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August 1, 2022

3 Strategies to Overcome Mom or Dad’s Reluctance to Senior Living

As parents get older, it’s not uncommon to see a change in their abilities. Maybe Mom takes a little bit longer walking from point A to point B, or maybe Dad no longer feels comfortable driving at night due to changes in his vision. While many older adults manage these changes and lead safe, independent lives, others may need or benefit from additional support and attention.

This doesn’t mean Mom or Dad needs 24/7 care, but Mom might feel more confident in her mobility if someone was always available to help her, and Dad may get out more in the evenings if he had access to reliable transportation. In these situations, it could be time to consider senior care options.

Senior living communities in B.C. offer safe apartments and accommodations, person-centred support in varying levels of care, and amenities, activities, and features that enhance residents’ lives. However, what do you do when you think it’s time for senior living but Mom or Dad is reluctant about the idea?

The BC Seniors Living Association (BCSLA) wants to help your family navigate the senior living journey by sharing strategies to overcome a parent’s reluctance to senior living.

1. Understand the Root of their Concerns

There may be a number of reasons your parent is reluctant to move into a senior living community. The first step toward helping them feel more comfortable with the transition is to fully understand their concerns. Common reasons older adults refuse to move to senior living could include:

  • They don’t think they need assistance or support
  • They fear they will lose their independence
  • They don’t want to move out of their longtime home
  • They prefer their routine and way of life and don’t wish to change

Whatever the reason, consider their point of view and approach the topic calmly. For example, if Mom or Dad doesn’t think they need assistance, instead of arguing their point, describe situations when additional support would be helpful. “Mom, with you living alone, what if you fell and couldn’t call for help? In a senior living community, the likelihood of a fall occurring decreases, and if one did happen, a care team would be readily available.”

2. Keep the Conversation Open & Honest

No one likes to feel like they have no control over their life. While considering senior living communities in B.C. may be the best choice for your parent, they need to accept this change and be a part of the conversation.

Another strategy for overcoming a parent’s reluctance to senior living is to have an open and honest conversation. This conversation should consist of questions that allow your parent to evaluate their current lifestyle to uncover the benefits of senior living.

Some questions to ask Mom or Dad could include:

  • How are things working for you in your house?
  • Are there any challenges you’ve faced trying to maintain your home?
  • What do you like about being in your house?
  • What do you feel you’d be giving up by moving to a senior living community?
  • What do you feel like you’d gain by moving to a senior living community?
  • Do you ever feel lonely or bored living alone?
  • Do you worry about falling or having a health crisis and no one being there to help?

The goal of this conversation is to help your parent prioritize their safety and realize the many benefits that would come with moving into a senior living community.

3. Use Real-life Examples

Don’t rush the move. While Mom or Dad could benefit from assistance, that doesn’t mean they need to move out of their house tomorrow. Their health and safety should be the priority, and if they are able to maintain both in their current lifestyle, be patient with the senior living conversation.

Another effective strategy for overcoming a parent’s reluctance to senior living is to pull from their current lifestyle. For example, suppose your Dad tells you how hard it has been for him to mow the lawn in recent years or how he dislikes having to upkeep the lawn and landscaping. In that case, you can share how senior living communities in B.C. handle all home maintenance tasks, so residents don’t have to worry about mowing the lawn, shovelling snow, or cleaning the gutters.

Instead of creating “what if” scenarios, you can showcase real examples of how senior living can enhance your parents’ lifestyle.

By following these strategies, you can help your mom or dad overcome their reluctance and concerns and embrace their next chapter of life in a senior living community. If you’re considering senior living communities in B.C., we invite you to browse our Member Directory to find the perfect community for your family.

BCSLA Mountain