After visiting my mother over the holidays, I noticed a few signs that she may no longer be able to live on her own.
She had dishes piled in the sink and her laundry basket was overflowing. This is very unusual for my mother because she has always been very tidy.
How do I start a conversation with my mom about assisted living?
Erica from Saline, MI
Starting a Conversation about Assisted Living
Starting a conversation about assisted living is rarely easy. Many family members are hesitant to bring up the topic for fear they will upset their loved ones. This causes them to delay the conversation, sometimes until an accident or illness forces the discussion.
Talking about assisted living under these conditions can make the process far more stressful. It can result in unnecessary arguments, and can even harm your relationship.
An accident also forces you to rush the process. This can significantly limit the time you have to thoroughly evaluate your options.
To avoid the consequences of waiting, it’s best to start the conversation as soon as possible. Here are a few tips for you to start the conversation about assisted living.
4 Tips to Start a Conversation about Assisted Living
- Do your research.
Before attempting to start a conversation about assisted living, do your research. Becoming knowledgeable about assisted living in Michigan will enable you to have a productive discussion and be a resource for your loved one. This will encourage them to come to you with their questions.
- Approach the topic with empathy.
When discussing a potentially sensitive topic like assisted living, it’s crucial to approach the conversation with the intent to understand the other person.
Older adults have their own opinions about assisted living. For seniors, assisted living can mean:
- Leaving the home they’ve lived in for a long time.
- Admitting they need help.
- Feeling like they’re losing their independence.
Taking the time to listen to their concerns will make them feel more comfortable discussing their feelings with you.
- Start talking about assisted living early.
Moving to an assisted living community is a huge, life-changing event. It’s probably going to require more than one discussion.
This is one of the biggest reasons to bring up the topic early. Your loved one may not immediately understand why you are concerned. They might not see the benefits associated with moving to a community.
Bringing your concerns to their attention early on will allow them time to soak in what you’ve told them.
- Put your relationship first.
It’s important to remember to put your relationship with your loved one first. If the conversation leads to arguments or becomes hostile in any way, you may need to take a step back. You may even have to accept that you aren’t the right person to have the discussion.
Some seniors take advice better from certain family members than others. Some loved ones may even require a professional like a doctor or a geriatric care manager to advise them to transition to assisted living before they start to listen.
I hope this helps you start a conversation with your mother about assisted living!
Heritage Senior Communities
Starting a conversation about assisted living can be challenging for many families. After all, it requires them to admit they need help and consider leaving a home they’ve likely lived in for a long time.
Heritage Senior Communities, including our Linden Square Assisted Living Center, provide support to make the conversation about assisted living easier for seniors and their families. Contact us for more information.