You grew up with 'mother knows best'. Now the role has reversed and you will now have to play the role of caregiver. When you begin noticing your senior parent is having difficulty living on their own, it might be time for you to suggest they move into an assisted living community, but what if they refuse?
Assisted Living Conversation Starter Tips
Sometimes, it’s all in how you present the conversation. For instance, you can:
You can ask them questions to find out why they are refusing help and then come up with a solution to tackle their concerns. If your senior parent is concerned with the cost of care, lack of privacy, or losing their independence, you want to listen to their concerns with empathy, build their trust, validate their feelings, and work out a solution.
Make it a Favor
Tell them they are doing you a favor by accompanying you on a tour of the assisted living community. Tailor your conversation around enticing them to take the tour. Getting them on the tour can help them see how welcoming the community is and the benefits they will receive by living there. First, you have to visit the community yourself to ensure it is the right place for your parent,and then make it a favor that they take the tour with you.
Step Back from the Conversation
If you find you are battling constantly with this conversation with your senior parent, chances are they are not going to change their mind too soon. It might be time for you to step back from the conversation (for the time being) and be patient. Instead of arguing with them, step back and wait for better opportunities to get the conversation started again.
Other Options You Have
If you can, have your parents set the appointments or sit in the interviews. Allow them to pick the days of the week that would be best to have the home health aide visit. Let them feel as though they are the one making the decision in the process.
Accept Your Limits
If your senior parent is not endangering themselves or anyone else, allow them to make their own decisions and their own choices. You can't control everything they do and you can't prevent certain things from happening. You have your own limits and you need to accept them and not feel guilty about it. Although it might sound unfeeling, let them suffer the natural consequences of their decision. For instance, maybe they can go a day without a meal which might just be what they need to see the reality in things and welcome the help from assisted living.
Eskaton is a Northern California-based, nonprofit community with nearly five decades of care. We offer signature life-enriching and innovating programs to enhance the quality of life of seniors. We invite you to take a tour of the Eskaton Assisted Living Community near you to experience the benefits of personalized services and support from professional caregivers.