Loved Ones Resistant to Assisted Living: 7 Strategies to Help

Posted by Senior Solutions Management Group on May 29, 2013 1:06:40 PM | 3 minute read

Most senior loved ones will be resistant to conversations about moving to an assisted living community. They are comfortable in their current location, your home or their long-time residence, but safety and more supervision may be required. When the time comes to address the subject here are some strategies to help make your loved one resistant to assisted living more open to the possibility.

Communicating with a Loved One Resistant to Assisted Living

Research the Options

Take the time to check out the communities close to your home. Make a list of options and then drop in for a tour. Visit them all, and then pick 2-3 favorites. Do repeat visits at the busy times of the day to see how the staff and residents maneuver. Then check online for complaints or kudos for your preferred locations. Once you have it narrowed down, those are the ones to eventually show to your loved one.

Time It Right

Although it is tempting to toss out the topic on a bad day, it’s not the right time. Wait for when they express misgivings about their current living situation – sadness at isolation, not enjoying eating alone or missing bingo or movie nights. Share your worries, in a gentle fashion, about their safety, medications and social life. Then plant the seeds about assisted living and its benefits.

Showcase the AdvantagesImage of elderly woman playing bingo

Weave the advantages of assisted living into regular conversations. If there is a family friend or co-worker’s loved one in a community, share their story. Highlight the life enrichment opportunitiesactivities, shared meals, musical entertainment, game nights, pet visits, regular exercise and much more. If your loved one is resistant to assisted living, they may have a view of assisted living as a prison. Discuss their negative views and share all of the benefits of a thriving community.

Address Their Fears

Many seniors are afraid of the stories that they see on TV and read about elder abuse. They envision feeling trapped in the facility and not allowed to leave. Don’t make the mistake of brushing their fears off or ignoring them. The best course of action is to discuss their fears openly and honestly.

Be Persistent

Undoubtedly, they will say no the first time you discuss the subject. Independence is a matter of pride for most senior citizens. After you have brought it up the first time, then use every day activities (or lack thereof) to draw attention to the advantages of a new residence. If they feel entirely against the move, it will take time. Be patient and persistent.

Don’t Wait for an Emergency

While an emergency situation like a fall or illness often prompts a move into assisted living – it doesn’t have to be. Laying the groundwork with conversations and visits to nearby communities may improve the eventuality if parents are resistant to assisted living. Waiting until the situation is urgent may lead to a choice that is not thoroughly researched and everyone agrees on.

Plan A VisitImage of large dining room

If the initial conversations have eventually turned into a “maybe” the next step is a visit. Select several communities that you have already pre-screened and visit them at the time that would most impress your loved one. Are they social? Then visit when the residents are gathering for entertainment, games or other activities. Plan to stay for a meal. Let them sample the meal offerings so they know that they will be getting good, healthy food.

Are they concerned about having their quiet time? Then visit when the center is tranquil. Different
communities have different levels of activity and energy. Make sure you select the one that best fits. Visit when the most active residents will be around. Have the community manager or a friend with a parent residing there introduce your parent to current residents. If they can feel a connection, the transition is easier. Consider going for a day or half day to get a better feel for the residents and staff. A short visit might not give you a full picture.

Finally, don’t be surprised if seniors are resistant to assisted living. As we age, living independently is a point of pride. Addressing their concerns openly and honestly will help to make the change smoother. Be sure to talk with the community manager, as they are experienced in assisting families.

Do you have questions about how to manage the transition of a loved one resistant to assisted living? Contact Senior Solutions, with communities in Tennessee and Georgia, we have one that is right for your loved one.

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