As we age, most of us will become less independent at one point or another. While many elderly people are able to continue living relatively independently in the later years of their lives, others require the type of support that family members would simply not be able to provide.
If you are worried about the declining health of one of your loved ones, you might be concerned about their safety when they are living at home without constant support. In this situation, it is likely that you will want to talk to your parent about their future, but it can be difficult to know where to start.
How to start the conversation
It can be a challenge to raise questions surrounding assisted living, because the topic can be sensitive. You would never want your parent to think that you were trying to take away their freedom, or see them as a burden or inconvenience in any way.
This is why you should try to raise the topic in a lighthearted but sensitive way. You may want to kick start the conversation by talking about an issue that sparked you to have concerns. For example, if your parent had a fall recently, you might want to mention this to them and explain that if this had happened at a different time of day or near a stairwell, the consequences could have become much more serious. Using this specific concern as a conversation starter, you may be able to talk about the topic in a broader way.
Taking the time to learn about your parent’s preferences
If your parent is still of sound mind, you may want to raise questions about their preferences regarding nursing care and assisted living. You cannot take for granted that they will always be competent enough to express their own preferences regarding this. You may also want to look into the ways that estate plans can help aging people to state their wishes in later life.
If you have an aging parent, it is important that you take the time to understand how the law makes it possible for them to set their preferences for assisted living and health care.