Do not let your parent feel that you have made the decision for them. The first conversation should be a discussion, not an intervention.
Talk about the multiple options available to them. Many of our parents have a misguided understanding that all senior housing options are equivalent to a nursing home or hospice. Let them know what is available. Talk about solutions that can make their lifestyle more interesting and even fun.
Be sensitive to the emotional attachment to their home, a place with years of memories. Empathize with them.
Stress the benefits of an assisted living community: An independent apartment. No more shoveling snow or yard maintenance. No plumbers, electricians, or roofers. Available transportation.
Paint the picture about a lifestyle. This is about meeting new people or dining with friends. Many Assisted Living communities feature a multitude of amenities from salons and fitness centers to group art classes and outdoor recreation.
Does your loved one forget to take their medications as prescribed by their physician at times?
Be clear and use real-life examples that support why you think they would benefit from help.
When the moment feels right, and that may not be during your first conversation, offer to visit some assisted living communities together. Don’t push too hard. If your parent becomes uncomfortable, consider tabling the discussion until another day.
If the vibe becomes uncomfortable or your Mom or Dad starts to get overly defensive, be prepared to stop, especially when memory loss is a factor.
At some point, you may notice your loved one pulling away from the process. They may need you to step in and make some decisions for them.