Senior Center

Talking and Planning for Assisted Living

By Christina2 - March 19, 2014

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Having the talk with your parents about when it’s time for them to move into an assisted living facility is never easy, but too often, it’s a necessary one. When the time arises, make sure you avoid these 5 common pitfalls that can make the process a lot harder than it has to be.

1. Not Starting the Discussion Early Enough

For many seniors, dementia sadly becomes a part of everyday life. The goal is to start talking about assisted living before that point is reached so both you and your parents have as much time as possible. There’s always the chance that you, your siblings or your parents may not want to face reality, but the sooner you start, the more time is on your side and the more you can efficiently deal with bumps in the road when they arise.

2. Disagreeing on a Facility

Your parents most likely have a very definite idea of what they at least don’t want, if not what they do want, and it’s important to listen to them. If they say they don’t want a home that’s on the outskirts of town, or that doesn’t have a full social calendar, listen to them. Budget will have a large part to play with this, but remember this: they have to live there every day and night, and you don’t.

3. Disagreeing on a Course of Action

Eventually, there’ll come a time when your parents die, and how they get there is also up to them. It’s their process, not yours, and they should be as in charge of it as possible. If they want or don’t want heroic resuscitation measures, hospice or hospital care, or anything else, take their words to heart. Dying is hard enough on everyone without needing arguments to complicate matters.

4. Not Having the Right Medical Care

While the difference between “good” and “bad” medical care can be subjectively viewed, it’s more important to figure out what’s best for your parents, as what works for them might not work for other seniors, and vice versa. One of the downsides about healthcare in the United States is everything is so specific and compartmentalized, which means that not every doctor is trained to recognize a wide range of problems and hitting on a specialist(s) who knows what to do can be tricky and hard to find.

5. Not Visiting Prospective Homes at Various Times

Think back to when you bought your first house: you probably checked it out during the day and then again at night, Googled the area to check out the safety of it, and possibly talked to neighbors to get a firsthand account. Do the same with your list of assisting living facilities to make sure you get as close a fit as possible for your parents.

While broaching the topic of assisting living facilities for your parents is never an easy or fun topic, going about it the right way can ease the stress a lot.