At back-to-school time, many parents’ thoughts turn to their college-aged children leaving the nest, whether for the first or fourth time, and it’s this same mindset that many have when transitioning their older relatives into assisted living. Just as moving off to college can be a major milestone in both your and your children’s lives, so is moving into a nursing home.

At Byron Center Manor, we know this process may lead to hard conversations and confusion about how to go about the transition as smoothly as possible for your loved one. We’re always here to listen and help families understand what this change means both now and in the future.

Having “The Talk” With Your Loved Ones

Not every family has the luxury of the older parents approaching their children with a request to move into an assisted living community. In many cases, it’s the overwhelmed caregiver(s) who initiates the conversation, which can easily be seen as a resentful step in the eyes of those needing care.

This conversation is necessary for everyone involved to be on the same page: You, your loved ones, and any other family members that may be affected by the change. Here’s our advice on how to handle this discussion well:

  • Listen before asserting your point of view. When moving into a new place is met with resistance, work to understand the frustrations or concerns.
  • Find a calm way to express your own feelings and caregiving reality, acknowledging that it’s not easy and requires hours each day and round-the-clock mental burdens to take care of your loved ones.
  • Be persistent if your loved ones deny the fact that they need the care, highlighting that the longer they stay in their current situation, the more the current problems and risks will get worse.
  • Consider getting a professional involved. Elder mediators are trained professionals who help facilitate the conversation and get everyone affected by this change to understand others’ points of view.

Focus on the Benefits

From the first conversation to move-in day, transitioning to assisted living can be stressful. We find it helpful when families keep their eyes on the prize, the long-term benefits this will have not only for their loved ones but for the whole family as well. Benefits like providing age-appropriate activities, routine housekeeping, and medicine delivery all can be a way to keep people encouraged throughout the process.

Understand and Secure Finances

With the average assisted living facility costing as much as $4,000-$6,000 a month, it’s vital to make sure your loved ones or family have the resources you need to afford the community that’s best for them. Figuring out your budget early will help you avoid touring or applying to facilities that are ultimately outside your price range.

Factors that can help make assisted living affordable include:

  • Parents’ retirement savings or pensions
  • Not requiring intensive care
  • Benefits from the VA, health insurance, or Medicare

Get to Know Communities from a Variety of Sources

Your best internet sleuthing isn’t going to be sufficient for truly understanding what you and your loved ones are getting into with any one particular facility. Touring the community and making sure to see as many aspects of it as you’re allowed helps give you a physical sense of the facility and its surrounding neighborhoods, but there are even more sources of information and advice you can seek to best understand what’s entailed in the move. Sources like Elder care lawyers, state or municipal officials in charge of the rights of residents in assisted living facilities, and reviews of previous (or more helpfully, current) residents and their families.

Assisted Living in West Michigan

The family of Byron Center Manor’s staff and residents are always eager to welcome new people into our neighborhoods. No matter what your loved one’s level of care, we can find them a safe, fun place to live and meet new friends. With dozens of activities available on a daily basis, we make life as active and stimulating as possible, encouraging people to connect over shared hobbies and interests. Learn more about our care services and communities by calling us or contacting us online today.

Let’s get started!