Talking to Mom About an Assisted Living Residence

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Very few seniors want to leave the homes where they may have been living for decades, but as their age advances, the necessity of doing so may increase until the issue can no longer be ignored. Household matriarchs may be extremely reluctant to leave the family home and all of its associated memories. However, when it is time to have that heartfelt talk with mom, a few words of advice can help to alleviate any difficulties.

Consider the Need

The first step in talking to mom about a possible move to an assisted living residence, is to consider the need for it. Make a list of the pros and cons associated with moving. If the advantages are overwhelming, then the talk cannot be avoided. However, it is also necessary to consider what type of facility is required. Large, apartment-type buildings may be ideal, but small, family-based facilities and nursing homes should also be considered.

Ease Into the Topic

Before initiating a deep discussion, it is helpful to nonchalantly bring up the idea a few times several months beforehand. This can take the form of a simple mention of other options after mom has experienced a difficult situation, but you will want to wait a day or two after an incident occurs.

Timing is Important

The best time to talk to mom about assisted living is when she is comfortable and her mind naturally takes her to some of the factors that are making her life sad, difficult or lonely. Gently bringing up the topic at such a time may be received as practical advice instead of as an attack.

Discussion Ideas

The discussion on moving can be helped if you can gather some information on her friends who are already in assisted living. Mom will be more receptive about visiting a center where she will have one or more instant friends.

Other topics that may help in the discussion include a review of the safety features of assisted living and how much easier it is to upkeep the living space. Also, talk about the level of privacy in personal quarters and the social activities available in the public areas.

Finally, give mom some time to consider the information you have given her. If she is still reluctant after a few days, ask for help from friends and family members.

If the incidents prompting a discussion on assisted living are severe or if they occur frequently, a simple mention of moving should be upgraded to a suggestion about touring a facility. In non-emergency situations, you can take no for an answer the first few times.

This post was written by Chuck Bongiovanni, MSW, MBA, CSA for CarePatrol.

Baltimore Fishbowl recently interviewed local proprietor Paula Sotir of Carepatrol Baltimore, as she discussed her own personal experience and how it lead her on the path to helping others.  Contact Paula to discuss your family situation and the variety of options she can offer to help.

For more information about CarePatrol Baltimore, call 410-844-0800 or visit our Facebook page.

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  1. Paula you are the perfect person for assisting families during this often difficult transition. You are a most caring person, and any assistance you offer families will be well thought out, and planned with perfection.

    • Lorna thank you very much for your comment. I really do like to help the clients during this challenging time

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