Some parents can be resistant to the idea of transitioning to an assisted living community. Perhaps the idea of changing or facing the unknown is difficult for them to process. Or maybe mom or dad have always been, well, opinionated, and they tend to share their skepticism freely, no matter what the situation! By approaching the idea of assisted living head on, gently, but with facts, you may not only help them open their minds to the transition but even look forward to it.
Focus on Freedom
After an entire adulthood of calling the shots, it can be hard to imagine living under “new rules.” Doesn’t assisted living mean the end of independence?
These feelings are only natural, and it’s important to validate your parent’s concerns about taking this big step. However, it’s also key that you emphasize the freedoms that come with community living as well. When they consider the time they will have gained to enjoy the finer things in life, they may come around to the idea sooner than expected.
- No more needing to cook or clean (unless you really want to)
- No more transportation concerns
- Freedom to enjoy the day knowing there is medical help always nearby
- Built-in activities and social life, with a choice to relax by yourself when you want
When you talk with your parent, keep the focus on freedom by choosing positive terminology (“community” versus “facility” or “nursing home,” for example) and listening respectfully to your parent’s input. This will ultimately be their living situation, after all, and they will want to be heard.
Every senior is different, and the living option ideal for one may not work as well for another. Also, an option that works for your parent at 75 may not be the best at 90. When you choose a community that supports aging in place, you and your parent won’t have to have it all figured out at once, which may help make the initial decision less overwhelming for both of you.
Danbury Senior Living offers three options to give residents the freedom and flexibility to live comfortably as their needs change:
With independent living, seniors typically live in their own apartment with their personal choice of furnishings, activities, and schedules, without the daily hassles of cleaning, laundry, or preparing meals. The staff takes care of those chores while seniors devote their time to enjoying the good things in life: food, friends, and activities.
When a senior wants to continue enjoying all the amenities of apartment life but requires more individualized care, they can transition to assisted living. At many assisted living communities, seniors have access to a 24-hour, on-site licensed nurse and response system so they can feel safe and secure while continuing to enjoy dining, recreational, and support services.
When a senior is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a memory disorder, their needs may change significantly. Memory care specialists are trained to partner with residents, nurturing and celebrating daily successes in the midst of memory impairments that impact everyday routines. In a well-staffed, age-in-place community, a resident who begins in independent or assisted living may transition to memory care without having to relocate to an entirely new community.
Find Strength in Numbers
If there are siblings or other loved ones involved with the decision-making process, get them on board to talk collectively with your parent. To ensure a smoother conversation and process, have some mediation strategies on hand. Even if you or a sibling live out of state, there are ways to get involved to help make the best decision possible for your loved one.
Schedule a Tour
Seniors often resist the idea of assisted living because they have negative, outdated pictures in their minds about what it looks like to live in such a community. In fact, they may not even be picturing a community but a sterile, hospital-like environment.
No wonder they’re resistant! By scheduling a tour at Danbury, your parent will not only get a chance to see a vibrant community in action—and taste a delicious chef-prepared meal—but make some personal connections that may help ease their discomfort about the unknown.