When a Loved One Needs to Move Into an Aged Care Facility (But They Might Not Agree)

24 May 2021
 Categories: , Blog

There can come a point when the power balance between parent and child can shift, with an adult child starting to think about what's in their elderly parent's best interests. When a loved one reaches a certain age, you might begin to believe that moving into an aged care facility will clearly be in their best interests. However, your reasoning can be met with some considerable resistance from your loved one. What's the best way to respectfully approach the situation?

Concern and Compassion

You need to explicitly state your motivation for the need for aged care. You need to clearly tell your loved one that your suggestion is driven by concern and compassion and not that you view them as a problem that needs to be solved. It may be beneficial to compile a list of specific concerns, as opposed to approaching the discussion in a more general way. It might be that your loved one is no longer able to independently care for themselves, or there could have been a specific incident that triggered the need for aged care (such as an accident). 

Consult Your Family

You'll want to avoid your loved one thinking that their family is ganging up on them, but you may wish to raise the topic with other family members. They could have similar concerns, and a group effort can have more of an impact than a sole voice. When your loved one acknowledges that many people who care about them have the same outlook, it means that they can be less likely to automatically dismiss these concerns.

Involve Your Loved One

It's important that your loved one doesn't feel like they've lost any agency over their own life. Granted, this is difficult to achieve when they're being convinced to relocate to a place intended to serve their changing needs as they age. However, it's not as though you plan to choose an aged care facility, with your loved one then being forcibly transferred there. Your loved one should be involved in the process of choosing the facility. This can even begin before they've consented to moving into a facility, and selecting a shortlist can lead to the final determining factor.

Daily Life

When a list of appropriate facilities has been compiled, you and your loved one should visit these homes. The objective is for your loved one to get a realistic view of what their daily life in a facility will entail. This can help to overcome one of the final obstacles since your loved one may have had a distorted view about the quality of life that can be expected in an aged care facility. The reality is going to be far more pleasant than what they might have imagined.

Telling a loved one that you believe they require aged care in a specialist setting isn't an easy conversation. However, it can become a necessary conversation and is more likely to yield the desired results if you approach it in a respectful way.