It’s not always easy trying to tell your elderly parent that assisted living might very well be a great option for them at this stage in their life. They might be frustrated with you. They might get angry. And they may even accuse you of trying to pawn them off on somebody else, just waiting for them to die. Those are hurtful comments, but they usually come from a place of fear or doubt, or uncertainty. Many aging men and women simply don’t know much about assisted living and think it is like other types of senior care options.
In reality, assisted living, when done right, is about helping aging men and women maximize their quality of life, stay active, and forge powerful friendships with other men and women their own age.
The best way to convince an aging parent or other loved one is that assisted living is something to consider, you have to improve your communication. This doesn’t mean you are at fault for poor communication. It simply means you might have to take on an extra amount of the burden to try and communicate more effectively.
Let’s look at a few tips that might just help you communicate better with an aging parent about the senior care topic of assisted living.
Tip #1: Know the facts.
Facts are important. Many people make assumptions about assisted living, even though they’ve never really looked into it directly. Before you start talking about assisted living with an aging parent or other loved one, learn as much as you can about it.
Don’t make assumptions. If you make assumptions about what assisted living is, what it offers, the types of activities it might offer, or how it might be for elderly men and women to live there, and you’re wrong, credibility goes down the drain.
Before you start talking to an elderly person about assisted living, with the intent of them considering it for their future, get the facts. That might include taking a tour, speaking to an administrator, and asking as many questions as needed so you are clear on what it is and what it offers.
Tip #2: Be patient.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. An elderly person who has been living on their own for 40 or 50 or 60 years may not jump at the opportunity to move to another place where staff members can support them and help them. It might take that person a few weeks or even months to come around and realize it might just be the right option for their future.
Take your time. Don’t get frustrated when they refuse to agree with you right away.
Tip #3: Learn to listen better.
Communication is about talking and listening. In fact, if you really get down to it, the best communication involves listening more. That aging senior might be trying to tell you something or ask questions without knowing how to ask them. If you listen more effectively, you can communicate better.
Tip #4: Rinse and repeat.
It might take months, maybe even a year or more before that senior in your life realizes just how valuable assisted living is. Keep going through the steps and you may just be surprised one day when they say yes, with enthusiasm.