As a child of an aging parent, encouraging them to move into assisted living can be challenging. Many think of it as losing their independence or going to an “old folks home” where they do nothing all day. So what is the best way to move your parents into assisted living?
There are many benefits to this arrangement you should know. Here are some great ways to promote assisted living to your parents.
The Pros of Assisted Living Facilities
You might constantly worry about your parents taking a nasty fall, not getting proper nourishment, or forgetting doctor’s appointments and basic self care. Assisted living can help ease your worries with the services they provide.
These facilities provide laundry services and transportation to appointments, ensuring your parents are always taken care of. Staff also keeps track of their medication so older adults know they’ve had the correct amount at the right time. While nurses work there, assisted living offers the benefit of independence with health care personnel’s presence.
One of the best parts is the recreational aspect. Along with cards, karaoke and book clubs, many assisted living encourage exercise and physical activity. They may also have socials, cookouts, and parties. These all keep your parents’ lives active and their bodies healthy.
The pair of you may be concerned about the cost of living at one of these places. Luckily, there are quite a few options for fitting assisted living into your budget. Insurance, veteran’s benefits, and all-inclusive communities can help make such a facility more affordable for your family.
Assisted living could be best for parents with neurological conditions. Some are designated memory care centers, while others have a wing for residents with cognitive needs — both design their buildings with your parents’ necessities and happiness in mind. They have specially-trained staff and many programs to assist those who have Alzheimer’s, dementia or other brain-affecting diseases.
Steps for Moving Your Parents Into Assisted Living
Your parent — or parents — may not like the idea of changing where they live at first. However, doing so might be the best for their health and safety. Here is how to start moving them into assisted living.
1. Research and Encourage
Before talking to them about assisted living, look around at the facilities closest to you. Do they have high recommendations? What kinds of activities and care do they offer? How happy are their residents?
This preparation will help you when planting the thought with your parents. Let them know about all the benefits assisted living has. However, it’s crucial this decision is their own — avoid starting the conversation as if you’ve already decided.
2. Point Out When Assisted Living Would Benefit Them
Perhaps your parent recently had a fall or health scare. After a bit of time has gone by, initiate a conversation about how assisted living could be great for them if another scenario were to happen. Mention how nurses and staff would be ready to help them when necessary.
The fact is, such an advantage is unavailable to them unless they have a live-in health care professional. These teachable moments could help aging people see they may need a little extra help — especially if they’re living alone.
3. Ask Around
Some of your friends may have parents currently in assisted living or just moved there. Talk to them about what their facility is like and how their family is feeling about it. Those questions are a great way to get an inside look at life there before visiting it yourself.
It’s also an excellent opportunity if your parents are a bit nervous about making the transition. They could talk to your friends with you, allowing them to vent their feelings in an unbiased scenario.
4. Go on a Tour
You and your parents should check out a few facilities before deciding which one is best. They may have enjoyed the food at one place more while another may have more interesting social activities. Keeping notes about their likes and dislikes can help keep the choices organized.
Your friend’s parents or someone they know may already be living there. See if you can meet with them to discuss how things are there.
5. Give Them Time
While some parents might be ready to move, others may need a bit to sit on the decision and think about their options. Even if you want to get them in assisted living as soon as possible, the move has to be their choice.
Ultimately, they might not want to move if they don’t have to. It may take a more significant medical event to convince them that assisted living is the safest choice. Your concern may be on the back burner while they think things over.
Becoming a Guardian for Aging Parents
If your parent has severe memory issues, you may want to pursue guardianship if they refuse to move. Additionally, this process may be necessary if they have repeated severe injuries but will not go to assisted living.
This is a legal process you can take if you strongly believe they need care but keep denying it. Once you petition a court, they will decide if they should deem your parent impaired or incompetent. If they make you a guardian, you will make decisions for their care — including moving them to assisted living.
Petitioning for guardianship is a lengthy and cost-incurring process. However, it might become necessary to declare your parent incapable of basic self care and making reasonable decisions. Research the process of becoming a guardian and see if it’s the right action.
Keep Your Parents Safe and Happy in Assisted Living
Helping your parents however possible is likely often on your mind. Assisted living offers many perks and can keep them thriving while maintaining their independence. The best way to move your parents into assisted living is through encouragement, research, and patience.