An elderly woman and younger woman discuss a move to assisted living at Culpepper Place.

How to Have a Discussion about Moving a Parent Into Assisted Living


One of the most challenging conversations an elderly parent and their adult child can have is the “moving talk.” In this conversation, children must explain why moving a parent to assisted living is a good option. 

This conversation can be emotional and overwhelming for both parent and child. If you are wondering how to talk to parents about assisted living or how to convince your elderly parent to move, there are a few things that you can do to prepare yourself and your parent for this discussion. 

In this blog, Culpepper Place provides information on how you can educate yourself about assisted living facilities, how you can assure your parent that this decision makes sense, and how you can help your parent feel empowered and involved in the process. Read on to learn how to convince a parent to go to assisted living.

1. Know When It Is Time 

Some factors can help point to when it might be time to discuss moving elderly parents out of their home for your parent to move into an assisted living facility. Ask yourself the following questions: 

  •  Are household tasks being neglected?- If you notice that the dishes aren’t washed, the mail is stacking up, and the house is in disarray, it is a sign that certain activities are becoming difficult and that your loved one may require assistance. 
  • Is their personal hygiene deteriorating?- If you notice that mom or dad is wearing the same shirt each time you come to visit, if they haven’t cleaned their teeth or dentures, or if they have not combed or washed their hair recently, it is time to talk to them about an assisted living facility. 
  • Do they have a health condition that they are struggling to manage?- Has your elderly parent had a fall and is having trouble getting around the home? Are you noticing that medication is going untaken? If so, start researching assisted living options. 
  • Are you noticing a decline in mood or weight from visit to visit?- If your parent has dropped significant weight since the last time you visited, or if they are increasingly angry, irritable, or seem confused, it is time to discuss assisted living. 

If you responded “yes” to one or more of the above questions, you need to start researching assisted living facilities in your area. 

2. Do Your Research 

The internet is a valuable resource when it comes to researching options for moving a parent into assisted living. You can start a simple online search with “assisted living near me,” and you will be able to see assisted living facilities in your area. There are a few things you should consider while searching for the perfect facility for your loved one: 

  • Make a list of your favorite facilities.- As you research, make a list of your top options. Don’t be afraid to call to get more information. Read reviews and check out the “about” section on websites. 
  • What activities does the facility offer that your parent might enjoy?- Maybe your parent enjoys going for walks. Do the facilities you are interested in have walking paths? Ask about amenities, events, and classes for residents. If there are calendars available on facility websites look at them to see what residents will be up to in the coming weeks and months. 
  • Ask the right questions.- Don’t hesitate to ask the hard questions. Ask about how billing is done, what accreditations the facility has, and what continual training staff members get. If applicable, ask if your parent can keep their pet. Also, ask about visiting hours. 
  • Touring facilities can help you learn more!– If you want to know more about the facility or facilities you’ve selected from your list, schedule a tour or tours. If you can, bring your parent with you on the tour(s). It will help them feel more involved in the process and will allow you to gauge how they feel about certain facilities. Remember, take your time choosing an assisted living facility. This is a big decision! 

Here are some additional resources that you might find helpful as you are doing research and educating yourself: 

3. Know How To Approach The Subject 

To make your loved one feel comfortable and empowered in this discussion, allow them to speak openly and take their feelings into account. Here are some tips about how you can initiate this important conversation: 

  • Involve everyone in the conversation.- This decision is not yours alone. If your parent is in a space where they can still make decisions, allow them to participate. If you have siblings, allow them to be involved and encourage them to do research as well. Make sure that all immediate family members or caretakers either have a say or at least know that this is the next step in your parent’s care journey. 
  • Be gentle, honest, and empathetic.- This is a difficult time for you, but it is also a difficult time for your parent. Understand that they may be afraid of losing their independence. Try to frame the discussion as honestly and positively as you can. If you sense that your loved one is angry, don’t become angry with them. Be calm throughout the conversation. Respond to questions kindly. 
  • Talk in a space where they are comfortable.- If your loved one has always enjoyed having family discussions around the dinner table, make dinner with them, and then take time to discuss.Allow them to have this conversation in a space that makes them feel at ease. 

Are You Ready To Contact Culpepper Place? 

Moving a parent to assisted living can be a difficult subject to discuss, but we’re here to help your parents feel like they are cared for and valued.

Culpepper Place is an assisted living facility in Olive Branch, MS. We strive to help our residents feel supported while still allowing them the independence they want and deserve. If you have questions about our facility, please do not hesitate to contact us! We would be honored to assist you. 


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