What to Do If You Think Your Parent(s) Need Assisted Living

Realizing your parent or parents need the support of assisted living services is a significant – and often upsetting step for children. After all, the most independent, capable figures in your life are aging and their current lifestyle is becoming too much for them to handle. Further, it can be difficult broaching the subject of assisted living. Below are some useful things to consider when speaking to your parents about assisted living or long term care.

Be objective about your senior’s situation 

First of all, it’s important to properly evaluate your loved one’s situation before you start this important conversation. For example, analyze exactly what it is they are struggling with. Common issues could include:

  • Forgetting to take medication or accidentally overdosing.
  • Letting home or garden maintenance pile up.
  • Forgetting appointments, food on the stove or regular social engagements.
  • Struggling to get upstairs, bathe or do household chores.

These are all areas where practical, easy solutions can be implemented by a professional – from a fully serviced apartment to assistance  with home maintenance and from medical professionals. In many cases, seniors don’t want to ask for help from friends and family because they don’t want to put anyone out. An independent or assisted living community provides safety and security without infringing on independence and dignity.

Why doesn’t your elderly loved one want to move to an assisted living community? 

Many seniors are resistant to moving and dealing with the source of that resistance can help make the move easier. For example, if your loved one is worried about being further away from friends or family, you can assure them you will look for an assisted living community  close by. Understanding the root of their reluctance will help you provide them with a practical solution, as well as assure their happiness and comfort.

Get your senior involved 

Many people, not just seniors, have a certain idea of what assisted living and independent living communities are all about – and they’re usually wrong. Unlike the cold, institutional facilities they’re thinking of, modern independent living communities are far more focused on the comfort, independence and quality of life of their residents.

When you are researching your options, narrow down your search to a few places that offer the kind of support that would best benefit your loved one. First, visit each of these places on your own and get answers to everything you and your loved one are concerned about. Then, bring your loved one for a guided tour of the facilities you think they would best enjoy so they can see for themselves what the community is all about and what they offer. This not only gives your loved one a new perspective on senior living, it also helps them feel more in control of this important decision.

Start slowly 

When it comes to a decision this big, there is no need to rush. If you’ve done a lot of research, simply informing your loved one of your desire for them to move into assisted living can be overwhelming and upsetting to them. Rather, take several months (if needed) to slowly introduce the subject and give them time to raise concerns, talk about different options and get used to the idea. Listen carefully to issues they raise and treat each of them with care and thoughtfulness. It might take some time, many visits to different communities and chats with caring professionals, but it will help you and your parents make the best move forward.

Independent living residences for seniors 

At United Methodist Homes of New Jersey, we offer a wide range of tailored support services for aging seniors in an environment which delivers the highest quality of life. Designed to enhance independence, our residential programs will assist your loved one only when and where they require it and scale these services at any point if a higher level of care is needed.

For more information, please contact UMH today and ask about our assisted living communities or visit www.umh-nj.org.

 

This content was originally posted at http://www.umh-nj.org/blog/what-to-do-if-you-think-your-parents-need-assisted-living/

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