Are you noticing changes in your loved one that has you concerned for their safety at home and their capability of being independent? These changes can occur through the process of time but is most often a result of an event. For example, a fall that ended up with a visit to the emergency room and now they are back home, yet things just aren’t the same. We, as children of seniors, may have some red flags that show up yet it’s just so hard to know how to discuss the obvious. How do we bring it up that they may need more help now? That they may need to consider the concept of an assisted living or memory care home? Most often they will not be receptive to the idea because they can’t see their true condition, they fail to see that it’s in their best interest.
We’ve compiled an article below that we hope will provide some helpful tips when talking to your loved one, and hope it makes the conversation a little easier for everyone involved. Here at Hill House Living, we are passionate about every senior being cared for in the best possible way and we’re here for you. Please feel free to contact us for any questions or concerns you may have. Please call us at 208-242-2497 to learn more about our services here on the Palouse.
Educate Yourself on Senior Care Services
Do your homework! There are many variations of senior care. As you ‘shop’ at different facilities, there will be knowledge and nuances that come just as a result of hearing what is offered, what is not included, what their levels of care look like, what the overall vibe is and how it makes you feel. Yes, you’ll want to do a walking tour if at all possible. It is very important to educate yourself on the senior care options available to your loved one, before discussing assisted living with them. You may assume your loved one needs skilled nursing care when maybe an ongoing home health care service would suffice. Or maybe assume your loved one needs assisted living when they would be better served in a memory care home. Once you’ve shopped around a bit, you’ll have a good idea of what kind of care your loved one is needing and be better equipped on answering their questions.
Make a list and check it twice
When bringing up the conversation about assisted living or memory care with your loved one, it is really important to prepare yourself and other family members on why it’s the best option to avoid becoming another statistic. Here’s a little known fact, as reported by the CDC that approximately 36 million falls are reported each year among the elderly. And these falls equate to about 32,000 deaths and 300,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures each year.
It may be helpful to perform an activities of daily living assessment on your loved one before having a conversation. This includes evaluating things like performing household tasks, climbing stairs, grooming, toileting, showering, and more. This could serve as a motivator to your loved one, once they see that they can no longer perform the activities that enable safety and independence.
Have a Financial Plan on How to Pay
Cost is a legitimate concern. This is one of the biggest reasons that prevent seniors from choosing an assisted living or memory care home. Your loved one may fear how they would pay for this type of care, especially on a fixed income. Knowing and having a plan of your loved one’s financial picture and how they will pay for the services will provide peace of mind.
It can be educational to compare the cost of 24/7 in home care or the cost of an ER visit plus follow-up care/rehab and one can see that it pales in comparison. Be sure to voice this crucial point when discussing with your loved one and family.
Present the Other Benefits of Assisted Living
The most effective motivators are usually intrinsic, so it is vital to figure out what motivates a person and use that for encouragement. You’ve likely already pointed out that assisted living or memory care is the best choice for their wellness and safety. However, here are a few more things to bring up in conversation with your loved one that could be a real benefit. Social isolation and the negative effects are real. In fact, research has shown that isolation and loneliness are directly linked to physical and mental health conditions, including higher blood pressure, heart disease, depression and cognitive decline, as reported by the National Institute of Aging. Living in a small home such as Hill House Living, your loved one would be interacting daily with other residents and familiar caregivers, as well as sharing delicious home cooked meals 3 times a day in the company of others, occasional visits from a sweet therapy dog, fun activities such as dance therapy, board games arts, crafts and holiday parties, just to name a few.
Schedule at least 3 tours
Before having the conversation of assisted living or memory care options, have several tours lined up so the progression is smooth. The main reason is that they may agree during the conversation only to change their mind later. Relocating is difficult, even terrifying for some people, especially in their older years. Narrowing the timeline from the conversation to the touring leaves less of a chance of them backing out. The last thing you’d want is to flounder around trying to schedule some tours only to have them change their mind and consequently have to restart the conversation altogether.
The Golden Rule
Treat others as you’d like to be treated. This translates into being patient and listen with undivided attention. Like all of us, your loved one desperately wants to be heard. There is a good chance that this conversation will be accompanied by higher than usual emotions. Please remember that they feel scared and afraid of the unknown. This is normal and should be expected. Try to put yourself in their shoes and be empathetic with them. Look at their fears as their way of saying ‘is everything going to be ok?’ They need reassurance.
The conversation is never easy but we hope this article has been helpful in providing some tips in how to bring up the subject to your loved one of needing more care. You will do just fine! If you are looking for assisted living or memory care in or near Moscow, Idaho please contact us at Hill House Living at 208-242-2497. We are locally owned and operated and look forward to meeting you.