What To Say To An Elderly Loved One Who Doesn't Want To Move

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What To Say To An Elderly Loved One Who Doesn't Want To Move

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A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s in an elderly loved one can feel overwhelming — and so can the prospect of moving them from their own home into a memory care community.

And it only becomes more difficult if your parent doesn’t want to move, whether because they don’t think they need to or simply don’t want to leave their home. You can’t just leave them where they are if they’re unable to care for themselves, but you also don’t want to force them into such a big decision.

Depending on the stage of their cognitive loss, you can help them to cope by talking about the challenges that they realize they have and explaining the benefits of moving to a memory care community.

Not only do retirement communities help keep your parents safe as their needs change, but they actually help them remain as autonomous as possible. Such communities are designed to be maximally accessible, so your parents can move around and go about their daily activities with minimal help.

 

Access to Key Services

One of the most common reasons people don’t want to move into a retirement or memory care community is a desire for independence. And that’s understandable. Your parents took pride in doing things for themselves all their lives; how could you expect them to change that?

But if they’ve developed Alzheimer’s or dementia, it just isn’t possible for them to keep doing everything alone. Over time, they’ll lose the ability to drive, operate a stove or even do something as simple as climb the stairs on their own. One way or another, they’ll need someone to help them. Talk with your elderly loved one about this, and point out how a retirement community can help keep them safe.

Not only do retirement communities help keep your parents safe as their needs change, but they actually help them remain as autonomous as possible. Such communities are designed to be maximally accessible, so your parents can move around and go about their daily activities with minimal help.

At Episcopal Church Home, for example, memory care neighborhoods are designed to feel like home, with common living rooms, a garden, family-style kitchens and dining rooms. And staff members trained specifically to work with the needs of memory-impaired residents follow a program of care based on their individual needs and abilities.

 

Friendship & Community

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Besides wanting to live independently, your parents may not want to move to a retirement community because they’re committed to the community they already live in. They have lots of friends in their neighborhood, and they don’t want to leave all those people behind for some new place they’ve never been to.

It’s important to be sensitive to this. After all, you’d hardly want to leave all your friends behind. But you also need to make it clear that your parents realistically won’t be able to see everyone in their neighborhood.

Present the retirement community as a way for your parents to remain social and keep making friends. Make it clear that not only will there be lots of people to meet and befriend in their new community, but that the community will also coordinate outings, get-togethers and other activities to help them make friends with one another. Finally, let them know that visiting their old friends will always be possible, either by taking them to visit or welcoming friends to visit in their new apartment.

 

Enriching Activities

In addition to making and keeping friends, your parents will want to spend their days doing things they find interesting and enriching. They may imagine life in a retirement community as monotonous, with few opportunities to have fun. But a good retirement community will give them lots of chances to enrich themselves, including by:

  • Trying something new: Retirement communities frequently organize events and classes where retirees can try new things or do something they have done in many years. From painting to cooking to making arts and crafts, there are many ways for your parents to expand their level of engagement with new experiences.Channel_nutrition_exercise
  • Eating new foods: Quality retirement communities strive to serve healthy, delicious meals taken from a wide range of cultures and traditions. If your parents want to experience new flavors and recipes while getting all the nutrients they need, a retirement community is a great place to do it.
  • Staying fit: Exercise is critical to your parents’ health, and retirement communities excel at finding fun ways to help them work out. By taking into account their health, mobility issues, and anything else that might affect the way they exercise, a good community will make it as easy as possible for your parents to stay active.

Episcopal Church Home is committed to helping all our residents make the transition to senior living smoothly and safely. Click here to get more information or schedule your visit.

 

episcopal church home dementia guide

 

Kristin Davenport
By
July 31, 2018
Kristin Davenport is the Director of Communications for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Kristin leads ERS’s efforts to share stories that delight and inspire through social media, online content, annual reports, magazines, newsletters, public relations, and events. Kristin earned her BFA in graphic design from Wittenberg University. She joined ERS after a 25-year career as a visual journalist and creative director in Cincinnati. Kristin is passionate about making Cincinnati a dementia-inclusive city. She is a Lead SAIDO Learning Supporter and a member of the ‘Refresh Your Soul’ conference planning team at ERS. Kristin and her husband Alex, live in Lebanon, Ohio with their 2 daughters. She also serves as a Trustee and the President of the Lebanon Food Pantry and is a board member for the Warren County Arts Council.

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