How do I know what the best thing to do is? 

Chances are, you’re going to have the conversation with the parents about moving into assisted living at some point.  Here is one way to look at this, what’s good for them is good for you.

It’s not just about you saying, “I don’t want to take care of you and it’s too much of my time and energy.” It’s what’s best for them. As people and family members start to fade away, pass away it can get lonely for those that are left.  They don’t want to be a burden on you and they don’t want to ask for help either.

What if my loved one wants to sell the family home and move away?

Many times older relatives will sell their house and move to a warmer climate after all of the kids are out of the house. They may not be ready to just lay on the beach, but they may want to move to a warmer environment in their retirement years.

Some want to move to that warmer climate and plan for it.  Others stay in the family home to be close to the kids and grandkids.  They may go visit the warmer climate for a few weeks during the winter. They may buy a home and then lend it to friends and let them experience it too.  After a while, they may get comfortable with the fact that there’s a place they can go and then eventually extend that visit to a few months.

For them, this may be the right thing. What’s good for them may not be something you think is a good idea or you may feel “abandoned”, but it’s good for all of you too. Eventually, we need to cut our ties and so do they.

What if I can’t take care of them in my home, and I need help?

Let’s be realistic, not everybody has six brothers and sisters. So the concept of them needing help, it’s good for them and it’s good for you. If you need help with your mom or dad, that means you cannot do something else. Maybe you’re neglecting your own children or your own career, or maybe you can’t go to church when you want to. You can’t have the date night with your spouse or whatever it is you are now sacrificing for mom and dad.

On one side you’re saying, “I’m willing to and I will do whatever it takes to take care of mom and dad.” On the other side, are you really the best one to do that? It may be time to hire somebody or move mom and dad into an independent living community or even into assisted living. That transition can be smoother if somebody comes in to help in the home, but that’s more expensive. Or they move into a home with a small group of seniors, “Golden Girls” style of shared living

Will I get to visit them in assisted living?

The closer it is to you the more you can visit. What we find many times is that relationship get deeper and tighter and closer because they’re actually making the time and the effort to go see them and spend time. The caregivers are trained to take care of their needs and it allows you to be the son, the daughter, the granddaughter, the grandson. It allows you to play the part that you were designed to play, not the one that you may not be designed to play. Whether it’s in your own home or in that facility it’s good for them and good for you.

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