Convincing your parents to move from the comfort of their home to an assisted living situation can be one of the toughest and most emotional hurdles for families to accomplish. Many adult children have experienced sharp resistance from their parents when it comes to moving them to an assisted living facility. Many seniors unrealistically believe that they can take care of themselves for the rest of their lives. This is where the adult children and other family members can be instrumental in identifying the problem and instigating change. Here are some tips on dealing with parents who are resistant to the move:
1. Open lines of communication about the move to an assisted living facility are very important. Share your concerns about your parents’ health and safety with them. Most parents do not want to burden their children and will often respond to this sort of communication. Showing your parents that you are genuinely concerned about their wellbeing can make all the difference.
2. Have a family meeting to discuss the problem without your parents present. Make sure to address financial issues and who will act as your parents’ power of attorney for health care. When approaching your parents about the move to an elder care facility it is very important that ALL siblings and family members are on the same page. It can also be helpful to enlist doctors and health care professionals to help encourage the move.
3. There are no magic strategies or tricks for persuading elderly parents to move, yet you might want to start with asking your parents to “indulge” you by visiting an assisted living facility. This visit may make it easier for your parents to make the decision for change on their own. If your parents continually refuses to entertain the idea of moving it might help to back off for the time being, but don’t give up. Wait and seek other opportunities to raise the issue again. Unfortunately, sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. It may take a parent falling, being spooked by burglars, or electricity being turned off because of forgetting to pay the bills to convince your parents of the move.
4. If your parents begin warming up to the topic of moving to an elder care facility it is important that you emphasize their right to make the decision, but also urge action. If there is willingness on your parents’ side to visit a senior housing facility, don’t delay in setting up a visit. Some facilities will allow an individual to try living in them for a week or month before you have to decide whether to stay in the facility or return home. Share this information with your parents as it might bring an extra bit of comfort that they can move out if they are not happy with the change.
5. When visiting a facility make sure to point out all the activities and fun things that your parents can be involved in at the assisted living facility. By reminding your parents of the activities available, it is possible to demonstrate that the move is simply a transition to a new phase of their lives and can be rewarding and fulfilling.
6. Another great way to help convince your parents of the move is to create a sense of purpose for them and share that they will be able to meet a need at the senior home. The desire to feel needed does not decline with age. Share with your parents that they could provide assistance to other seniors by helping with activities or entertaining other residents. Providing your parents a job will go a long way with helping them feel comfortable with the transition to the assisted living facility.
Putting your parents in an assisted living facility is often the most loving act that a child can do because it can improve your parents’ quality of life from medical and social perspectives. For more tips on talking to your parents about senior care facilities read this article: Having the Conversation: When You Think Your Loved One Needs Senior Housing.