There are options for senior couples moving to assisted living.For aging adults, the move to an assisted living facility is a major life change, but even more so for a couple who has lived together for many years. It is comforting for families to know that while the selection process is still challenging in this situation, there are a growing number of facilities offering accommodations for couples. For a couple whose health needs are very different (i.e., one is in excellent health and the other is experiencing cognitive decline), you as the caregiver may be able to find a facility well able to accommodate the needs of both individuals. However, because their needs are vastly different, some facilities may house one in a particular area suitable for them, and then do the same for the spouse. In situations like this, while the couple does not live in the same room, they are still able to visit with one another often and share meals and other activities. This is often quite beneficial for the spouse in better health, because while their spouse’s health needs are too great for them to handle, they can still live and socialize under the same roof. When both spouses are experiencing similar levels of health challenges, arranging for common living space is much easier. For these couples, privacy may become a major hurdle and developing social relationships with others in the assisted living facility can become more difficult (as it becomes much easier to simply keep to themselves). The rule of thumb, though, for the caregiver and assisted living staff, is to focus your selection options on the spouse whose health needs are greater (or the spouse who is older). Discuss this with your loved one’s healthcare professionals before coming to a final decision. Living together in an assisted living facility can come with tremendous cost benefits as well. Generally speaking, in situations where one spouse is very healthy and the other requires higher level care, the spouse with good health simply pays for room and boarding expenses, while an additional fee is assessed for the care of the other spouse. In short, they are paying for only one room. Many assisted living facilities offer a pricing tier, with the lowest care needs at the bottom of the tier, while others provide services using a la carte, fee-for-service or all-inclusive pricing packages. The truth is, cohabitation with a loving spouse or partner translates into increased happiness and overall better health generally. These benefits would most certainly apply if the couple moves together into an assisted living facility. It may, in fact, strengthen the bond each has with the other, because in this type of environment, each individual’s needs are met in a friendly, healthy manner. Therefore, this gives the couple the freedom to reconnect with one another in a manner often lost over the years in the midst of health problems and other concerns. By consulting the staff, touring the facility and discussing your loved one’s health needs, you as a caregiver will certainly be capable of supporting your loved ones’ housing choices…together.
Part of planning for a senior's future includes making power of attorney arrangements.Please note that this website is not able to provide legal advice. The article below is for informational purposes only and designed to help you get started on researching this issue further. We strongly recommend that you speak with a lawyer or other legal authority to understand how the law applies to your specific situation. When planning for your aging loved one’s future, one of the most important conversations to have is about granting power of attorney (POA). Someone who has power of attorney for an individual is legally able to make important decisions for them. To hold power of attorney both you and the individual must be 18 or older and of sound mind. Here are the basic steps for acquiring this important legal document. Discuss with Your Loved One the Type of POA You Want to Have. In California, there are four different versions of power of attorney, and each has a different function. Durable power of attorney will give you the power to make financial decisions for your loved one. Limited power of attorney will give you the right to carry out a specific duty, and once you fulfill that duty your power will end. Medical power of attorney allows you to make medical decisions for your loved one. General power of attorney is similar to Durable, but your power ends if your loved one becomes incapacitated. Decide Who Will Hold Power of Attorney. Your loved one may have several relatives and trusted friends who they might choose to act on their behalf. Choose someone who will be available to complete the specified duties and who has the most expertise depending on the type of power of attorney desired. A family member who is an accountant, for example, would likely make a great choice for holding durable power of attorney, but may not be the best person for making medical decisions. Your loved one’s comfort with that particular person is an important consideration as well. Complete the Paperwork. In California, Power of Attorney can only be granted in writing. Your loved one can create the document themselves, or someone else (often a lawyer) can create it for them. The document must contain the signatures of the person granting the POA and the person receiving the POA, what powers are being granted, and what date the POA will take effect (if not intended to start immediately, in which case no date is needed). Get the Document Notarized. The POA document will need to be notarized in order to be valid. Any bank branch can provide this service for you. Once these steps have been completed, make sure the form is somewhere where it can be easily accessed when it will be needed. The advantages of preparing in advance will be lost if the document is not available when important financial steps or medical actions need to be taken!
steering wheelMany children of aging parents face a challenging decision: is it time to demand that your parent no longer get behind the wheel, or are you being overly cautious and wrongly limiting their mobility? The is one of the most crucial moments you’ll experience as a caregiver: it may be the first time you have to step in and request that your parent make a major life change for their safety (and that of others). While there is no pre-defined age threshold that signifies it’s time to hand over the car keys, there are warning signs that may prompt you to initiate the often difficult but necessary discussion about other transportation options for your aging parent:
  • Challenges with Vision: If your aging parent has been diagnosed with conditions such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, you will understand right away that your loved one’s vision is severely impaired. However, in cases where there is no diagnosis, but you observe such challenges as difficulty in maintaining their lane or in responding to road signs or traffic lights, this may indicate a decline in vision.
  • Memory Challenges: Because the memory decline associated with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is often misunderstood, it’s important to understand that these diseases cause those affected to lose orientation and become confused at a moment’s notice. If your loved one has not been formally diagnosed but you notice such challenges as getting lost in familiar places, becoming very confused or being easily distracted behind the wheel, be sure to set an appointment to discuss these concerns.
  • Dents and Scrapes: If you begin to notice a number of scratches, scrapes and dents on the vehicle, fence, garage or several close calls, your loved one may be a danger to themselves or others while driving.
  • Physical Decline: Pain or stiffness in the back, neck, arm or leg areas can create real problems while driving. After all, drivers must still look over the shoulder or use the rearview mirror while behind the wheel, so a lack of dexterity can be especially detrimental while attempting to drive.
  • Side Effects of Medication: While medications are prescribed by doctors to effectively treat certain illnesses, these medications can produce side effects within the individuals taking them. Often, the list of known possible side effects is addressed briefly at the time the medication is being prescribed. However, if your loved one takes a number of medications, there is also a risk that certain medications taken together may produce an undesirable response within the body. Your loved one’s pharmacist can often research this information for you. Some side effects impair an individual’s ability to drive, so pay attention to this and respond appropriately if your loved one seems to be having trouble.
While an active and independent senior adult may find the change especially difficult, feeling that increasingly more aspects of their lives are outside their control, there are other viable options you can offer to help your loved one maintain a sense of independence:
  • Community or Senior Transit Systems: Your local area Agency on Aging can usually coordinate trips for senior transit to places like the doctor’s office or grocery store. Certain places of worship also have a system for transporting individuals who cannot drive themselves to different places within the community. Some medical facilities have also expanded their service offerings to include transport to and from appointments for patients unable to drive themselves.
  • Public Transportation: Depending on where you live, the public transit system may be  developed enough for your loved one to get around to different areas. Lower fares are usually offered for senior adults.
  • Create a Ride Sharing Program with Neighbors: This is a great way to increase the sense of community, build up social relationships and barter with others in your network. For example, your loved one may not be capable of driving, but might be able to help with other domestic tasks. Plus, the camaraderie formed is tremendous for older adults.
  • Get Around the Good Old Fashioned Way: Walking or cycling is a great form of exercise and helps reduce the risk of certain diseases. It’s an excellent way to get around on a warm, sunny day. Just remember that while some seniors can still walk or bike when they shouldn’t drive, there are safety considerations even for these simpler forms of transportation too.
Children can have a tough time understanding the challenges of dementia.While it is incredibly difficult for adults to adjust to the progressive challenges that come along with caring for a loved one with dementia, the pain and frustration a child (or teen) might feel can become almost overwhelming. Imagine, for a moment, the difficulties in comprehending why their grandparent or other loved one no longer recognizes them or behaves in a manner inconsistent with previous experiences. It can be tough, but being aware of your child’s feelings and helping them learn to cope can reduce frustration on the part of both your child and your loved one. Dealing with dementia can be frightening as you watch your loved one’s memory and behavior fade into unknown territory. However, children are often curious and as they begin to notice changes, you might help to ward off anxiety by both anticipating questions and by quickly addressing their questions in an age-appropriate manner. For example, depending on the emotional closeness the child has enjoyed with the loved one, the fact that grandma can no longer remember them or seems to be acting bizarre in your child’s presence may suggest the loving, special bond once shared is now lost. Feelings of rejection can ensue. However, you can always do your best to reassure your child that the disease causes difficulty in remembering things. Remind them that Grandma does, however, still love them and regards them as a special part of her life. Young children may develop a concern that you, too, may begin to develop similar symptoms and that they might “lose” you, too. Educate them; dementia is not a contagious disease and it is not a part of the normal aging process. Questions regarding what happens next will have to be addressed gingerly. Young children thrive upon routine; therefore, you will do well to explain to young children how their normal routine may change a bit in the face of the illness. Combat feelings of jealousy by assuring them that although your loved one will need time and attention, they are still an important part of your family unit. Signs that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is affecting your child may come in indirect manners, such as substandard grades or withdrawal from friends. In instances where your loved one is being cared for in the home, emotional expressions may become more exaggerated or more frequent. For example, your child or teen may become exceptionally frustrated at having to repeat themselves again and again, or from being subjected to seemingly silly accounts given by your loved one. He or she may feel that the loved one with cognitive decline gets all the attention and may lash out in the moment. While it is likely that both you and your child will be learning – and coping – with the effects of the disease at the same time, gently remind them that all people (even those who are forgetful and sometimes difficult) have the capacity to feel and receive the outpouring of love in the moment. Encourage your child to talk about feelings and observations; your child may reveal things you haven’t previously addressed that could be an underlying cause for concern. As much as you can, help them to comprehend that you, too, can empathize with their feelings. Further, help them understand that their grandparent or other relative with cognitive decline did not choose the disease and that the changes happening inside their brain is what is causing the memory and behavior problems. For you as a parent, read over related materials to help with these discussions. Try involving your child with the loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s by engaging them in simple activities like listening to music, setting the table, or creating memory boxes. Above all, you and your child can come together to devise ways of showing your love and support which helps you both to keep an open line of communication available for everyone involved.  
Dementia caregivers should consider joining a support group.Being a caregiver is tough – from a physical and emotional standpoint, among other considerations. However, for caregivers of a loved one with dementia, the experience can be rather unique. After all, the person’s cognitive decline can incite a number of challenges, including how to deal with unpredictable changes in behavior, the fear of maintaining the strength to deal with ever-increasing responsibilities, the increasing difficulty in communicating with your loved one, and the isolation a caregiver may begin to feel as friends and family sometimes begin distancing themselves from this often uncomfortable situation. It is in times like these you may consider joining a dementia care support group. There are usually a number of support groups available in your local area, most guided by experienced professionals who have been trained to assist caregivers in dealing with the difficulties associated with this disease. Some groups have even broken down into smaller subsets, such as dementia care support for spouses, adult children, caregivers of  patients in later stages of cognitive decline, etc. While joining a support group gives the family caregiver a “safe place” to discuss the challenges, here we will discuss both the pros and cons of joining a Dementia Care Support Group. This way, you can evaluate this option ahead of time. If you feel a support group can help, you should always attend at least one meeting to see if the group you’ve chosen is right for your individual needs. If you have been the family caregiver for a patient with dementia for any length of time, you are bound to have dealt with friends or family members who are absolutely certain that the individual you are caring for has no problem at all. In fact, they probably felt that you were the problem instead. Often, in the earlier stages of decline, the condition is not easily detected, so your gripes may fall on deaf ears. It is a difficult time that can often leave you feeling misunderstood and rejected as others see your claims as unwarranted. A dementia care support group can give you the much-needed empathy you may be looking for, because the room will be filled with others who are currently dealing with, or who have dealt in the past, with the very challenges you face. This part alone can be quite liberating. Second, the professional guidance you will receive from the support group leader will often educate and encourage you throughout the process. Behaviors you regard as bizarre are often common to the disease, and you will hear that through your group leader or from others within the group. Third, if you are in need of individual counseling outside the group, your support group leader can often give you some direction about reputable services in the area. At times, the conflicts you face as you deal with caring for your loved one can bring up old, unresolved issues you’ve suppressed for years. If this is the case, counseling may be a good fit, but you will not want to open these issues to a counselor who may not understand the space you’re standing in. Now to the cons of joining a dementia care support group. First, the liberating feeling you’ll get by being surrounded by others who “share your pain” can lead you to rehearse feelings of helplessness and victimization. Even in the face of the caregiving challenge, you will always want to remain positive and focus on the good; thus, you will want to be aware and to follow the guidance of a strong support group leader so you will not fall into the “forever victim” trap. Second, you will want to build strong, healthy relationships which focus on other areas of your life. In other words, don’t spend all your time away from your loved one rehashing what he/she did and how you feel. You will want to put avenues in place to support a balanced lifestyle, including friends and activities which support your interests and goals. These are things to think about as you consider joining a support group. The decision is not for everyone, but some caregivers find such groups useful for getting through a difficult period.
Setting healthy limits is the key to keeping your sanity as a caregiver.As a family caregiver, you probably are finding your life sandwiched between your career responsibilities, raising children, nurturing a marriage and yes, caring for mom or dad. Though you feel the pressure to perform well in each role, being a caregiver can be especially time-consuming and emotionally draining, even more so when you approach the situation as the ever-ready hero. The experience, however, doesn’t have to be that difficult. Most of our encounters in life involve the early establishment of boundaries, and we’re generally content if we do it well from the start. But family situations get sticky. In the role of primary caregiver, we tend (as much as we hate to admit it) to fail in this area. The reason is actually a simple one – regardless of whether you are 18 or 78, you will always be the “child” in the relationship. As children, we learn to respect our parents and see telling them no as being inappropriate, so the role-reversal can become quite touchy for the both of you. If these feelings have made you anxious and caused you to avoid setting limits, take heart. Having reasonable, lovingly presented limits established for the relationship can not only benefit you but can also benefit your loved one. As you release the responsibility to do, and be, everything for your parent, he or she will learn a sense of independence which significantly raises self-esteem. So, how do you, as a family caregiver, go about setting limits you and your loved one can live with? The following are a few tips for getting started on this journey. First, have an honest, evaluative dialogue with yourself. Outside of accidents or sudden, debilitating illness that a loved one might recover from, the role of caregiving usually plays an increasingly more significant role in our lives over time as the end of life nears. When it reaches the point where a great deal of time is spent caring for your loved one, you must take an inventory of your needs as well as theirs. This is the moment you determine what you can reasonably commit to, what needs to be delegated to others, and what you’ll have to decline. Truthfully, it’s much better if you are able to establish a team before crisis time… ideally in the form of a family meeting involving your parent, siblings and other relatives who might be able to assist. You must know that caregiving is NOT a solo operation, and being clear about this from the start can save you from physical and emotional burnout. Second, get clear on your priorities. Often, caregivers rush onto the scene believing they will somehow come in to save the day, but often at the expense of time spent with their spouse, children, and friends. It has been said that we all make time for the things which matter most to us in life, and the caregiving experience (which can be lengthy) is but one component in the rich, well-rounded life you’ve created for yourself. Your parent is important, but don’t neglect others you hold near and dear, who of course will be your support network during the rough spots of your journey. If your career aspirations are high on your priority list, you will also have to build in time to achieve the standards of success you’ve defined for yourself. Third, understand that your loved one can become quite demanding in the face of illness and loss of independence. You will find that some elderly individuals will become increasingly more self-absorbed as their illness lingers, and as the primary caregiver you will likely be targeted to meet those needs, right then, no matter how reasonable they are (or are not). Sometimes, you just have to make the words “no” or “not right now” your close companions – and then stick to your guns. In closing, taking on too much can be detrimental to you, making you of little help to your loved one who needs you. If you need help, ask for it, and don’t rule out hiring professionals and turning to long-term care. It may seem counter-intuitive, but doing so can create a better, more loving experience for everyone involved.
Los Angeles Demetia care understands, we can help.Of all the diseases that can affect our loved ones, dementia is one of the most difficult. Your loved one may have been an intelligent individual who you enjoyed interacting with, but the effects of the disease on the brain may cause that person to become an almost distant stranger you barely know. People facing the early stages of dementia generally understand that something is awry. They may become forgetful, have difficulty remembering names or performing ordinary tasks. Initially, your loved one may attempt to hide the challenges they face by offering a myriad of excuses. Eventually, though, as the disease progresses, your loved one’s frustration is likely to mount as he or she realizes things are getting worse and not better. The loss of independence and often the lack of understanding about what is actually happening becomes very frightening. Anger is sometimes an expression of fear, and as the closest individual to your loved one, you may bear the brunt of the angry outbursts often associated with dementia patients. It is also important for family caregivers to recognize that dementia patients often lose the ability to reason, so what makes perfect sense to them can seem outrageous to others. Sometimes wanting to prove their abilities to maintain their own independence, a dementia patient can, and will sometimes, defy the instructions given by family and physicians. In these moments, it’s important to remember that your loved one does not have the full control or understanding of their actions that they did ten or twenty years ago. So how do you, as a family caregiver, maintain a peaceful, positive relationship with your loved one? First, patience. Yes, mom or dad may ask the same question 25 times a day. Yes, they may tell stories so off-base you’re tempted to lose it. Don’t. Your loved one sees the world through an entirely different filter, and losing your temper benefits no one. So, answer the questions repeatedly. Change the subject. Refocus your loved one on the flowers or animals in the backyard or on music. If those tactics are ineffective, remove yourself temporarily by taking a 10 minute walk or enjoying a calming cup of tea. Praying or venting with a friend (far away from your loved one, of course) can also help reel you back in and shift your perspective. Second, do your best to avoid arguments. Your loved one’s stories may be driving you crazy, but arguments fuel tension at a time when your loved one needs reassurance that you will actually be there for them. Further, dementia patients can be quite stubborn, so they are less likely to back down in the face of conflict. Third, do not take things personally. Dementia patients often lash out at the very loved ones who are attempting to help. Harsh statements can be hurtful coming from anyone, but absolutely devastating when said by your loved one. This is when it is critical to understand the effects of the disease on a person’s behavior and memory. Blame it on the disease, not the person, to reduce your stress and enable you to maximize your time with your loved one. Fourth, get help. Your parent’s doctor can often prescribe medication to reduce their anxiety, so discuss the challenging behavior with them. They may have solutions you are not yet aware of. Also, your emotional and physical health is vital, too, so join a support group to connect with others going through similar experiences. Take care of yourself and see your doctor regularly.
Los Angeles Alzheimer care has healthy options.Among the challenges you may face as a caregiver for an aging parent is the refusal to see a doctor. Most people assume a person who has the financial means to get medical care will do so  – just simple scheduling, right? Not always. So what do you do? First, go for backup. While it may sound silly, if you have been a caregiver (or in contact with other caregivers) for any length of time, you understand that family dynamics can often come into play in these situations. Your parent took you to the doctor as a child, and in your adulthood has been offering you advice over the years. Having those tables begin to turn – even if it is ever so slightly – can cause some resistance. As their loved one, the caregiver often thinks their advice is first to be considered, but the nature of family dynamics sometimes proves otherwise. Often, you can enlist the help of an objective third party, such as a doctor or nurse. Preferably, this person is already known to and trusted by your parent. He or she is likely to be viewed very differently since they’ll be seen as a professional and not subject to the parent-child power struggle. If possible, a geriatric physician is even better, because he or she deals with patients in their age range every day and can often hint at possibilities that others (loved ones or not) may miss. They can often be your best advocate. Second, if the objective third party doesn’t work, or if you cannot secure one easily, getting one of your parent’s friends on board may work wonders. The friend may have already seen a geriatric physician or know someone who has similar symptoms who sought medical attention. Cast your net to include relatives (perhaps your parent’s sibling) to weigh in on the subject as well. Though the friend or sibling definitely has an interest in the matter, they also have more life experience and can relate to your parent on an entirely different level. Third, create a positive reward. As a person ages, the “stuff” of life becomes less important than the experiences of life. So, perhaps the two of you can have breakfast or lunch at their favorite diner after the appointment. It becomes a positive memory for your parent and it creates a convenient focal point should another doctor’s visit be necessary. Fourth, be aware of the time span between appointments. Often, when we are scheduling appointments at the front desk, the scheduler may offer you the very first appointment available. If there is no medical emergency, some time between appointments may make the experience seem less invasive and unpleasant. As a caregiver, you will often need to gain a greater level of perspective in order to relieve frustration. For example, your parent may give you what you deem an absolutely ridiculous reason for not wanting to go to the doctor. For some people, aging brings with it a fear (albeit sometimes irrational) of doctors or hospitals. It may create a very unpleasant association – for example: it may conjure up memories of time spent with their loved ones following an illness or it may bring to the surface fears of hearing that he or she may need to have a surgical procedure. For an elderly person who has been relatively healthy and independent all their lives, the thought of losing that independence can be extremely bothersome. Though younger generations have embraced pharmaceuticals, many older adults have relied heavily on the home remedies and tinctures their mothers and grandmothers used on them. Certainly, a level of distrust can exist toward these “newer” treatment options (and their side effects). Either way, try to assure the discussion (and the trip) is as pleasant as possible… but do schedule that appointment at the first sign of an okay…. okay?
Our assisted living facility in California has items to comfort.

Photo used under Creative Commons from Karen Roe.

As human beings, we are created for meaningful relationship with one another. Healthy communication is a vital part of remaining connected in any relationship – even when the person you’re communicating with has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. While cognitive decline puts a tremendous toll on your loved one’s ability to remember significant people, places, and things, it can also severely impact your ability to communicate with them. There are, however, a few important tips to bear in mind as you are working to maintain healthy communication with your loved one. It is also vitally important that you remember no matter what stage your loved one is in, human connection is essential to his or her overall well-being. That said, the following are some suggestions to make this challenge a bit easier for the both of you.
  • Create A Distraction-Free Zone: Background noises can distract anyone – even those with no cognitive challenges at all. But for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, the television, radio, or other device can easily compete with your conversation. Give your loved one’s conversation your full – and undivided – attention in a peaceful environment.
  • One-On-One Conversation: While it may sound silly, having multiple individuals gathered together for conversation can create an overwhelming and highly confusing environment for your loved one. After all, the more individuals who are present, the more apt each party is to contribute to the conversation. It can prove to be extremely agitating to your loved one, whose brain may still be trying to process what has been said as well as who has offered the input. Keep the conversations simple – one person at a time.
  • Simple, Lighthearted Conversation: There’s always something to be said for small talk, but especially so when your loved one is experiencing cognitive decline. Most of us are taught to converse with others using open-ended questions to spark conversation. However, for an Alzheimer’s patient, this leaves entirely too many choices. Remember, your loved one may not remember the significance of certain titles, such as “nurse.” Therefore, he or she may ask questions like, “What’s a nurse?” Combat these challenges by simply referring to your loved one by name, and referring to yourself (or another person) by name. It helps the Alzheimer’s patient to orient themselves. If you’re speaking to your loved one about an animal, address the animal either by name (if it’s a pet) or by species (for example, “cat”) instead of saying “it.” Again, it helps your loved one keep track within the conversation.
  • Be Patient and Non-Combative: It is easy to understand how difficult it becomes for you, as the loved one of a person suffering from such a debilitating disease, to repeat yourself or explain the who-what-and-where’s of very familiar things. But engaging in arguments will most likely end in one result – agitation for yourself and your loved one. Stay calm and repeat yourself if necessary. If your loved one seems to be having difficulty in making a request, do your best to state the question you feel he or she is attempting to ask. For example, if your loved one is fumbling around for something on a table nearby, you may say, “Are you looking for a tissue? Are you looking for your glasses?”
  • Watch Yourself! Everyone understands that non-verbal communication is as important as, if not more than, verbal cues. Cognitive decline, especially as it progresses, will undermine a person’s confidence as simple, routine tasks become increasingly more difficult. Thus, your loved one is likely to be highly sensitive to everything you say and do. The tone of your voice and your body language is important. Expressing your acceptance with friendly eye contact and kind facial expressions is important. After all, the goal is to maintain positive communication with your loved one and to minimize feelings of confusion or distress which may lead to negative, hostile reactions or to your loved one “shutting down” due to feelings of isolation.
Our LA home for the aging staff take every precaution.As parents age, adult children gradually find familiar roles shifting. More and more, their elders turn to them for help, rather than the other way around. The individual circumstances will vary. A fall and broken hip can incapacitate a parent, requiring temporary assistance at the least. Degenerative diseases can reduce mobility or vision, making it harder for a senior to drive or even venture far from home on foot. For even basic needs such as groceries or meeting with friends, they’re dependent on others. Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia can also create a need for consistent monitoring and care. When these changes take place, there’s a greater chance of family conflict. Older parents resist  the idea of slowly losing their independence and having to rely on others for help. They often will still try to assert a sense of parental authority when in fact it doesn’t exist at all anymore. Their children themselves are already middle-aged or older, well-experienced in life. Acting out of concern, they may try to take control of the situation, sometimes creating hurt feelings as they make difficult decisions for the best care of an older parent. Much of the problem in conflict usually occurs with faulty communication or a lack of it altogether. Parents can feel downright offended being relegated to a dependent status where they are guided or restricted in decision-making. That emotion can make it hard for an older parent to see reason. At the same time, the older child is balancing a new demand for parent care with everything else in life including raising his or her own kids, holding down a full-time job, paying the bills, and perhaps mid-life relationship issues. Their spouse’s parents may need help too, bringing another set of problems to the mix. Under these circumstances, an adult child’s need or choice to bring up the subject of assisted living can come across to the parent as a rash decision. There is no question that most older parents would love to retain and keep their independence for as long as possible. However, as mobility and mental faculties begin to falter, the need for monitored care begins to increase. Assisted living can serve a real benefit for everyone involved, especially when adult children live a significant distance from their parents. Regular and constant communication between an older parent and caring adult child towards each other is the key. Granted, someone usually has to make a final decision, but as long as they’re able to participate the parent should play a prominent role in the planning for their care. If adult children maintain communication and actively seek the parent’s input, they will generally feel more at ease with the transition to assisted living. But acceptance takes time. Adult children have to be patient and work with their parents as they grapple with the changes that take place during the aging process.