For the adult children of an older parent or loved one, one of the hardest things to do is to encourage them to move to a senior living community. No matter how much they struggle or how obvious it is that they need more assistance with daily life, older adults commonly reject the idea of moving to a senior community simply because it is “full of old people.”
And while it’s normal for caregivers in the family to feel frustrated, helpless, and even angry, they may sometimes revert to the way they used to be as teenagers. Yelling, screaming, and running out of the room are just a few of the coping mechanisms we turn to during power struggles with our parents. However, there are more effective ways of overcoming your loved one’s rejections.
Ask your older loved one why they refuse the extra help with daily activities, and create a solution tailored for them. Inquire whether it’s about the cost, a lack of privacy, having a stranger looking after them, or about losing independence. To build a sense of trust, you must first listen with empathy and acknowledge your loved one’s feelings rather than denying them.
The ideal situation would be to have a calm and casual conversation about senior living early on. Look for an opportunity to ask questions such as “How do you feel about simplifying your life?” or “Wouldn’t it be a blessing to not have to maintain this house?” or “Dad, what kind of place do you think you’ll retire to?”
If bringing in a home health caregiver is a consideration, have your loved one be involved in interviews. Allow your loved ones to choose the time and day of the week when the home health aide comes. Also, emphasize that the aide accompanies them for activities out of the house including walks, shopping, and other favorite activities.
Start by creating two lists; one for your older loved one’s challenges and another for the solutions you’ve already provided, as well as where you can get further help. It’s best to categorize your efforts, so the scope of the problems doesn’t become overwhelming. Be sure to write everything down and number them according to the priority level to give yourself some relief from stress.
When we get to this part of our lives, nothing is more challenging than asking our parents to move to senior living. But instead of being frustrated with the situation, you can make things easier for both yourself and your loved one. To get more details on what you can do if your parent refuses to move into senior living, check out our guide on Choosing the Best Senior Living Option.
Ingleside’s Life Plan Communities in the Washington metropolitan area are committed to engaged living, giving residents access to a complete continuum of care as their needs change over time. Contact us to find out more and schedule a visit today.