It might seem like you’re bang your head against the wall trying to convince an aging parent to consider assisted living. The matter what you do, they seem to discount the idea and not want to talk about it.
First, it’s important to respect their decision. Ultimately, an aging senior — so long as they have their full mental capacities still — have every right to decide what happens in their life. Even if he or she is struggling with basic care and tasks at home, they still retain the right to decide where they live and what happens in their future.
So, we need to remember to respect that decision, even if we adamantly oppose it or don’t agree with it. Assisted living is a tremendous decision for anyone to make, and for some, it may take time for them to learn why it is a valuable asset.
That doesn’t mean you have to give up, though. You can keep pressing the idea, but you may have to alter your strategies just a little bit.
Observe what this aging senior has given up so far.
Does he still participate in activities he used to enjoy? Has she given up spending time with friends, not out of choice, but because she no longer drives or has the opportunity to get around town?
As you observe what this elderly parent or grandparent has given up in their life, especially the things that were once important to them, determine whether or not they might be able to do them again with a little support.
Start discussing those things you know they can do again at assisted living.
You don’t have to talk about assisted living directly, but mention some of those activities they used to enjoy.
They might get frustrated and wonder why you’re talking about things they had to give up because of diminished physical strength, health, or limited mobility.
That’s when you can transition the conversation to assisted living. “Mom, did you not realize that this assisted living facility has those activities going on all the time?”
Leave it at that. Let her absorb that simple revelation. Let her realize there’s a lot more to assisted living than she understood in the past.
You can still respect this senior’s ultimate decision, but if you honestly believe assisted living would be the best for him or her right now — and it would be — then don’t give up helping them realize why. In time, many seniors discover the real benefit assisted living offers.
Avonlea Cottage of Dixon is licensed in the state of Illinois as a shared housing establishment. It is a private home-like environment for seniors suffering from memory loss issues. If you, or an aging loved-one, are considering assisted living in Sycamore, IL, call us to get more information and schedule a tour. (815) 288-6044.