Growing older comes with unique challenges. From aches and pains and mobility issues to cognitive decline, seniors have a lot on their plates. It can be difficult for even the most independent of them to successfully age in place alone at home, but unfortunately, not everyone is willing to accept that reality.
When elderly family members and their adult children disagree about the best living options, it can cause serious tension. The decision to move into assisted living is often fraught with strong emotions, and even siblings of the same parents don’t always agree about what the best options are for ensuring that they are safe and well cared for.
Don’t just give up and assume that aging parents will find a way to move forward on their own or make the right decision when the time comes. Find out how to approach the subject with someone who is in denial and try implementing some of the techniques below.
Start by Developing an Understanding of the Issue
There’s almost always an underlying cause for denial. In general terms, this unconscious process acts as a coping mechanism that serves to protect people from discomfort or anxiety. Aging parents can’t always help being in denial about their best living options, and pushing against it without understanding the underlying causes can cause them to dig in further. Common issues that can cause older adults to hesitate about seeking care for seniors include:
- And others
Recognizing the underlying emotions and causes of anxiety make it easier to get through to people. Instead of getting frustrated, exercise compassion and think about how it might feel to be in the situation. Coming at the issue from a place of compassion makes it easier to broach difficult subjects.
Know When to Back Off
If the situation isn’t critical, it may be best to back off for a while and return to the subject when the senior has had more time to think it through. Everyone deserves to maintain independence and dignity, and that’s often all that aging parents want. Backing off for a while can give seniors the space required to feel that they are making the decision to move instead of being badgered into it.
Share Feelings and Perspective
Parents who have maintained good relationships with their adult children care about how they feel. As a result, talking about one’s own feelings and sharing another perspective will be helpful in these situations. It may be the case that an elderly loved one just hasn’t taken the time to understand how their own difficulties impact others around them.
Try to avoid making the person feel burdensome or problematic. The focus shouldn’t be on the senior but on the younger person’s own anxieties and perspective. Think about sharing things like worries about the person’s safety, independence, and happiness, or discussing the ways that providing primary caregiving services at home is a fulfilling but exhausting process.
Make Seniors Aware of Potential Consequences
In some cases, moving to a new senior living community is the only way for aging parents to maintain their independence safely. Someone who is experiencing the beginning stages of cognitive decline, for example, may need memory care services eventually. Failing to make a decision about senior living options now could lead to the person winding up in an undesirable situation in the future.
It’s not only seniors who are experiencing memory problems that may need extra help to avoid harm. People who live at home are much more likely to fall, especially if their houses are not specially equipped to provide for mobility-impaired occupants. Every year, around three million seniors wind up in the emergency room as a result of fall injuries, which can lead to longer hospital stays or prolonged disability. Understanding this risk can help some seniors see why it might be worth moving to a senior living community.
Present a Temporary Solution
Those who provide caregiving services to parents at home need to take breaks to avoid burnout. When they do, respite care services are the obvious solution. When those services are provided in the context of an elegant and well-equipped community, seniors may find that they enjoy socializing, having access to resources, and being provided with the care required to maintain independence.
Visit the Right Senior Living Community
Not every assisted living community in Sun City, AZ, offers the same levels of independence, warmth, and entertainment. When seniors are ready to consider other living options, schedule a tour of a community like The Gardens of Sun City. That way, aging parents will get the best impression of alternative senior living arrangements instead of seeing their fears coming true. Call (623) 933-2222 to schedule a tour.