What To Do When Mom or Dad Refuse Help

Paying bills

One common personality trait we see among seniors: stubbornness. It’s not necessarily a bad thing as it indicates a strong sense of willpower and independence, but stubbornness can be an obstacle when it comes to broaching the subject of assisted living. If you feel it’s becoming potentially dangerous for your senior parent to live alone and their mobility or health status is changing, here are some tips to follow when mom or dad refuses the idea of professional assistance.

Understand that acceptance will not happen overnight. Patience is key – do not keep pushing for acceptance if you receive an explosive response the first time. Give your loved one proper time to calm down and take a different approach next time, but don’t give up. You must be persistent if their health or safety is at risk. Too many seniors only look into assisted living after they’ve had a serious accident. Your patient persistence can help get them the help they need before something bad happens.

Let Mom or Dad know the effect their stubbornness is having on you! Many parents would do anything for their children, and that includes moving into assisted living. You may be buying them groceries, taking them to doctor appointments, cleaning their house of the dirt they no longer see, getting things in the home repaired for them, getting prescriptions filled, all while trying to shuttle your own kids between school, soccer, lacrosse, and dance classes. It’s a lot, and when your parents realize that their “independence” is fully supported by you and they are not actually living independently at all, they are sometimes more amenable to a change.

Ease their concerns and fears. Once mom or dad are more willing to discuss assisted living, make sure you really listen to what they have to say. Find the root of why they are against the idea and ease their worries. Are they scared of change? Are they viewing assisted living as a loss of independence? Assure them that this change is for the better and that many assisted living communities prioritize the independence of each resident through social opportunities, communal events, group outings, and more. Each resident has the choice to opt into the amenities and activities offered at an assisted living community – there are no set schedules that must be followed. It’s important for mom or dad to know that they are still in control of their life, all that is changing is their address.

Find an outlet to relieve your own stress! As mentioned earlier, this process requires patience and lots of it! It can be stressful at times, especially when picking and choosing your battles with mom or dad. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you feel like you’re not making any progress. Instead, find a healthy way to relieve your stress. Whether it’s confiding in a good friend, going to a fun dance class, or curling up with a good book, finding a place to channel frustration will do wonders for you. It may even help to find an in-home caregiver initially for a few hours a day, just to relieve the stress on both of you. This gets them used to the idea of being helped and can transition more easily to an assisted living conversation down the road.

Compassionate assisted living for seniors in Collingswood

Don’t be discouraged! The important thing is to keep an honest line of communication open with mom or dad about assisted living. If you do get them to finally take a tour, stress the ease of apartment-style living and the ready availability of friends and entertainment. While scouting, make sure you are looking into communities that ease everyone’s concerns of independence and most of all – quality of care.

At our assisted living community in Collingswood, associates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to care for our senior residents and to engage with them in a positive and fun way.  Initially, the transition to assisted living takes some adjusting but we can tell you from experience that within short order, they will wonder why they made such a fuss in the first place!

To find out more about our assisted living services for seniors in Collingswood NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org/collingswood/

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