How Do You Convince an Elderly Parent to Move to Assisted Living?

Author: Alicia Centeno

Reviewed By: Catherine Braxton

You can convince an elderly parent to move into assisted living by involving family, emphasizing the benefits and giving them as much control over the decision as possible. Moving to an assisted living community has a variety of benefits in addition to care, including freedom from household tasks such as cooking, cleaning and laundry. Additionally, assisted living communities typically have a full calendar of engaging social activities and amenities that range from fitness centers and swimming pools to chef-prepared meals. 

If your loved one could use the support of a 24-hour team to help with the activities of daily living, assisted living may be a great fit that will grant them a fresh sense of freedom paired with a stimulating social life. Convincing them of that may not be easy, but with these helpful tips, you can steer the conversation in a more positive direction. 

Make their care a family affair

Before you speak with your parent, discuss the situation with other family members to ensure you’re all on the same page. This will help future discussions run smoothly and make it easier to keep disagreements at bay.

Whatever you do, don’t push the subject or make your parents feel like they’re being forced into assisted living. You made this decision together as a family, and it’s the best one for their health and safety. When you foster an environment of comfort and familiarity, less tension occurs. 

Don’t forget the benefits

Many older adults protest because they feel like they’re not being listened to or cared for. While these conversations may be difficult, they’re necessary to have, and they build lasting trust as your parent transitions into assisted living. As a vital next step, discuss the many benefits that assisted living communities offer. Ask them what help they could use around the home or in their everyday life. Is the laundry too much? Do they struggle to pay bills on time? They won’t need to worry about those issues in assisted living.

Many seniors aren’t aware of the restaurant-style dining, upscale amenities and vibrant social calendars these communities provide. Assisted living facilities aren’t nursing homes, so make sure your parent understands the differences and knows they have an active lifestyle to look forward to at this level of care.

Give them some control

No one wants to feel like moving into assisted living has been decided for them; they want to be involved in the process. Hand over as much control as possible to your parent, and make them a part of the big move. You can do this by mentioning responsibilities they’ll no longer have to worry about, such as cooking, cleaning and paying utility bills. Emphasizing the more positive aspects of the experience may open their mind to the transition.