Long-Distance Caregiving Might Make It Seem Difficult to Discuss Assisted Living with an Aging Parent

Talking about certain topics can prove extremely difficult for some people. Parents sometimes struggle to talk about the birds and the bees with their young children. Some might have a hard time talking to a close friend about concerns they have regarding alcohol use or even drug abuse. For adult children, it may be difficult to talk about assisted living or other elder care options with an aging parent.

When you live far away from your elderly mother or father, or both, bringing up these topics can seem even more challenging, mostly because you aren’t there to see the physical, emotional, or even mental challenges they face on a daily basis.

How can you bring up the topic of assisted living to an elderly parent when you live hundreds or even thousands of miles away?


Have regular conversations first.

Assisted Living Spanish Fort, AL: Long-Term Care

Assisted Living Spanish Fort, AL: Long-Term Care

If you only talk to your mother or father once a year or once every few years, if you suddenly start talking about assisted living because your brother or sister asked you to, it’s not going to go to well (in most cases).

That parent is going to wonder why you’re talking about this. Their guard will be up. Their defenses will be up.

The first thing you need to do is start having regular conversations. Call every few days or at least once a week and have a conversation. Ask your mother or father what he or she was doing during the week. Ask if they went anywhere. Ask if they would like to do something, if there’s something they’re missing out on.

When you have these regular conversations, not only will you build trust, you will also start to hear admissions about various challenges they’re facing, like getting out of bed in the middle of the night or mishaps they had walking up and down stairs.


Learn as much as you can about assisted living in their area.

Depending on where your mother or father live, assisted living could be right down the street or 30, 60, or more minutes away from where they live now. Most seniors who have lived in the same town for at least many years have built friendships, connections they don’t want to leave.

You might immediately suggest they live near you, but understand they might be more comfortable near their friends, people their own age, people they can do things with on a regular basis.

Find the assisted living communities in their area, near them, and discover what they offer, the benefits they provide, the various activities that may take place regularly.


Be willing to let them vent.

The first time you bring up assisted living with an aging parent, they might get frustrated. They may lash out. They may yell at you or hang up the phone. Let it happen.

Don’t lash back. It’s a scary time for somebody who’s struggling with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Don’t take it personally. Let them vent and take your time. Be patient. Remember, when you’re talking about this from a distance, you can only do it on the phone and you don’t want to burn that bridge. So, give it time.

If you or an aging loved one are considering a move to an Assisted Living in Spanish Fort, 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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