When You’re Completely Burned Out Looking After an Aging Parent, It’s Time to Discuss Assisted Living … But HOW?

Every day seems to blend into one another. No, that’s not quite right… every day seems to slam into the next. You can’t seem to find time for yourself. You’ve been taking care of an aging parent for more than a few months, possibly even several years, and you are completely burned out. The stress is overwhelming and it’s affecting relationships, your career, and even your health. You know it’s time (well past time) to talk about assisted living.

Assisted Living in Mobile AL: Bringing up the Subject of Assisted Living

Assisted Living in Mobile AL: Bringing up the Subject of Assisted Living

You simply don’t know how to broach the topic.

Bringing up a topic as important and potentially sensitive as assisted living is not easy for many people. Far too many worry about repercussions or how their elderly parent or other individual is going to react and respond to the suggestion.

Maybe you worry your aging father will assume you just don’t care anymore.

That’s a simple and easy reaction people have. “I see,” your elderly father may say, “you just don’t care about me anymore. Fine. Why don’t you just take care of yourself and leave me alone?”

These types of passive-aggressive statements do nothing to help the problem at hand and are only designed (more often subconsciously so) to elicit feelings of guilt so that family member drops the conversation and continues to support them without question.

Perhaps the best approach is to ask questions.

When we ask questions, we’re putting ourselves in a position of listening. Instead of becoming defensive or trying to ‘correct’ the other individual, simply listen to what he or she has to say. Ask a question like, “Mom, are there any things you wish you could do that you haven’t done in a long time?”

She may admit she misses spending quality time with her friends. She might wish she could play bridge or other games during the day. Maybe she simply longs for conversation. Sure, you stop by every day after work to check in on her, but with so many things going on in your life, you just don’t have time to sit and slow down long enough to have a decent, quality conversation.

When you elicit answers to some of these types of questions, it becomes easier to redirect her thoughts by saying something to the effect of, “Have you ever considered moving?”

She might think you’re talking about moving in with her or being closer to another family member or friend, but when you know enough about assisted living, you can redirect the conversation to that, and this can be a powerful way to discuss it in a positive, hopeful manner.

If you or an aging loved one are considering assisted living in Mobile, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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