Caring for an elderly parent takes an enormous amount of commitment. Being unable to continue performing so an important duty doesn’t make you callous or selfish. Whether they are financial, emotional, or physical, you may have any number of valid reasons why you can no longer serve as someone else’s primary caregiver.
Admitting that you can no longer provide the standard of care your parent deserves is the first step toward ensuring they continue to receive it. Your decision to move your parent to an assisted living community may represent the very best you can do by them.
Unfortunately, your family members might not appreciate that you only have your parent’s best interests at heart. But by being open and honest about your decision, you can help them understand that you’re truly doing the best that you’re able.
Explain Why You’re No Longer Able to Care for Your Parent
If they’re unfamiliar with the degree of care your parent needs to lead a healthy, active, and fulfilling life, then your family members may assume you’re able to continue providing it. This is often not the case, however, as your personal circumstances dictate more about your caretaking abilities than your family is likely aware.
Like it or not, you are aging yourself – your back and legs may no longer supply the strength you need to pick up your parent or otherwise assist them with domestic tasks. You may recently have had your own children (or, if you are especially blessed, grandchildren) to whom you would like to commit more of your time. The circumstances of your employment may also have changed, thus affording you less time or money to devote to your parents’ welfare.
Whatever your reasons for your decision might be, sharing them is often enough to show family members why assisted living offers your parent a better life. As wound up as everyone is in their own lives, they might forget that you have your own, too!
Explain That Your Parent’s Needs Have Grown
Family members who aren’t apprised of your parent’s physical and mental health may wrongly conclude that they have remained unchanged. This is not the case, of course. With advanced age comes the need for an increasing amount of medical attention, little of which the average person is able to provide.
Furthermore, seniors who suffer from memory loss may no longer be able to care for themselves on their own. If your parent is no longer safe without round-the-clock supervision, then only an assisted living community can provide the level of care they require.
Your family may also overlook your parent’s need for a social life. If they are sitting at home all day, alone, then your parent would be much better off in the company of like-minded peers. Explaining to your family that your parent has become lonely will underscore your decision as the correct one to make.
Consider Your Family Members’ Unique Relationships with Your Parent
We all know how intricate family dynamics are. In all likelihood, most members of your family are very fond of your parent. Others may share more complicated relationships with them, as they potentially have done since before you were born.
Take these unique relationships into account as you personally inform each family member of your decision. If they adore your parent, assure them that they can continue spending just as much time together as they always have. If they are less invested in your parent’s welfare, underscore that it will be expertly tended to nevertheless. But if they are bitter toward you or your parent, for any reason, don’t let anything they say deter you from your decision to secure the best level of care for your parent as you’re able.
Communicate Directly and Compassionately
Don’t make any attempts to obscure what is motivating your decision to place your parent in assisted living. There are no doubt several factors motivating that decision – many of which are emotional. Opening up and communicating directly will leave nothing about your decision to interpretation. In other words, your relatives will have less reason to attribute your choice to indifference or mean-spiritedness.
Even though you may have the final say when it comes to your parent’s care, do not frame your decision like it is unilateral. Indeed, welcoming your family members’ input may lead them to conclude that assisted living is the best option without your own argument in favor of it. Use inclusive language when you reach out, welcoming their thoughts as you remind them that your parent’s well-being is a matter of all their loved ones’ concerns. People genuinely appreciate it when they believe they are part of so big a decision.
We understand that the decision to move a parent into an assisted living community is not one to be taken lightly. If you would like any assistance as you prepare to explain your decision to family members, then we welcome you to contact Morgan Lane Village in Tea, South Dakota today. With a little compassion and honesty, even the most resistant family members are able to understand where you’re coming from!