“I promised I’d never put Mom into a nursing home.” Sound familiar? Having the conversation with your parents about a new home is not easy. No one wants to put Mom into a nursing home but sometimes living independently is no longer safe. Health conditions, mobility changes, even a fall or injury sometimes means that a new home is the best option.

Here’s our best advice for having the best possible conversation with your aging loved one.

1. Do your research

In the world of senior care, there’s lots of options out there, especially for senior living communities. From independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing, communities vary on care needs, nursing support, living environments, enrichment activities and more. Many times, families assume a move for an aging loved one is to a nursing home (skilled nursing care). But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Independent living communities offer senior housing with no nursing levels of care. They’re a perfect solution for seniors who don’t want the upkeep of a home and could benefit from socialization opportunities. Assisted living communities provide healthcare support for basic activities of daily living like getting dressed, bathing and moving around. Some also specialize in helping individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. Skilled nursing (the traditional nursing home) offers high levels of nursing care. There are even skilled nursing communities in small homes, creating a unique atmosphere for residential living.

Knowing what’s out there will help you step away from the fear of “putting Mom in a nursing home” and will help prepare you for that conversation. Discoverm all the options out there with Tabitha's complete continuum of senior living options

2. Involve everyone in the conversation

Your aging loved one should have just as much of a say in their future home as you do. Maybe the burden of living independently has been too much and they’d welcome the move. Perhaps their friend from church moved into a certain community and they’d like to go there. Involve your loved one in tours, research and talking with professional. Talk about their feelings and thoughts. If they’re strongly opposed to a move, involve a professional mediator like a Tabitha Continuum Navigator who has expertise in talking over issues with family members.

Don’t forget about siblings. Your brother may live states away, but he should have a say in Mom’s care. Talk with everyone involved about their thoughts. Try as best you can to get on the same page before talking with Mom. 

Tabitha Continuum Navigators are experts in helping families talk with their families about health care options. Contact them today!

3. Take it slow

Rome wasn’t built in a day “the conversation” shouldn’t happen in one sitting. Start the planning early so you can make decisions slowly, before there’s a crisis. The majority of families seek help after an episode like a fall or illness suddenly makes living independently impossible. Rushed decisions can be extremely hard for everyone at the table.

Start by learning the signs that Mom may need more assistance. Do some research. On a visit with her, get a feel for how she feels about senior living communities. On another visit, perhaps suggest tours of some living options. Ease into the conversation, understanding that it may be a difficult topic for Mom to discuss.

Need more tips on “having the conversation?” Download our free eBook!