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Advice for When Your Elderly Parent Refuses To Move

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#Memory Care,
#Assisted Living,
#Long Term Care,
#Helpful Tips & Advice
November 6, 2023

Having an aging parent who refuses to move can be challenging and sensitive. It’s important to realize, however, that this is a common occurrence many families of older adults face. In fact, 88% of older adults, ages 50 to 80, want to remain at home as long as possible.

Unfortunately, most don’t consider what aging in place will mean for them, especially when it comes to home repairs and modifications, supportive care, and more. So what can you do when your elderly parent refuses to move? We’re here to help.

Consider Why Your Parent Doesn’t Want To Move

One of the first steps in addressing this situation is to understand why your elderly parent is refusing Assisted Living or a move in general. There are various factors to consider, and we’re sharing them below.

The Desire for Independence

Many older adults fear losing their independence and moving can symbolize a loss of control over their lives. They may be comfortable in their familiar surroundings and may resist any change.

Emotional Attachment

The family home often holds sentimental value and is filled with lifetime memories. Leaving behind these attachments and navigating these feelings can be emotionally challenging.

Cognitive Decline

If your parent is experiencing cognitive decline, they might have difficulty understanding the necessity of moving. This is where the guidance of a social worker or health care professional, like those at Notre Dame Health Care, can be valuable.

Lack of Information

Some older adults may be unaware of the care options available to them, such as home care services or senior living communities. Providing information can help them make more informed decisions while feeling more in control of the situation.

Mental Health Issues

Underlying mental health issues can also contribute to their refusal to move. Seek professional help if you suspect this is the case.

Do Your Research and Assess Available Care Options

Researching and assessing available care options are crucial steps in being able to address the situation effectively.

Home Modifications

Assess whether home modifications can make their current residence more suitable for them. This may include installing handrails, adding ramps, or improving bathroom accessibility. Often, this is costly and time-consuming. If a home hasn’t been kept up with, it might take even more work than previously thought.

It’s also important to note that this can be a short-term solution, delaying a move that could benefit a loved one’s health, well-being and comfort.

Home Care Services

In-home care services can assist with daily activities, transportation, and mobility. This may allow your parent to maintain their independence  longer while receiving the support they need.

Like home modifications, this can be costly and may not result in keeping your loved one at home. As care needs progress, around-the-clock care may be needed, which adds even more costs and stress.

Assisted Living Communities

If your parent’s current living situation is unsafe and unsustainable, or they’d simply benefit from access to support and an enriching lifestyle, consider looking into Assisted Living communities.

These communities provide a range of services, amenities, delicious dining, and social opportunities. Many families prefer to turn to Assisted Living because of all these offerings.

Memory Care

If your loved one is dealing with memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of dementia, Memory Care may be the perfect option to bring you and your family peace of mind. Not only are Memory Care communities secure, but their teams are trained to compassionately handle the symptoms and special needs of memory loss.

Figure Out How To Navigate This Tough Conversation

The conversation about moving to senior living can be incredibly tough, but it’s essential. Here are some strategies to help you navigate this delicate subject.

Have Open Communication

Start by having an open and honest conversation with your parent. Listen to their concerns, fears and preferences. Show empathy and respect for their choices.

Be Prepared To Try Again

Having the conversation about moving your parent to Assisted Living isn’t a conversation you’ll have one time and then never again. It will usually take a few tries to make progress.

Involve a Mediator

Sometimes, involving a trusted family member, friend, or a professional mediator can facilitate the conversation and help find common ground.

Visit Potential Locations Together

If your parent is open to the idea of moving, visit potential new living arrangements together. Seeing the options in person can help them make a more informed choice while easing along the decision-making process.

Plan Gradually

If moving to an Assisted Living or Memory Care community becomes inevitable, plan the transition gradually. This can reduce the stress and make it easier for your parent to adjust.

Secure the Right Care

By understanding your parent’s perspective, researching available care options, and navigating the tough conversation, you can work together to make the best decision for their well-being.

Remember that you’re not alone in this journey; resources and professionals are available to help you and your family make the right choices.

Assisted Living at Notre Dame Health Care

At Notre Dame Health Care, we understand the complex emotions behind parents making a move. We also understand that sometimes, choosing a senior living community is best. We provide a range of services to help care for your loved one while providing them with an enriching and engaging lifestyle and you with peace of mind.

This program provides many benefits for aging parents, including:

  • Dedicated support when it’s needed, enhancing independence
  • The comfort of a beautiful, maintenance-free apartment
  • Exceptional cuisine prepared for their needs and tastes
  • A wide range of social, recreational and cultural activities
  • Friends and acquaintances are always nearby
  • Scheduled transportation for shopping, medical appointments, and community trips

Getting the proper care for a parent can be challenging, but Notre Dame Health Care is here to help you and other adult children along the way. Call us to learn more about our care levels and services.