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What to Do When Only One Parent Needs Assisted Living

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A senior man talking to an assisted living staff on a bench.

When only one parent needs assisted living, it can be a challenging time for families. The family dynamics can be tricky to manage, especially if your parents have different needs, such as memory care. The emotions that come with considering assisted living can be overwhelming. 

There are several steps that families can take to make this process as positive as possible, including open communication, getting everyone involved, exploring options, and maintaining strong family bonds.

Open Communication

The first step in addressing this situation is open and honest communication. Sit down with your parents and discuss their current health and care needs. Encourage them to express their feelings and preferences regarding their living arrangements. Making both parents feel heard and respected throughout this process is crucial.

Involve The Other Parent

It’s important to involve your other parent in the decision-making process, even if they don’t need assisted living at the moment. They will still need to adjust to this significant life change. Be honest with them about why assisted living is necessary and reassure them that they will always be loved and supported. They can also be a beneficial source of support for their partner during the move and transition.

Explore Assisted Living Options

Once you’ve established that one parent requires assisted living, it’s time to research and explore your options. Assisted living communities vary in terms of services, amenities, and costs, so take the time to visit several communities to find one that suits your parent’s needs and preferences. Consider factors like location, the quality of care provided, and the available activities and amenities.

Legal & Financial Planning

Assisting one parent with transitioning to assisted living may involve legal and financial considerations. Review your parents’ financial situation, including savings, pensions, and insurance policies, to determine how they can afford the care they need. Consult with an attorney specializing in elder law to address issues such as power of attorney, healthcare directives, and estate planning.

Emotional Support

Transitioning one parent to assisted living can be emotionally challenging for the entire family. It’s essential to provide emotional support to both parents during this time. Encourage open conversations and offer reassurance that the decision is made out of love and concern for their well-being.

Maintain Family Bonds

A happy young woman hugging his happy senior father from behind.

Moving one parent into assisted living doesn’t mean the end of family bonds. Encourage regular visits, phone calls, and other forms of communication to maintain a strong connection. Assure both parents that they will continue to be part of each other’s lives.

Self-Care for Caregivers

If you are actively involved in caregiving, remember to take care of yourself as well. Caring for aging parents can be physically and emotionally draining, so seek support from friends, support groups, or professional counselors. Do something good for yourself each day, and remember that you can’t provide the best care if you’re burnt out.

The Path Forward with Compassion & Care

Navigating the process when only one parent needs assisted living can be challenging, but with open communication, careful planning, and emotional support, you can make the best decisions for your family. Ultimately, the key is to approach this situation with empathy, compassion, and a commitment to maintaining your aging parents’ dignity and quality of life.

Mattison Crossing is here to help with this challenging and emotional time. One step onto the Mattison Crossing grounds will reveal much more than our photographs and words. See for yourself our large gardens, beautiful dining areas, expansive theater, and wall-to-wall library shelves. 

Come inside, and we’ll show you all of the upgraded safety and comfort features we have available. Just introduce yourself and any questions, and we will do our best to answer them all. Visit us today

Morgan Berardi

Written by Morgan Berardi

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