Assisted Living: Helping Parents Understand When It’s Time

Advice and Help : Assisted Living: Helping Parents Understand When It’s Time

Persuading aging parents or relatives that it is time to move to some type of facility is excruciating for the parents and exasperating for the children. If you watched "The Sopranos" on HBO, you saw firsthand what Paulie went through with his mother! Baby boomers are increasingly facing the problem of helping their parents or elderly relatives struggle with aging issues. Some parents are forward thinkers and take steps to provide for declining health. Others are fiercely independent, and refuse to take proactive action.



One of the most troublesome challenges is when it's obvious to everyone - except to the person that needs to make the move - that the time has come to move from a private residence to  an independent living, assisted living, retirement home, CCRC, or  nursing home.  It is certainly understandable that someone who has spent decades in their home, in complete control of every aspect of their life, would not want to leave. In many cases the elder has had safety issues that endanger their life or well-being - ranging from falls to fire hazards, or even the inability to shop or cook.


In other cases the loved can still manage pretty well, but the children can see warning signs coming - important bills not paid, erratic driving, increased forgetfullness, etc.  Early discussion in these cases might be helpful, setting the stage for later action.   Waiting too long not only just postpones the inevitable, but it also can severely limit the choices and add to the expense. CCRCs (Continuing Care Retirement Communities) offer lifetime care at a reasonable price - but only to those who are currently healthy.  If your parent develops a serious condition or becomes too senile, they might have trouble being admitted to the facility of your choice. Or, if they can get in, they probably will have to pay much higher fees.

For further reference:

These references will help give you some practical tips and real-world examples of how to deal with this difficult issue.
"Are You Prepared for Eldercare in Your Family"

"How to Manage Difficult Conversations with Elders"