How to Talk to Your Elderly Parent About Moving to Assisted Living

We understand it can be a delicate topic so we’re here to help.


Our transitional assisted living and memory care communities understand the delicate nature of discussing moving to assisted living with elderly parents. It’s a conversation that can bring up a range of emotions, from fear and resistance to relief and acceptance. Here are some tips for you, your loved ones, and family members on how to approach this important discussion with empathy and understanding.

Start Early and Be Patient

Don’t wait until a crisis occurs to talk about assisted living. Begin the conversation early, when everyone is calm, and there is no immediate pressure to make a decision. This allows your parents to process the information and consider their options without feeling rushed.

Choose the Right Time and Place

Pick a time and place that is comfortable and conducive to a meaningful conversation. Avoid bringing up the topic during stressful situations or when your parents are tired or distracted.

Use Empathetic Language

Approach the conversation with empathy and understanding. Acknowledge your parent’s feelings and concerns, and assure them that their well-being is your top priority. Use phrases like, “I understand this might be a difficult topic to discuss,” or “I want what’s best for you and your health.”

Focus on Safety and Quality of Life

Emphasize the benefits of moving to assisted living, such as access to professional care, socialization opportunities, and a safe environment. Highlight how assisted living can enhance your parent’s quality of life and provide them with the support they need.

Involve Your Parent in the Decision-Making Process

Make your parents feel involved and empowered in the decision-making process. Ask for their input and preferences regarding the type of assisted living community they would prefer, such as location, amenities, and activities.

Address Concerns and Answer Questions

Be prepared to address any concerns or questions your parents may have about assisted living. Provide them with information about the services, facilities, and activities offered by different communities, and address any misconceptions or fears they may have.

Be Open to Compromise

Understand that your parents may have specific preferences or concerns that need to be taken into consideration. Be open to compromise and find a solution that meets both your parent’s needs and your family’s concerns.

Seek Professional Guidance

If you’re struggling to have the conversation or if there are complex family dynamics involved, consider seeking help from a professional, such as a geriatric care manager or counselor. They can provide guidance and support throughout the decision-making process.

Take Care of Yourself

Remember to take care of yourself during this time. Caregiving can be emotionally challenging, so make sure to seek support from friends, family, or support groups as needed.

Follow Up and Provide Support

After the initial conversation, follow up with your parents regularly to check in on their feelings and progress. Provide ongoing support and reassurance as they navigate the transition to assisted living.

Having a conversation about moving to assisted living can be emotional and challenging, but approaching it with empathy, understanding, and patience can help make the process smoother for both you and your elderly parent. By focusing on safety, quality of life, and involving your parents in the decision-making process, you can work together to find the best solution for their needs.

We invite you to explore our various memory care communities and learn more about how we can support your loved one on their journey towards wellness and fulfillment.

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Sunshine Retirement Living retirement living and senior 50+ retirement communities with top assisted living and memory care facilities offering resort styled care facilities nationwide.