Your parents may have lived independently as a couple for as much as 60 years or more. They still enjoy life and family—but you notice some things are gradually slipping. They may show signs of dementia, and their driving may concern you. They may love socialization, but you notice they need some help either medically or physically—and you’re not sure how long they can remain independent in their beloved home.
Your love, honor, and respect for your parents continues, yet it seems as if you’ve come to a role reversal as you find yourself looking after them. Let’s explore how to approach this delicate situation—from the conversation about change to the actual change itself.
Assess the needs
If you are going from here to New York, the plan is mapped out based on where you are currently! It’s the same process for addressing your family’s needs. Begin by assessing exactly where your parents are in terms of their mental health, physical health, and financial status. Assess if they need help with basic activities of daily living: eating, bathing, dressing, toileting and walking.
Approach the subject
Prior to your parents’ needing to transition into an assisted living community, talk with them about what their necessities and desires are should they find themselves requiring help with basic activities of daily living. Sensitively affirm your commitment to honor their wishes, and express your need to know their requests so you can help facilitate them if necessary. Next, propose a variety of “what if” situations and ask what they desire if they find themselves needing more assistance daily due to physical or mental changes.
Understand the finances
Work together with your parents to understand exactly where they are financially so you can help them find the best possible living conditions within their means. Gather long-term care insurance policies and ask questions until you understand what is covered under their plan. Veteran’s benefits are often a great resource from which to draw in this situation.
Explore the options
Take a tour and eat a meal if possible in the assisted living communities you are considering. Perhaps attend an activity onsite so you can experience the community firsthand. Make notes after your visit and discuss the details in a neutral place. Consider the quality of life, compassionate care, dignity and opportunities the new change could facilitate. Stop, look and listen as you tour facilities.
Stop: notice the tone of the environment.
Look: see the cleanliness of the facility.
Listen: pay attention to how staff members talk with residents.
Create the space
Set aside space in your calendar to help your parents downsize their belongings. They may have accumulated a great deal of things over the years, and clearly, they can’t take it all with them to an assisted living facility. So, at their request, set aside their favorite things to bring to their new residence, then spend time sifting through their remaining belongings. Create meaningful ways for them to downsize. Perhaps they could give a portion of their possessions to family members in need, or to community charities. They could have a garage sale and donate the proceeds to a worthy cause. Additionally, they may need to throw some things away.
Implement the transition
You’ve downsized, yet set aside their favorite items from home—in order to make their new home feel uniquely theirs. You’ve made a decision on where and when to transition into an assisted living community, and you’ve helped your parents prepare not only physically, but also emotionally, for the change. If their home needs to be sold, help them find a trusted realtor to assist in the process. Plan ahead for moving day by scheduling help with large furniture items, and boxing up personal items for the move.
Embrace the community
Once your parents are settled into their new assisted living community, visit them often the first few weeks. Perhaps look at the activities calendar together and encourage them to participate in the many activities in order to make new friends and enjoy life together. Plan some outings as a family, and make arrangements to pick them up for a change of scenery periodically.
Tulsa assisted living community
The Parke Assisted Living Community invites you to discover the quality of life available for your loved ones. Check out our services and amenities page to learn about the diverse opportunities we offer residents. Our 24-hour staff takes care of everything from pharmacy services, housekeeping, and monthly wellness clinics—to meals, activities and entertainment.
Join us for a tour and complimentary meal
We look forward to meeting you and your family and discussing the best possible solutions for your loved ones. When your family member is ready for senior assisted living arrangements that provide socialization, as-needed care, independence and enriching activities, our elegant, state licensed, Tulsa area assisted living community, The Parke, is honored to provide for your needs.