Convincing elderly loved ones to move from the comfort of the home they’ve known for years into an assisted living situation can be one of the toughest hurdles for families to face. The best way is to start the conversation sooner than later, while your loved ones are still in good health. Getting them used to the idea beforehand will make it easier when the time comes. But what if you haven’t discussed it nor made plans for a transition? If it is time for your loved ones to alter their living situation — here are some things you should do.
Think Safety First
Keep in mind that your loved ones ‘safety is the most important thing. If you know that they can not remain in their own home safely, don’t let your emotions override what you know needs to be done. Don’t wait for a broken hip, a car accident, medicine overdose, or a crisis call before you step in. Recognize that when you were a child, your parents would have done everything possible to ensure your safety. Now, as hard as it is, you have to be the “parent”, and make the best decisions for them.Read this an assisted living situation
Consider a Multi-Level Facility A multi-level facility offers additional services, preventing the turmoil of another movie if your loved ones ‘health declines. Many seniors start out with their own private apartment and progress through stages of assisted living and eventually to skilled nursing and dementia care, all within the same facility. They may be able to bathe, dress, and take their own medications now, but it’s a blessing to know that services can be added if needed. And many times the friends they have made along the way progress along with them, providing the comfort of familiar faces.
The best way to evaluate a facility is to talk with families who have a loved one living there. Stop in on the weekends at peak visiting hours and discreetly inquire about the facilities, operation, sports, cleanliness, food (be sure to eat a meal there yourself), accessibility, staff, etc. If they had it to do again, would they move their loved one there? What do they wish they had known? Often, remind the managers if there are any liens or lawsuits filed, and continue to check their licensing and registration files. Also, check with your local Area Agency on Aging and their long-term care ombudsman’s office. If the facility will not put in writing that there aren’t any legal problems — keep looking!
Ask About Activities
Adult children are often filled with guilt for moving their parents, that is, until they see them flourishing in a new environment, making friends, and participating in activities they haven’t enjoyed for years. Ask the activity organizer what / when events are planned, such as: field trips, sports, art, instructional lessons, singing, dancing, gardening, eating, bingo, walking, film, engagement with children and animals, etc? Be sure to monitor the director and the frequency of these activities regularly.
Create a Relationship
Once you’ve selected the right place, ask the administrators to help convince your loved one to move, as they are very familiar with this problem and deal with it daily. Tell if someone can contact your parents over the phone to try to develop a relationship. Maybe he or she will stop by to welcome your parents to a get-together (while you just happen to be here). Casually drive you parents there a couple days later, just to say hello to that guy who was so kind to stop by. It’s always very convenient to see a familiar face. Know, for an adult, any transition can be very scary. Take things easy, reinforce the idea of going slowly, your target is their protection.
Creating a Need
Another idea is to have the administrator ask for “help” with something for your loved one. May they assist with the bingo, eating, or singing lessons, for instance? Maybe they can help the seniors plan lunch there. To reassure your loved ones that they are “important” and to provide them with a “work” will help them feel more comfortable going there. They are going to make friends that can then ease the transition to walk around there. Also, ask your doctors to encourage the move, highlighting security.
Reach for support Realize that everybody who has ever been lucky enough to have their parents reach old age has experienced the pain of watching their once-competent loved ones decline since the beginning of time. We all know this is part of life but there are no terms to brace us for sorrow. Get help from family and friends, join an immediate support group — and don’t even think you can do it alone!