How To Talk With Family About Assisted Living Decisions

Category: Assisted Living

Assisted living facilities can be a great source of support for seniors who need help with routine day-to-day tasks but still want a sense of independent living. According to the latest data, over 810,000 Americans, most of whom are over the age of 85, live in assisted living facilities.

A woman speaking with her elderly mother about assisted living.

While assisted living and skilled nursing facilities bring with them a range of benefits, assisted living for family members who need the care of professionals can be a difficult conversation to have. At Haven Health, we are here to help ease your loved ones’ concerns as we share with them all the services assisted living facilities have to offer.

Contact us today to learn about assisted living care facilities and get the answers and support you and your family are looking for.

How Do I Approach My Parents About Assisted Living?

Having a conversation about assisted living with a parent can be a delicate and emotional process. It requires a lot of thought, patience, and understanding. This is especially the case if your parent has not broached the topic before.

The following are some helpful tips that can help you approach a parent who may benefit from the support of an assisted living or nursing facility.

Start the Conversation Early

All family structures are unique, and some families may start talking about turning to an assisted living facility for the continued support and care of an elderly parent. It’s important to begin a dialogue with parents early on in their senior years. This allows an aging parent to voice their wishes and opinions and provides a safe space for productive conversation.

Share Your Concerns and Understand Theirs

Understandably, an aging parent may be uneasy or hesitant to move into an assisted living facility. Often, this unease is because of the unknown. During conversations, make it a point to share your concerns, but also take the time to understand theirs.

Be Prepared for Multiple Conversations

These conversations will not happen in a vacuum and instead require thoughtful reflection that prompts multiple conversations over weeks, months, and even years. Be prepared to have these conversations with your parents and make sure that they feel heard and understood throughout the process. This will help dispel any fears or concerns they have, and it makes it easier for you to vocalize yours.

Include Them in the Decision-Making

No matter the circumstances, you should always include your parents in the decision-making process. Their opinions matter, and they need to feel heard and validated in their concerns.

How Do You Tell a Parent They Are Moving to Assisted Living?

There are some circumstances where support from an assisted living facility is critical, and a parent’s choice may not be at the forefront when a decision is made. Despite this, you should continue engaging in productive conversation about moving to an assisted living facility.

Keep the Conversation Focused on Your Parent’s Needs

When talking to a parent who’s opposed or apprehensive about moving to an assisted living facility, keep the conversation directed on your parent’s needs. Explain the importance of making sure their needs are met and that there are supports in places like assisted living facilities that can help.

Common parental needs that are best served at an assisted living facility include:

  • Meeting their safety needs
  • Helping with day-to-day tasks
  • Keeping up with medication
  • Being in an environment where they can continue with activities they love

Focus on the Benefits of Assisted Living

Many of today’s assisted living facilities are committed to offering the best quality of life and care for their residents. As such, there are many benefits elder parents should be aware of when the topic of moving to such a facility comes up. Some of the benefits of assisted living facilities include:

  • Safety and security
  • Vibrant social communities
  • Daily activities residents can partake in
  • Personalized assistance
  • Access to more independence due to the enhanced support

How Do You Deal With an Aging Parent Who Refuses Help?

Many aging parents refuse help because of fears or stigmas that elder care and nursing facilities carry. Incorporate these tips to help a parent find the best assisted living facility that supports them.

Treat Them Like an Adult

The apprehension or denial of help from an aging parent often comes from fear or worry. When a parent expresses this fear or anxiety, it can trigger family members to coddle them or unknowingly dismiss their concerns.

It’s important to remember that your aging parents are still adults and should be treated as such. In most cases, aging parents want to hang on to their autonomy, and making decisions on their behalf can have the opposite of your desired outcome.

Allow Them to Have Control Over Their Decisions

Treating your aging parents as adults allows them to make decisions that impact their lives. This can mean giving them control to choose the best nursing facility they think works for them, the care they wish to receive, the residential schedule they want, and other choices that will impact their life.

Have a Backup Plan

A woman smiling in assisted living with two other patients talking in the background.

Many seniors have the final say on whether they want to live in a nursing home or assisted living facility. If your aging parent is adamant about not seeking the services of such a facility, it’s important to have a backup plan. This can include coordinating with family members for alternative care options, speaking with your parent’s doctors about alternative services, and listening to ideas your parents would like to see happen instead.

Contact us to learn more about Haven Health’s skilled nursing facilities.


McCain, A. 2023. 25 Insightful Nursing Home Statistics [2023]: How Many Nursing Homes Are in the US?

Nursing Homes and Assisted Living (Long-term Care Facilities [LTCFs]).

Van Dis, K. 2023. What Is Assisted Living?