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How to Talk to Your Parents About Assisted Living

April 11, 2022

oakstone-6-largeMany adult children are faced with the reality that their parents may no longer be able to live independently and that finding a reputable assisted living option is the smart and safe decision to make.  But how do you broach this delicate conversation, especially when you suspect your parents will oppose the idea of making such a major life change?

Understandably, many seniors have strong attachments to their homes and view moving to an assisted living community as a threat to their independence.  However, coming up with a plan sooner rather than later is a responsible and reasonable request that can ultimately make this transition easier for everyone involved. 

Research Senior Living Options 

Before opening up the topic for discussion, it’s important to educate yourself on what your loved one’s options are, including the different types of care that are available.  As you research, you’ll discover that two of the most common types of services offered are assisted living and memory care - and it’s important to know the difference between the two: 

What is Assisted Living? 

Assisted living is a residential community for seniors who need personalized care and support beyond what they can provide for themselves at home.  Residents receive the necessary resources and amenities needed to increase their quality of life and ensure their healthcare needs are being met.  With an emphasis on helping the resident maintain their independence, the plan of care is designed to meet the specific needs of each individual, with additional services added if and when they are needed.

These communities also help their residents with daily living activities, such as feeding, bathing, grooming, taking medication, and using the bathroom.  Many planned outings, lectures, and other activities are offered to keep residents connected to their family and community.  With the peace of mind of getting the assistance they need with daily tasks, residents often lead healthier, more active, and more enriching lives than they did at home.  

What is Memory Care? 

While sharing many similarities with assisted living, memory care also offers specialized care for residents experiencing memory loss due to Alzheimer's disease or the early stages of dementia.  Memory Care assisted living communities offer their residents memory-enhancing therapies that engage all the senses, such as art, music, pet, and reminiscence therapy - all proven to assist in the slowing of memory loss. They also feature extra safety precautions to prevent the residents from harming themselves or leaving without supervision.

Some of the most exceptional communities, such as Moorings Park in Naples Florida, offer the acclaimed Best Friends approach, which engages residents in communication and camaraderie, so they feel safe and valued every single day.  

Keep Your Loved Ones Involved in the Conversation

Once you’ve done your research, you can open up the discussion with your parents or loved ones about how they will spend their golden years. It’s important to include them in every aspect of the conversation and listen to their concerns about how such a change will impact their lives. With healthy and open communication, developing future plans will make the transition that much easier, if and when the time comes. Keeping a positive attitude and remaining open to understanding their concerns and perspective is crucial to having a meaningful dialogue.    

Important things to keep in mind include: 

  • Let your loved ones know that you understand how this hard this conversation can be and that they may be fearful of how this move will impact their lives.  Express respect and empathy, and reassure them that you only have their best interests at heart. 
  • Explain how assisted living communities have many benefits that may help your parents become more – not less – independent. Offer to take them on a tour of a few communities so they can look around and ask questions.
  • Express your concerns about the future and if certain services are eventually needed. Talk about the importance of moving and transitioning prior to heavily depending on those services. You all want to be ahead of the game and not wait.
  • Accept the fact that unless staying in their home will put your parents in danger, the decision to move to assisted living is ultimately theirs to make.  
  • Finally, keep in mind this decision is rarely made after a single conversation.  It can often take months or even years to come to a resolution, which is why it is important to begin the dialogue early.  

How Moorings Park Communities Can Help with this Transition 

Located in Naples, Florida, Moorings Park Communities offers residents everything they need to enjoy a healthy, thriving retirement. From luxury residences to access to concierge physicians and an abundance of activities that promote health and wellness. Moorings Park Communities encourages an active lifestyle, offering a comprehensive range of amenities, activities, fine dining and the security of health care. 

The community also offers assisted living and memory care, as well as many other services, with month-to-month rates available. Schedule a tour today to experience what we have to offer, or contact us to learn more. 

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