The “assisted living” talk with an aging parent may be one of the hardest, most emotional conversations you will ever have with them. This article is not meant to make it sound easy as if following a series of steps will make the process painless. Talking with a loved one about leaving their home should not be taken lightly. It will not be quick. It may take months to come to a resolution, and the resolution you ultimately come to may not be mutually agreeable.
The biggest hurdle most of us face is that the subject has never been brought up before. It is hard to admit that our parents are becoming weaker or frail, or that they may require help. However, at some point you’ve noticed – there’s moldy food in the fridge, the house is a mess, there’s apparent weight loss or frailty, there has been a medication mishap – it’s time.
If at all possible, start this conversation sooner rather than later, especially if you are not yet at the point where your loved one needs help immediately. Ask your folks what they want. Discuss how they would want to be approached when the time comes. With less urgency and pressure, the conservation can be less emotional and more solution oriented.
Of course, we all hope to keep our loved ones in their homes as long as possible, but at some point, home may no longer be a safe place, especially after a hospitalization or fall, or if one is coping with memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease.