Talking about assisted living is one of the most challenging conversations with a loved one. However, it is necessary to have this conversation as early as possible.
Putting it off might leave you or the family with little time to plan when the option of assisted living becomes a necessity. Here are a few helpful tips to help make things easy when having this conversation.
Everyone sees things differently, and the necessity for an assisted living might not be as pressing as you think. It is important to talk to everyone to see what they think about it.
If everyone agrees, the discussion with your loved ones should go smoothly. If not, you can discuss your disagreements and end up in a position that all of you are comfortable with.
Engaging a social worker when there are disagreements can go a long way in helping resolve any deadlocks that come up.
Waiting until you are forced to talk about assisted living leaves you little room to have this conversation as you want.
A lack of planning means you risk losing control of the conversation, as well as where and when you talk about assisted living. Having the conversation early enough means the feeling of immediacy or stress will not steer the conversation in the wrong direction.
Earlier discussions also give your loved ones enough time to think about the conversation and how they feel about the subject. Remember that this conversation should feel more like a dialogue than a directive.
In many cases, one conversation on the topic will not be successful. Remember that this is a difficult conversation as getting old is scary for many people. The first conversation might bring resolution, but you should be willing to have more than one conversation on the subject.
If you cannot schedule regular conversations about the subject, plan to talk about it about twice a year. If you begin this conversation early enough, so your loved ones do not feel like they are making decisions under duress, you will have enough time to revisit it every six months or so.
These check-ins are also crucial for gauging how your loved one is doing. You should be checking their health, happiness, safety, and abilities to gauge whether it is time to push the conversation a bit more.
After having a few conversations, there may come a time when your loved one is ready to look at some brochures or even visit an assisted living facility to see what it entails.
To make this process easier, have relevant materials like brochures, websites, and directions ready. Doing so will ensure you do not have to fumble around or take too long to have everything organized so that your loved one changes their mind.
The good news is that most assisted living facilities provide all the details you would need on your websites.
Assisted living and memory care facilities like Bridgewater Assisted Living provide information on the facility itself and what living there would be like, as well as contact information and other details on their website.
This way, you have all the information you need to help your loved one make the right decision.
Financials are a very tricky subject in many households. However, the conversation on assisted living should go hand in hand with one about finances.
Start by finding out if your parents have planned for long-term care, whether there is a budget in place, and what plans they have in place.
Talking about finances, investments, and bank accounts can be touchy and cause friction, so it is important to take things slow.
Many people choose to bring in a neutral financial coach or manager to help them discuss their loved one’s financial situation and to see how things will move forward.
Whether you are the one who brings up assisted living or not, you will need to discuss it from various angles.
It’s important to be educated on everything there is to know about assisted living, especially before the second conversation. You will also need to understand the pros and cons of moving to assisted living and how to talk about them with your loved one.
There are many benefits to be discussed here, including making new social connections, having a community around your loved ones, on-site and 24/7 care if health is a priority, or reigniting an interest in some hobbies they may have let go of.
It is also essential that you listen to your loved one’s concerns. Try to understand their viewpoint, as this is the best way to have a meaningful engagement.
It is common to feel overwhelmed when discussing assisted living. At these times, it is important to lean on available resources.
These could be resources where people in a similar position talk about this conversation or resources that help you research the issues and thus make it easier to make the right decision.
There is no doubt that talking about assisted living with a loved one is difficult. However, it is important to remember that you are doing this for them, especially in cases where they are living alone and do not have the care or help that they need.