Helping our Parents

Whether you get along beautifully or not, your relationship with your parents is likely of high significance in your life. In their own way, they have been there for you, no matter what has happened in your life. Your parents have always provided you with the encouragement and love you needed to make your way through life, and you know they always will.

As you watch your parents climb the ladder of their golden years, you know you would do anything for them if it meant it was in their best interest. Yet, when you suggested an assisted living arrangement for them, you have been met with aggression. You know in you heart that it is the right thing to do because you cannot always be there for them, and you need to know that they are okay. You thought that they would understand this and would agree, but it turns out they have apprehensions.

You must understand that transitioning into an assisted living situation is not always easy for our parents. Many believe that it is a loss of their independence. Others believe it is an indication that they have become frail. Still others see it as a “death sentence” and that they are being sent there to die. Knowing and understanding that your parents probably feel one of these ways will allow you to approach the subject from a different point of view.

If you really believe that your parents are better off in a situation that will offer them the consistent care they need, try the following approach to help you and them get aligned with the assisted living option.

• Search For Assisted Living Communities First

Research the communities in the area and decide which have the most options your parents will appreciate. Each community may have different levels of activities and different levels of medical assistance. Keep in mind that the community surrounding the facility itself may be a factor for your parents.  For example, assisted living Dunwoody Georgia may offer the scenery and familiarity that may be of more comfort than a facility in the middle of metro Atlanta. Try to match your parents’ interests to the community, and bring packets of information with you to show them why you believe they would enjoy moving to this community.

• Talk To Residents

If you really want to know what the community is like, stop and talk to the residents. Most of these people will be happy to talk to you about it. You will learn more from the residents than in any other manner. Ask these residents if your parents could make contact with them to have any questions answered.

• Explain Your Feelings

Share with your parents that you will feel more comfortable knowing that there is always help available to them if the need should arise. Let them know how their well-being and happiness is very important to you and that you are afraid when they are alone. Show them how much research you have conducted to make sure that they would be happy. Ask them to at least go and visit one or two of the communities with you before they say no. Many parents, once they actually see the community, find that it is exactly where they want to live.

Transitioning to a new home can be difficult for anyone at any age. There is always an adjustment period, and there is always a longing for what we once had. This can even be scarier for the elderly who have dedicated many decades of their lives to one home or area and are then asked to give it up and move somewhere else because of their age.

Show your parents the love, compassion and patience that they have given you throughout your life, especially when you had important decisions to make. In the end they will see that you are right and that they will be much happier in this type of environment, and that it will also make you happy.

Akilah Richards is a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) who helps families address and act upon the decisions that benefit the family in personal and professional ways.  As she watches her mother care for her own mother, age 91, she recognizes the importance of making the decision to do what is best for the medical and emotional needs of her aging mother. If your elderly loved ones can benefit from assisted living Dunwoody Georgia, consider contacting the staff at Dogwood Forest to schedule a tour.

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