Assisted Living – How to Talk to Your Parents

Talking to your parents about a move to assisted living can be challenging. You may have different views on when is the right time to plan the transition or concerns about the long-term cost.

For those hoping to talk to their parents about assisted living, getting a handle on the cost and the process involved is a good place to start. From there, you can approach the topic with confidence, offering them the peace of mind that the financial side is taken care of.

Here, we’ll look at things to consider when talking to your parents about assisted living and share tips on how to financially plan for their future.

What to consider when arranging assisted living for your parents

Aside from the emotional aspect, there’s a lot to consider when arranging assisted living for your parents. You may have questions about how the process works and – ultimately – how much it will cost.

When moving into assisted living, there are both short and long-term costs to consider. In the first instance, many assisted-living communities require a down payment to secure a place. Then, there’s a monthly charge covering accommodation, care, and other costs, such as food and activities.

The thing to remember about assisted living is that the cost will vary greatly depending on the level of care your relative needs. If they can live almost independently, rent will be the largest portion of the ongoing cost, with additional fees based on their care plan.

Let’s take a look at some of the other things you’ll need to think about when talking to your parents about assisted living:

  • Relocation – would your parents be willing to relocate to an assisted living community, perhaps one that’s closer to your home? Or would they prefer to stay in their local area?
  • Comfort and amenities – what kind of facilities and amenities do they require? And would they benefit from social activities and community events? Naturally, this can have a notable impact on costs.
  • Moving date – how far in advance are you planning a move to assisted living? This will affect availability and affordability, so it’s something to look into sooner rather than later.
  • Long-term healthcare – are you anticipating that your parent will have long-term healthcare needs? If so, you should factor this into their retirement plan, as they may need to transition into other types of care down the line.

How to financially plan for moving into assisted living

If your parents are independent but ready for a little extra help, assisted living is a great option. It’s also not as expensive as you might expect, though the costs vary based on the factors discussed above.

That said, planning ahead for a move to assisted living is important from a financial standpoint. With both short and long-term payments to cover, you’ll need to consider available assets and work out where the money will come from.

Sitting down with your parents to discuss their finances can be difficult and emotional. But it’s important to get a handle on the assets they have available – whether that’s pensions, social security, taxable investments, or the equity released should they sell their home.

As with any transition to a retirement community, the earlier you start planning, the more options available and the longer you’ll have to pay the down payment. Even if their move to assisted living is five, 10, or 15 years away, we’d always advise acting early to make the transition as simple and affordable as possible.

It’s worth remembering that many assisted living communities often have long waiting lists of two years or more and require a down payment to guarantee a place. You can usually cover this deposit in installments to help spread the cost, which is another reason to plan ahead.

Understanding the difference between assisted living and CCRCs

When talking to your parents about assisted living, keep in mind the difference between this and other forms of retirement care, like CCRCs – continuing care retirement communities.

Assisted living promotes maximum independence while giving people the care and services they need to continue their normal daily activities. It includes a combination of housing, healthcare, personal care, and meals based on the individual’s needs.

CCRCs, on the other hand, are communities whereby retirees live in a ‘campus’ setting, with many different levels of care available. These facilities offer a version of assisted living, but it’s solely within a community of other retirees.

If your parents value their independence and aren’t ready to move into a retirement community, assisted living may be the better option. Talk to them about their preferred retirement plan and assure them that a move to assisted living wouldn’t jeopardize their independence.

What help is available for moving parents into assisted living?

We understand that talking to your parents about a move to assisted living can be sensitive and emotional. That’s why we work with you to sort out the transition's financial side, making the process as simple as possible for you and your loved ones.

Many people find organizing retirement care for their parents challenging, but help is available. We have the tools and expertise to help you plan the transition to assisted living – giving you financial confidence to talk to your parents and assure them that it’s the right step forward.

Need help arranging assisted living for your parents?

We’re here to help! Book a complimentary 15-minute call with a member of our team to discuss your options and start planning for your parents’ future. With help and support available from our specialist advisors, you can make the right call when it comes to your family. Get in touch today to get started.