Is your parent beginning to struggle with a few tasks of daily living, such as bathing, getting dressed or shopping and preparing meals? Or are they unable to keep up with the maintenance of their home? Do you find yourself worrying more about how they’re doing or if they’re safe?
If you live in another city or state, the concern can multiply – whenever they sound tired or every time they don’t answer the phone.
When your parents decide it would be better to live closer to one of their children, often it is the parents who will move. If they could also use the services of an assisted living community, your family might be exploring what steps can be taken to make this a more positive experience?
Your family and parents will need to plan for two life-changing events:
1. Moving to a different city or state
2. Moving into an assisted living community
Each will require an adjustment period, patience and a little extra compassion and care. The following tips may help you achieve both successfully:
For a parent who needs regular help with the activities of daily life, assisted living is often the best option. Consider the following guidelines to begin the conversation:
Learn everything you can so you’ll be able to answer your parent’s common questions. Most adult children begin with an on-line search to discover as much information as possible, especially to learn what services are provided and what benefits a community may offer.
If possible, schedule a time when you can get together, either at their home or yours. This is a big conversation to have and decision to make. It will be easier if you can sit across from each other. It may also be helpful to gather everyone involved in the discussion but tailor the specifics to what would work best for your family.
Remind your parents that it is their decision to make, which it should be unless they truly aren’t able. Take extra steps to reassure them that you are there to serve as an information resource and to help them consider the different options.
It’s helpful to discuss the fears or concerns there might be and how these may be addressed with the services offered at an assisted living community. One example might be if they no longer are eating well, remind them that there will be healthy and delicious meals prepared for them.
If your parent will be moving into an assisted living community that is located near you, you’ll need to take the extra step to address any concerns they may have about leaving their neighborhood and making their home in a new area.
Consider these suggestions:
Depending on how many times your parent has visited you in the past, they may already be familiar with the area. But if they’re not, you’ll want to spend enough time to help them explore and become comfortable with their new hometown.
Make a list of the different features or amenities your parent may be interested in. Is your home in a college town? If that would appeal to your parent, make it a point to talk about the lectures or theater productions that you can attend together.
Make sure your parent knows how grateful and happy you are to have them closer. Not only can you spend more time together, but you can let them know that you now feel you won’t have to worry as much and can relax and enjoy each other.
Now that they live closer, could they be more involved with your family? Maybe they’ll now be able to attend school events or spend more time with their grandchildren. Are there ways they can help you? Discover new benefits of having them closer and make sure you share them.
How often to visit in the beginning or whether your parent may find it easier to make conversation at dinner in their new home if you join them are personal decisions that only you can make. Regardless of general information, always factor in what you believe would work best for your parent and then plan from there.
Remind your parent that it will take time to adjust to their new home, no matter where they live. It will be a new place, in a new city and it may also be a new lifestyle. Encourage them to give it time, even on the days when they may feel frustrated or worried that it might have not been the best decision.
It’s also easy for the adult children to have high expectations for moving their parent to a new area and into an assisted living community. These decisions come with a lot of emotions and on some days you may just have to ride it out. It will be much easier if you adjust your expectations and remind yourself that it will take time.
Whether your parents are struggling with the basic daily activities or you’re concerned with them living alone, assisted living is often the right answer. With the opportunities to stay healthy, make new friends and have fun, it’s little surprise that quality of life also improves for many residents. Moving them to be closer to you will also be a positive experience as you’ll be able to see them more often.
At Ingleside at King Farm Assisted Living, we believe in a whole-person approach and our well-being philosophy ensures everyone is treated with the respect that allows independence and choice. All of our staff members are trained to compassionately engage with our residents, assisting them when needed and supporting them to age well always.
If your family is considering assisted living, we invite you to download our free resource, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living.
Call (240) 455-4582 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.