Change is often difficult for seniors. Many times if the senior feels pressure from their adult children they will balk at making a decision. Pushing and prodding them to a decision is not the answer. Pleading, manipulating, or arguing only makes a decision more stressful and counter productive.
Here’s Some Quick Strategies
- Use “I” messages. Instead of saying “you are not taking your meds on time and if this continues to happen you are going to end up in the hospital.” Try “I worry about you mom, when you don’t take your meds. I’d like you to consider some options. I contacted Elder Options and they have a friendly visitor who can show us what services are out there for seniors. Would Wednesday or Thursday be best for you at 2pm? The decision is yours. There is no cost or obligation” It takes the senior out of the defensive mode and gives them a choice of times to set the appointment.
- Set the tone of the communication.
Your emotional state can determine the outcome. Start the conversation when the two of you are in a quiet, calm state. Ask a family member who is known as the “peacekeeper” to take up the conversation. Timing is everything.
- Accept partial decisions and compromise even if it’s small steps in the right direction.
Instead of you trying to convince your parents or loved one to move to an assisted living center (where you won’t worry about them and someone else can take the responsibility or caring for them), why not try the least expensive, least disruptive idea first. Bring an assisted living benefit home for just $35 a month. A medical alert system with a personal help button, can give you both peace of mind, and starts the dialog of what they would like to have happen in an emergency.
The next step comes easier when the senior realizes how friendly the staff were that visited from Elder Options. Seniors will often listen to a professional in the field before they listen to their own children, due to the preexisting parent/child roles.
Another option might be a caregiver in the home for two hours a day to fix a meal and do light housekeeping. A $500 monthly bill for minimal services is sure a lot less than a $3,500-$4,500 monthly bill from an assisted living center. When they realize seniors can stay in the comfort of their home, they will often take a step in the family’s direction to keep peace. The quality of their life improves when they have another helper and new friend who can help them maintain their independence and not rely on asking people for favors all the time. It’s a relief for both the senior and their family members.
Yet, another option would be moving to an assisted living center when 12 to 24 hour care is needed. We have a housing department to help you select the most compatible match. An assistant can be hired for weekly outings or to run errands.
If resources allow, a person can stay in their home as long as they live. We have several 90 year olds and a couple 100 year olds who are still living at home. Please refer to our video on our home page.