In our last blog, we mentioned the timeless phrase, “Home is where the heart is.” In addition to being timeless, this phrase can be a bit tricky. Which came first: the heart or the home? Does the home travel with the heart, or does the heart need an established home? Is it both? What role does a physical location play in a heart’s home? Depending on how you view the relationship between home and heart, it can change your attitude toward moving.
In our last blog, we discussed how homes can literally become death traps for seniors unable to manage their daily lives. At this point, attaching the romantic concept of “home” to the family house is only going to make a bad situation worse. As a son or daughter, bankrupting your own life to support your parents isn’t a safe option, either. However, how do you broach the topic of assisted living, especially if you know you’re going to get significant resistance? Read on for some compassionate ways to advocate for positive change in your loved one’s life.
How to Introduce and Discuss the Idea of Assisted Living
Don’t miss step one! If you haven’t read our last blog, make sure you do so. We demolish the myth that assisted living means losing independence and accepting death. This is a very important concept to keep in mind, as it is the number-one obstacle between seniors entrenched in their homes and the possibility of thriving in an assisted living community.
If you’re convinced that a change needs to be made, here are the next steps. Feel free to change them up depending on your knowledge of your loved one. What works for one person won’t always work on someone else!
Plant the seed.
- No matter how old you are, moving day is usually preceded by months of consideration. In fact, many of us will realize we want to move more than a year before we have the ability to actually do so. Under normal circumstances, moving to assisted living is no different. In some cases, a fall or other significant event can precipitate a rapid move, but this isn’t optimal and shouldn’t be depended upon. Instead, take the opportunity to mention there are options for a more fun, full life that your loved one might want to consider. Leave the power in his or her hands if possible.
Provide concrete examples of options.
- Many seniors will leave the idea of moving to assisted living in the abstract unless someone presents them with concrete examples. It may be up to you to make assisted living a reality. You can help your loved one out by doing some of the research work, but make sure you include him or her as much as possible. Schedule tours if your loved one is open to the idea. If he or she resists the idea, drop it and wait until another time. This gentleness will reassure your loved one that you’re keeping his or her best interests in mind instead of pushing for what you want.
Keep your eyes peeled for “teachable moments.”
- Nobody wants a traumatic situation like a fall to be the impetus that gets their loved one to finally make a decision. However, this is usually the way it happens. To avoid this, do your best to look for smaller, less traumatic teachable moments. Maybe your loved one learns that the sodium in freezer meals has affected his or her heart. Maybe diabetes has cropped up, or arthritis has made it next to impossible to operate window cranks. It doesn’t have to be huge. Go with your gut, be careful not to nag, and work to change your loved one’s perspective little by little.
Tour The Heritage
Finding a new home doesn’t happen overnight, but nobody makes a purchase without touring first. Being able to walk through a potential home and imagine yourself there can make all the difference. That is why The Heritage team offers tours of our outstanding assisted living community. There is nothing we love more than seeing potential members’ faces light up as they realize just how engaging, peaceful, and independent their lives can be when they choose us. As we have said, we consider ourselves the allies of both seniors and their families. Whether you are looking for your new home or searching on the behalf of a loved one, we are here to help. Contact us in New Jersey today!