Approaching the subject of assisted living early makes the process easier for all. Instead of a debate laced with accusations and fear, the following suggestions can help you have a safe, cooperative discussion regarding the future. Learn how to convince parents that assisted living helps.
Discuss Alternative Residential Options in A Gentle Tone
One method to ensure a smooth conversation is by being wary of delivery. Use positive, polite verbiage when talking about assisted living. Instead of calling assisted living an institution, market it like your loved one’s second family or home. Instead of rooms, talk about condo-style living. Instead of emphasizing personal care, emphasize activities, amenities, and social changes.
The tone of your voice can also make a great difference. Make an attempt to speak in a soothing, gentle, and pleasant tone. Make it clear to your parents that making the final decision is vital to you. Remember that this is a two-way dialogue, not a lecture, so be courteous. Pay attention to and validate their emotions. If they become enraged, do not answer with further anger. The more people believe they are not being heard, the louder they speak and the more frustrated they become. If you respond in a loud tone, you’ll get into a yelling match, which never ends well.
Promise to Involve Elders in Decision-making
Everyone wants to have a say in where they live and how they are cared for. This predilection is unaffected by age. If your parents are healthy enough, invite them to accompany you on tours of senior living homes or visits to relatives and friends who have made the transition. When it comes to making a selection, seeing these settings in person, gaining a sense of how they operate, and chatting with current residents frankly about their experiences would be extremely beneficial.
Make Future Plans A Regular Topic of Conversation
Bringing up this topic early on, when elders are still able to live comfortably in the community, allows you to have a non-threatening, hypothetical conversation about the future. This way, parents are less likely to feel that their children are ganging up on them, and the feeling won’t be: We HAVE to have the discussion right now. Instead, think of the discussion as an ongoing process in which everyone’s thoughts are acknowledged but nothing has to be done right away.
Hold the discussion at a casual, comfortable location, such as the kitchen table. Begin by saying you understand that this is a difficult subject to discuss but want to make certain that you fulfill their wishes. You need to know exactly what they are in order for you to do that. You don’t have to make any decisions today, but start the conversation so that you can plan for the future.
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