When it comes time to talk with a loved one about assisted living, the way you go about it will determine if the conversation goes well. Downsizing from a house full of memories, leaving a familiar neighborhood, fearing the loss of autonomy and control of their lives can make many seniors hesitant to even discuss the subject. Allowing them to voice their concerns rather than being dismissive of them and being a good listener when you bring up the topic will help make it a positive conversation.
Getting the Conversation Started
It’s best to broach the subject of assisted living well before your loved ones need it. Try mentioning it in casual conversation by asking if they have thought about it or are considering it for the future. Ask open-ended questions and really listen to what your loved one has to say about how they see their lives in the next two, five, or ten years.
Don’t be surprised if the first attempt at discussing assisted living is rebuffed and even met with resentment. If that is the case, drop the subject and give it time before you bring it up again. An opportunity may prevent itself to restart the conversation if your mom falls and sprains her wrist or your dad complains about the endless chores involved with maintaining the house.
Unless your senior loved one’s situation is urgent, keep in mind the saying, “patience is a virtue” and don’t press them into talking about or making a big life decision like moving into assisted living if it will cause hurt feelings or anger.
Have Some Prepared Responses
When your loved one is ready to talk about assisted living have some prepared responses if they express doubts about their finances, losing their independence, or leaving a familiar place.
Offer to go with them to speak with a financial adviser who specializes in helping seniors prepare for the transition to assisted living. Having a professional lay it out for them will be helpful in their decision-making process.
If they are worried about losing their freedom point out how liberating it will be to not have constant home-upkeep to manage or endless lists of chores for cooking and cleaning. Muse with them about how they can use their free time to pursue their hobbies, try new things, and focus on doing the things they enjoy instead. Remind them they deserve to be unburdened by heavy responsibilities and focus on what they really like to do.
If they are worried about leaving a familiar place offer to join them on a tour of Sopris Lodge at Carbondale so they can see what the living accommodations look like, all that our menu has to offer, and the fun activities we have scheduled like live entertainment, scenic outings, educational lectures, and more. This will give them an opportunity to meet and talk to residents already living and thriving here.
Keep It Positive
Always emphasize the positive when it comes to their decision regarding assisted living. Offer support and be a sympathetic listener as they work through their concerns about it. Keep reminding them it’s their turn to focus on having fun pursuing their hobbies and interests with new friends and experience the things they’ve never had time for.
If you would like to learn more about independent living, assisted living, or memory care, we’re here for you as a resource and glad to answer your questions. For a personalized tour, visit soprislodge.com or call us at 970-876-6008 and let your loved ones see for themselves all our community has to offer.