Families are often hesitant to have conversations with their loved ones about moving into an assisted living community. Unfortunately, this can often lead instead to hurried decisions that must be made after a health crisis or other situation has occurred.
Whenever possible, the best advice is to begin these conversations early and often. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might imagine. There are steps you can take to make the discussions easier and help your loved ones realize how assisted living can improve their quality of life.
Talking about assisted living
Consider the following tips to create supportive and effective conversations about community life.
Tip #1: Become educated
It’s not uncommon for families to be unfamiliar with assisted living communities. Before having a conversation, try to learn as much as possible.
There are several benefits that your loved ones may appreciate beyond having a helping hand whenever needed - such as private residences, delicious dining programs, monthly activities, social events, opportunities to make friends and scheduled transportation.
Tip #2: Set the right tone
Whenever possible, prepare ahead for the conversation, including when, where and who should attend. Make sure your parents have a clear understanding of what the discussion will be about.
Unless your family truly is in crisis, reassure your loved ones that they are not being rushed into making a decision. Allow them time to think about the possibility of a move and then schedule a time to talk again or to discuss any concerns they may have.
Tip #3: Begin early and build on the conversation
The most successful conversations tend to be those that occur before there is a clear necessity to make a change. Early conversations can be more casual and provide an opportunity to learn more about how your loved ones feel about senior living.
Asking questions can lead to great discussions – what they think they’d want to do if they needed help, or their feelings about community life.
Tip #4: Be prepared to listen to their concerns
Your parents may appear hesitant or actively disagree that they need to move into an assisted living community. Arguing or pressuring them to agree with you rarely results in a positive outcome.
Instead, encourage them to speak honestly and express any concerns or fears that they may have. Be prepared with answers to questions or let them know you will research and return. Make sure they understand that this is their decision to make.
Tip #5: Match their needs with assisted living services
A very effective tool to try is to talk to your loved ones about any needs they may have and then match those with the services that an assisted living community offers. Making the connection paints a clear picture of the advantages.
For example, if your parents find it more difficult to shop and prepare healthy meals, discuss the advantages of having a delicious dining program always available.
Tip #6: Encourage questions
It’s so important not to present this opportunity as a decision that has already been made. Make sure your loved ones know that it is their choice and that you are there for support.
Discuss any challenges, current and in the future, and the available options. Offer to help them gather the right information, find answers to any of their questions and to schedule community tours.
Tip #7: Schedule a time for personal visits
You’ll always want your parents to see an assisted living community first-hand before any decisions are made. Ask your parents if they would be agreeable to visit a few communities to better see what they offer.
Schedule a few visits to local communities and reassure them that there will be no pressure to make a decision. Arrange for them to share a meal with the residents or to participate in one of the activities or social events.
Life at a Milestone Community
If you’re looking at options for retirement living, we invite your family to visit one of our Milestone communities - designed to support your loved ones to live their highest quality of life.
We offer studio and one-bedroom private apartments for our assisted living residents as well as private or shared memory care suites for those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Our memory care residents are cared for by our compassionate and specially trained team - who meet them wherever they are in their journey with patience and kindness. The residents also have access to customized activities, programs and an elevated secured courtyard.
Our amenities and services encourage our residents in assisted living to engage with others, remain as independent as possible and be reassured that help is available whenever needed.
In addition to our personalized services, we offer:
Full-service dining room and bistro/bar
Clubroom with large screen and theater style seating
Family gathering room
Rooftop courtyard including outdoor kitchen and firepit
Resident accessible chef’s kitchen garden
Senior-inspired fitness center
Hair and nail salon
Resident-shared laundry rooms
Elegantly designed common areas
24-hour on-duty care staff
Direct access to adjoining walking paths and parks
If your family is considering retirement living, we hope you will visit one of our communities. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions. Please contact us with any questions you may have or to arrange a personal tour.