• Elena Merchand

Why Assisted Living is the Right Choice For Your Parents

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

Now, most people would say that assisted living is totally unnecessary. For some lucky aging adults who have no medical issues and whose only problem is what game show to watch tomorrow, then that case would be true.

However, recent research has shown that 80% of aging adults have at least one chronic disease and 77% have two. It is true that time sometimes takes all that is dear in this life - the strength to carry things or remember birthdays or the memory of smiles and laughter. But it is also true that we humans are resilient and know how to fight back to ensure that we make the most out of the life that we have been given.

It is true that the words “senior living” or “elderly care” are some of the words our parents don’t want to hear - but what if we can turn things around to show them that the words “senior living” or “holiday retirement” aren’t bad words to consider after all.

Why we should talk to them about it

It is expected for your parents to decline your offer to bring them to any kind of retirement community. “I am still fine! I can still do things!” says those who have recently forgotten to pay their bills on time or whose dishes have been stacked for a while not until your visit when you washed it yourself. You just need to find the right words to say to convince them that this would be the right move.

“It’s more fun to watch those game shows with someone your age, Dad!”

Once their confidence and memory have declined, they are prone to spend more time indoors in front of the television. It would be great to connect with most people their age, interact in fun activities and socialize on events and occasions in the assisted living space. Senior care has a lot of activities planned for their residents either it could be field trips, bingo sessions, karaoke and parties - something fun they won’t usually experience at home.

“You can start cooking your special Turkey for Thanksgiving again Momma!”

It is true some aging adults whose passions could be anything from writing, dancing, singing and cooking could have an abrupt halt once arthritis and other chronic disease has started to interfere with their daily life activities. Once you are in an assisted living where the people who care for your physical needs also care for your emotional being - you get the best of both worlds. Most senior care facilities have painting rooms, movie rooms, large kitchens, chess areas and so many more that explore aging adults' passions and give them a sense of being.

“We want to make sure your safety is the number one priority, Grandma and Grandpa”.

According to the NCOA, one in four Americans 65-year-old and above fall each year, and one of the leading causes of fatal and non-fatal injuries for seniors. Their safety is the number one priority and if you are ready and prepared for your home to have renovations that are safe and have additional safety measures then that is good. But we can’t have construction workers there and disrupt your parents day in and day out. Assisted care facilities already have the right safety measures you need to ensure your peace of mind that your loved one will be okay.

“Back to home cooked meals and balanced nutrition - results in your good health!”

Your mom is the best cook in the world, hands down. But now that you and your siblings have moved out, it has become hard to cook for just her and your dad, sometimes you catch them munching on take-outs that aren’t really included in the diet their doctor asked. In the senior living scene, you don’t have to worry about this anymore - their menu will have all the needs of your folks and they get to enjoy it with their friends.

“You don’t have to be stressed about lost quality time because you aren’t feeling better…”

Some aging adults whose health have had some problems and who have not taken the leap towards assisted living find that they are surrounded by children who have arguments taking shifts of who to look after them, therefore can’t work effectively to make ends meet. Should you decide to move forward with going towards holiday retirement you will find that the time you spend with your family is more of making wonderful memories and not being stressed out because they want to care for you but can only care for you up to an extent that they know. Sometimes it is good to acknowledge that the professionals need to be called in.

“No need to wake up and cook or go out to throw the trash dad!”

It is sometimes very hard to remember trivial tasks especially when it comes to cleaning the home and maintaining the chores and up to this time and time again your memory denies you the luxury of remembering simple tasks that used to be done by the force of habit. Elderly care and assisted living takes off the burden of having to clean and maintain the home because that is already covered by the facility. This allows your folks more time to spend on themselves.

“Bathing is not going to be a burden anymore, Mom”.

Some activities of daily living - eating, bathing, walking may be a little strenuous to aging adults and they find they are embarrassed to ask their family members for help in these areas and more often than not they try to do it themselves, often ending badly. It is nice to know that when you have enrolled your parents in assisted living, they can take this burden off their list which allows them more time in thinking about things that matter.

Why assisted living and other options is not a way to get rid of your folks

Most parents or people think that choosing to put your parents into assisted living is because you want to party or take off the responsibility from your shoulders. You should not take a detour to the guilt trip - it is but normal for all of us to care so deeply for our parents that we acknowledge there are specific areas of caring that we don’t know because we are not experts on it. We help them by working our hardest to be able to sustain their needs and give them their medications and that each and every time we spend with them we are only making happy memories, nothing else.

How to tell them about it now that you know this is the right move for them

Here is the hardest part of the process - how to tell your parents you are considering assisted living for them. Yes, it is the hardest part because you never know how they will take it. Most adult children delay this “talk” for fear of having to console a crying mom and an unaccepting dad (and oh so many more other emotions you might not have anticipated). You should know this talk will probably bring out some fears that they have - fear of death, being alone, being unloved, unwanted, feeling useless and you should be wholly ready emotionally and physically for this in order for you to be the one holding the strong end of the rope. The more you delay, the more chances that your folks will be actually needing the assisted living move more and more. Here are a few more things you can do to make sure that the “talk” becomes less emotional.

  1. Start dropping bread crumbs. Include the topic every now and then in conversations - say something like your friend's mother transferred to this nice place where they always play Bingo every weekend, or that you heard of a place where they have movie nights and paint days or chess games. Highlight the passion of your parents when putting assisted living in conversation.

  2. Work with your siblings. If you have brothers and sisters who love your parents as much as you do, talk to them first and see how they take the idea. You all need to agree or else it wouldn’t really feel good doing it after all. Either you can all do it individually or do it as a team, but also when doing it together try to make sure you don’t want to make it look like you're ganging up on them as if they don’t have a choice. It would be good to write on a board, or print it on paper - the pros and cons of going. Highlight more pros obviously!

  3. Go on a family field trip. Clear up everyone's schedule may it be a weekday or weekend and just hit up the gas and do some assisted living field trip! This helps them see that what they are in for is something fun and totally normal. Prior to the field trip, do your initial research via the world wide web and check their websites - make sure that the place doesn’t say “sadness” but would look something fun and colorful. They want to be able to feel safe and know they can still have independence and enjoy their time and it would be better to schedule these trips on Bingo night or the occasions too to make it more enticing.

  4. Hey, Doc, speak up! Now here is a good idea - let the doctor in on the conversation. Ask your parents’ doctor as to what level of care is actually needed and if it is ideal to go for assisted living. He could be the first one to open up this topic and then you and the siblings can follow-up on it.

  5. Talk about options. When you are almost at the verge of telling your parents, don’t make it sound as if the decision has already been made on their behalf. Come up with a few other options they can choose from - upgraded communication and safety cameras, home renovation, home care 24/7 among others. Talking about them and their pro’s and con’s can help your parents make that decision. Also, don’t forget, the topic of money should as much as possible take a back seat, you want to make them feel they aren’t a burden to you financially and that each aspect will be taken care of.

  6. Oops, your words please. Some words might trigger your parents to start hiding in a cave especially if it sounded depressing or drab. Be a little careful on terminology used because well, it’s their life we are talking about. Some surveys say that “assisted living” , “nursing home” are negative words to say. Some options like “senior community”, “senior living retreat”, “holiday retreat” or “senior luxury home” actually sounded more nice, elegant even.

  7. Some things to keep are important. One of their hesitations is about habits or possessions that make them feel safe. They need to know that they can still see you on the weekends to enjoy lunch picnics and that their grandchildren will call at least three times a week to speak with them about school, their friends and what team they got on. They may have a cactus they talk to, or a pet hamster that they want to keep. Talk to the facility what they can bring with them and what they can’t - if the dog can’t stay then find them a good place to stay like a family friend or relative. Make the transition smoother by letting them know that some sentimental things can definitely be brought along with them.

  8. It’s a date Mom and Dad, we love you. Now, when the right time comes choose the right place to say it. Consider the privacy you need and that there might be an emotional outburst. First place is to really do it at home, with food on the table and just the important characters being present. If the kids were there it could add to their emotional pain. You can go to a restaurant with a special room of your own or bring them to a weekend get-away and talk to them in their rooms about it.

Let us help you and your loved ones find the right place!

Tucson Assisted Living Retreat is a place where all of your loved one's needs will be covered … and more. It feels like another holiday or vacation with all the perks of people caring for their needs as they start going at their passion and dreams that they can still reach.

Call us today to discuss how we can help!

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