How to Talk to Your Senior Parents About Assisted Living

October 1, 2020

How do you begin the conversation with your parents about moving into an assisted living facility? You may be concerned about your loved one’s health and safety and genuinely want to help as quickly as possible. 

With some preparation, determining how to approach the conversation and what to discuss may be easier than you think. Here are some helpful tips to ensure comfortable and effective conversations with your loved one.

5 Tips on How to Talk to Aging Parents About Assisted Living

1) Start early

elderly-parents-hugging-and-smilingIt’s never too early to talk with parents about their plans for later in life. Begin the conversation as they approach their senior years, perhaps even as early as retirement. This ensures everyone is prepared when the time comes. 

If you feel the time is right for your loved one to move into assisted living, but the discussion still seems daunting, try some specific conversation starters. By using this approach you can gently prompt loved ones into talking about their future care. 

2) Keep it casual

Find a time when easygoing conversations are already underway. Look for an opportunity during family gatherings or bring up the topic over a family meal. Begin the conversation in a loving, calm, and comforting environment. Keep in mind, these discussions may stop and start many times before decisions are made, and that’s okay. 

3) Practice empathy

It’s helpful to keep in mind that this is a big move for your loved one. Sometimes seniors feel like they’re losing their independence and being attentive to their feelings can keep the situation positive. Listen carefully and without judgment to ensure they have opportunities to express their feelings openly.

4) Turn the unknown into the familiar

An assisted living facility is also a community. You have the opportunity to show your loved one what this entails. If in-person tours are not available, offer to arrange virtual visits to check out local possibilities. If you know a resident or staff member, ask them for a video tour to show your loved one the environment. This can help make the assisted living facility feel familiar and welcoming.

5) Invite trusted input

Parents can be reluctant to take advice from their adult children, as they may feel like they’re losing their autonomy. An alternate approach is to have someone else encourage your parents. They may trust the opinions of their doctors, church leaders, or lifelong friends. Reach out to these people, express your desire for your loved one’s safety, and ask them to talk with your parents. 

Marquis’ Senior Assisted Living & Care Options

Our team understands how difficult these kinds of conversations can be. As industry leaders with over 30 years of experience working with seniors, Marquis is here to support you and your loved one through every step of the aging journey. Contact us to learn more about our senior living and care options.