Jul 08, 2015 - 04:01 PM
First, you have to be aware of exactly the reasons your mother will benefit from assisted living. Write down as may as you can think of. Most importantly, relate the services back to her unique situation, beginning with the most pressing of crises. In her current situation, it sounds like she would benefit greatly from 24 hour emergency response so she doesn't face the danger of laying on the floor for hours should she fall again.
Second, begin thinking about the logical objections to why mom should move. When you are having a reasonable conversation, your can answer the objections because you have established a response already. A great example is cooking. I speak with families every day about mom or dad cooking, and usually they will say that mom is cooking ok. However, with further conversation, I usually find out that mom isn't using anything but a microwave for TV Dinners and is forgetting to eat several days a week.
Third, armed with your first two tasks, enlist the assistance of family. Sons stay in denial far longer in my experience, so when you speak with your brother, be sure to have a very very very solid case as to why mom needs to move. Don't be shy at calling her care level at its face value either. If she is incontinent of bowel, don't mince words or try to be politically correct. I think it is always wise to brainstorm worst-case scenarios as well, because you are talking a long game. Maybe mom has had a couple medication errors that have been mild - but WHAT IF she forgets her meds all day or takes all of them at once? It happens every day to seniors.
Fourth, be willing to compromise with creative solutions. Go in with guns blazing for assisted living, of course. I always feel that it is best to lead with your desired outcome. However, it may be a great next step to start additional services in order to keep mom at home. There are several benefits, not the least of which is getting your family to agree that mom needs more help. If the ball is rolling, it is easier to speed up. Getting started is the hard part.
Hope these four things help in discussing senior living with your family. It's not exhaustive, but I hope it gives you a few ideas. The conversation is hard because it is wrapped in so much emotion, and I have great empathy for your position in seeing that there needs to be a change. Just keep taking one small step after another.