What To Do When Mom Or Dad Refuses To Move Into A Senior Living Facility When They Need The Help
One of the most difficult aspects of finding care for aging parents is trying to help someone who is resistant to moving from their home into an assisted living facility. Many seniors refuse to leave a house they have lived in for many years. If we can try and understand their perspective, it can help us find the best ways to help ease them into a change that may be necessary for their own safety.
For someone who has lived in the same house most of their life and who has taken great pride in caring for themselves, it can be hard for them to accept they need help. They feel a sense of loss. They may be losing control of how they do things. Perhaps that are unable to drive anymore which means when they need something they have to ask someone to take them somewhere or to get them something. One of the biggest realizations for many of our senior parents is that once they move into a senior care facility, this may be the last move in their life. Many feel that their life will end when they move to one of these places. Recognizing how difficult this can be for them is extremely important.
Some great ways to help them with the idea of accepting this change include giving them as much control of the situation as possible. This includes letting them know how you feel in general while leaving out the fact that they may be sick or in "need" of care; explaining the positives that can come for them with moving into assisted living - they would have help with laundry and cleaning which would make it easier for "them" not necessarily you; and explaining that you worry about how tired they get from having to do so many things on they own. It is important to express how much it will help them and you possibly without making them feel as if they are a burden to you.
It can also be helpful to find friends already living in senior care facilities to share their positive experiences and even reaching out to religious leaders that your mom or dad may have a good relationship with. One of the things that many families do is try and reframe the idea of a senior living facility into a "new apartment" where there are various types of assistance instead of a senior living or assisted living facility. It may help them feel less like they are old and can't care for themselves any longer.
If you have tried everything and still feel that the safety and well-being of your loved one is in danger, then you do have legal options but they are very difficult to use and can be extremely expensive. It is possible to seek guardianship over an elderly parent in some situations. You would need to consult an elderly care attorney for more information on this. Keep in mind it can be very difficult to take away someones rights especially an elderly person so it takes a lot of paper work and investigation in order to do so.
While there are many ways to approach the issue of a parent that is not ready to move to a senior living facility, the most important thing is showing understanding and having open communication with them. They are just like a younger person inside and coming to terms with losing some control can be a huge adjustment for many. In the end we all want what is best for our parents.