How to Talk with Your Parents About Moving to Assisted Living

You’ve just worked an eight hour day and now you need to go to your parent’s house to clean and help mom set up medications for the next week. This is already the third time you’ve been there this week to help with something and it’s only Thursday. Although you love your parents dearly and feel fortunate to have them in your life, you are tired and just wish you could be the child again, instead of a caregiver, housekeeper, nurse, cook, etc.

One of the hardest conversations you may have with your parents is the discussion about moving to assisted living. Using the following helpful hints, you can have an open and honest conversation to bring into focus the reality you are both living. Remember to take your time in having these conversations. More than likely a move to assisted living is not going to happen in only one conversation. To help you get started here are some likely comments from parents and then a suggested response for the child.

Parent: I’m managing just fine here with your help.

Child: You are doing OK. I’ve probably done too good a job of disguising just how much I’m doing and what it’s taking out of me. I feel we’ve come to a point where the house is too much for you to handle by yourself and too much for me to help with any longer. At Felician Village, staff are available to help whenever you need something. There’s a bit of difference between managing and just getting by, and really living.

Parent: I’m not alone; I have you. Child: Of course I will always be here for you. But you shouldn’t have to depend solely on me for company. At Felician Village, you will be able to be with people you have things in common with whenever you like, instead of depending on my schedule. Plus, I really miss spending time with you just being your child, instead of your cook, housekeeper, driver and nurse. Parent: Couldn’t we just have someone come in to help me?

Child: We could and while that sounds good, you’d still be by yourself most of the time. I hate seeing you stuck at home when you could be out doing things and seeing people like you used to. Not only that, the cost of having someone come in to help you, plus all the living expenses you have now, would be about the same or even more than the cost of living at Felician Village.

Parent: I feel good most days, and I usually remember to take my medications.

Child: I know you do and I’m grateful for that. But even one missed pill now and then – or one too many – can be dangerous. I want you to keep having good days for a long time. At Felician Village someone will bring you the medications you need at the time you need them. They’ll also be able to order them for you so I won’t need to worry about getting them for you.

Parent: Everyone is so old at those places. I don’t need that much help.

Child: You’re right, you don’t. But you’re probably thinking of a nursing home – and that’s not what we are talking about here. The people who live in assisted living just need a little bit of help like you do. You’ll have your own apartment, delicious meals, and interesting things to do every day. You’ll actually be more independent than you are now because you won’t have to wait around for me to help you when I can.

Parent: What if I don’t like it?

Child: Then you don’t have to stay. It’s a month-by-month rental agreement. We won’t sell your house right away so you can try it for several months. But I bet you’ll meet new friends who felt the same way you do, and ended up wishing they had moved in a lot sooner.

Check out our virtual tour of The Court assisted living apartments here (link to virtual tour on our website). If you need additional support or have any questions, please send me an email at or give me a call at 920-684-7171, ext. 411.

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