senior and adult woman talking while drinking coffee

How to Talk to Your Parents About Assisted Living

Talking to aging parents about changes you’ve noticed — like increased difficulty getting around the house or performing other essential activities of daily life — is never easy. But when it comes to a subject as important as their long-term health and safety, it’s a conversation you can’t afford to avoid for long.

That’s why we’ve done the research and put together some tips to help you learn how to talk to your parents about assisted living. In this blog, we’ll share guidance on starting the discussion and some advice on how to convince a parent to move to assisted living, along with a little information on assisted living at The Buckingham.

an elderly man draping a blanket around an elderly woman

Getting Ready the Right Way

Moving elderly parents to assisted living takes a lot of preparation — that means doing your research on nearby senior living communities and being ready to field all your parents’ questions. It’s also important to loop in friends and family members who are close to your parents. Making sure you’re all on the same page before you bring your parents into the conversation helps present a more cohesive, compassionate front — making it a lot easier to convince your parents to move to assisted living.

Try these tips to make the conversation flow a lot smoother:

  1. Discuss it early and often. If you wait until your parent needs assisted living, you probably waited too long. Look for the signs that it’s time to move to assisted living — then start the conversation by sowing a few seeds in their mind: What do you think about assisted living?”, “Would you ever consider a senior living community?” or “What are your long-term retirement plans?” are three examples of low-pressure questions you can ask to get the ball rolling.
  2. Prepare to bust some myths. Most people hold quite a few outdated ideas about senior living. For example, your parents might think that assisted living is the same as around-the-clock nursing home care or a memory care environment — a place where they won’t have any level of independent living. In 2020, that couldn’t be further from the truth — at communities like The Buckingham, they’ll find exactly the level of support they truly want and need to keep living life as they like it.
  3. Be ready to talk finances. Like any kind of accommodation, assisted living comes at a price — but that price is often much lower (and a much better value) than you might think. With direct entry that comes with no entrance fee and possible tax credits, a lifelong stay at a truly incredible community could easily be within their financial reach.
  4. Don’t push too hard. Remember, this is a much more difficult decision for them than it is for you. While it’s true there are a number of proven benefits to community life — and many older adults choose assisted living to ensure their kids don’t need to worry — it’s still a major life transition that can bring up some strong emotions. If your parents don’t want to learn more right away, there’s no shame in taking a step back and trying again later.
  5. Have options in mind. Being knowledgeable about the different types of communities that offer assisted living care is a huge boon when trying to convince your parents. There are stand-alone providers with one level of care, which might be right for their needs. Communities that offer an independent lifestyle and at least one higher level of care are called either Life Plan Communities or Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). Life Care communities like The Buckingham take this concept even further, offering unmatched estate protection and a variety of amenities alongside assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care, all available for life at lower than average market rates.

exterior shot of The Buckingham, an assisted living community in Houston, Texas

The Right Community Makes a Big Difference

Now that you know how to talk to your parents about assisted living, you might be looking for the right senior living community that fits their lives. That community could easily be The Buckingham. From our prime Houston location to our impressive suite of services, we’re a one-of-a-kind Life Care community designed to elevate everyday living. Bring your parents or other aging loved ones for a visit — after just one look, they’ll know The Buckingham far exceeds their expectations.