Bringing up the subject is the trickiest part when it comes to getting the conversation about assisted living or memory care started. Mom or Dad may resist discussing it because they’re afraid of losing their sense of independence. Adult children might avoid the talk because they’re concerned about how parents may react. However, starting the conversation before a crisis arises removes anxiety and uncertainty, making it easier on everyone.
Here are three simple steps to help kick off the discussion.
Step 1: Know Their Options. Research assisted living or memory care communities in the area—including costs. Find out if your aging parents have long-term care insurance or if a parent was a wartime Veteran to explore available funding. Knowing what they can afford leads to a more productive conversation about their wishes and needs.
Step 2: Start As Soon As Possible. Bring up the topic before an emergency arises and you can discuss the future in a non-threatening way. Sitting at the kitchen table chatting, with no need to make a decision that day, makes the talk more comfortable.
Step 3: Acknowledge Their Wishes. If your parents are willing, involve them in community visits. Always present senior housing options with positive language and an upbeat tone, and let them know it’s important to you that they make the final decision.
Still need more courage to begin the talk?
Here are a few added tips.
Consider enlisting additional help. If you have siblings, they can also plant the seeds and join in group discussions, as needed. You can also get the family doctor involved if the physician is willing to speak with you and your parents without violating privacy concerns. The goal is to keep the discussion going.
We hope you’ll also consider Clarendale of Addison a helpful, expert, go-to resource. You can invite us into the conversation anytime—in private consultation with you or with the entire family.