Top 10 Ways to Persuade an Elderly Parent It's Time to Move

Advice and Help : Top 10 Ways to Persuade an Elderly Parent It's Time to Move

it is painful for everyone when it becomes clear that a loved one is not safe living on their own. These tips are meant as suggestions to make the conversation and process easier. But every family's situation is different and requires individual approaches. The forces keeping seniors from moving out of their homes are real and powerful. There are many kinds of success - so be reasonable, persistent, and hopeful.


1. Start early. Don't wait for the first sign of health deterioration


2. Be consistent. If it looks like they will need help soon, be honest and keep presenting a consistent message. Try to get all family members on the same message - you don't want Suzy promising to take care of them if Don thinks they need to enter a facility


3. Act on Bad News. When the elderly get sick they are often more able to see more clearly what is in store for them ahead. A situation like that might provide a good time for discussion.


4. Visit facilities now. Take your loved ones around to facilities now. You will like some, and your parents will like others. Having an idea of where they would like to go will help


5. Encourage loved ones to visit their friends who've moved. The visit with the marketing people is one thing, which most people view skeptically. But if you or they have friends who live in a facility, have them invite your folks over for a meal or social event. Seeing the good life in person can overcome a lot of negativity and doubt.


6. Make a deposit. This is an insurance policy. For a small deposit most assisted living facilities or continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) will guarantee a spot for your loved ones for a certain period, IF they can pass a medical exam at that time. Even if they don't ultimately decide to move in they will at least have somewhere to go if (and when) disaster strikes.


7. Be understanding - but firm. Leaving their homes and giving up privacy and independence is a traumatic step, so don't ignore those feelings. But on the other hand be firm about your capabilities and intentions. If you cannot care for the parent, either in theirs or your own home, say so. As Helen Peterkin told us, the power of a child saying "I can't take care of you anymore" can be the tug that brings about change. 


8. Stress the positive. Take your parents to a facility. Once they see what a good time everyone is having socially, with so many friends and things going on so close, they will want to move. She adds this is particularly effective with single women, who often face the triple problems of social isolation, declining ability to drive, and ready access to good medical care


9. It's not your decision. Remember that this is ultimately your parents' choice--regardless of your strong opinions and preferences.


10. There may be other, better options. Consider that there may well be other and better options for your loved one. For example in-home care might be possible, keeping them in their normal home and avoiding a traumatic move. And of course, some parents live quite happily with one of their children.


What are your tips for helping parents move? Please give us your comments on a parent's move in the  Discussion Forum