How to Talk to Your Parent about Moving into a Nursing Home
Deciding to put a parent into a nursing home can be one of the most stressful, worrying, and upsetting experiences you will face in your life. There are so many elements of this process that can cause negative emotions to arise. Of course, there is the fact that you don’t want to upset your parent or make them feel like they are losing their independence. There is also the acceptance that your parent is getting old and can no longer do the things they once could. It is a hard thing to come to terms with, but you can get through it together as a family. One thing you may be worried about is having the talk with your parent about moving into a nursing home. Here are some tips to make it as painless as possible:
- Prepare yourself for the conversation – This is not the sort of conversation that you can have without little thought or preparation. You need to have as much information at hand as possible, so that you can answer any queries your parent may have. They may be worried that the nursing home will not care for them properly, or they may have concerns about where they will stay, how many other people will be there, how often you can visit, and so on and so forth. The more information you are armed with, the more fruitful the conversation will be.
- Don’t make them feel like their independence is being taken away – One thing most elderly people detest about the thought of going into a nursing home is having their independence taken away. They don’t want to be made to feel like they can’t do things for themselves anymore. You need to make them feel like they are in control. Let them know that this is their decision, and make sure you tell them about the different ways they will be in charge of their life while at the nursing home. For example, you can speak about the different activities the nursing home has, and also how they will be able to do all of the things they love and still make important decisions.
- Acknowledge their feelings and concerns – It is really important to listen to your parent during this conversation. This is going to be a really scary time in their life, and they want to know that their feelings and thoughts are being considered. Also, don’t expect for them to come to terms with moving into a nursing home straight away. They will need some time to ponder over it, so give them some space. This is a huge life decision, and not something they should feel rushed into.
- Don’t hesitate to seek help – There are many different sources of help available. After all, this is going to be something new for you as well – not just your parent. There are forums online, and there may be groups in your local community. You can talk to people that were once in your position, and you won’t feel so alone.