As parents age, it often becomes necessary for their adult children to make decisions about their well-being, including whether to move them into a nursing home. This can be a jarring experience for your elderly parents, who may refuse to make the move.
Disagreements like this can put a strain on your relationship and cause undue stress. If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing to do is discuss your parent’s options with them to determine which one may be best. The guide below provides an outline of questions to ask, things to consider, and alternatives to nursing homes so your loved one has options.
Ultimately, no one should have to surrender their independence sooner than necessary. If your elderly parent refuses to go to a nursing home and wants to age in place, they can do so safely with home care. Our caregivers at Charter Home Health can help your parent with everything from preparing meals and getting dressed to monitoring their health and providing safety supervision. With us by their side, they can retain their independence and thrive at home.
Reasons Why Your Parent May Refuse Going to a Nursing Home
Your parent has spent decades living independently, so it’s understandable that they’re reluctant to move into a facility with scheduled mealtimes, limited activities, and unfamiliar surroundings. Such transitions are often jarring and difficult to get comfortable with after so many years of caring for themselves.
Additional reasons your parent may refuse to move into a nursing home or assisted living facility include:
- Loss of privacy
- Inability to follow personal routine
- Less access to favorite foods and activities
- Loss of social connections
- Drastic changes in their surroundings
- Loss of personal freedoms
Fear of these kinds of changes may negatively impact their mental and emotional well-being.
How to Talk With Your Parent Who Refuses Assisted Living
Though you may be frustrated with your parent refusing to go to a nursing home, it’s important to approach this situation with compassion. Acknowledge their fears and concerns, and address each one so you can fully understand their point of view.
Additionally, you can take this same approach when talking to them about your concerns for their safety. Remaining calm and listening closely can help you and your parent determine a solution that makes you both feel confident and comfortable.
Below is a list of things you may want to address.
Help Them Notice The Challenges They Face
As individuals age, they may develop problems with mobility, dexterity, eyesight, and hearing. All of these things can make it harder to safely complete daily activities like bathing and preparing meals. Gently pointing out the difficulty your elderly parent has with certain tasks may help them understand your point of view.
However, it’s important for you to understand that having challenges doesn’t mean a nursing home is your parent’s only option. If they need assistance or safety supervision, an in-home caregiver may be a better alternative.
Express How You Feel About Their Care
Ultimately, the desire to move your parent into a nursing home is about them being safe and healthy. It’s important that your parent understands you’re not trying to control them or send them away—you just want them to have the assistance they need.
Once your parent understands this, they may be more open to discussing multiple forms of care.
Highlight Benefits of a Nursing Home
There are some benefits of residing in a nursing home that you can discuss with your parent. Some include:
- Constant access to medical care
- Living in a secure environment, free of safety hazards
- Food prep and housekeeping services
However, the benefits of a facility may not outweigh the advantages of remaining at home, especially when it comes to comfort and security. In these cases, it’s best to talk to your loved one about their expectations for care. If they value individualized attention and a private space to themselves, it may be time to discuss alternatives, as these are things most nursing homes can’t guarantee will be possible.
Acknowledge Change Is Hard
Change is always a challenge, especially when a person has lived a certain way for such a long time. As you discuss whether your elderly parent can make the transition to a nursing home, conveying that you understand their hesitation toward change can make it easier for them to listen to you.
However, it’s also crucial that you listen closely to your parent. If they seem especially anxious or resistant, it may indicate that a nursing home isn’t the right fit for them.
Additionally, if your loved one has a degenerative memory-related condition, like dementia, moving them into a nursing home may actually be harmful. Familiar surroundings and a comfortable routine are crucial components of dementia care—living in an unfamiliar space could cause them to deteriorate more rapidly or become agitated and depressed.
Invite Others To Talk With Them About Nursing Care
If your parent becomes frustrated and refuses to listen to you, it may be helpful to invite their friends or other family members to broach the topic with them. However, everyone should understand that it’s not their job to convince your parent to go to a nursing home. Rather, the goal is to understand what your parent wants vs. what they need and how to care for both.
Give Them More Control
Your parent is accustomed to having control over their daily life, so demanding they enter a nursing home for their own good is unlikely to work. Even worse, it may place undue stress on your relationship. Instead, try presenting your thoughts and concerns to them as a suggestion and then listen to their response.
Another way to give your parent more control is to present different care options to them. Often, an older parent who refuses to enter assisted living is more open to in-home care. Allowing them to choose the kind of care they receive gives them a sense of purpose and security.
Can an Elderly Parent Be Forced Into a Nursing Facility?
Your parent is an adult with legal autonomy. Under most circumstances, they can’t legally be forced to live in a nursing home. However, if you can prove their judgment is impaired or they’re unable to care for themselves, you may be able to move them without their consent.
However, there are many downsides to this option, the largest one being the damage it may cause to your parent’s well-being. Being forcibly removed from the comfort of home can be traumatizing and may lead to chronic anxiety or depression.
If your elderly parent is unable to care for themselves or has a memory-related condition, a nursing home isn’t your only option.
Options If Your Loved One Still Refuses a Nursing Home
No matter how well-planned your reasoning, your parent may still refuse to go to a nursing home. In these cases, it’s best to explore nursing home alternatives to support your parent’s choice while ensuring they have the care they require to be safe and healthy.
Some of these options include:
- Family caregiving
- Non-medical home care
- Medical home care
- Blended medical and non-medical home care
How Home Care Can Benefit You and Your Parent
When it comes to comparing home care vs. a nursing home, home care offers a wide range of benefits to your elderly parent, you, and the rest of your family. Remaining at home is better for your parent’s mental and emotional health, meaning the time you spend together will likely be more pleasant. Additionally, you won’t have to jump through hoops to sign them out of a nursing home or adhere to visiting hours to see them—you can simply make plans and enjoy each other’s company.
In addition to these advantages, your loved one won’t have to sacrifice their privacy or agency to maintain their health. Instead, they’ll have assistance and companionship while getting to enjoy familiar surroundings and their independence.
Don’t Force Your Parent Into a Facility. A Caregiver Can Help Keep Them Safe At Home.
At Charter Home Health, our goal is to help seniors enjoy their golden years where they feel happiest, and for many, that means home. There are many benefits to aging in place, the most significant being your parent’s mental and emotional well-being. Remaining at home gives them a sense of security and control, which can keep them healthier for longer.
With our help, your parent can reside in the home they love and retain social connections while staying safe, clean, and healthy. Our caregivers offer many different types of care, from help with hygiene and nutrition to assessing the home for safety hazards and providing companion care. Each client receives a personalized care plan tailored to their individual needs.
Our experienced caregivers are also supported by nurses and other care professionals to ensure they have the resources to provide your parent with exceptional care. To learn more about how we can help your parent thrive at home, contact us today.