Chapter 3: Parent Refusing to Go to Assisted Living?
"No" may mean a lot of things. Nobody knows your parents better than you do, so ask yourself - what's really behind the hesitation? Many people are comfortable with their current living situation. Their main question is probably gong to be: "Why change?"
Take a look at the benefits of senior housing over remaining at home:
The hidden benefits.
Safety and security are big reasons seniors and their children ultimately contemplate a move. But there are other benefits that come from making this change in their life. While it's true that many people don't like change, a move can sometimes affect a new lease on life. Most of our current residents now wish they would have moved in sooner.
Since this can be a slow and gradual decision process, bring it up early and talk about it often, determining what your major obstacles may be.
It is a good idea to include talking about independent living as part of your parent's estate planning. When they discuss planning a will, ask your parents what they'd like to do concerning independent living, and include it in the estate-planning meetings with a lawyer. This can be a less threatening way of bringing up the subject and making it part of your discussions for the future.
Don't give up hope.
At some point, your parents will start to become receptive to your discussion. The top five reasons seniors move into a retirement community are:
- Maintenance-free living
- Quick and convenient health care when needed
- Staying busy with different activities
- Worry-free meals, housekeeping, and security are all provided
Remember, your parents may be reluctant because of finances, or fear of leaving their neighborhood. It is scary to think of meeting new people even though studies show that those who live in a socially-active senior community are more likely to be happier with life than those who chose to remain at home alone. It could also be that your parents are thinking that if they move to a senior community, they will see you less often.
Explain how this move affects your life as well.
One reason for a change often revolves around the needs of the adult children - how much they can help their parents, how close they live, how much time they have to offer. Some adult children need professional help caring for their parents who still live in their own home.
It is important to point out to your parents that you want to be there for them, but because of a hectic schedule, your best intentions can't always be realized. You want to be sure they are safe, particularly if an emergency should arise.
Additionally, when your parents live in a retirement community, time spent with them is more social and enjoyable, than time spent with them as a caregiver.
"Old Folks Home" and other misnomers.
When your parents were growing up, seniors went to live in a "home". That conjures up unpleasant thoughts, but my, how times have changed.
Today, the choices are beautiful and customized to your parent's needs.
When looking for a senior community to match your parent's specific wants and needs, there are many options and opportunities from which to choose. Once you have narrowed it down to two or three that best suit your parents, schedule a tour. Be sure to emphasize the words "might like". Talk with them about their options, why you are considering these communities, and what a move will mean for them. Enjoy a meal at one of the communities, watch the activities, and take a tour. Help your parents see that these communities emphasize security, support, and social opportunities. Understand how difficult any decision will be for your parents. Take it in stages so you and your parents can both be comfortable with any decision.
Whatever the outcome, accept the decision that has been made.
You will try your best, but you simply can't force anyone to make a life-changing decision unless they are truly ready and feel good about what they are about to do. Be patient; time may change even the strongest nay-sayers.
This is Chapter three of a six chapter guide to helping your parents transition into a senior living community. Has this been helpful? Read the other chapters including:
Learn signs that indicate it might be time for your parents to move into assisted living and read tips on how to talk with your parents about making the transition.
2. Senior Living Levels of Care
Understand the distinctions between each level of care in senior living communities: active adult/age restricted, independent, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing.
3. Parent Refusing to Go to Assisted Living?
Are you feeling like the time is right to transition to assisted living and mom or dad is refusing to go? Get some ideas on how to continue the discussion.
Bingo is not the only game in town. Learn about the state-of-the-art amenities and active life enrichment programs offered at most senior living communities.
Get tips on how to tour a senior living community, including questions to ask during your visit and an evaluation checklist.
Learn about Spectrum Retirement Communities, including its flexible, affordable, month-to-month retirement rental programs in multiple locations across the US.