Tips for Having “The Talk” with Mom about Assisted Living

As an outside observer, often times, it is the child who first notices changes in Mom that signal it may be time for her to move to an assisted living community. How will she react? How should you bring it up? Knowing what to say and how to begin can be the most difficult part of the entire conversation. So here are a few tips to help you talk with Mom about moving to an assisted living community.

If Possible, Open the Lines of Communication Early It’s possible that Mom is not yet at the point where she needs to move. Talk to her about assisted living before its necessary, so that when the time comes to have the actual “talk”, she will be more open to and ready for the idea. This is a hard conversation. Starting it early will help both of you to look at the subject more practically. She can help you plan a hypothetical move, and you can research all of her possible options together, should she ever need to move. Often times, this subject is only broached once moving Mom becomes an immediate necessity.

Do the Research for Her Before you talk with her, get online, call around, ask questions. Have as much information available as you can find when you sit down and talk to her about all of her options. She is going to need advice, and you are both going to have lots of questions. Research different communities in your area. Consider what Mom needs and wants as far as pricing, floor plans, amenities, and dining options. Refer to our Move-In Checklist for ideas on what items Mom will want to have with her once she moves into an assisted living community. You can find prices and ratings for senior communities at SeniorAdvisor.com. Learn about financial assistance, your payment options, and more here. Consider talking to an expert, like a Senior Real Estate Specialist in your area or a lawyer who specializes in elder care law. Both of you will feel so much better about the conversation if you come to the table with answers and several options.

Schedule a Visit to a Nearby Community Find a nearby assisted living community and schedule a visit for Mom. A tour of the community will give her a chance to get acquainted with the people and with the type of place that she may be moving into soon. Growing accustomed to the atmosphere can help put her more at ease with the idea of such a life-changing decision. While touring the community, know what to look for and the right questions to ask. Know what questions to ask Mom as well. Before she visits the assisted living community, talk to her about the activities of daily living with which she needs help now.

Take Your Time Whether or not she wants to move, Mom is going to miss her old home. It is natural for her to grieve the loss of an old part of her life. You both have a lot to consider, financially, physically, and emotionally. Once you do your research, you will need to come to several decisions. Where will Mom live? When will she move? Finding and moving to a new home is stressful, yes, but it is also an adventure, and you can help Mom find the excitement in this new adventure. If this move is entirely your idea and not hers, take your time bringing it up. Don’t make her feel rushed. Give Mom some time to think about it on her own for a while. Enlisting the help of Mom’s doctor can also be helpful. Posted by Susan Abercrombie, The Cottages Blog, on Feb 10, 2016 9:00:00 AM  Our good friends at The Cottages have given us permission to share this information with you. Please let us know if you find it helpful. -Paul B. Plant

2 thoughts on “Tips for Having “The Talk” with Mom about Assisted Living”

  1. I am so glad that I was able to find this post about discussing the topic of moving to an assisted living facility with my mom. My siblings and I have started to realize how much of a burden our mom is becoming for us and we really would like us to have a positive relationship with our mom, rather than one that is based off of just taking care of her. I especially appreciate the tip about doing the research for our mom and the links that you provided as well. I feel like doing the research before talking to her will help her to feel less anxiety about the situation.

  2. My mom is starting to have trouble taking care of herself and I’m thinking that she might need to be put in a home. THansk for the advice about talking early and doing research beforehand. Hopefully, I can find a good place for my mom to live so that she can be taken care of.

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