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How to Talk to Your Senior Parents When They Can’t Agree on Assisted Living

Moving at any time in life can be stressful, especially when specialized care may also be needed. It is common to disagree with your parents about the transition to assisted living. However, these are important conversations to have and will help ensure the safety of your parents, family or caregivers.

This article will explore how to lead a constructive conversation about moving one, or both, parents into assisted living. It will also provide tips and important discussion points to cover during your conversation. Helpful resources are included for additional support on how to navigate a difficult conversation.

Helpful Tips for a Constructive Conversation and Mitigating Arguments

A hand holds a pen above a grid-style notebook as it writes out a checkbox list, a perfect tool for discussing assisted living.
Create a list or agenda of discussion points. Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

As talking about large moves and changes can be stressful, it is important to remember constructive conversation strategies to lead a meaningful discussion.

Creating a priority list is a productive method that ensures the conversation stays on track and outlines what matters most to you and your loved ones.

For example, your parent’s top priority may be to live together in the same assisted living facility but still have the ability to live an active lifestyle. Origin at Spring Creek has both assisted and independent living options. Our facilities provide members with a safe and secure community that is designed for active seniors. Origin’s highly trained staff also provide assistance with eating, medication, bathing, grooming and dressing if needed through Alberta Home Care.

Another priority may be ensuring the chosen assisted living facility has the right type of care that your loved one needs—for example, memory care. It is important to choose a facility that is most aligned with the care your parents need to live a happy and comfortable life.

Having a short agenda of what will be discussed is also a helpful tool to lessen distractions and stick to what’s essential.

Agenda items may include:

  • What care is necessary for the assisted living facility to have
  • Preferred location or city
  • Yours or your family’s top priorities (such as visitation access)
  • Your parents’ priorities (such as comfort, food or access to their spouse if they aren’t both moving)
  • Amenities
  • Or anything else your family wants to prioritize

Additionally, if you are able to communicate the agenda to everyone involved beforehand, they can create their own talking points and bring up things they feel are important. Having the agenda is a helpful way to plan out what to say and how to say it respectfully. It will also give everyone time to think.

An important factor when having a difficult conversation is ensuring that everyone involved is comfortable. When, where and how you have a serious conversation can make a large difference in how a person feels. Ensure that your parents and family are in a space they feel safe to talk in, and try to schedule a time that doesn’t feel rushed or busy. For example, schedule an afternoon when everyone taking part is free with no other obligations. This can help create a caring environment where the focus is on your parent’s health, comfort and safety.

Plan Out Important Discussion Points

A female senior resident at Origin at Spring Creek and a Life Enrichment Coordinator in a blue uniform look at flowers and greenery in a garden space at Spring Creek
The community garden beds at Origin at Spring Creek are one of many great amenities available to senior residents in Origin’s care, including those in Assisted Living.

When outlining discussion points that your parents may not want to talk about, communication is key. Listening to your parents’ wants and needs while sharing your and your family’s observations isn’t always easy.

For example, if care has become too difficult for the other spouse to handle on their own, you’ll want to bring this up during your conversation. Be sure to also discuss how your parent’s care may be too hard to support themselves or too difficult on your family. Even though these topics may be difficult and you may want to avoid them, they are topics that are crucial to the health of your parents, your family and yourself.

Highlighting the benefits of moving into an assisted living facility and how it can enhance their well-being is another important discussion point. An easy way to do this is to present how the various amenities of assisted living facilities can assist in keeping your parents social, physically active and safe. Living in Canmore at Origin will provide your loved one with all the activities they need to have a fun and active lifestyle.

Our community amenities include:

If your parents are open to the idea of an assisted living facility but are undecided, you may want to consider respite care as a trial. Before moving permanently to a new city or home, your loved one has the opportunity to live in the Origin at Spring Creek community and receive the same top-quality care as residents, but temporarily. Discussing the idea of respite care is a great way to show your parents the quality service and amazing community they can be a part of. It can also help if you, your family, or their spouse needs extra assistance or a break from handling care.

Helpful Resources

A female Origin at Spring Creek front desk team member standing behind the front desk at Origin at Spring Creek, smiling and welcoming you to the facility.
We pride ourselves on excellent care. If you have any questions about Assisted Living or our other care options, living at Origin, or need more resources, contact us today.

Included in this list are external resources that can assist in creating a positive environment when having a difficult conversation with your parents:

For more information about the types of services we provide, read our blog post all about how to choose the right care for your loved one. We also have more tips for discussing assisted living with your parents here. 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.