Posted: 26 November 2018
The last census revealed that 3.1 percent of seniors live in a nursing home and assisted care living facility.
Moving your parents into assisted living is not an easy decision for anyone.
When you’re ready to make the decision, it’s good to have as much information as possible.
Wondering how to get parents into assisted living? Check out these 10 tips.
1. Plant the Seed
The last thing your parents want is to feel that they have gotten old and have no control over their lives. If you consider your parents should transition to assisted living, don’t tell them you’ve made the decision for them.
They might fight you in the decision if they think you’ve already made it for them.
Instead, you should only plant the idea in their minds. You could start by mentioning someone’s parents just moved into assisted living and love it.
This might get them to ask more questions and start considering it for themselves.
2. Talk About it As a Family
Once your parents decide to move into assisted living, you should discuss it as a family.
If you have siblings, you will want to include them in the decision. No one wants to feel like they have no say over their elderly parents’ care.
Pick a time suitable time to make this decision. Talking about it during the holidays, when everyone is stressed, is not the best time.
Plan to have everyone meet during a quiet time. Discuss important points such as the type of facility, who is going to be financially responsible, and other important decisions.
3. Ask for Professional Help
Before you and your parents consider assisted living, it’s a good option to ask for professional help.
You might want to ask one of the representatives of a facility to come into your home and talk to you and your parents about the process.
They will have some tips that can help you ease your mind during a stressful time. Plus, your parents will feel more comfortable if they can put a face to the name.
You can also ask expert caregivers you’ve worked with in the past to give you some pointers. If you want more resources on assisted living, read more.
4. Get to Know The Staff
You wouldn’t send your children on a field trip or sleepover without knowing the parents first. It’s the same thing when it comes to moving your parents into assisted living.
Before leaving your parents at an assisted living facility, you’ll want to get to know the staff who will be interacting with your parents. Not only will you want to get to know who the nurses are, but also get to know the doctors.
Get their contact information and level of experience. If you want to be extra careful, check their references.
It might sound like a lot of work to follow all of these steps, but you will have peace of mind later.
5. Talk About Their Finances
Before your parents move into assisted living care, you must discuss and put their finances in order.
Talk about whether or not they want to sell their home. This might also be the time to arrange for a power of attorney and sort out any wills an estates.
Consider hiring a financial planner to help you sort out all the details pertaining to your parents’ estate. There might be a lot to arrange if they have property, retiring accounts, pensions, and insurance.
If one of your parents suffers from a deteriorating illness such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia, you might want to do it sooner than later.
6. Decorate Their New Space
Once you’re done with all of the administrative and financial paperwork, it’s time to move them into the facility.
You’ll want them to feel at home in this new chapter of their lives. Make sure you decorate their new space in a way that feels familiar.
Put up photos of the family, bring photo albums, and any other keepsakes that make them feel at home. Make sure you give them final saying on how to decorate so they feel like they’re in control of the situation.
7. Visit Them and Call Often
Once your parents are settled in, you have to keep continuous communication with them.
You should try to choose a facility closer to where you live, so the drive doesn’t take a lot of your day. And you can use that time to spend time with them instead.
Life gets busy sometimes and you might not have time to visit as often as you’d like. It doesn’t mean there are no other ways of communication.
Call them or FaceTime them often or at least text them once a day to see how their day is going. A little bit of communication goes a long way.
8. Talk About Their Medications
Be sure to communicate with your parents and the staff all of their medication needs. The last thing you want is for there to be miscommunication and your parents don’t take their medication like they’re supposed to.
You can also have your parents’ doctor talk to the medical staff in the facility about their medication.
9. Make Sure They Have Plenty of Socialization
You never want your parents to be and feel isolated when they move into assisted living. Pick a facility that has plenty of opportunities to socialize.
It will be good for your parents to participate in activities and interact with other residents.
10. Ask Your Parents to Communicate
Tell your parents it’s okay for them to communicate any concerns and requests they might have.
Never shy them away from speaking their mind and giving their opinion. If they’re not happy with something, make sure they express it.
How to Get Parents Into Assisted Living: The Bottom Line
How to get parents into assisted living? Start by following these tips to help you in the process.
Help your parents make the decision themselves, talk about it as a family, sort out their finances, and more.
Want to learn about 12 important things to do when you move, check out this article.