As you move through the research phase of exploring assisted living options for your parent, you’ll want to arrange to tour an assisted living community or two before making a decision. One question that comes up often is whether or not you should you bring your parent with you when you tour assisted living communities.
Since the process of helping a parent transition to assisted living is such a personal journey
, the way you organize your search is up to you. Sometimes it’s best to include your loved one in ALL of the decisions and sometimes it can be better to make larger decisions on your own and narrow their possibilities.
While there is no wrong way to go about it, there are definitely pros and cons to consider. Here are a few to think about as you strive to make an informed choice.
Pros and Cons of Taking a Parent on an Assisted Living Tour
If your parent has limited mobility or physical disabilities, choosing to have them join you on your tour of assisted living communities can be a good idea. Seeing how well they navigate the community can make or break the experience.
If they can explore the community with ease and comfort, then you can rest assured that their experience as a resident will be a positive one. If they have difficulty making their way around the community--whether it’s due to poor amenities or environmental factors--it will be easier to cross that option off your list.
Having a parent with limited mobility or physical disabilities can be a real challenge, especially if you want to tour more than one Indiana assisted living communities in a day. Depending on how far you must travel to visit the communities you have decided to tour, it could end up being more efficient to visit the communities on your own and then take your parent back to see only your top choices.
Anxiety about Decision Making
Is your parent a good decision maker or do they get easily overwhelmed by too many options? If your loved one still has the emotional and cognitive ability to handle decision making, then it could be nice to include them in the process of touring assisted living communities. Allowing them to have more control over the process can help them feel more confident and independent.
If your parent struggles with making decisions, has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, or has anxiety about change then it might be in their best interest to help make the decision for them instead. The process of transitioning into assisted living can be stressful, especially for those who fear change. There’s no need to add unnecessary complications to the experience by forcing a senior loved one to be more involved than they want to be.
Struggling with the Emotional Aspects of Moving
Being on the same page as your parent when it comes to assisted living is very important. If they have already agreed that it’s time for them to consider assisted living options, then they can most likely handle the sometimes strong emotions that come along with making the transition into assisted living.
If your parent has been struggling emotionally with the decision to move into assisted living, then taking them on a tour might trigger a negative emotional response from them. Be especially careful if they have been stubborn about not wanting to move into assisted living, because taking them on a tour of a community might actually end up backfiring on you. It might be best to tour a few potential communities on your own and narrow down the choices. Then bring your parent back to see the top one or two.
What’s Best for You
Clearly there is no right answer when it comes to how you should approach visiting assisted living communities. No one probably knows your senior loved one’s needs as well as you do. You should feel confident in the fact that, whatever decision you make, you will be the making the best one for your family.
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