Time of Crisis
You love your parents, but now one, if not both, need help, and it may be up to you to ensure that they can still live a safe and happy life even as their health declines. Your parent has said more than once that they will not move into one of “those” places. So, how do you get a parent to move into assisted living?
Start the Conversation
The best choice is to start talking about assisted living options before your parent is no longer able to make responsible choices about their situation. But if that time has passed, you still need to discover the parent’s finances, schedule, and responsibilities. Ask about his or her wishes. What specific things about moving make it a hard no for them?
Explore the Options with Mom and Dad
Do they believe that a senior care facility is a government-style building filled with empty rooms where there is no privacy or comfort? Go with them to a variety of elderly living homes, but only after you have an idea of what is offered as you know your parent(s) and what they wouldn’t like — get those places off your tour, then take them out. Some sites offer private apartments, communal garden spaces, personal kitchens, and even a place to park the car. Is there one near favorite shops, friends, or at the beach? Maybe it is just a mile away from your home, so you and the grandchildren can visit more often than now.
Talk About the Future Together
Is your parent still active physically and mentally? Discuss what types of things are more desirable, like going out to dinner, a concert, or a favorite museum. Is there worry about having to move again should the health take a downturn? Visit locations that offer both independent and full nursing care under the same roof.
Don’t Give Up
It is emotionally exhausting for the entire family to face these transitions. While your parent may altogether refuse to talk about moving today, once everyone has processed the idea, perhaps it becomes easier to discuss choices. Support the small decisions. Reach out for help. Ask your questions. Keep the conversation alive. Provide incentives for the parent to move.
It Takes Time
Once a parent moves into the new place, you should understand that there will be a collection of complaints. The food will be different, new schedules, too many new people, and many legitimate issues. Listen but try to maintain a positive outlook to help get through the adjustment. In many instances, it takes about 30 days to normalize. Moving is stressful for anyone, no matter the age, so just be there for them and stay supportive.
You are not in it alone, nor will you have all the answers to a parent’s questions and concerns. That is when calling Rancho Family Aging Services can provide the support the entire family needs. We work with multiple assisted and independent living senior homes in Riverside County and the Inland Empire and can help you find the situation best suited to your particular requirements.