It can often be very difficult when a parent in need of aging parent care refuses to leave his or her home. There are no magic strategies or tricks for persuading an aging parent to move, but adult children should ask their parent to "indulge" them by visiting an assisted living facility.
Barry Jacobs is a psychologist who has counseled many people in the situation of moving elderly parents. He says, "most of us are more likely to change our position and lifestyle if such a transformation is of our own choosing.” “Placed under duress to change, we typically resist, regardless of the soundness of the other person's advice."
And when a parent continually refuses to entertain the idea of moving? "The child needs to back off for the time being". But don't give up; seek other ways to raise the issue again.
Unfortunately, sometimes things have to get worse to get better. It may take the parent falling, being spooked, or having the electricity turned off because they forgot to pay the bills for the realization to dawn that they can no longer safely reside in their home. Even then, it may take the strong urgings of health care providers and extended family members for the parent to accept the inevitable.
If the parent begins to show signs of warming up to the topic, you need to emphasize the parent's right of self-determination but also urge action. Structure the conversation in the following way:
Tell your parent: 'I can't make decisions about how you should run your life. It would make me feel better, though, if we could go together to look at some possible assisted living facilities so that you're better informed about what choices are available. Would you be willing to humor me in that way?
If there is a willingness on the parent's part to visit an assisted living residence, you should proceed immediately to set up visits at local senior care homes and point out that most of these facilities will allow an aged individual to try living in them for a week or a month before the person has to decide whether to sell his house and stay in the facility or return home. Experts say that can be the extra bit of comfort that can make the difference for many hesitant seniors.
For more information on assisted living homes, contact Spring Arbor.