Tip for When an Aging Parent Doesn’t Want to Move


Did you get to see your aging parents this Thanksgiving? How are they?

Sometimes, a holiday visit brings stark realization about elderly loved ones’ health. Or it can mark the continuation of strained talks about care.

Geriatric care manager Lindi Fodrini-Johnson recently covered a tip for one type of disagreement at her blog: if you think your aging parents need to move but they refuse, suggest a trial run.

It is sometimes good to enlist the help of the family physician in prescribing a “move”. But, what works best is to have a family meeting and express your concerns as “I” messages. Such as, “I worry about your weight loss, Dad.” Or, “It is hard to maintain a big yard and I worry about you falling when trying to keep it up”. Then as a family or child of an aging parent, you ask them to try “Assisted Living” for a few months – usually three.

You can read her post here: “How Do I Get My 88 Year Old Dad to Move?” We also have a lot of good previous posts on trying to get aging parents to accept help they need.

There are often solutions other than moving worth considering. Here are some resources that might help:

If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.

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2 comments on “Tip for When an Aging Parent Doesn’t Want to Move
  1. David says:

    I am very concerned about the tone and content of this article.
    First, it shows disrespect of the elder’s preferences.
    Second, if the elder is having a hard time taking care of things, Assisted Living is not likely to be the correct move. AL is just an apartment complex with a few services, which can be contracted for much less cost. The reality is that it requires a child to either live with or near them, or the reverse.
    Third, the idea of “trying it for 3 months” is an unethical ploy. My brother used it to force my mother into an AL. He refused to allow her to return, traumatizing her.
    In the AL, she is bored out of her mind, which is the worst thing for someone with a memory and cognitive problem. She continually relives the trauma of her own son ousting her from her home.
    So please do not think of AL as a great solution. You are institutionaling your parent, in a place which has no duty of care.
    This is ripe for abuse and neglect.

    • Leigh Ann Otte says:

      Thank you for sharing your views, David. No elder care solution is right for everyone. It’s helpful to hear all different sides.

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