How to Talk to Your Elderly Parents About Assisted Living

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How to Talk to Your Elderly Parents About Assisted Living

Last updated December 2022


Moving to a senior assisted living facility can be an overwhelming amount of change for ageing loved ones, and having the talk with your parents about this next step is never an easy process. But it is necessary once they reach a point where it no longer makes sense or is safe for them to continue living on their own. Though it is a big adjustment, the rewards can vastly outweigh their fears once they get settled and recognize that their quality of life can drastically improve with their newfound freedom. If you’ve been tiptoeing around the subject and feel unsure about how to approach it, here are some tips on how to talk to your elderly parents about assisted living.


Find the Right Facility 


Senior assisted living facilities can drastically differ from each other. Some can offer a completely different experience from the next, which is why it’s a good idea to do some research prior to having this conversation with your parents. Search through the various options available in your area and find one or a few that seem like the right fit for your parent’s needs and lifestyle. For example, if they’re active and love to be social, make sure you consider this while doing research. Having this information ready is important for settling their anxiety and uncertainty, which are common during this major life change. 


Approach the Conversation in a Casual and Comfortable Setting


Don’t make it a formal conversation. This will only heighten their stress and uneasiness. Instead, present the idea as a casual discussion rather than an official talk which can sometimes come across more like a demand or an intervention from the family. Choose a comfortable setting such as the kitchen or on the porch. Make sure to be gentle, focusing on honouring their wishes, asking what their needs are, and highlighting that it’s merely a preparatory conversation for the future. Nothing needs to happen or be decided right away. The main element during your discussion is to emphasize that nothing will be decided without them, making them feel more comfortable venturing into the proposed idea.


Take Them on a Tour


If they are healthy and able, take them on a tour of the assisted living facility. There’s no better way to get them on a positive note and even excited. This way, they can directly view and get a feeling for the place and envision themselves living there. They can also talk with other seniors residents and feel more involved and in control, which is what any of us want when it comes to major life decisions.


Use Positive Language and Tone


Sometimes, the words and tone used can make all the difference in the reaction you get. Try to focus on positive words when having this conversation. For example, the term “facility” can come across as cold, whereas “community” conveys the very opposite. Instead of referring to their living quarters as rooms, which can sound underwhelming, use “modern condo-style living.” Also, make a conscious effort to listened and validate their feelings. It’s important that they feel respected in the decision-making process.

If you’re looking for the perfect assisted living facility for your parents in Edmonton, consider Waterford of Summerlea. Our community is dedicated to providing seniors with the best quality of life in an elegant, safe and engaging community. We offer a wide range of convenient services right on-site that will enrich their lives and give you peace of mind at the same time. Contact us today to learn more about us, or to arrange a tour.