As the Dallas-Fort Worth areas most experienced senior care advisors, we understand how uncertain adult children feel when searching for senior housing for a parent. One question we often receive is whether adult children should visit communities on their own or bring their parent along when touring assisted living communities the first time.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer to this one. But there are pro’s and con’s you should be aware of as you make this decision.
The Adult Child’s Dilemma: Should You Take a Parent on Assisted Living Tour
Here are a few factors that we’ve identified to take in to consideration:
Physical Barriers and Limitations
Pro: If an aging parent has any physical impairments, such as vision loss or a mobility problem, it might help to bring them along. Doing so can help you see how well-designed the community is for residents with physical disabilities. Some are better than others.
If your parent can easily navigate their way through the assisted living community and the grounds, you know the community is one to keep on your list of possibilities. If they run in to problems, you won’t waste more time considering this option.
Con: Taking a parent with a disability along with you on your tour might slow you down. If you are short on time and need to visit multiple communities in a day, it might be more productive to visit all of the prospective assisted living communities. Then you can narrow the options down to two or three and come back with your parent.
Overcoming Stereotypes about Senior Living
Pro: Many older adults have outdated ideas about what senior living is and isn’t. Adult children often tell us they think it would be good for their parent to visit a variety of communities and see how vibrant they are. It can help overcome their concerns.
Con: If your parent is being especially stubborn and refusing to consider a move to an assisted living community, it might be best to tour a few potential communities on your own and narrow down the choices. This will give you the opportunity to present only the communities you feel would be a good fit for your parent’s hobbies, interests and lifestyle.
Clear Decision Making Skills
Pro: Is your senior loved one easily overwhelmed when trying to make big decisions or does being involved help them feel more independent? If your loved one is able to make good decisions, then allowing them to have more control over the process will help them feel empowered.
Con: By contrast, if your parent has memory loss or is struggling with anxiety about making this change, it might be best to narrow down their options first. The process can be stressful, especially for people who fear change.
Maintaining a Sense of Independence
Pro: Downsizing from a home lived in for many decades can be a physically and emotionally difficult time. It can leave a senior feeling like they are giving up their freedom and independence. The issue can be made worse if they aren’t involved in the process of touring potential senior housing options. Keeping them involved in the research process, as well as the touring schedule can give the senior you love a sense of independence and help them feel in control of their life.
Con: If your parent or senior loved one is hospitalized or has had a recent health scare, they may not be up to the physical demands touring multiple communities requires. It isn’t uncommon for an older adult who has had a sudden change in health status to need to find a community in a hurry. In this case, you may need to tour the communities for them and take photos of the one you think is the best fit. While it isn’t ideal, once your loved one has made the transition, he or she will likely realize how much assisted living communities do to support a senior’s wish to remain independent.
Free Advice and Guidance for Families in North Texas
If you are struggling to determine what type of care an aging parent requires or which senior living communities to visit, The Senior Living Specialists can help. Since we started our business in 2008, our senior care advisors have assisted over 2,000 families in making this decision.
Fill out our form to receive free information about the assisted living selection process or call us at 214-929-5055.
Senior Living Specialists is a free service for seniors and their families. We are compensated by a referral fee when a senior moves into a community or care home.