How to Gauge Mom’s Interest in Assisted Living (While She Depends on You at Home)
Your mother has been depending on you for a long time. Maybe it’s been months or even years. She could be in her 70s, 80s, 90s, or even older, yet the older she is, the more pressure this is placing on your life. It might be affecting your career, your relationships, and your mental health. If you haven’t discussed the prospect of assisted living or even other elder care options just yet, now is the time.
A lot of people worry about how their loved one will respond when they bring up the topic of something like assisted living. While you can’t control her reactions, what you can do is put your proverbial finger on her pulse when it comes to topics like these.
What to look out for.
If your mother is having increased challenges with activities of daily living (ADLs), it’s going to place an increased amount of pressure on you and your life. You might spend less time pursuing the things that are important to you.
That may sound callous to a degree, but your mother is certainly important to you. However, that doesn’t mean you have to give up everything else in your life to take care of her.
Most family caregivers (an estimated 55 million adult Americans in the United States right now (Forbes)) are sacrificing so much to look after disabled adults and aging family members.
At first, it starts slow and almost seemingly insignificant. You stop by before work. You call to check in throughout the day. Maybe a couple of evenings each week you go by her house and help her out. You might help her clean, cook, get groceries or other supplies from the store, or even bring her to a friend’s house for a visit.
Eventually, though, she calls on you more and more frequently, placing increased pressure on every aspect of your life.
If that’s happening, that’s a good sign assisted living is an elder care topic to discuss now.
What else should you look for?
What other signs might there be that could indicate she’s ready to discuss assisted living? She may be lamenting the fact she hasn’t seen certain friends in a while. They might already be at a local assisted living facility.
She might feel lonely. She may call you for conversations more frequently. If she were at an assisted living community, she could make new friends, reconnect with old ones, participate in various activities, enjoy wonderful entertainment, and feel as though she is still part of the world.
Some assisted living communities do offer respite care options, which means your mother could take advantage of the support it offers without having to make a full commitment of leaving her home completely.
Some of these respite care options might include overnight stays, a few days a week, for a week or two at a time, or even for a month or more.
There is no wrong time to discuss assisted living, so long as you don’t force any elder care option upon her; let it be her decision based on your recommendation.