How To Talk to a Loved One about Assisted Living

May 12, 2015

You’ve noticed the warning signs that your loved one’s living arrangements no longer supports his or her health and well-being. But how do you bring up the sometimes-difficult subject of assisted living?

Here are a few suggestions for talking to your loved one about making a change. 

  1. Involve family members. If you have siblings or other immediate family members, try to meet as a group before you speak to the individual. The family should listen to each other’s questions and concerns without creating stress for your loved one, and together you can agree on the best course of action. Ideally, your family members will present a consistent message to your loved one.   
  2. Frame the conversation around your concerns. Telling a loved one “I’m concerned that you aren’t taking your blood pressure medication” is a much better way to discuss your parent’s health than “You’ve been forgetting to take your medicine.” Allowing your parent or loved one to hear your concerns and respond to your emotions is a more inviting way to have an open and honest discussion. 
  3. Let your parent be the parent. Involve your parent in the decision making process, listening closely to their thoughts and feelings. Work with your loved one to tour assisted living communities and discuss finances, and together make good decisions that support their health and well-being. 
  4. Keep an open dialog. Bear in mind you may not reach a consensus after the first talk. Change, and leaving a home full of memories, isn’t easy. You may need to revisit the subject several times over a few weeks or months. 
It’s best for everyone involved if you establish an open, comfortable dialog where the family is involved and feels at ease in discussing and making decisions about assisted living options. 

Find more tips on starting the discussion about assisted living here.

how to talk to senior about assisted living

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