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Talking with an Indiana Senior About Assisted Living

November 13, 2015

Talking with an Indiana Senior About Assisted Living

Tackling the subject of moving to a senior living community often takes courage for adult children. Many families put off having these discussions until it is too late and a crisis occurs. Then adult children are forced to find a senior living community in the midst of an emergency.

We know it can be an uncomfortable conversation to initiate. Often because talking about senior care means accepting the difficult reality that a parent is growing older. More than 90% of people who participated in a study by Genworth Financial shared they hadn’t yet discussed critical long-term care issues, including senior living arrangements, with their spouse or adult children.

5 Tips for Talking with an Indiana Senior about Assisted Living

If you’re planning to talk with an Indiana senior loved one about moving to an assisted living community, you aren’t alone. The holiday season, when families are reunited, is often a time when adult children try to begin this discussion.

  1. Accept that it’s a process. Understand going in to this family meeting that it will generally take more than one conversation. This will be a process and it might take longer than you hope to gain your parent’s acceptance.
  2. Do your research. Many adult children find educating themselves on the senior care options in Indiana before tackling the subject with an aging parent helps give them confidence.
  3. Create written notes to follow. Getting your own thoughts down on paper beforehand can help you clarify what you want to talk about. Some adult children have even found it helpful to write a script-like outline of what they want to say to their parent. These are for the adult child’s eyes only. Not for sharing with the senior.
  4. Have specific examples of your concerns. Writing down specific examples of the concerns you have is also helpful. It might be that your aging parent has had a few minor car accidents or mismanaged their medication. Sharing those worries in a kind and empathetic way is important. You want your loved one to understand why you are worried about their well-being without making them feel as if they are under attack.
  5. Talk when you won’t be interrupted. Try to initiate this conversation on a day and in a place where won’t be rushed or interrupted. Your parent will likely need time to absorb the information and time to ask questions.

Our final tip is a reminder to really listen to what your parent has to say. If you can get to their underlying fears and concerns, you will be more likely to understand what the next best step should be.