your age, it’s hard when you realize your health is changing and everyday activities are increasingly challenging; this is especially difficult when those around you take notice as well. Keep this in mind as you plan for the assisted living conversation. Foremost, be empathetic and loving so your loved one knows you are talking from the heart. Keep in mind that many older adults remember the “old folks homes” of their childhood, so be prepared to show them how much things have changed for the better. Point out facts like private apartments are available in different sizes and floor plans, all the enrichment activities that enhance physical, mental and social aspects of life, and stress that they can continue to pursue their passions as well. Top communities like Silver Maples of Chelsea keep all of these areas in mind in offering the best lifestyle for those residing in their assisted living residence. Most of all, emphasize that assisted living is part of a community of friends and peers who also want to live life to the fullest.

Tip #4 – Keep the conversation going

A decision to move to an assisted living setting takes time, this is not a topic of conversation that happens only once. Discussing your loved one’s current and future needs, and the options that are available, must be done on a continual basis. Keep the conversation open and honest. It’s important that you really listen to their thoughts, feelings, concerns and fears regarding a move.

Life changing decisions take time to process; have patience but be persistent about the current challenges and the quality of life that can be enjoyed in the right setting. Above all else, be sure conversations are honest and respectful of the fact that this is a decision being made with the individual, not for the individual. Trust that in time your loved one will come to understand that this change is necessary and will improve their quality of life, long term.

Assisted Living Services at Silver Maples

Every move is one that should be considered carefully by an individual and their family. The Meadows at Silver Maples is an assisted living community that focuses on supporting individuals when and how they need it, while offering the freedom to be independent in decisions and tasks as much as possible. Our warm, compassionate, experienced staff are available 24/7 to provide the right level of support, right when you need it. Contact us today to learn more about the lifestyle we offer in our assisted living residence. We guarantee you’ll feel the difference the moment you walk in the door.

Additional Blog Posts Regarding Assisted Living:

5 Benefits Assisted Living Communities Offer Versus Living at Home
Why Assisted Living Improves Quality of Life
How to Get Family Members on Board with Assisted Living
Debunking Common Myths about Assisted Living Communities

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