No one wants to broach the conversation with mom and dad about moving to an assisted living community.
The primary problem is that when you say “Assisted Living”, they hear nursing home. And no matter how much information you give them about the differences between the two, you’re unlikely to convince them.
You know once they get to the community, they’ll love the independence and the many activities, and they’ll be sure to make friends. The problem is getting them there.
So it’s time to get sneaky.
What are the benefits of introducing your parents to Assisted Living surreptitiously?
- No arguments. If they don’t know they’re going, they can’t protest.
- No prepared objections. Your parents can’t bring up objections when they don’t realize what’s happening.
- No attitude. Sometimes, if you tell your parents about something beforehand, they develop a predisposition that they won’t like it, and nothing you can do or say will change their minds. This circumvents that problem.
- Expert advice. Staff at Assisted Living communities are accustomed to dealing with people who are frightened of change, and they are experienced in approaching them.
Try these strategic methods to get your parents to an Assisted Living community.
#1 Tempt them with an activity to introduce them to Assisted Living.
Call a local Assisted Living community and find out when they’re having an activity. Many communities have yard sales, financial lectures, and holiday events.
For example, if a nearby community is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt, enlist your grandchildren in participating, then invite your parents to the event. Call ahead, explain the problem you’re having, and ask if a staff member could speak to them while they’re there and attempt to persuade them to take a tour. Your parents may have no problem telling you no, but they are likely to be more accepting of a stranger.
#2 Take them to lunch or dinner at an Assisted Living community
Meals at Assisted Living communities are delicious and nutritious, and the dining areas are always well-appointed. Contact a nearby community, explain your problem, and ask if you can take your parents to lunch or dinner in the dining room, followed by a tour. Then, invite your parents to lunch or dinner.
#3 Ask a resident to introduce them to Assisted Living
Assisted Living residents love the choice they’ve made, and they love to tell other people about their community. If you have a friend or relative who’s already made that choice, ask them to invite your parents over for cards or to visit.
If you know no one who is a resident, contact your local Assisted Living community. Frequently, enthusiastic residents volunteer to help potential new residents learn more about Assisted Living by inviting them to one of the many programs, such as card games, walking clubs, or church. They may also invite them to lunch or dinner.
#4 Request a trusted counselor or friend introduce them to Assisted Living
If they don’t have a pastor, there is sure to be one at the Assisted Living community who can invite them to visit. If they’re not religious, ask one of their trusted friends to go along on the tour. You may also want to discover if any of their friends are considering Assisted Living and invite them along.
#5 Let them try out Assisted Living with a short stay
A short stay or respite gives potential residents the opportunity to experience everything the community offers. Your parents can stay the night, the weekend, or longer in a safe, accessible apartment. Most communities provide the following services:
- Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)
- Medication management
- Beauty salon/barber
- Fitness programs
- Daily programs
- Religious ceremonies
- 24-hour security
- Weekly housekeeping
However, many communities offer much more. For example, in addition to the basics, The Arbors Assisted Living Retirement Communities can offer:
- Private apartments
- Nursing staff 7 days a week
- Nurse on call after hours
- Emergency response system
- 24/7 assistance
- Restaurant-style dining
- Room service
- Personal laundry service
- Hospice care coordination
- On site PT, OT and podiatry
- Resident council
- Community living room with fireplace
- Outdoor courtyard and patios
- Pub with 24/7 complimentary snacks and beverages
- Private mailbox
- Weekly shopping trips
- Sundries available for purchase
- Car snow removal