How Can You Explain What Assisted Living Truly Is to an Aging Loved One?

There might be an elderly person in your life who’s struggling to maintain daily life. You might be assisting him (or) her with some activities of daily life, like bathing or toileting, going to the grocery store, or keeping their home clean.

Perhaps this is your mother or father, a grandparent, maybe even your spouse or sibling. No matter who it is, trying to convince them that professional elder care is the best option isn’t always easy.

People often consider professional elder care services (or a facility like assisted living) as a last resort. They assume they can handle things with a little assistance from you, a few friends, possibly a neighbor or two, or other family members who live in the area.

Unfortunately, many family members take it upon themselves to be that “primary caregiver” for an aging loved one. They might see it is their responsibility, their job. No matter what you have going on in life, you may see this as something that’s required of you.

It’s not. However, what do you do if you don’t have time to offer this kind of support? Talk about assisted living. That may sound easier to say than to do, and it sometimes is. Too often it’s about misunderstandings or not fully realizing the benefits assisted living offers.

So, how can you explain what assisted living truly is?


Learn the facts first.

Assisted Living Mobile, AL: Assisted Living

Assisted Living Mobile, AL: Assisted Living

There are opinions and then there are facts. Today, much of that seems to be flipped upside down in many aspects of life. Whether it’s politics, news, or elder care, people have a tendency to gravitate toward opinions that align with theirs, even if they don’t align with facts.

You can see that playing out every single day across the country in news outlets and social media. The most important thing for you at this stage is to get the facts.


Where do you get facts?

From reliable online publications, in-person tours or visits to assisted living facilities in your area, and from those who may have direct experience with assisted living themselves (either former employees, current employees, friends or family members who had somebody at assisted living, or previous residence).

Aunt Esther may have plenty of opinions about assisted living because her mother’s sister-in-law’s niece at some point 20 or 30 years ago needed elder care, but those aren’t necessarily facts.

Make sure you get your facts straight first. For example, there are about 700,000 seniors in the United States currently residing at approximately 25,000 assisted living communities throughout the country. That’s a fact.


Once you get your facts, share them.

Your aging loved one can certainly dispute your opinions and completely close off to whatever you have to say about a topic if it’s all based on opinion and guesswork, but if you come armed with facts, they can argue, but they won’t get very far.

You also need to remember to be patient. Not everyone is going to come around to the truth quickly. It may take weeks or even months to convince that senior in your life of the benefits assisted living offers.

So, make sure you get the facts straight, explain them clearly and in a way that’s easy for them to understand, and let them marinate on those facts for a while. In time, they will understand what assisted living truly is for seniors.

If you or an aging loved one are considering a move to an Assisted Living facility near 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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