There comes a time when you may have concerns about your parent living alone. Worries include using the stove, climbing stairs, healthy eating habits, exercise, social activity. It is always best to talk with your parent early on before their living situation becomes an issue. The following tips will help you to create a positive attitude in having that conversation.
1. Use “I” statements with your parent. “I am concerned about you” “I noticed that ………”
2. Make compromises with your parent so that they feel a part of the decision.
3. Ask your parent questions about their concerns. Knowing that you are interested in their fears will help your parent to feel more at ease. You can even ask leading questions that will help them to come to the same conclusion on their own. Your parent may have fears of abandonment even though they may be living closer to you, or fear of loss of independence. Being able to address these concerns and come up with solutions will help you both feel more at ease.
4. Sometimes a third party is helpful in having this discussion. Attending a dr. appointment (or arrange one) with your parent and discuss the living situation with your parent and their doctor.
5. When you choose a facility you can also talk to them about helping with your parent’s fears. They will be very familiar with dealing this type of issue. It can be scary for your parent to make a move and often the staff will aid in your parent feeling more comfortable in the move. They make take her to lunch at the facility and show her around.
Positive Things to Tell Your Parent about Assisted Living Facilities
1. Let your parent know that it is time that they are able to live life to her fullest and that these years are for him/her to enjoy their life to the fullest. Your parent cared for you and your family for so long and this move will enable him/her to make great choices in day to day life that are enjoyable and less difficult.
2. A driver to take you where you want, when you want.
Are there times that your parent does not feel comfortable driving somewhere but there is a location they would really like to go to? The long term care facility would be able to take your parent there, which is actually an added independence.
3. Healthy food prepared for parent that will potentially change how they are feeling physically and mentally, is taken care of allowing more time to visit with friends and do other activities. Its hard to cook for one person and get healthy meals. You could say “I know for me when I am on my own for dinner I am not really into cooking something for myself, I imagine you have that experience often”.
4. Activities and people to choose or not choose. Tell your parent they will meet new people and find friends that they will have things in common with such as a particular hobby. Your parent can chose what to do when they want to do it. (Activities at a long term care facility specializing in dementia/Alzheimer have a lot going on to keep their brain stimulated).
5. If the long term facility is close to your home, let your parent know that it will be great having them in a location that is close to you. You will be able to spend more time together.
6. Additional Independence - Let your mom know that there is a variety of levels of care and she will be able to keep her independence and privacy.