How do you convince your aging parents it's time to give up their home?
The wife has leukemia and is getting worse, husband is in denial. Their home has major problems and they don't have the money to fix them. They seem to not take it seriously when we mention their needing to move. They live 2 hours away from the closest relative willing and able to help them. How do you convince aging parents in a gentle way, that they are no longer able to be independent and need to be closer to those who can help them?
And why is it time? don't you feel it their choice when to give up the only home they know. If this is where they want to be I feel they should be allowed to spend the last days in a familiar surrounding such as a house they have worked hard in one form or another to obtain. If you are no able to live in and help perhaps other siblings? If not then a in home care giver they are relatively inexpensive and if your parent is on Medicaid can be covered through that with no extra cost. Moving a elderly parent or grandparent is a hard choice and I don't mean to sound harsh I wish you all the luck but remember a change in routine can be devastating to elderly in their mind with confusion and it may be the opposite of what ever your trying to achieve. good luck
It's always tricky when your parents start to seriously age! I guess it depends very much on how your family is at communicating on sensitive issues - we all have our own ways of doing things - and who is best at being diplomatic.
In my case when mum and dad got too old for their big house my brother and eldest sister did most of the persuading. They emphasised the potential dangers and risks of dad falling downstairs for example - which actually did happen! - and of him getting injured. It's a thin line. Older folks want to be as independent as they can and often in real life it's only when an accident occurs that they're jolted into action! In our case Mom had the final say as she didn't want to see Dad fall and end up in hospital.
To help them decide we took them to see some really nice bungalows - smaller houses all at ground level - specially made for older people. This seemed to help them because they could get an angle on their future.
So it's a question of being a good listener and staying calm but also helping in practical ways.
I wish you well!
Thank you. I understand it's got to be awful to give up ones independence, I think maybe we will try to just show them some places in the area that are nice and at ground level. They live in a split level and it's another accident waiting to happen.
If I were the closest kin to them then I would approach them and tell "Mom dad please shift to our home and it would be our pleasure to live with you. Me and my wife would be very very happy to live with you. Please do not deny we love you very much and please give us this opportunity to live with your and to serve you at our best."
This is a tough one. I've written a few hubs with tips about moving parents into a retirement home. In my case, my father is wheelchair bound and my parents were visiting one weekend, the facility had an open house and I took them just to see what it was like. They liked it right away and moved in after a few months. They were 5 hours away so it was a major lifestyle change for them. Even now, 4 years on, and only 20 minutes from me, it's not always easy for them, but my family is more comfortable knowing that there is care for them.
I think if the parents are able to see the facility, it helps. It also helped to tell them gently that we (my sibling and I) were worried about them and really thought this was the best thing for them. I also provided lots of brochures of different facilities in my area as well as ones where they were living at the time. Good luck to you.
Thank you. I'm thinking maybe not even a facility yet, but even just a ground level apartment at first, maybe a facility later on. Dad is well enough to not need a facility, but not well enough to care for mom who is very ill and worsening.
The nice thing about my parent's place is that is has diff. areas. My folks live in an "independent living" apt.. They have a van and are free to do what they want. There is also med. care on site and assisted living & nursing if or when needed
That does sound nice. There is a similar place close by my aunt was in. My problem is I think dad will take that hard and may resist because despite being independent, he'll still see it as "a home".
I worked on estate planning, trusts, and probate in a law firm for over a decade. These were always hot topics! When I worked in a small firm for the first part of my career, many of our clients were wealthy from a local company. They put their homes in trust for their children, but they were younger.
When I worked in a larger firm, in a city, in the late part of my career, I worked for clients that had old money. They came from families of movie stars, Ph.D.s, etc. Anyway, most of those folks would voluntarily give up their home and go in to an assisted living facility. From there we would manage their financial matters. Then when they passed, we would handle their estates.
I know people that are very elderly that cannot take care of their homes too. I'm not longer working in my profession. I have tried to give advice but it's not heeded or welcome. But what really bums me out is because I have seen every side of the situation, I know that their loved ones will be left with a mess! I wish people would consider what will happen after they pass so they can straighten it out and not leave such a huge burden behind.
I moved my mum into a care facility last year. I flew from Canada and had to move her in three days. It was necessary and she is in so much better health. She is living a quality life she didn't have alone. I suggest you talk to your Dad in an empathetic way addressing your concerns and asking him some "what if" questions. Let him know this is not about the money or anything other than the fact that you love them and want them both to have a happy life they have control over and that making that happen needs them to engage in forward planning.
I completely agree. I think they need to downsize to an apartment and be closer to us. I think they can manage on their own without the stairs and without reliable help being 2 hours away. Dad is unfortunately not always forward thinking that way.
This is a sad difficult situation, and my heart goes out to you. My mom always said she didn’t want to go into a nursing home. She said she’d rather die first, and she did. When she knew that she was being released from the hospital and would go to a nursing home immediately, she didn’t survive the night. I know this is an extreme case, and that you are not talking about a nursing home for your parents. I just told this to illustrate how determined some parents can be.
I think the person who suggested taking them to visit some assisted living facilities and see how nice they can be has a very good idea. If they seem comfortable with the idea, there are agencies that can assist you with other services for them. I do recommend seeing an attorney who specializes in eldercare who can advise them about legal problems they may face, including helping them protect their assets. My mother arranged her own funeral, but she made some mistakes with what she called “you kids’ inheritance.” We put ours in trust to try to protect each other in the event one of us has to go to a nursing home and to leave something for the kids. I wish you and your parents the very best of luck.
Without seeming facetious you may have to play "Let's Make a Deal." What is behind door #1, door #2, and door #3. How to share those doors to somewhere could be daunting as those doors must also be passed thru by the one offering passage. Each passage offers both loss and gain, yet reverence is the name of the game at times for all parties involved.
With aging metaphorically shadows offer both safety and fear. How those shadows are cast through those choices of passage is seen only by "each alone" passing through the doorway. The challenge is understanding those shadows do exist while accepting and acknowledging the perceptions are also sensed. To say it in other words sometimes the one being helped senses the helper more than the helper senses the one being helped. A question becomes who is really helping who at that point.
I am not sure if that does help or not, yet I have been helped by many over these last few months. Oddly I based many of my decisions as to when to have an operation and etc based on the feelings of the helper adjusting to the reality. Sometimes the question of how do you feel about such and such does not offer a window while asking what do you feel may present a different view.
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