Caring for your parents can become more difficult as they age. The average person can’t always meet the nursing needs of seniors. At least 70% of people over the age of 65 will need to look into long term dedicated senior care options at some point in their life.
If you’ve been caring for your parents but are reaching your limits, it can be difficult to broach the topic of senior care living or nursing homes. Here are a few ways to make that talk a little easier.
Have an Ongoing Discussion
Often a single, confrontational discussion will only alienate your parents. Try to bring the subject up in a gradual, non-threatening manner, and make sure it’s a discussion where all opinions can be heard evenly. Try not to use your siblings to gang up on your parents, but bring it up in conversation gradually when other people are around to gently offer insight.
Use Calming Language and Tones
The last thing you want to do is turn things into an argument. If you’ve experienced frustration or difficulties while caring for your parents, now is not the time to air them. Highlight positives instead of negatives. Focus on why senior care will be better for your parents, not why having them at home has been worse for you. Keep a calm, pleasant tone and discuss benefits of senior care, like cooking assistance and social activities. Four in 10 senior living residents receive help with three or more daily living activities, so assisted living might actually help your parents maintain their lifestyle.
Understand Why they Don’t Want to Leave Home
Many elders feel that when they move to an assisted living center, they’re moving to their final residence. This fear may not be voiced so directly, but you should be sensitive to it all the same. According to research, many seniors only stay in assisted living centers for 22 months before passing away or moving elsewhere. Handle any discussions of mortality with kindness and understanding, and don’t treat them poorly for being stubborn. Talk about ways that they can maintain their independence and lifestyle if they move to a senior care facility, and try to find other ways to help them at home if they’re still resistant.
This should help you get the discussion started. Remember, remain kind and understanding, and don’t be afraid to let your parents live in their home a little longer if they’re not ready to go just yet.