You’ve noticed your parents are beginning to struggle with the everyday tasks of life. The telephone calls for help may be more frequent. The worry over falls or becoming ill while alone are now a constant companion. You know safety and security is an issue and believe it is time for assisted living.
However, what do you do if not everyone in the family agrees? Maybe they live far away and don’t see what you do. Perhaps they are having a difficult time accepting their parents need assistance. Disagreements between family members can make an already difficult time that much more challenging.
But there is help.
The following information can help move your family forward and provide the support needed to smooth the process.
Recognizing the signs that a loved one needs help
It’s always best to have conversations about senior living with your family as early as possible. Knowing the common indicators that a parent is losing quality of life or may no longer be safe living at home will help:
- Difficulty in bathing, grooming and hygiene
- No longer able to shop or prepare healthy meals
- Inability to manage or keep up the home
- Becoming socially isolated at home
- Experiencing loneliness and finding it difficult to interact with friends
- Increased falling or loss of balance
- Loss of physical fitness or increased illnesses
- No longer able to navigate the home due to inaccessibility
Understanding family dynamics
Families can be complex creatures and unfortunately even in times of crisis, the dynamics that have always been at play are still there. The roles that we likely assumed in childhood seem to return. But it’s important to make your best effort to get siblings on board so your loved one will have the highest quality of care.
Tips for a successful assisted living conversation
1. Be open and transparent
Caregiving often falls to the child that lives geographically nearby or has the closest relationship. While it is better to share the responsibility, if you are the one taking the lead in finding care, be open and if possible, make sure all siblings are included in the decision making.
2. Get educated
Try to gather as much information as possible before any conversations and be prepared to answer questions. Learn about the different types of senior living available, what services you believe your parents will need and what communities are in the area. Get pricing information as well.
3. Schedule an initial conversation
The earlier the conversation is, the better but it’s also helpful to understand that there will likely need to be several discussions to complete all the details. Consider offering to get answers to any questions or to schedule community tours so everyone can become more familiar with assisted living.
4. Don’t present the decision as already made
Try to keep the decision process open. Ensure your siblings don’t feel as if everything has already been decided and they are merely being told the outcome. Have open discussions and encourage input, including what options may be available as well as the pros and cons of remaining at home.
5. Understand where the disagreement may be coming from
If your siblings disagree about whether your parents need help or at what level, try to understand the reasons behind that. It might be that they’re feeling disloyal if a parent has expressed that they don’t want to go to senior living or they may be struggling to accept that their parents now need help.
6. Find common ground
It might not be possible to come to a total agreement on senior living but try to find common ground so that everyone feels heard and that their opinions were considered. Ask for a trial period and for everyone to have an open mind about the decision to move into an assisted living community.
7. Remind everyone you all have the same end goal
Emotions can run high especially when discussing something as serious as your parents leaving their home and moving into a community. Try to defuse these feelings and encourage everyone to remember that the end goal is the same – helping your parents maintain wellbeing and achieve a quality life.
8. Ask for support and help
Even if you are the one taking the lead in helping your parents find a safe and quality assisted living community, if you have siblings you shouldn’t be expected to solely carry the weight. It’s important that everyone contribute and feel a part of the decision. Ask for help with tasks.
9. Talk to a professional
Depending on the dynamics of the family, some adult children are never able to reach consensus or come to a solution that will keep their parents safe. However, the priority is the security and safety of your parents and that they are able to receive the level of care required. If your family can’t come to an agreement, speak to a mediator or other professional for guidance.
Assisted Living at Seaside Hallandale Beach
We’re here to answer any questions you may have about senior living and invite your family to see how our community can encourage and promote a higher quality of life.
We encourage you to visit Seaside Hallandale Beach, which is designed to provide activities and social opportunities to help our residents in reaching their wellness goals.
Supporting our residents to age well, we believe you or your parents will enjoy the services and amenities available in our pet-friendly community:
- A monthly social calendar of activities
- Beautiful common spaces to socialize
- Weekly housekeeping
- A spacious courtyard
- An outdoor pool with a covered patio
- Personalized fitness and wellness programs
- Scheduled transportation
- Easy and safe access to the beach