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Navigating the Transition: Helping Your Elderly Parent Move to Assisted Living

Do you think your parents ready to move to a Retirement Community, or Assisted Living? Have you suggested it, only to find them resistant to the idea of transitioning into any type of living arrangement that takes them away from their family home, much less one that admits to needing more assistance with daily activities. 

It’s important to understand that “hard sell” tactics to convince your parent to move to a community for assisted living is unlikely to succeed. 

Remember: your mother or father needs assisted living because he or she has lost something. Whether it’s the physical ability to maintain their home or themselves or the loss of their spouse, this loss is likely devastating. Refusing to change a living situation is often an avenue for them to manifest their frustrations. 


Coming in hot in a way that can be perceived as wanting to get rid of your parent or saying they’re too much of a burden is only going to exacerbate these feelings, resulting in likely immediate and ferocious pushback. 


Slow and Steady Wins the Race


Consider taking it slow and steady, calmly and carefully demonstrating to your parent that this is a decision that they are involved in completely and not just one they’re being subjected to against their will. 


You can accomplish this by taking the time to hear what they’re saying about the idea of moving. This is likely to be a slow process – in many instances, you may have to back off and then bring it up again at a later date, especially if the idea makes your parent agitated. This helps reinforce with the parent that their adult kids aren’t trying to run their lives. 


Keep Them Involved

In most cases, the only way you’re going to get a parent who is refusing assisted living to even begin to consider it is by making sure they feel in control of the endeavor. 


Ask if they would like to tour some assisted living campuses. Make sure this is a no-strings-attached visit with no expectations short of simply showcasing the amenities of a community so that some of the misconceptions your parent may have can be laid to rest. 


Show how moving to an assisted living community can improve their quality of life.

  • Enhances independence

  • Retain privacy without caregivers in their home at any given time

  • Community living eases loneliness with more social interactions

  • On-site medical care or physical therapy

  • Scheduled outings and activities


By going slowly and being considerate of your parent’s feeling you can help them to realize that despite their fears or misconceptions, it is actually likely to improve their living situation and make them more happy and more engaged.  


When your parents are ready to make the move, contact the Whit Harvey Group. Our team is always considerate of your timeline, your parent’s possessions and the emotions that are in play when selling a family home. We can put you in touch with packers who specialize in senior moves and are very familiar with Independent and Assisted Living communities in the area. We will work to make the transition go as smoothly, so that is one thing you can take off your plate.


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