Elder Care Thought Leader: Cynthia Perthuis
Having “the talk” about moving a loved one to assisted living is a significant step, but it’s just the beginning of the journey.
After the conversation, there are important steps to take in both scenarios: preparing your loved one for the transition or addressing their refusal to move. We will guide you through the process, ensuring that everyone remains on the same team while making the best decisions for your aging parents.
“It is crucial you take everything one bite at a time. Those bites are represented by the Where, When and How.”
Your Loved One Is Ready to Move, What Now?
You have heard the old adage, “How do you eat an elephant?” One bit at a time. The same is true for moving to an assisted living situation. It is crucial you take everything one bite at a time. Those bites are represented by the Where, When and How.
- First, The Where:
Where would you like your loved one to live? What kind of senior living community is your loved one interested in? A big place or a small place? Do you want them to be in a community that is really close you or would you prefer they be in one that is closer to your sister? Does it need to be near your work or near your home? Does the community need to have a large cultural community that matches your culture? Is the view important? Are there special medical concerns?
When you are making the decision of The Where, it is important that everyone’s voice is heard during the decision-making process. Gather input from your aging parents; prioritizing their preferences, comfort, and needs. Remind your loved ones that you are taking their needs and wants seriously.
This collaborative approach reinforces the idea that you’re all working together to ensure their well-being. Get input from family members and other stakeholders. This open dialogue helps everyone feel more involved and understood.
Assisted Living Is Daunting:
- Second, The When:
Please, please, please do not think about using a crisis as your when. That can be too late. Look at your loved ones’ situation. Are they in an emergency or do you have a few months to plan? Does the house need to be sold before they can move, or could that be done after? Doing the work to determine a good timeline is important, especially when there are a lot of moving parts. You will want to make sure it is done during a time when everyone who needs to be there can be there. During this phase it may be tempting to start the process by focusing on getting rid of items and downsizing. But, that may be better done once you know Where, When and How.
“A move to assisted living is daunting. There are so many moving parts.”
- Third, The How:
A move to assisted living is daunting. There are so many moving parts. From medical records and assessments from the communities, it can be overwhelming to consider how you will physically be able to make all of this happen. What happens with grandma’s earrings? Who gets the Hummels? Can someone just come and clean this all out for us? The answer is yes there is help. But, do not get ahead of yourself. Finding movers, packers, cleaners can all be done, but the first thing to figure out is The Where. Sometimes you need professional help to figure that out.
- Get Professional Help:
Organizations like Senior Care Authority have helped people find the right senior living community for themselves or their loved one for years. In particular, Senior Care Authority has touched over 10,000 lives. Organizations like ours can help you navigate the journey from living at home to assisted living. You can get help to figure out the When and the How after you know the Where.
What If Your Loved One Is Not Ready to Move:
If you had the talk about moving into assisted living and your loved one is not ready to make the transition, but you feel like it is the best decision there are things you can do to bring your love one along.
First, assess for immediate danger. If your loved one is in immediate danger, it is time to call the professionals. People who do this for a living know how to have the conversation and can move things along quickly. Hopefully, your loved one is not in danger, they are just not ready yet.
- Assess their Objections:
What are your loved one’s objections? Are things moving too quickly for them? What are their fears. Take these seriously and find respectful and kind ways to overcome their objections.
- Planning Party:
Invite them into the planning process. Work together to create a plan for the move but do not make it too overwhelming with all the details of when and how. Encourage your loved one to visit a community once a month. Work with a professional to set up tours when your loved one can participate in a meaningful activity or enjoy a favorite meal.
“Listen to their reasons for not wanting to move and validate their emotions.”
- Keep the Conversation Going:
If your loved one strongly resists the idea of moving, approach the situation with patience and empathy. Listen to their reasons for not wanting to move and validate their emotions. Your main goal is keep the conversation going. Remind your loved one that you are on their side and your only goal is for them to be healthy, happy and safe.
- Get Professional Help:
Senior Care Authority has helped adult children have the conversation with their aging parent. We can teach you how to overcome their objections, ask leading questions and help you find the right community for them.
Please Note: Additional resources can be found in Author’s Bio below.
About the Author:
Cynthia Perthuis left her cushy life in Corporate America in 2018 to use her personal experience with her parents and her entrepreneurial background to help the 10,000 people a day turning 65 in the US. The stress of helping aging loved ones and working full-time and caring for her own family while living over 1500 miles apart was overwhelming at times. She often wished there was a non-conflicted industry professional to help when facing these life-changing decisions. She has created her team at Senior Care Authority (www.scanyfl.com) for that purpose. Her team supports over 300 families a year as they navigate these decisions.
If you need help examining your loved one’s situation, we are here to help. Likewise, if you have determined that it is time to consider a Senior Living Community, we want to help you find the right one for your loved one. We know that not all senior living communities are created equal and have navigated this path with many families. Please call us at (239) 330-2133 or (212) 913-9963. You can visit us on our new website at www.scanyfl.com