A Change of Mind: How to ‘Deal with’ a Senior Who Suddenly Changes His Mind About Assisted Living

For Tom and Sarah, trying to convince his aging mother to consider assisted living was a difficult proposition. She had been adamantly opposed to the idea of assisted living for a long time, even well after it became clear she was no longer safe living alone. Many of her friends had moved into a local assisted living facility, and were enjoying their lives.

Assisted Living in Daphne AL: Dealing with a Change of Mind

Assisted Living in Daphne AL: Dealing with a Change of Mind

It took months of conversations, questions, answering questions, and even a tour of the facility before Tom’s mother finally agreed to move. They were making arrangements, planning to sell the house to help pay for this move, and everyone seemed excited, except Tom’s mother.

Suddenly, she seemed to have a change of mind.

It took a while for them to figure this out. There was a lot of frustration, pressure, stress, and anxiety. Tom and Sarah talked often and usually well into the night about what they could do. What could they say that would convince his mother this is the best option?

They didn’t really understand what changed. She seemed to be the same person, having the same conversations, and even offering the same defenses. Sometimes, seniors can feel pressured into making a particular decision. That pressure may or may not be real, but if it’s perceived to be genuine, that can alter their perceptions, their ideas, and even what they truly want to see happen.

After several more weeks, putting this move on hold, it was determined that Tom’s mother simply didn’t understand the true benefits of what assisted living could offer her at this stage in her life. She had been relying on Tom and Sarah to help her. She had a couple good neighbors who would check in from time to time and even give her a ride to the store so she could shop for food. What she didn’t want to think about was no longer having that support.

When they finally got to uncover this reality, it became a little easier to open up, share ideas, share concerns and misconceptions, and Tom and Sarah were able to answer a lot of those questions based on facts they had gleaned from their research and the tour they went on with his mother several months earlier.

Sometimes a change of mind can happen out of fear. Sometimes doubt arises. Sometimes, though, as Tom and Sarah discovered, the decision was made out of a sense of pressure rather than desire.

Assisted living can offer seniors so many benefits, but until they truly understand what it will offer them, this may be a difficult decision to make. Family needs to be armed with the facts, not emotion, and be willing to listen and, most importantly, be patient.

If you or an aging loved one are considering assisted living in Daphne, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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