If You’re Wondering Why Mom (or Dad) Won’t Even Consider Assisted Living, It May Require You to ‘Wear Their Shoes’ for a Day

Do you honestly understand what your mother or father is going through as they get older? It’s easy to assume you know the challenges they face, especially when you go and visit and see them struggling to take the garbage out, have a difficult time just walking down the driveway to check the mail, or run errands to go shopping and so forth.

Assisted Living in Fairhope AL: "Walking In" A Loved One's Shoes

Assisted Living in Fairhope AL: “Walking In” A Loved One’s Shoes

However, you may not fully appreciate the struggles they face.

As younger, stronger, healthier adults, children have a difficult time not just witnessing their parents getting older, but fully appreciating and understanding the struggles and challenges they face on a daily basis. There’s an old phrase that goes something like, “In order to understand what somebody is going through, you must first walk a mile in their shoes.”

Basically, this means it’s easy to look at somebody’s circumstances from the outside and make an assessment, offer opinions and advice, but if you were actually going through the challenges they are facing at this moment, your perceptions could change dramatically. There’s a significant difference between empathy and true understanding.

Most of us can be empathetic to others, including our aging parents when it comes to the struggles they face with age, but we can’t truly understand what it’s like for them each and every day. When you discuss assisted living, there may be very good, legitimate reasons why they won’t even consider this as a long-term care option at this point in their life.

They may have preconceived notions about what assisted living is or offers.

They might have had a friend or other family member at an assisted living community decades ago, when they were first being started. Or, they might have had a parent or grandparent in a nursing home and simply equate that with assisted living, though these two long-term care options couldn’t be more different if they tried.

To break down some of the barriers aging seniors may build to truncate conversations regarding assisted living, it’s a good idea to ask specific questions, listen, and try to understand their direct or indirect experiences with long-term care. Even though this is a mother or father in their 70s, 80s, or 90s, there may be experiences they’ve had that are shaping their perceptions and causing them to be firmly against the idea of making a move of this kind at this point in their life.

Listening can go a long way toward helping them overcome those firm boundaries.

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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