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What to do When an Elderly Parent Refuses Assisted Living


March 11, 2019 0):?> in: Santa Fe Assisted Living Uncategorized

The last time you visited your elderly mom, you noticed that her outfit was stained and dishes were piled in the sink. Then, your 84-year-old great uncle who is in poor health called you last week, chuckling about how another driver “flipped him the bird” while he was driving to the barber shop. On top of everything, your grandmother gets so crabby when you mention assisted living to her—despite the fact that you know she subsists on coffee, donuts and canned soup.

While you feel that all three of your elderly loved ones are all ideal candidates for an assisted living facility, you know you will get a lot of resistance. Fortunately, there are a number of tips and strategies that you can try that might help gently convince your older relatives that an assisted living place is a great option for them:

Begin the conversation sooner rather than later

In a perfect world, talking with your elderly loved ones about assisted living should be done in a relaxed and casual way, well before a real crisis pops up. Try asking general questions like “How do you feel about moving into a smaller place that is easier to keep up?” or “Doesn’t your friend Dorothy live in that nice assisted living place? What does she like about it?” By keeping the first discussions more hypothetical, they may be more likely to talk about it as time goes on.

Research the available options, both alone and together

Before bringing up assisted living as an option, it might be a good idea to do some research ahead of time as to what places are available in your area. While larger metropolitan areas probably have numerous choices, smaller towns can also have really nice options. For instance, for those in the Valley of the Sun who are looking into assisted living Phoenix AZ has a plethora of choices, but if you are in Yuma or Parker you may find great facilities there as well and not have to move your relative to a larger city. Once you have a good idea about what is open and available, as well as cost options, invite your elderly relative to tour the best places with you; make it clear that for now, you are simply looking at choices and combine the tour with a nice lunch date.

Listen to their objections and be patient

While you might feel like tearing your hair out when your elderly mom, who is having trouble maintaining her home, announces that “wild horses couldn’t drag me to one of those old people places,” patience is your best option. Instead of pushing the point, back off for awhile. You may also want to ask a trusted clergy person, favorite doctor or close friend who is thriving in assisted living to join in the conversation—your elderly parent may be more willing to listen to them about the benefits of moving.

Emphasize the positives

If your older parents dread the idea of having personal caregivers coming into their current home all of the time, try explaining that an assisted living community can help to keep them as independent as possible without constant help. This can be a successful approach for elderly parents who value their privacy. Also, if your older relatives are quite social, you could bring up that assisted living is a great way to avoid loneliness, because they will make new friends and always have someone to eat with and/or go to an activity night.

For more tips to help ease the transition for you and your loved ones, check out our post here.

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