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What to Do When Elderly Parents Refuse to Move?

You’ve been monitoring the signs – your aging parents are losing weight, showing forgetfulness, and having a hard time keeping up their hygiene. They might have had a fall which sparked some concern about their safety at home. While the evidence may be clear to you that it’s time to consider assisted living housing, your parents may not be on the same page.

Truthfully, seniors are often hesitant about making this very significant life change. When you are looking for living options for aging parents who are resistant, here are some helpful notes for ways to tell a parent to go to assisted living.

5 Ways for Helping Elderly Parents Move

1. Find Specific Assisted Senior Living Communities

Speaking in the abstract about senior living can make it seem a lot more foreboding than talking through living options at specific assisted senior living communities. Take some time to collect information and research possible solutions, so the next time you chat with Mom and Dad about moving to a retirement home, you’ll have real options to discuss. Make it specific, and be ready to view the website and show pictures of the local assisted senior living communities, so you can ask questions together.

2. Involve Your Parents in Making The Decisions

Conversations about how to tell parents they need assisted living aren’t easy for anyone. Your aging parents still want their independence, and it’s certainly understandable if they refuse or are resistant to moving. Make sure to include them as an active part of the decision-making process. Finding living options for aging parents isn’t about dictating how things will go, but exploring options and finding the best solution together.

Talk about their questions and hear out their concerns. Try drawing out the underlying cause of their resistance. Ask what they will miss about home, and work together on finding ways to address that. Coming at the problem from the same side of the table communicates to your parents that you truly want what’s best for them.

3. How to Talk About Assisted Living Housing

With sensitive conversations, communication style matters. If your parents are having a difficult time processing their situation about moving to a retirement home, acknowledge the difficulty and sadness. Make sure they know you’re coming from a place of love and concern – not fear or control. Focus on the benefits that an assisted senior living community can provide, like socializing, a maintenance-free lifestyle that gives them more independence, and tasty prepared meals.

Finally, if you’re having a hard time making headway, feel free to leave the topic for a bit. As long as their safety isn’t a pressing concern, allowing them time to process could be good for everyone.

4. Engage Others in the Conversation

Who brings the message matters just as much as how it’s said, and you might need some backup to navigate these talks. If you have siblings, take time to create an agreement on how to tell your parents that they need assisted living, then talk to your parents separately and finally together. Consider inviting over a community leader, such as a pastor or a trusted family friend. You might also involve your parents’ physician to speak on safety and medical issues.

5. Tour Local Assisted Living Communities

Mom and Dad might have a picture of Assisted Living in their heads that’s quite different from reality. Schedule a few tours around town and have some fun looking at senior living communities with them. Seeing a warm, welcoming community with a positive environment and fun activities may open them up to the idea. It can help you to try out communities too, so you can make sure that you’re comfortable and confident with the place your Mom or Dad will call home.

Moving to an Ebenezer Retirement Home

If you’re considering living options for aging parents, take a look at our nearby communities online. Ebenezer is Minnesota’s largest senior living operator, bringing over 100 years of experience, and we’d be honored to serve your loved ones.

For more resources to help you navigate tough conversations about senior living, make sure to visit the Ebenezer blog.