The Assisted Living Conversation
Having The Assisted Living Conversation with a loved is usually difficult. Rarely does everyone agree on the where, when, and how. Many times these discussions don’t go well, especially in case of a fall or a medical emergency or condition. With that in mind, here is some information that might help you have The Assisted Living Conversation.
Have The Discussions Well In Advance
This will be a series of conversations over, what could be, a lengthy period of time. Be patient – as you can imagine, giving up one’s independence and moving from a life-long home can be traumatic, especially if there is no plan in place.
Just like planning for end-of-life, it’s important to ask questions such as, “What would you like me to do when I feel you need help taking care of yourself?
The answer to that question will allow you to discuss their wishes, options, and progression from one to another:
Like living in an apartment or condo, but with medical help nearby
Home Health Care
Stay in your home, usually with medication assistance, cooking meals, and light housework
Similar to living in an apartment or condo, but with help onsite and emergency notification
Somewhat like a residential version of a hospital stay, with round-the-clock skilled nursing care
A secured facility with round-the-clock, Memory Care-specific, skilled nursing care
End-of-life care focusing on the resident’s safety and comfort
Sometimes, finding a friend who has already moved to a care facility is a good door-opener. Pay them a visit, see how they like their new home, share a meal, and “get the wheels turning.” If a new facility has opened in your area, go to an open house.
There are also some practical positives to assisted living facilities. They are like a condo, only better: Everything can be done for you: cooking, cleaning, laundry – not to mention there are no “chores”, lawn mowing, snow removal, repairs, and maintenance.
Research Ahead of Time
Check the availability and care specialties of nearby facilities. Ideally, it should be where your loved-one can move once and have the additional services delivered to them in the same location. If your loved one has a particular medical condition or need, such as orthopedic or joint care, check to see if that is available. Schedule and take tours to get to your short list.
Take a look at the activities calendar. Too often, as we age, we lose touch with friends and our social sphere shrinks. The best assisted living facilities keep their residents very active, no matter what their physical capabilities are.
Another factor motivating The Assisted Living Conversation” is you may find yourself concerned that your loved-one is not a safe driver. Sometimes the assisted living and driving discussions happen at the same time. A trusted medical professional can be an important resource if you are having difficulty convincing your loved one give up the car keys and move.
Don’t Stick Me In A Nursing Home!
What if your loved one says, “I never thought you would stick me in a nursing home.” That sentiment can be very difficult to change. We suggest talking about how the “old school” image of a nursing home bears no resemblance to that of newer facilities. Nothing beats going for a tour. Also, mention that you are suggesting the move because you want them to be safe and cared-for.
What If There’s An Emergency?
Things can become very difficult if there is an emergency and your loved one is admitted to a hospital. Sometimes, patients are released before they are 100% able to care for themselves. A good strategy is to contact local assisted living facilities to see if they can direct-admit from a hospital. This is also a good option when a loved one has a scheduled surgery. Some locations will reserve a care suite for you just in case it’s needed.
Having “The Conversation” can be made easier by speaking with your loved one in advance, doing the research, and being sensitive to their concerns. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us and we will help you however needed.