What to Know About Assisted Living
The National Center for Assisted Living estimates that more than 735,000 people live in assisted living each year. That number might represent a nameless, faceless statistic until it becomes your parents.
While it often seems ideal to have elderly parents age in place, that isn’t always the best solution for them. If you now find yourself dealing with this difficult decision, here are some things to keep in mind as you try to convince them to move into an assisted care facility.
Why You Should Consider Elder Care
You’ll face a lot of difficult situations when you’re caring for elderly parents, including how to convince your parents to move to an assisted living facility. In this case, you might find it helpful to know why people move to these facilities. Some of them need help with tasks like bathing and eating while others have chronic health conditions that require monitoring such as Alzheimer’s disease or COPD. Although many people wind up taking their elderly parents into their own home, it isn’t always possible.
Why The Challenges Arise
According to Caring.com, elderly parents face a couple of different issues that make them become difficult when it comes to making decisions about moving out of their homes. As we get older, our health tends to break down. We can no longer care for ourselves in the way we once did. Our eyesight often fails us so we can’t drive. Eventually, these issues drive us from our freedom and our homes. That’s a lot to lose in a short amount of time.
That’s why you wind up dealing with difficult elderly parents: These losess are happening to them. They then try to exert their influence over things that they do still have control of. A Place for Mom suggests that understanding the “why” of their behavior is the first step in learning how to care for aging parents.
What to Do About It
You’ll have to take care of the challenges that arise on both the financial and the personal level as you try to help your aging parents move into the next phase of their lives.
From a financial standpoint, you’ll want to look at a couple of things, according to Watermark of Gulf Breeze. You need to find out how much an assisted living facility is going to cost and if there is financial assistance available, especially if your parents didn’t plan for this eventuality. And care can be expensive - up to $42,000 a year in some places.
From a personal standpoint, you’ll want to find things that will encourage your parents to move if that’s really what’s best for them. Planning for this eventuality ahead of time makes this transition smoother. A Place for Mom suggests starting this conversation early - not when they’re on the verge of needing care. This should be followed up by regular conversations about the subject.
And it may be necessary to allow hard times to come. The site points out that it often takes a fall or forgotten bills to encourage aging parents to move. If this turns out to be the case, do try to approach your parents with compassion. Often they’re leaving a home they’ve known much of their life, and they’re saying goodbye to more of their independence.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to figuring out how to convince your parents to move. Some parents plan for it. Others resist you every step of the way. Regardless, the best offense is planning for these conversations ahead of time and allowing your parents to be involved in as many decisions as possible.