Broaching the topic of assisted living with loved ones can be hard. Here’s a guide with some of the best ways to open the topic.

You’ll have a lot of hard conversations in your life, and talking with your loved ones about assisted living is one of the most difficult. When it’s time for a family member to make the move to a senior living community, here are five steps you can take to make the conversation easier.

  1. Start early: The best thing you can do is start the discussion early on. By introducing the topic of assisted living early, it allows all parties to be heard and considered. You’ll also be able to objectively assess your loved one’s situation to make the best decisions, versus waiting for an emergency to happen.
  2. Share your concerns: When starting the conversation, be honest about your concerns. Telling a loved one, “I’m worried about you,” shows support and care for them. Make it clear that they are not a burden, but explain how assisted living can provide a type of care that you cannot. Be sure to convey that you will put their interests first; then, open up about your own needs. Most importantly, help your loved one to understand why this move is the best option in the long run.
  3. Do your research: Within the assisted living world, there are many options for care. From independent living to skilled nursing facilities and beyond, there is something available for every senior. Take the time to do your research and visit communities so that you and your loved one can see what they offer. That way, when you sit down to discuss assisted living, you can share some benefits to moving, making the conversation easier.
  4. Get assistance: It can be natural for your loved one to have strong reservations about moving to assisted living. To help the conversation, consider getting help from a health care provider. A doctor can present an objective argument, while providing a medical perspective of your loved one’s actual needs.
  5. Make a plan: To be proactive in this conversation, end it with a plan. This might include a rough timeline, visiting, research, finances, and energy… but decide on something to keep the ball rolling and the conversation open.

Discussing assisted living early on can be crucial. And while it might seem overwhelming, it’s not a talk you have to have alone. You can get expert help in choosing the right facility for your loved ones with Medi-Cal Benefits. Download our free guide on affording senior care.