A great number of adults worry about the pitfalls their elderly parents face when they continue to live independently in their own homes. Penn State University researchers conducted a study and learned that 77% of adults with living parents perceive their refusal to seek assistance and/or take their children’s advice as stubbornness.
In reality, it is far more complex than just being stubborn.
It’s frightening to cede control of your life to others
Even once living alone presents unnecessary challenges, change is hard for most people to accept, regardless of age. They realize that moving to an assisted living center or nursing home is likely their last stop before the grave. No wonder they are wary of making the move.
It may not be up to you
It’s tough accepting that your parents aren’t ready to leave their home once you no longer feel their remaining home alone is safe. Bravado and bluster are useless here. It’s far better to approach them collaboratively, asking them what changes they could implement within the home to remain there safely longer. They might have some good ideas because they know the drawbacks well.
They have the right to self-determination
Unless they are suffering the effects of dementia or are otherwise physically or cognitively impaired, they are legally allowed to determine their own fate. Pushing for guardianship over unwilling elderly parents can destroy your lifelong relationship. No one wants that.
Suggest ways to protect them financially
Offer to help them choose long-term care plans and introduce them to trustworthy financial and legal professionals who can work with them to devise workable solutions.
Be their ally, not their enemy
Many seniors choose to age in place. Step-chairs, moving to downstairs bedrooms, engaging household help and making home modifications can all help your parents stay in their familiar surroundings. If you are unsure of the level of care they require, seeking a professional assessment can bring you peace of mind.