How to Get Your Remaining Parent to Leave the Family Home Whent They Can No Longer Maintain It
As our parents age so does the family home. The maintenance on a home can be costly in a time when their income and resources may be dwindling. How do you begin the conversation about the practicality of moving to a newer, smaller, more economical place? What things should they consider?
In my case I convinced my mom by giving her what ifs. What if you fall and can't get to the phone? What if someone breaks in? What if the power goes off? What if you're lonely and nobody is around to talk to? Then a couple of days later, I asked her if she had time to think about our discussion of what ifs and asked her if she would like to move in with us. After giving her time, and not demanding an immediate response, "she" decided it was best for her to move in with my wife and I. To make the transition easier, I moved her bedroom set, decorations, and clothes to my home. Over the next few months, we would visit her home, to assure her it was still okay, and give her another chance to pick out some more things to bring to our home. Be prepared, my mom at times expressed regret, but after talking about it, the transition is now complete. This was over a year ago, and she loves being around us, and when my kids, and her great grandkids come to visit.
Interestingly enough as hard as it may seem, you may want to have it be their idea. How do you go about doing that? Well, you know that if you were to go after it with an agenda, they are gonna see right through to it. Before asking them anything, take a look at their point of view. Maybe they are fearful of the change, not knowing the outcome can be very frightening to many of us, regardless of age or how long we have lived in a place. Maybe they are having a hard time admitting their lowered energy level. Maybe they don't care if the place is not maintained and they have priorities else where. Find out where they are coming from before moving forward with too much too fast.
Next, what about asking them open ended questions about their situation? You know: How are you going to make that work? How is that working for you? Remember it takes a curious and loving heart to deliver these questions in a manner that is non-judgmental. If they feel judged or pushed, they are going to resist you even more.
Regarding the 'What is': well ask her straight out. What if you fall? With her answer respond, lovingly: "How is that different than if you fall here?" Let her express her concerns and continue with validation of each of her concerns.
If you come from a place of non-judgement and understanding, they will, with your assistance, be able to move mountains.
Let us know how things go.
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