Persuading a Senior to Accept an Assisted Living or Memory Care Placement

No one wants to give up what they perceive as independence. This holds true for seniors, too. They often resist placement in Assisted Living or Memory Care. Sometimes this resistance is built upon a general suspicion of ‘nursing homes’. Other times seniors understand what they would be getting but just prefer the familiar home to the unknown Community.

Family members sometimes face a good deal of resistance in placing the senior into an Assisted Living or Memory Care community. Here are several logical arguments you can make in trying to get the senior to move:

  1. The main argument that seems effective is "Do this hard thing for us. We just cannot continue to care for you properly.” Most seniors want to live on their own. They want whatever independence they can have given their limitations. The appeal to their generous and altruistic side - Help your children/caregivers/loved ones rest easy, knowing you are cared for - works a surprising amount of the time.
  2. The second strategy is "Try this for 90 days". It's probably permanent, but hold out a little hope that they can perhaps opt out later (and hope they forget, frankly).
  3. The third strategy is "You will live a happier life, living it with other people". Most seniors gradually lose their social network as they get older, and this is the opportunity to establish a new network of friends.
  4. “This is what you saved for – a comfortable, safe, and happy retirement. You cannot have that any more at home, but you can in Assisted Living/Memory Care.”
  5. “Really, mom, how independent are you at home? You live in one room and cannot move around the house safely or drive anywhere. A relatively big Assisted Living building, with people there to help you, actually gives you more independence, more room, than you currently have at home.”
  6. “This is not a nursing home. People are active, there are activities every day, and meals are all served in a nice dining room. The residents get out of the building regularly, and they are looking to make new friends, like you.”
  7. “You are just not safe any longer at home. We’ve tried homecare, but they have reached the endpoint of what they can do at home”.
  8. You might try "We have chosen the newest and most elite Community in the area! This is a big deal that you can afford THE BEST! Congratulations!" This may appeal to their ego.
  9. The final one is "New Lease on Life". She is old, but with good care she can live quite a bit longer. She beat cancer, perhaps, and other stuff life has thrown at her - how about taking that New Lease on Life and doing everything to extend it. The care we are talking about just cannot be done at home.