Before you suggest assisted living

Before you suggest assisted living

“On your mark! Get set! Wait!” That is the experience, and in fact the best strategy, when hoping to persuade an older relative to move to assisted living.

You may feel sure your mom or dad needs extra help. But they may not agree. This is a common dilemma. For instance, you may have noticed your loved one

  • seems tired of cooking and is eating less and less
  • forgets to take medications
  • is unsteady when walking or has bruises that may indicate a fall
  • is having difficulty with dressing
  • rarely leaves the house and has little social contact

Unless there is a serious safety risk, don’t push for a move. If your relative is resistant, pushing will likely backfire. Instead, “get set” by doing your homework on your own beforehand so you are ready when things change (and they usually do).

  • Figure out the finances. Medicare and Medicaid do not cover assisted living. Learn about your relative’s income and assets. What could be afforded monthly for rent, food and care? Do they have long-term care insurance? Does your loved one qualify for veterans’ assistance?
  • Consider needs and preferences. If you had to guess, would your relative like an active, urban setting or a quieter environment? Are there particular hobbies or pastimes of interest? Do they need special assistance with diet, medications, or going to the bathroom?
  • Look at facilities. Are there facilities in dad’s current neighborhood? Any close to you or another family member? Any that his friends live in already? Create a list of facilities that you can visit first on your own. Narrow the options down to a short list of ones that deserve serious consideration once your loved one is ready to consider this option.

You might also consider hiring an Aging Life Care™ Manager to save you time. These professionals know the pros and cons of all the local facilities. Unlike “free” referral services that receive payments from the facility, Aging Life Care Managers have no potential for conflict of interest. Their recommendations are based on a genuine belief that a particular facility is the best fit for your family.