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Adult granddaughter and grandmother exploring assisted living facility options

How to Approach the Topic of Assisted Living With a Parent or Grandparent

The older members of your family are likely people you have loved and looked up to for decades. They may have cared for you when you were a child and been there for you in hard times. It can be difficult to see relatives you hold in high esteem eventually need help living due to old age. Of course, it happens to everyone. Older humans naturally lose strength and stability. It may become more difficult to focus and remember a full to-do list each day, and that’s okay.

The difficult part comes when you are no longer certain your parent or grandparent is safe and healthy each day. If you find yourself visiting frequently and worrying about their health, it may be time to discuss assisted living. This conversation can be challenging or even painful for one or both parties. But it’s an important conversation to have. We hope to offer a helpful guide on how to start and follow through so that your family elders can live safely and happily in their golden years.

1. Have the Conversation Early

It’s best to have the assisted living conversation as early as possible, ideally before it has become a necessity for your parent or grandparent. Ask them about the solutions they would prefer when that time comes and how they would feel about assisted living when they can no longer maintain their health or home on their own.

2. Focus on Maintaining Independence

Most older people are primarily concerned about staying independent, so emphasize this in your conversation. Discuss assisted living as the best way to optimize their independence, even when they start to need help to get through each day. 

3. Bring Respect, Empathy, and Patience

When having this conversation, be sure to express respect, empathy, and patience. Respect your elders and their wishes. They have lived a long life and likely don’t want to give up the freedom of living on their own. Show empathy for how difficult it is to accept that they can no longer rely on themselves for all their personal tasks. Lastly, be patient as they go through the emotional responses that are natural when facing this change.

4. Listen and Genuinely Address Their Concerns

Your parent or grandparent will likely have some very real concerns about assisted living. Will they be able to trust their caregivers? Will they be shipped off to a little room and lose the life they love? Can they keep their favorite pet or still regularly see their family? Listen, and then be sure to make sure those worries don’t come true in the assisted living options you explore.

5. Discuss Different Types of Assisted Living

Talk about how there is more than one type of assisted living. There is in-home care, independent senior communities, resort-style facilities, holistic care, and more. Discuss what your loved one would prefer and options they might consider looking into to make their retirement and need for assistance more enjoyable.

6. Visit Different Communities and Services

Take your loved one to different assisted living facilities, communities, and campuses. Let them see how welcoming these places can be and dissuade their initial worries about nursing homes in the movies. Many facilities are charming and focus on providing as much independence as possible.

Remember, It Is Their Decision

Finally, emphasize that the decision is ultimately your parent’s or grandparent’s to make. They get to choose how to spend their years and the type of assistance they prefer. 

Explore Silverbell Homestead with Your Loved One

If your parent or grandparent will soon need assisted living, Silverbell Homestead is a welcoming holistic care community in Fletcher, NC, just south of Asheville. It has become a cozy haven for retirees looking to settle down in a cooler climate with a slow and relaxed way of living away from the big city hustle & bustle. Seniors can enjoy family visits and locally sourced food, and the facility even has an after-school program to encourage multi-generational community building.

Your loved one will enjoy amazing views in a place that feels like home for its residents. Contact us to learn more or schedule a tour with your parent or grandparent.