Realizing that your parents need more care than either they or you can provide for them is difficult. Making the decision to put them in an assisted living facility may actually be the hardest part of the aging process. But, you know that it's in their best interests, and you want to make their golden years last as long as possible. Here are seven tips to make it a little more painless for both you and your parents when it's time.

#1 Communication is Vital

Living in a nursing home is a common fear for people as they start to age. Even if they know that they aren't able to take care of themselves the way that they should be, your parents will most likely be trying to do everything possible to stay in their homes.

If you are worried about their well-being, it's important that you broach that subject with parents and let them know about your concerns. Talk about all of the benefits of assisted living. They may be resistant at first. But, if they're really having trouble on their own, they'll know the truth.

You should also keep them involved with as much of the decision making process as you can throughout the entire transition. Your parents will feel much more comfortable if they participate in the planning.

#2 Pick the Best Facility for Their Needs

Talk to your parents about what you should be looking for in an assisted living facility. There may be issues that they are having that you aren't aware of that will help you and your parents make the best decision.

Bring them brochures, show them online resources that you may have found, and encourage them to look around on their own for something that appeals to them. Together, you can choose the different care levels that are available so that all of their needs are taken care of.

#3 Plan the Move With Them

Let them know that you'll be with them through the entire transition. Sorting through a lifetime of possessions can be a very emotional experience. It will be comforting for them to have you there for support.

It can actually make for some great bonding time if you are together as your parents are sorting through all of those memories.

#4 Make Your Parents Comfortable in Their New Home

As you are helping them downsize and get everything moved, help them choose the things that they want to take with them to their new home. Depending on the facility that you choose, they could have room to keep some of their most treasured possessions with them.

You could even help them decorate their new room to make it more comfortable for them. Adding those little touches that they're used to seeing will make it feel more like home.

#5 Incontinence Concerns

If your parents are dealing with any incontinence issues, not only will you need to find a facility that has measures in place for residents who are incontinent, but there are also a few other things to take into consideration. 

There are many products out there to help your parent deal with incontinence. Talking to your parent and a doctor can help you decide which products are best for  your parents’ needs.  Communication with the staff is also vital to make sure your parent's needs are being attended to consistently. Their diligence will directly affect the monthly cost of incontinence supplies. You could even have something printed and hanging over their supplies as a reminder. It is important to keep track of the supplies, because staff have been known to borrow supplies from residents. 

#6 Plan Frequent Visits at First

You want them to have time to get acclimated to their new environment, but you could also be there often in the beginning to help them adjust. Maybe talk to the staff to find out when the best times for visits would be.

Once they start to feel comfortable in their new surroundings, you could make the visits less frequent, giving them more time to focus on new friends and other activities in the facility.

#7 Monitor the Nursing Home Staff

More likely than not, your parents will let you know if they aren't being taken care of in their new home. But, not always. It's a good idea to pay attention to what's going on around you during your visits. Do the other residents seem happy? Is the facility clean? Any red flags should be brought to the assisted living facility's administration immediately.

Once your parents are settled into their new home, they'll begin to realize the value of having some help with their daily needs. They won't have to worry about being able to take care of themselves, they'll make some new friends, and you'll have some peace of mind knowing that all of their needs are being met. Your parents will be able to fully enjoy their golden years.