It can be a little uncomfortable to talk to your loved one about assisted living. But if you feel like your loved one is better off living in an assisted living facility, then you should start the talk. The following are some of the tips to talk about assisted living with your loved one.
Research on health issues
Before you begin the talk, you should thoroughly research the health issues that your loved one is suffering from. For example, you should know about any progressive health condition that gets worse with time. These types of health conditions can impact the ability of your loved one to stay at home. You have enough data and evidence with you can help you make a strong case regarding assisted living for your loved one. It can make your loved one more open to staying at an assisted living facility.
Another thing that you can do before you start the talk about assisted living is to look at the various types of facilities that are available. Not just the ones that are close to you, but research ones that provide the type of needs your loved one has. This is one of the important tips to talk about assisted living with your loved one because you need to have additional information if your loved one shows any concern.
Avoid using too much data
When you have researched thoroughly, the chances are that you might blurt out more than necessary. That is, you might give way too much information than necessary. This can confuse your loved one even further and make him feel like you have already made a decision. You don’t want him to feel that way which is why you should keep your answers short instead of dumping statistics and evidence-based data on your loved one. You want him to understand without him feeling like you have already decided.
Ask open-ended questions
When you are starting the conversation about assisted living, you want to have open-ended questions. It is better if you always ask open-ended questions to your loved one. This will ensure that he is answering them completely and you understand his feelings in the process of doing so. When you ask close-ended questions, you won’t be giving your loved one the chance to convey all of his feelings to you. It can help you understand completely what your loved one thinks about the idea of assisted living too.
Keep any promise you make
This is one of the tips to talk about assisted living that you should ensure you follow even after you complete having the conversation with your loved one. If there is something that you promise, then ensure that you keep the promise. One of the biggest concerns of many parents is that you will forget about them after leaving them at the assisted living facility. You should make sure that this is not the case by visiting them regularly. Similarly, whatever promise you make during your talk, keep it.
Be empathetic, not sympathetic
When you offer sympathy, you are feeling pity for your loved one. Your loved one does not want your pity because they feel weak in the process. When you are talking to your loved one, you should always use a loving tone. You should be empathetic. They will open up to you more in this way and voice any concerns that they have about the assisted living facility. This can help you explain to them how beneficial the assisted living facility can be in the long run.
Discuss the financial situation
You must discuss the financial aspect of the assisted living facility. Don’t just bring it out of the blue but only bring it out when your loved one is showing signs of acceptance for assisted living. You can discuss the options that are available at present and how some facilities provide financial options which make it easier to pay. You can research together if possible, and you can offer to help if you have the financial means to do so. You need to understand the financial situation of your loved one too because the cost for assisted living can be high.
There is nothing worse than your loved one speaking and you cut them off mid-way. Avoid interrupting your loved one regardless of what they are saying. You want to be sure that you understand their side of the situation too. You must always listen fully so they can tell you exactly how they feel. This can help smoothen out any misunderstanding or confusion with regards to the assisted living facility. This is one of the most important tips to talk about assisted living.
Whatever you do, never rush the conversation. Assisted living is a pretty big deal for anyone. And if your loved one has always loved independence, then he might feel like you are pushing the decision if you rush when you talk. You should be patient when you are talking to your loved one even if he is resistant about the entire situation. You want him to feel comfortable with the idea of assisted living first and then take the conversation from there so that it will go smoothly from there on.
Pre-plan your conversation
Of course, you cannot pre-plan everything, but it is a good idea to think about what concerns might come up. You know your loved one the best so you should be able to think about how he thinks. You can have answers ready so that whenever he brings something up, you can give an informed answer rather than something you are not sure about yourself. You can think of how to handle the topics that can come up. He might blame you for taking away his independence and so on. If you pre-plan, you can think of ways to handle any situation in advance.
Plan visits to assisted living facilities
This is another one of the important tips to talk about assisted living. Once you have voiced all the concerns that your loved one has, you can plan visits to different assisted living facilities if your loved one is willing to do so. This can help him understand how the life of living in such a facility is and how it can help him live his life in a better and more dignified way. It can help him understand assisted living facilities better too, and perhaps he will be more willing to go there.
Revisit conversations when possible
You might fail the first time that you even bring up the subject of assisted living indirectly. This does not mean that you dismiss the idea altogether. You should try different ways to bring up the subject without it seeming too obvious. You might fail several times before your loved one truly understands that you are truly concerned and you care about him. But you should never give up on the talk about assisted living. You might even want to bring it up before you think that your loved one requires assisted living to ease the talk.
It can be tough to talk to your loved one because you don’t know how they will react. You should have faith and be positive because you are thinking about the best for your loved one. The tips to talk about assisted living above will ensure the talk goes as smoothly as possible.