You love your parents dearly, but sometimes it feels so hard to be their adult child. Mom and Dad know you have only their best interests at heart, but whenever you suggest (however gently) that they might need help with daily activities, they bristle and tell you to mind your own business. They’re doing just fine, thanks. Sure, some things are a bit more difficult, but that’s to be expected, right?
Aging and the “slowing” that comes with it may be expected, but you worry for Mom or Dad’s safety and well-being. So how can you have “the talk” in a way that feels less threatening and more positive?
Here at Magnolia Manor, we’re experts on senior living and we know from years of conversations what concerns seniors most about a potential move to assisted living. We also know how to accentuate the positive. So, here are some tips on how to talk with your senior parents about adopting a new kind of lifestyle.
Assistance with Independence in Mind
It can be tough for seniors to confront the fact that it’s time to downsize. Big yards and big houses make big work, something that can start to lose its appeal as we get older. Besides, many seniors aren’t as strong or flexible as they once were. Moving into an independent senior living community may be a difficult decision, but it can bring a multitude of benefits.
But what if the best move isn’t independent living on a smaller scale but assisted living? This is much harder for most seniors. Downsizing is one thing – you’re deliberately getting rid of chores you don’t want to do and stuff you don’t need any more. But admitting we need help with routine tasks of daily living, speaks to our very sense of self. We resist, even when it becomes obvious to others that we need a helping hand.
That emotional hurdle is a big one. But assisted living is not the beginning of the end! It is an opportunity for Mom or Dad to embrace a little help in order to retain maximum independence and control over their daily life. It is, as we like to say at Magnolia Manor, about living life to the fullest. Keep this in mind – and keep repeating it out loud – as you talk with your parents about the future.
Don’t Put It Off
As tough as it is to talk now, waiting until Mom’s living situation becomes an emergency will be far harder on everyone. This is doubly true if your parents are starting to show signs of dementia, because you want them to take an active role in decision-making.
As a faith-based organization, we know that turning to our faith is especially comforting and supportive when things are difficult. So we strongly encourage you to take advantage of this very personal opportunity. Pray for strength and guidance to stay the course in finding the best assisted living solution for Mom. Pray with her as you consider choices and preferences.
Pick the Right Time
Quiet, calm, relaxing – choose a time to initiate the talk when you and your parents are free of pressing activities, worries, etc. that could undermine a positive discussion.
Listen as Well as Talk
It’s so important that Mom or Dad has as much input as possible. After all, the decisions you make will affect their future most of all. As you explore options, talk about what kind of community and amenities appeal most to them, so they can be fully engaged in their new surroundings. When they have a hand in decision-making, they will be much more motivated to accept it positively.
Don’t Give Up
The talk will surely be an ongoing discussion that could last for months. Keep at it, because finding the best possible solution is essential.
We Can Help
Our free guide that explains different types of senior living is a great resource. And our Magnolia Manor staff is always available to answer questions. Feel free to give us a call at 855-540-LIFE to learn more about senior living opportunities at Magnolia Manor.