Elderly Parent Refuses to Move to Assisted Living/Long-Term Care. Now What?

donate-image.pngIt is not unusual for adult children or friends to decide that their senior loved one should leave their present home and move to a new home, community or facility with more assistance and safety measures. It is also not unusual for a loved one to fear broaching the subject of moving to a long-term care facility or new setting. Once the subject is discussed, there is a chance that the senior will refuse to move to assisted living.

This is a situation or predicament faced by many people everyday.

Elderly Parents Usually Refuse Assisted Living for One of the Following Reasons

  • They fear they will lose their independence.
  • They’ve grown attached to their home, their possessions, etc.
  • They prefer their routine and way of life, and do not wish to change.
  • They’re worried because they won’t know anyone.

There are legitimate reasons for the many mixed reactions from seniors.  But by reviewing and understanding their various opinions, you may be able to approach this situation in a more informed and direct way.

What to Do When a Senior Refuses Assisted Living Care

Home-Page---Donate-Now-Resized.jpgTo help ease the situation, be knowledgeable about the activities, overall way of life and requirements that are important to the senior. Then, explain how the assisted living facility will not interfere with this way of life. It is important to be honest and talk about the reasons for the move. Try very hard not to make this discussion a total surprise by having prior discussions and planning. This may not always be possible for you and your loved one if the move is needed quickly due to major health changes and decline that often follow a hospitalization.  It is recommended to not surprise the senior with an immediate move in which they are not involved in the planning. Always do your best to treat the senior as an adult and not as a child. Being honest is always recommended when communicating with the senior unless there are comprehension/cognitive problems which may exist with some diagnoses and especially with various stages of dementia.

How to Choose the Right Assisted Living Facility for Your Elderly Parent

After discussing the move with seniors, here are some things to consider when choosing the best home for your senior loved one:

  1. The first decision is looking at the present home where the senior resides and discussing with them what they like about the home while identifying potential safety hazards that need to be addressed in a new home.
  2. Consider the layout of the senior’s potential new home. It is recommended in most cases for seniors to live in a home that has one floor and few steps.
  3. Think about safety equipment that will have to be present in the new facility. Safety monitoring equipment should be added to notify outside parties in the case of falls or emergencies.

If at this point, your parent still refuses assisted living care, you may want to consider speaking with an Abramson Care Advisor for additional help.

If the choice is made to move from the senior’s present home, we recommend taking the following actions:

  1. Meeting with a professional geriatric manager who can be helpful in assessing the senior’s needs and narrowing down the search.
  2. Review the senior’s finances with her and an outside financial professional.
  3.  Involve the senior in the search.
  4. Research the various living options.
  5. If seniors are unable to physically visit the facilities with you, showing the senior brochures and information about facilities can help make them feel involved in the process.
  6. Ask friends and family members for help. They can add a fresh perspective to the discussion since some family members may disagree with the move and/or choices involved.
  7. Take the senior to the facility that you think is the best choice. For instance, we regularly host private tours at our assisted living facility in North Wales, PA.
  8. Review the reasons for the move to the senior.
  9. Reinforce that the senior will be able to take personal possessions with them when they move. 
  10. Remember that being honest and reviewing the senior’s concerns is recommended.

Finally, it is important to choose a community or facility that matches the senior’s healthcare needs. If the senior doesn’t need daily medical care and can care for herself, then independent living may be a good choice. It will likely result in less resistance from the senior. The need for twenty-four-hour care may require the services of a long-term care facility. Assisted living or personal care could meet the needs of an individual who needs moderate assistance and medical needs.

The decision to move to a long-term care facility, assisted living or personal care community or remain at home with additional care involves planning and assistance. This process is a journey that can be simplified with understanding and research.

For more information on helping your senior loved one move to a long-term care facility, or what to do if your elderly parent refuses to move to assisted living, please contact Abramson Care Advisors at 215-371-3400.