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Best Way To Talk To Elderly Parents About Assisted Living

Tell me the best way to talk to elderly parents about assisted living

Is there ever the best way to talk to elderly parents about assisted living? 

Whatever your opinion, it is important to approach the conversation with sensitivity and understanding.

The aging process affects us all differently.

We may fear losing so many of the things that make up part of our identity. 

This can be confronting.

Start the conversation by expressing your concerns in a caring way

Talking to your elderly parents about assisted living can be difficult.

Best way to talk to elderly parents about assisted living

You may be worried about their reaction, or you may be unsure of what to say. 

It can be feeling guilty about the idea of them leaving their home.

Adult children can sometimes tiptoe around this because they are uncertain how others will react to this situation.

Your parents may be resistant to the idea of moving, and you may feel like you’re betraying their trust.

However, it’s important to have this conversation sooner rather than later.

As your parents age, they will likely lose the ability to take care of themselves.

This can be a gradual process, or it can happen suddenly after an illness or injury.

Either way, it’s important to be prepared.

How to have a productive conversation

For starters, put yourself in your parent’s shoes; this helps frame the conversation.

Focus on the positive aspects of aging in place:

– the many senior living options, increased physical safety 

– convenience found in a senior living community.

Best way to talk to elderly parents about assisted living

Explain to your aging parents that you are trying to do what’s best for them and that you will be there for support every step of the way.

It is important to remember that moving into an assisted living environment opens up many opportunities found in senior living communities.

This includes enhanced autonomy and access to social activities often found in senior living facilities.


Acknowledge their feelings about the situation and be open to their suggestions and ideas.

The decision making process is a partnership between both you (other family members) and your elderly parents.

Listen to your parents’ thoughts and feelings on the matter

Most importantly, listen to their concerns without judgment.

 Remain calm and be prepared to answer any questions they may have.

If they have a chronic medical condition or health issues, emphasize that senior care and medical treatment are available in the senior living community they will be joining.

While it can be difficult to see your parents struggling, it’s important to have productive conversations with them about their thoughts and feelings on the matter.

Offer different options for assisted living and let them choose what’s best for them

You and your parents can sit down and talk about all of the different options, and what would work best for their needs and lifestyle.

It is important to have the conversation sooner rather than later.

It paves the way discussing all of the options and find what’s best for them.

There are many different types of assisted living, from independent living communities to in-home care services.

Assist with packing and moving their belongings

Help them make a list of things they need to take with them to their new home.

This will help them keep a connection with their previous lives.

They will want to have with them objects that are of sentimental value.

It also helps declutter their current home which may be put on the market for sale.

Here are some tips on how to sell your house fast.

Visit often and keep in touch through phone calls, emails, or social media

One way to show our elderly parents that we care is to visit them often and keep in touch through phone calls, emails, or social media.

This lets them know that we’re thinking about them and that we’re there for them, even if we can’t be there in person all the time.

Talking to our elderly parents about their options for assisted living can help ease their worry about the future.

By doing this, we can let them know that we’re here for them and that we’ll help them through whatever comes next.

This may be helping with household chores or simply spending more time with them.

By staying connected with our elderly parents, we can show them how much we love and care for them.

Signs that your parents are getting old and may need assistance

As our parents age, they may start to experience declining health, vision, or hearing.

They may also find it more difficult to keep up with the upkeep of their home.

If they’re having trouble keeping up with their yard work, or they’re forgetting to take their prescription medication, it might be time to consider assisted living.

Financial decisions

It is prudent to enlist the services of a financial planner who can offer the best case scenario for managing senior care costs.

Although very personal and sensitive, this topic should be discussed in the family transition planning phase.

It saves stress and conflict with family members who may not agree on the cost of housing care for elderly parents.

Cognitive decline

There are signs of cognitive decline include trouble understanding instructions, or short term memory loss.

They may forget to pay bills, have trouble keeping up with housework, and difficulty getting around.

By talking to your parents early and considering all of the options, you can find the best solution for their needs.

If they’re still reluctant to even consider other options available, such as in-home care or hiring a live-in caregiver, you can talk to their doctor or other elder care specialist.

Best way to talk to elderly parents about assisted living

They can provide guidance on how to have the tough conversation, as well as what signs to look for that indicate your parents are getting older.

There are many different types of assisted living facilities; find one that would be a good fit for your parents.

They will appreciate your support as they navigate this difficult transition.

By doing so, you can help them make the best decision for their future.

Ultimately, the goal is to make sure your parents are safe and comfortable as they age.


Moving your parents into assisted living can be a difficult decision.

You should start the conversation by expressing your concerns in a caring way.

By following these steps it can help make the conversation and transition smoother:

-listen to their thoughts and feelings

-offer different options

-help them make a list of things they need to take with them

-assist with packing and moving their belonging

-visit often

-keep in touch through phone calls or social media

By taking these actions you will show your parents that you care about their wellbeing.

You are helping them make the best decision for themselves.

Frequently asked questions

How can I help an aging family member stay at home longer

Click here for 7 tips for caring for elderly parents at home which is a useful reference.

1. Help them to stay healthy and active

One way that you can help your aging parents stay at home is by helping them to stay healthy and active.

Encourage them to eat healthy foods and to get regular exercise.

Help them to maintain their independence by doing tasks around the house for them.

Use a geriatric care manager where appropriate, to advise on maintaining your parent’s health

2. Assist with transportation

Another way that you can help your aging parents stay at home is by assisting with transportation.

This may include taking them to doctor’s appointments or helping them to run errands.

3. Offer emotional support

One of the most important things that you can do for your aging parents is to offer emotional support.

Listen to them when they need to talk, help them to feel independent.

Provide them reassurance during this difficult time.

How do I talk to my elderly parent about not driving

Thank them for their years of driving

-acknowledge that you appreciate all they have done for you and your siblings

Stress that you are not trying to take away their independence

-rather you are looking out for their safety and personal care.

Emphasize that there are many other ways they can get around

-taking public transportation

-getting a ride from a friend or family member.

-let them know that you will still need their help getting around town

Do I need to hire outside help to talk to my parents about senior care?

There are no costs for hiring a professional in case the work isn’t available for you.

Depending upon where you live you could get help at a local agency for aging or government-funded charities.

You can contact your attorney for a consultation in person.

What to say to someone with aging parents

1. “Thank you for all that you are doing.”

2. “You are so important to us, and we appreciate everything you do.”

3. “We know this is a difficult time for you, and we want to help in any way we can.”

What should you not say to a caregiver

Don’t say:

“I don’t know how you do it.”

“It’s time for them to go.”

“You’re doing a great job!”

“How do you keep your mom in a nursing home?”

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