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Is There Something Wrong With Aging In a Facility?
One of the reasons parents and even some younger individuals don’t like the idea of assisted living is that most of them haven’t stepped inside an assisted living center. There seems to be this prevailing idea of this older people’s home that they all seem to harbor. Most consider leaving their home as a step back from independence, moving them closer to their grave. This mindset and image can be quite disturbing for most elders, even though it is inaccurate.
Talking to them about Assisted Living Facilities
The first step you have to do is to plant the idea. One thing you should never do is approach your parents about the idea as if you have already made up your mind. Instead, you should state that you know of some homing options that can make life a lot more fun and easier for them.
Bide your time for a teachable opportunity. This could be something as innocuous as one of them falling but avoiding getting any serious injuries. This can be used as a catalyst. Your timing is entirely up to you, as you could choose to say something about it right there and then or wait till the shock has subsided.
You could say something along the lines of, “That was a lot closer than anyone would have liked, and I’m sure it rattled you a bit. When you are feeling up to it, we could go see that assisted living facility near the Y. I’d feel much better if there were people around you, and I’m sure you would as well”.
As stated earlier, the timing is your call. However, this unfortunate incident should be an avenue to offer your parents a reality check. You should never push your parents to make a decision unless their placement is an emergency.
More often than not, you will have to wait. You may have to wait for a day when they feel lonely and complain about being unable to spend time with their friends. When you try, make sure that you project the fact that they have full control of this decision and their life.
To convince your parents to move into an assisted home requires education and patience. First, educate yourself on what they stand to gain at the facility and then try to make them understand this. And have patience, don’t make them feel like you’re tired of them because they’re old.
Do Your Research
The next step would be to find out about any assisted living facilities nearby. Once you find a few, schedule some tours and if possible, ask your parents to come along with you. It’s great if they don’t mind visiting a couple of these facilities with you so that they see and understand for themselves.
However, you should never push the issue. If they don’t seem to be interested or resist, simply drop the issue for the time being and try another day again.
Try to find out from your social circle if anybody has a parent residing in an assisted living facility nearby. It can be advantageous if you discover that one of your friend’s parents or an older family member has moved into an assisted living facility.
You can tell them about this other senior and try to get them acquainted before they move. Doing this can make your parents feel better as they have a familiar face to help them come to grips with this new environment.
It doesn’t matter if your parents do not know anybody at that particular assisted living center; you should encourage and take them to enjoy events such as card playing or video game bowling at the facility. You could also take them to enjoy a meal there. While there, try to highlight the social attributes of a great center.
Make sure that you keep the conversation light without forcing the issue. If possible, go to a couple of assisted living centers, asking your parents for some input. They might prefer smaller communities over larger ones. They might also feel their personality is best suited to an older, cozier facility over a modern one.
Highlight The Benefits Of Assisted Living
When visiting these assisted living centers, ask about the amount of privacy its residents get. Don’t forget to ask if bringing furniture and other things from home is possible. Also, find out how spacious the rooms are.
You could take some measuring tape along with you to help you visualize what your parents’ apartment could look like once it is decorated. Treat this visit with a similar level of enthusiasm as you would when helping your parents move house.
You have to stress the benefits associated with assisted living continuously. Also, emphasize the fact that there are increased safety measures for them and you. Talk about how living in an assisted facility center means that they don’t have to do any daily chores or jobs.
They can concentrate on doing whatever they really want to do. At an assisted living facility, they don’t have to worry about any yard work. However, there are gardening activities for the green thumbs.
The dining hall is always available for meals, and some assisted living facilities have apartments with kitchenettes in them, which the elderly can cook in if they so desire. When it comes to freedom, residents have as much freedom as possible. They can choose to be alone or choose to partake in the many social activities held at the facilities.
When you think about the assisted living facility, take into account your parents’ personality. This can help you make a choice that is best suited to them.
What Happens Next?
The final step is to let all the information and experiences sink in. Unfortunately, it typically takes another health scare for the elderly to willingly consider the decisions for themselves.
If you have a close-knit family, it might help call a meeting and inform your parents how much the family would feel at peace knowing that they are in a safer, more attuned environment. Yet, it’s important to make them feel at ease through these conversations. Don’t make the meeting feel like a formality that they don’t say in.
Everyone involved should be able to speak their mind, voicing their anxieties and concerns about the entire situation. You could try enlisting the help of a doctor or revered family friend to have a word with your parents. In cases where families are unable to make the breakthrough, third parties tend to succeed.
It is important that you are sensitive to their feelings. Deciding to leave a house full of happy memories can be emotionally difficult. Trying to cut down a lifetime of belongings into a suitcase or a box is a lot even for young people.
Make sure that you remain sensitive and kind during the entire process. This moment should be about your parents, never about you. You have to provide adequate information concerning what assisted living is all about, the facility in question, and what the facility offers. Being upfront can help convince your parents to move into the assisted living facility.