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Hard Conversations: How to Talk to Your Parents About Assisted Living

Not all assisted living facilities are like the poor ones you hear about in the media. There are plenty of wonderful and comfortable options for seniors, such as our facilities here at Origin at Spring Creek. Even with these exceptional options, transitioning your loved one into assisted living can be a hard conversation to have. If you need to talk to your parents about moving one, or both, into assisted living, we’re here to help make that conversation easier for everyone. Read on for tips on talking to your parents about assisted living.

Plan Out Your Options and Reasons Ahead Of Time

Planning the conversation ahead of time so that you can come in feeling prepared. This could include having viable housing options available for your parents to look at. Being prepared encourages confidence on both sides of the conversation. It will also help them see that not all retirement living facilities are like the poor examples of senior care that they may have heard about in the media. Show them many options, too, if you can, so that they feel like they have more authority over the decision. Our retirement living facilities make an excellent example of a more comfortable option than what they might have envisioned.

Also, make a list of the reasons why moving them into assisted living is necessary. This will open up the conversation to reassure them that your planning is not intended to “get rid of them”, but rather to help make everyone’s lives easier. Talk about the most pressing issues, such as your concern for their safety in their home, or if they forget their medications often, or how the care is too difficult for either you, or the spouse, to handle alone anymore.

An above view of the beautiful living complex at Origin at Spring Creek on a sunny day, with a lush courtyard full of green plants and comfortable seating, warm paint colours and the gorgeous Rocky Mountains in the background in Canmore, Alberta.
The luxury living complex at Origin at Spring Creek in Canmore, Alberta.

Approaching With Empathy Is Key

Remember that you are on their side; you want what’s best for them. Make sure that you are coming from a place of understanding, and don’t make them feel forced into making a decision right away. This is a difficult choice to make, and they may be feeling afraid or upset by the idea of moving from their homes into a different environment. Many seniors find this change to be scary, and if you can remember their side of the issue, things will go much more smoothly.

Take steps to reassure them. If they bring up concerns about assisted living, such as being separated if only one spouse is going, or rumours they’ve heard of poorly run homes, listen to their fears and answer their questions as best you can. Show them examples of current facilities they could move into and take them on a tour of the facility if possible. Describe visitation options for family members and spouses or options for moving them both into the facility if necessary. Don’t overrun their concerns or ideas, and listen to what they’re saying to find the best solutions. Approach the issue with love, and let them know that you only want the best for them and that you aren’t abandoning them.

A bright blue body of cold water with lush greenery and trees on either side, and a bridge stretching across it in the distance, with azure blue skies and mountains in the background, a beautiful spot in Canmore, Alberta where Origin at Spring Creek operates.
Canmore, where Origin is located, is packed with gorgeous scenery to enjoy. Photo by Silvy Trivedi on Unsplash

Have Lots of Open Communication About Assisted Living

Honesty is very important so that your parents don’t feel like they’re being tricked. Answer their questions as best you can, and seek out the information they need if you don’t have it right away. Take them on tours of the assisted living facilities if possible, and open up conversations with the staff. Share details about fun activities, amenities or classes that the facility offers. The more information you equip them with, the better they’ll feel about making the decision to move into assisted living. You can read our FAQ page if you have your own questions about Origin you’d like answered.

Four senior residents and a female Life Enrichment coach look over a magazine as they sit on a comfortable couch in one of Origin at Spring Creek's living spaces.
Take a tour and explore the options available to you and your family for assisted living.

Take The Conversation One Step At A Time

Talking to your parents about moving them into assisted living can be a hard conversation, but we hope these tips help to make the process easier. Remember, listening and empathizing is key; take care to ensure they don’t feel as though they’re forced into a decision and provide plenty of information about their options. Reassure them that you and your family aren’t abandoning them and that you care for them very much. Remind them that this is not a goodbye, but just a change.

A long wooden path traverses across a pond with small islands of long grass and greenery, with evergreen trees in the background and the blue peaks of mountains just behind on a sunny day, a walking trail near Origin at Spring Creek.
A beautiful walking trail near the facilities at Origin at Spring Creek in Canmore, Alberta.

Do you still need to decide what type of care is right for your parents? Read our blog post about choosing the right care for your loved one. If you’re looking for a comfortable facility with high-quality care, luxury suites and plenty of amenities, click here to read about Origin at Spring Creek or connect with us today.