What if my elderly parent refuses to leave home?

No one wants to leave their home behind. It is a familiar and cherished place where they made memories with their loved ones.

This is why it is understandable that your aging parents may strongly oppose transitioning into an assisted living facility or nursing home. You and your family might not want to see your parent relocated either – but what if it is in their best interests? Sometimes, being a full-time caregiver is too much to handle or it does not provide effective care for your parent.

So, what should you do if your parent is set against assisted living?

Study: Most people wish to age in place

A 2018 study from AARP indicated that three in four people over 50 wish to stay in their home for as long as possible. Many of these people do realize that fulfilling that wish is not always realistic. However, the prospect of moving into an assisted living facility can be frightening and overwhelming. Your parent may not want to give up their independence.

These are only a few of the many reasons why they might put off such a transition.

What can you do in these situations?

A diagnosis of dementia or incidents involving serious falls can make staying at home a dangerous possibility for your parent. Yet, if parents still refuse to move, it is helpful if you:

  • Do not pressure them: The circumstances might seem stressful, especially if your elderly parent struggles with health issues. But it is critical that you do not force your parent to make a decision.
  • Talk about a plan: While you should make it clear that there is no pressure on them, it is still important to hold a productive conversation. Ask your parent what their wishes are, and share your own concerns. Many people refuse to move simply because they are not ready. In these cases, you can encourage them to make an official plan to prepare, help them research and ensure they are ready when the time comes.
  • Consider modifications: In the meantime, you can consider making your parent’s home more accessible to increase safety. This can involve adding grab bars, medical alert systems and shower modifications to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Evaluate other options: If your parent is not ready to transition to assisted living, there are other options you can use to ensure your parent is safe and receives proper care. You can consider an adult day care program or even a professional caregiver to be in the home when you cannot be.

Aging can bring many changes in life that your parent might not be ready to face. However, you can ensure you take steps to prepare them for the future, regardless of what it might bring.

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Kevin Tharpe

With 25 years of experience, Kevin understands how estate planning, special needs planning, and government benefits programs work together. This is a crucial element of a thorough plan. He explains your eligibility for benefits programs and ensures that you do not make costly mistakes that may disqualify you or deplete your assets.

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