Assisted living today is completely changed from the past century, but even with all the improvements, many older adults will push back when family approaches the subject of moving there. This can be very difficult for seniors and their families when both feel they know what’s best. When parents won’t move to assisted living, even when they need more help than the family can provide, there are ways to approach the subject that can make the conversation less stressful and more productive.
Find out why they are opposed
Before trying to dissuade parents from their point of view, ask them what about moving to assisted living makes them say ‘No!” When parents won’t move to assisted living may have very diverse reasons, even some that are easily proven wrong, but their opinion should be respected. Start off by asking why they are against the move and listen without contradicting them. This may take patience when parents won’t move to assisted living but once they have shared their concerns and fears it’s easier to explain why assisted living communities are great places to live safely but independently. For more advice about talking with seniors, the agingcare.com article, “10 Tips for Communicating with a Senior,” is an excellent resource.
Do the research
When parents won’t move to assisted living it may be because they remember the nursing homes of the last century and feel like they are being “sent to a home.” To counter these thoughts, research assisted living communities in the area then sit down and show them on a computer what assisted living in the 21st century is really like.
Let them know that they can take their own furniture and other possessions and decorate their new apartment as they like. Then show them all the amenities available like onsite hair salons and barbershops, exercise centers and classes, beautiful community spaces indoors and out, excellent nutritious chef-prepared meals, and plenty of planned social activities and events. For an inclusive list of local possibilities check out our blog, “Your Options for Assisted Living in Jackson, MI.”
Schedule assisted living tours
After researching the possibilities, schedule tours with parents and family so they can actually see and experience how comfortable and enriching assisted living can be. When parents won’t move to assisted living, the vibrant atmosphere will surprise them, as will the smiling faces of staff and residents, and the many everyday activities. Also plan to enjoy a meal at each community to dispel the many myths about unpalatable food choices in assisted living. Be sure to prepare questions in advance like the ones provided in the seniorsmatter.com article, “17 questions to ask during an assisted living tour.”
Acknowledge that change is hard for them
Perhaps the most common reason parents won’t move to assisted living is that change is hard. Parents are often set in their ways and prefer to keep living the same way in the same place, despite escalating care needs. But by acknowledging that change can be difficult, families allow parents to voice their feelings and get the understanding they need to move on, knowing they have the support of loved ones.
Families should also consider what they can do to make the burden of change lighter when parents won’t move to assisted living. For example, downsizing a family home should be done with compassion at the parent’s own pace so nothing they truly want will be left behind. By making it a family project with parents in charge, they are less likely to feel ignored or tossed aside. Learn more in the agingcare.com article, “Helping Elderly Parents Transition to Assisted Living.”
More quality time together
Families who provide caregiving when parents won’t move to assisted living often don’t have quality time to spend with them because they are too busy with housekeeping, meal preparation and home maintenance. But in assisted living, all that extra work is wiped away, and there is more time for visiting and having fun together. At the same time, parents will meet new friends (and maybe some old ones!), participate in new activities and live a more vibrant and fulfilling life. Find out how great it can be in our blog, “How Assisted Living Helps to Meet New Friends Later in Life.”
When parents won’t move to assisted living they may just need to have their fears and concerns addressed with love and kindness. At Ganton’s Countryside, we stand ready to help each new resident feel respected, cared for, and independent. For more information about Countryside, please call Margaret Nagel at (517) 206-5000 or download our brochure to learn about our care levels, cost, and amenities.