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When your elderly parent can no longer live alone

If you have elderly parents who are frail or in failing health, it's certain that you worry about them living alone in a less than ideal housing situation. But even if they concede that their arrangements aren't the best, parents loathe to lose the last vestiges of their independence and moved into assisted living.

Can adult children convince their parents to move?

Some can certainly be persuaded, but a goodly number of aging adults resist all blandishments when it comes to leaving their homes. Below are some suggestions for adult children to employ when they want to ensure their parents' safety.

Lay communication groundwork early

Don't wait until a crisis occurs to discuss your parents' living preferences. Start early, before there is a need. Find out which type of living situation they would like the best and see whether or not they are on course to make it happen. Those without long-term care policies in place should look into them now.

Once you know where your parents stand on this issue, it's easier to get behind a plan to which they will acquiesce.

Realize you may need to let events play out

Nobody wants to see their elderly parents in distress, but those who remain intransigent to leaving their homes may need to experience some discomfort before they see the wisdom in making a change.

For example, if mom or dad is in the early stages of dementia and fails to pay the light bill, having services cut off could be the impetus they need to make a change in living circumstances.

The same is true if a parent stumbles and falls and breaks a bone. While the consequences may be unpleasant, if it brings about a "come to Jesus" meeting with your parent, it may be necessary.

Give your parent options

Even if assisted living is out of the budget, allowing your parent to select the nursing home he or she will move to allows the senior parent to retain some autonomy. Parents of a certain age likely have friends who are already residents of nursing homes. Allowing them to move into the home of their choice is a kindness.

Source: A Place for Mom, "Moving Elderly Parents: Convincing Mom & Dad," accessed Oct. 27, 2017

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