How to Deal with an Elderly Loved One That Refuses Outside Help

When you realize your aging loved one is having trouble living on their own, it’s probably time to consider some type of alternative care, such as assisted living. Whether they have become more forgetful than normal, have experienced a fall, are neglecting personal hygiene, or are skipping meals, it’s important that you act sooner than later to prevent a serious injury or illness.

Unfortunately, not all seniors will be eager to move from their family home to a senior living community. They may fear loss of independence or control, feel shame or embarrassment, or fail to even recognize their diminishing physical and mental capabilities. Here are steps adult children can take to help bring their aging parents to a better understanding of today’s senior living communities and why they should make the move.

  1. Be Patient. If your loved one is resistant to discussing a future in senior living during your first conversation, don’t panic. The decision to move into a senior living community may feel overwhelming and scary. Continue to offer help, love, and support, and in their own time and on their own terms, they may realize that additional assistance would be beneficial to their life.
  2. Highlight the positives. When talking with your loved one about long-term care, it is important that you emphasize all the good and positive things about senior living communities. Avoid discussing their limitations, and instead emphasize what matters most to them. Highlight important features and services of senior living care, including:
    • Maintenance-free living
    • Resort-style amenities, such as pools, game rooms, salons, fitness centers, and theatres
    • Multiple on-site dining options
    • Regularly planned events and activities with other residents
    • Around-the-clock care and support when they need it
  3. Take a tour. Scheduling in-person tours with local communities is a great way to show your loved one the reality of senior living. You and your parent can speak to staff members and other residents, check out living arrangements, and get an up-close look at what community living entails.
  4. Consider a trial run. Some communities offer a no-obligation trial stay so that your loved one can gain a first-hand experience at life as a resident. This is an excellent way to ease any fears or concerns your loved one has about the transition to senior living while showcasing all that a community has to offer. During their stay, your loved one will:
    • Get acquainted with other residents and staff members.
    • Have access to all the amenities, activities, services, and support the community has to offer. 
    • Experience the residences and sleeping arrangements available at the community.
    • Enjoy a variety of meals and dining options included for residents.
    • Get a feel for the care, culture, and environment of the community.
  5. Enlist help from others. If your loved one is especially resistant to outside help, or if your relationship with your older parent is strained, enlist the help of someone they trust. Getting help from the community around you, such as another family member, close friend, pastor, or doctor, not only reinforces how much people care, but also demonstrates to your parents that your concerns are valid.

Senior Living Experts Can Help

Finally, consider the help of a senior living advisor. At Senior Living Experts, we help guide families to find the senior living options that are agreeable for adult children and their aging parents. We’re a local team of advisers who live in the Chicagoland area, and we have established relationships with more than 230 senior living communities. We simplify the process of finding the right long-term care facility for your family member—and it’s free of charge. Our advisers take time to understand your loved one’s specific needs, preferences, and budget so that we can make informed recommendations for placements based on our extensive knowledge of communities in the area.

To learn more, contact our team today!

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