What to Do When Only One Parent Needs Assisted Living

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As we enter our third act, our bodies face new challenges that can sometimes make it difficult to live independently. When this happens, many families turn to assisted living communities to support the safety and well-being of their loved ones.

However, what can you do if only one parent needs assisted living while the other still lives independently? This can be a complicated situation to navigate, but fear not! With open communication, careful research, household updates, frequent visits, and support networks, you can create a cohesive, loving environment that supports both parents in this transition.

Have an Open & Honest Conversation

The first step in any difficult situation is to talk it out. Sit down with both of your parents and have an open conversation about the realities of the situation.

Discuss their individual needs, how you can balance them, and the best options for everybody. They might be feeling a lot of emotions, and you might too! This is a difficult time; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. So, even if tensions get hot, avoid saying something that may hurt your family relationships. Take the time to listen to each other and remember that this is challenging for everyone involved.

Make sure you involve your parent who doesn’t require assisted living in these conversations. It can be easy to focus your attention on your other parent, but they can be hurting too. Take their wants into consideration so everyone can be happy!

Research Assisted Living Options

Deciding on the living situation can be one of the most challenging decisions for everyone involved. Consider both your parents’s needs and desires when researching assisted living options. Some assisted living communities may have separate units or complexes for independent living so both parents can remain on the same campus. Otherwise, you may want to look for communities that are close by so your parents can see each other whenever they want.

Helping both stay comfortable with the changes is vital to positively shifting into a new lifestyle. When researching, consider the needs of your parent transitioning to assisted living and what kind of programs and amenities are important to them.

Does your parent like to take in nature? Find a community that offers nature walks! It all comes back to an open conversation about expectations.

Make Necessary Changes in the Home

Just because your parent is moving into assisted living doesn’t mean that your other parent suddenly has to do all the household chores themselves. However, you’ll still need to make some changes to create a safe and comfortable living environment for your parent still living independently.

These updates could include installing safety features in the home, hiring a home cleaning service, or finding a caregiver to provide companionship and support to your independent parent. Maybe it’s a good time for the renovation they’ve always been putting off, or perhaps that can wait another year.

Stay Connected

Routine and lifestyles will need to be adjusted, but regular check-ins, phone calls, and visits are essential to maintain healthy relationships with both parents. Especially with each other! Help your parents schedule regular visits, dinners, and outdoor events to maintain strong relationships.

Technology like FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, or other video calls can help your parents feel present, loved, and thought about even from a distance. Technology doesn’t have to be scary and is easier to use than ever. If you need to, take your parents through how to set up a video call so they can get the communication they need when they want it.

Seek Support

Juggling the care of two parents can be overwhelming, and there’s nothing wrong with needing to take a break. Caregiver burnout is a real thing that can affect your ability to support your loved ones. When you’re in your best state, you can give your loved one all the care they deserve.

Signs of caregiver burnout can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Frequent headaches
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Feeling you’re losing control of your life
  • Irritability

Seek support from other family members, community resources, and professional organizations that can offer guidance and assistance from experts in family care. Your area could have support groups, transportation services for your parents, meal delivery services, or a professional caregiver who can offer you insights during this time.

Embracing Change With a Smile

Dealing with the challenges of living longer can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. Many people have been in your shoes and may be willing to open up and help you on your way. At least, that’s what Juniper believes. We have the passion and know-how to help you make your parent’s third act radiate joy!

Things will be different, and change is always challenging. But you can help your parents thrive amidst their new living arrangements with patience, love, and compassion. Book a tour today to explore our community and experience Juniper in all its glory!

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