Mention assisted living to any senior struggling to prepare meals or move about their two-story home and you’ll hear “I can’t afford that.” Many seniors do not know of the resources available to cover care costs when monthly income is low.
As more individuals need assisted living, organizations have identified the need to provide affordable options using programs like Medicaid Waiver or Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits. But providing affordable options is the first step. Communities need to get the message out; the time to talk about assisted living is well before it is needed.
Having that initial conversation with your aging parents about senior living can feel overwhelming. The last thing you want is for your parents to feel forced into a situation they don’t want. But don’t wait until it’s too late. Here are seven tips for talking openly about assisted living.
The best strategy is to start the conversation while your aging parents are still in good health, not when a crisis arises. That way, you have time to build the conversation slowly.
Before speaking to your parents, think about what the ideal situation would be for you? What are your fears and concerns?
Even if everyone can’t be physically present, get your siblings’ input and support so that you are on the same page.
Consider picking a neutral site to start the conversation – perhaps a quiet café. It may be helpful to include a family member or friend who help your parents feel safe.
Don’t overwhelm your parents by trying to discuss too much at once. Look at this process as a series of conversations. You don’t need all the answers today.
Remember, you’re slowly gathering information with each conversation. Try asking open ended questions like; “Mom, I’ve been thinking about buying long-term health care insurance. Do you have any?
Be prepared to listen and show respect for your parents’ feelings. Tell them you care about how they feel and what they want.
Phone: (260) 447-8811