Dad Refuses to Talk About Assisted Living: What Next?

It’s been months. You feel as though you’re slamming your head against the wall. You know your father isn’t safe at home. You don’t live close enough to be any real support. He’s refused to even talk about other care options. So, when you brought up the topic of assisted living, knowing the challenges he has faced, you assumed he would at least listen.

Assisted Living in Fairhope AL: Dad Refuses to Talk About Assisted Living

Assisted Living in Fairhope AL: Dad Refuses to Talk About Assisted Living

But, he won’t.

He won’t listen. He doesn’t even want to hear about it. Anytime you or somebody else starts talking about him moving, he gets angry, starts yelling, threatening, and eventually storms out of the room. He tells you to leave or simply hangs up the phone.

It can be frustrating, no doubt.

There is absolutely no question how frustrating these moments can be. When we have a close family member or friend who is simply adamantly opposed to listening to anything resembling good advice, what can we do?

As an independent and autonomous individual, your father has every right to decide what happens in his life. He may refuse other types of assistance, and even though you may be completely convinced that assisted living is a great thing for him to consider, especially with regard to the various activities, dining facilities, friends he could meet, and other benefits, it is still his right to decide where he lives and what type of help he gets.

There are ways to open up the conversation.

Instead of trying to push the issue, which is only going to create more tension in the relationship, one of the best strategies moving forward is to focus in on the challenges he’s facing at the moment. Does he have difficulty going up and down stairs? Has he given up certain activities or hobbies?

Does he no longer spend time with friends? Have some of his friends moved away or passed away and he feels lonely?

These are topics that you could bring up slowly, one little bit at a time. Ask him what he did during the day. Ask him what his plans are for the rest of the day or tomorrow. Bring up something he used to do regularly, but doesn’t seem to partake in anymore. Ask him why he isn’t pursuing those things.

When a senior begins thinking about all of these changes, even longing for times when he or she was doing a lot of things outside the house, it can be a great way to get them wondering if it truly is possible to do at least some of these things or, at the very least, to be a bit more active.

Assisted living can offer many seniors that opportunity, and getting him to think about how it could be possible once again to live life to its fullest, with the right environment, he may be more open to at least listening to this option.

If you or an aging loved one are considering assisted living in Fairhope, 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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