Broaching the subject of finding a caregiver or assisted living retirement community for your loved one can be an anxiety-causing and difficult task, especially if the person you care about is hesitant, stubborn or even gets angry at the idea. But if your loved one is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease, allowing this discussion to go unheard may be putting him or her at risk. Though your loved one may feel as if you're asking him or her to give up his or her independence, in reality you just want to make sure he or she is in good care. If your loved one is particularly against the idea, don't get discouraged – here are five tips for starting and continuing this difficult conversation with your loved one:
1. Determine your options
Before you try and convince the person you care about he or she needs help, make sure you research the wide range of care options available. For seniors who want to maintain a sense of independence, discussing senior care day services may prove more productive than immediately bringing up moving to an assisted living home. The Mayo Clinic recommends suggesting a trial run to your loved one – that way, you can both see how a certain care option goes before making a final decision. The source notes that a trial run ideally will make your loved one less reticent to receive assistance and provide him or her an opportunity to see the benefits.
2. Work with your loved one's physicians
AARP advises developing a close relationship with your loved one's primary physicians. This will allow you to build a support network for talking with your loved one and also give you an opportunity to better understand his or her condition. Moreover, if your loved one is on specific medications, his or her physician will be able to walk you through the potential side effects. Understanding your loved one's condition in more depth will make it easier to explain why you believe he or she needs care.
3. Ask for help from friends and family
If you always try to lead the conversation, you're bound to get burned-out and emotionally fatigued. However, there's always strength in numbers. Your loved one may need to hear that he or she needs care from multiple people before taking it into serious consideration. Enlist family members and close friends that have known your loved one for a long time. They'll best be able to speak to how your loved one's behavior has changed, and also likely have the biggest impact.
"Be patient and don't give up, and hopefully your loved one will warm up to the idea in the long run."
4. Be persistent
Odds are this conversation won't take place in one sitting. Convincing your loved one he or she needs help, whether it be moving to an assisted living retirement community or getting some extra help around the house, will take time and persistence. If your first conversation doesn't go particularly well, allow your loved one some time to cool off and then readdress the situation. The Alzheimer's Association notes that your loved one may experience fear or denial when approached with the possibility of receiving care, and it may take a while for him or her to get comfortable with the idea. Be patient and don't give up, and hopefully your loved one will warm up to the idea in the long run.
5. Focus on the positives
The Mayo Clinic recommends talking about receiving care in a positive light. After all, assisted living retirement communities offer up a wide range of activities and opportunities to socialize. Given the opportunity, your loved one may find that being surrounded by others in his or her age group is less isolating and more active.