Validating a Senior’s Concerns About a Major Life Move (Such as to Assisted Living)

A senior may have every reason to be concerned about a potential move from a home they’ve been in for decades. For example, an elderly person, perhaps in their early 80s, who has been living in the same house for 35 years, might have been convinced this is no longer a safe and reasonable place for them to live.

In most likelihood, they’ve already had concerns like this.

Assisted Living Pascagoula, AL:Major Life Moves

Many seniors understand their own physical limitations quite well. They don’t need an adult child, neighbor, or friend pointing them out (as though this was a new revelation they hadn’t even realized). They understand it takes them longer to get out of bed. They are fully aware they can no longer physically do the same things they had done just a few years earlier.

However, that doesn’t automatically mean this senior is ready to make a move to a new apartment, house, or assisted living. He or she might have various concerns about making this type of move and rather than dismissing those concerns as being mere excuses to stay where they are, it’s important to listen to that individual, acknowledge their concerns, and validate them.

How do we validate a senior’s concerns?

We let them know we hear them. Listening is one of the most powerful yet overlooked skills of communication. Far too often people are quick to tell others what they think they should be doing, what’s right, what’s wrong, and so on. When we see an aging parent, for example, struggling with everyday activities, we immediately assume we know what’s right for them.

The last thing we want is to be sitting up late at night worrying about our mother or father and wonder if they fell and simply can’t get to a phone to call us. Our concerns, therefore, are not strictly altruistic, but self-centered. We don’t want to worry, so we dictate what they should do.
Absolutely, we don’t want them to get hurt. However, the primary focus often falls to the concern we have, the fears we experience, especially in the evening or late at night when we can’t sleep.

We validate a senior’s concerns by telling them they have every right to decide where they live. If they ultimately decide assisted living really will be the best thing for them, but they still have concerns, acknowledge those concerns. Don’t dismiss them.

Acknowledge them, address them, and help the senior discover the truth about whatever it is that’s concerning them. This may involve going on a tour of a particular assisted living facility, speaking to an administrator, or even talking to other residents before making a commitment to move into this particular community.

By validating an aging senior’s concerns about making a major life move, it empowers them. When a person is empowered, the decision they make is always going to feel like the right one.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Assisted Living in Pascagoula, 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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