Should I Take My Parents With Me To Visit Communities?
When it’s time to begin touring prospective assisted living communities, you may wonder whether you should take your parent along. If your parent is excited about making the move — or at least on board with the idea —visiting communities and learning about options can be fun for both of you. If they’re resistant to the idea, or if the thought of moving causes stress or agitation, you may need to take a slightly different approach. Below we’ve outlined a few considerations to help you make the best decision for your situation.
- Stamina and mobility
Touring communities can be an exhausting process — especially if your parent has mobility challenges or cognitive issues, or tends to tire easily. In that case, it may be better for you to visit communities on your own first. This can help you weed out any that don’t meet your standards or criteria and limit the number of communities your parent will need to tour, while still keeping them involved in the process.
- Anxiety or fear of change
Moving is a stressful experience at any age. For an older parent, the prospect of moving from the home they’ve loved for many years can bring sadness as well as anxiety about downsizing. In this case, again, limiting the number of communities your parent will tour can be helpful — especially if you’ve have already visited and narrowed the choices to those you believe they’ll like.
If your parent isn’t on board with the move, or if visiting communities makes them excessively anxious or agitated, it may be best not to take them. If the community will allow it, take photos or video during your tour to share with your parent later.
- Readiness vs. reluctance
If your parent is excited about moving and is able to make everyday decisions, they may look forward to visiting communities with you. However, if your parent is resistant to the idea of moving, you should first conduct visits on your own and narrow the list of communities to only those you believe your parent may like. This will increase the chances of a positive experience when they visit.
Tips for touring communities with a parent
- If you decide to take your parent on a community tour, keep these tips in mind:
- Schedule no more than one community per day.
- Visit at a time of day when your parent will be well-rested and least likely to become agitated. For most, this is mid-morning, after breakfast.
- Keep the visit short and fun, focusing on those areas that are most important to your parent.
- Take photos or video during the tour to review with your parent later. This will aid in remembering different communities or parts of communities.
- After the tour, recap your visit. It’s best to do this as soon as practical after each visit, while the community is fresh in your minds.
- Ask your parent for their impressions and listen closely.
If at all possible, your parent should make the final decision.
We all like to feel we have control over our lives, and aging parents are no different. When they feel involved in the process and are given the opportunity to choose the community they prefer, you’ll have a good start toward a successful experience with assisted living.