Trying to speak with your aging mother or father regarding their possible transition to a nursing home or assisted living facility could be one of the most emotional and challenging conversations you could ever have. But it’s something that you might need to do to help make sure that your parents are safe and well cared for as they age. But when should you have the conversation?
Is There Ever a Right Time?
As your mother or father grows older, it’s better that you speak to them before actually seeing that they require extra help, advises an expert from Cozy Retire, a renowned assisted living community in Ogden. Begin by asking them about what could happen if they require help and what they want to happen. This way, you wouldn’t need to have this difficult conversation during an actual health crisis when tensions are high, and everyone can’t possibly think clearly.
Signs that might indicate that you need to speak with your parent about the possibility of assisted living in the future include difficulty performing daily chores such as cleaning the home, banking, paying bills, keeping appointments, washing clothes, grocery shopping and cooking among many others. You must likewise consider talking about the possible transition if you see your parent struggling to do basic tasks such as walking, getting up, going the toilet, ensuring proper hygiene, etc. Other red flags also include dementia warning signs such as difficulty holding conversations or listening, spacing out, and forgetting things.
If you reside far away from your loved one, refrain from having the talk while you’re visiting for the holidays or vacationing in your parent’s home because these are supposed to be joyful bonding times. Take advantage of these occasions to closely examine your parent’s behavior and then visit your mom or dad another time if you think there’s cause for concern so you could have a deeper and more fruitful conversation.
You need to start having the discussion about the possibility of assisted living or something similar in advance so that you could create a dialogue that encompasses years before the actual move is necessary. Remember, change, especially for aging individuals, is difficult and downright terrifying for some. You need to validate whatever your parent’s feeling, be respectful, and listen. This is the only way you could make certain that you understand what they need and want and then figure out the ideal living arrangement for your loved one.