How To Move Someone Saying, “No!”

How To Move Someone Saying, “No!”

no-mdIt would be very interesting for independent, assisted living and group homes to share examples of people who moved into your senior living community who initially said, “No, I don’t want to leave my home!”  How many senior living residents have you experienced in this situation?

Two weeks ago, I heard the story of an independent couple whose Boomer children moved them one hour closer to them.  The dad said that he had left heel marks all the way up the freeway, because he didn’t want to move.  Now, both he and his wife love living at their new Continuing Care Retirement Community that is located by their children and grandchildren.

Tonight, I heard about Jim and Joan’s dad.  He was clinically depressed and stayed in his pajamas all day.   He only put on clothes when Jim picked him up (drove him one block) to spend time with his wife and grandchildren.  Once his dad, Dwayne, got to their house and had dinner, he didn’t want to leave, even at 11:00 PM.  Jim and his wife Carol both had to be at work at 7:00 AM.  They literally had to take a resistant Dwayne back to his home each evening.  This went on every night for one year.  Jim finally reached the breaking point.

Jim and his sister Joan went to find a retirement community for their dad.  They had it all set up and then drove their dad to his new home.  The entire way there, Dwayne kept saying, “No, no, no!”  They said, “Dad, you will love it, give it a chance.”  They showed him his new home and he was still resistant.  Jim kept saying, “Dad, give it a chance,” and left.  Two weeks later the dad was happier than he had been in his own isolated home.  Dwayne spent five of the happiest years of his life there.  Medication management and socialization had improved the quality of his life.

Nine years ago, my own mom was struggling (for over a year) in the independent living area of a Continuing Care Retirement Community.   My sister, husband and I moved all my mom’s stuff to assisted living while her granddaughter took her to lunch.  My daughter drove my mom back to her new home in assisted living.  We were all there to greet them.  My mom was shocked, but what could she do?  We had moved her.  It was done.  The staff was all on board and had acclimated her before we left.  Oh, the guilt I felt, but knew it was the right thing for her.  We got a call in the night, because my mom had peed in a garbage can.  Was it defiance or dementia?  We will never know, but two weeks later she was happy and content.   She steadily improved with three nutritious meals a day and medication management.  My mom enjoyed seven years in that supportive environment.

Is it mean to move someone saying no?  Or is it the best thing in the world?

Please share your successes, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.


© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.


  1. aside from the title and the fact that you moved the lady to assisted living without her knowledge, there were no how to’s in this article at all. Misleading, to say the least.

    and, we all know that once they’ve moved they are happy and enjoy many years there

    • Fred, I am sorry you felt that way. The brother and the sister made a decision and just moved the dad. In my own personal example, we moved my mom while she was at lunch. In all honesty, I am looking for more examples. You must be in situation where you are looking for a “How To Move Them Situation.”

    • Fred, it took a hospital event to move my mom. I worked with the doctor to keep her in for three consecutive midnights, which qualified her to move to rehab. I chose the facility where I wanted her to continue living, so the transition was done when rehab was over. I wish it only took two weeks for her be settled. It was more like 8-9 months. I used to tell her that as soon as she was able to take care of herself, we would talk about moving back to where she was. It has now been a year and we still have our moments, even though she understands.

  2. Boomers: Aging Beats The Alternative

    This is a very tough issue. My feeling is that although we can try to persuade, if the person needing care is in full control of his/her mental capacities, the decision is theirs. If not, then we are allowed to assert control, but do so as kindly as possible. Exercise empathy! How would you feel?
    By Lorie Eber

    • This is so HARD on adult children. Lorie, your key phrase was “in full control of his/her mental capacities.” What if they both have some dementia? What if he got lost driving home, after living in the same place for 50 years? What if a son went for a visit and two weeks later the parent does not remember that he came? What if a senior can’t do his bills anymore? There are so many more examples, but it can still feel mean even when a child is doing the right thing for their parents safety.

      • Boomers: Aging Beats The Alternative

        I completely agree Diane. Empathy is extremely important Lorie, but the problem isn’t when the senior has full capacity, it’s when they have only some impairment, but still remain in control of their own decision making. The adult children don’t have enough legal authority to make decisions for them. And in most cases that I’ve seen, they don’t want to jeopardize their relationship with the parent(s). So that leaves the parent(s) many times perched right on the edge of disaster. It also creates chaos for the adult children to deal with things after the fact rather than in a proactive and more controlled fashion. Very tough issue with no absolutely correct answer.
        By Sandy Lyons Rasque, MHA

        • Yes Sandy – your comments are right on. My in-laws both have dementia. It is horrible. We want to give them the dignity and respect as parents, but they can no longer make good decisions. No one wants to jeopardize the relationship. Yet, they are not safe and both are rapidly heading downhill from improper medication management. When I moved my own mom eight years ago to assisted living, she improved dramatically within weeks – just having medications administered properly.

          • Sandy Lyons Rasque, MHA
            Strategic Development

            …and regular meals, and regular socialization, and so many other benefits. So glad for you Diane.

            Diane Masson
            Regional Marketing Director at Freedom Management Co.

            Thanks Sandy! Here’s hoping to moving the in-laws too.

            Lorie Eber
            President at Lorie Eber Wellness Coaching
            Top Contributor

            I think a lot of families think the best care for their parent is always with them, at home. They miss the fact that they cannot provide socialization, 24/7 care, the ability to recognize medical problems, and a loving and trained caregiver.

  3. Linked In Marketing to Seniors

    Wow. One thing I have learned is that everyone likes to be in control of their own lives. Don’t you? I can’t get an 80 or 90 year old to do what I want them to do, no matter how I try. Choices work. Lay the groundwork! Even something as sneaky as saying “Ok, do you like this home, or the place down the street (maybe a nursing home, and maybe an extra awful one). :) If you do your homework, they might just surprise you. Dignity for everyone. If there is dementia suggest they stay for a week. But don’t let your body language and angst taint the situation. Keep it light.
    By Barbara Rollins

    • Barbara, the either is or is a great idea and I agree on the dignity and respect. The tough thing for Boomer children is when the parent(s) have dementia. My father-in-law does not remember that my husband visited him a couple weeks ago. Sadly, he also got lost driving home and he is confused paying his bills. My father-in-law has been the full time caregiver for my mother-in-law the last two years. The Boomer children now have to decide what to do…protect mom? Home care will just be a Band-Aid and deplete their resources. They need some place that will take care of both their medications, feed them nutritious food and create stimulation through social interactions and entertainment. They are 100% bored just talking to each other. No one wants to make them do anything. Yet, parents in crisis mode need help. It is a tough dilemma.

      • Betty White
        Owner, Smooth Transitions Denver LLC

        Being a Senior Move Manager, we see resistance from our seniors and I think the reason is different for each of them. Some are just resistant to change (I’ve lived in this house 60 years!), and some are confused with dementia or Alzheimers. They don’t understand the change so they can’t get excited about it. Happily, most seniors we move, that are not sure it is the right thing, later tell us it was the best move ever and why didn’t they do it sooner!!
        I know the same thing was true with my mother. She was not happy to move, but 6 months later, it was the best thing ever! She loves the social aspect and doesn’t worry about a house any longer.
        It is better if you have the senior’s agreement, but if health dictates otherwise, sometimes you may have to push them.

        • Jen Drake
          Community Relations Director at The Lodge at Mallard’s Landing

          Sometimes we do need to get creative with the adult children in order to help them help their parents.

          Ideas ranging from disabling the vehicle and having it towed to the garage to get weeks and weeks and WEEKS (sigh! oh my!) of repair done to keep mom/dad from driving to having prospectives come for dinner without ever mentioning this might be their new home to setting up a new apartment and moving a loved one straight from rehab/nursing home care directly into their new home with a surprise waiting – all these and many more are tools I have personally encountered that have worked for loved ones digging in their heals.

          Cajoling is needed in some cases, and in dementia cases, sometimes providing options is too much stimulation and thus the adult children do need to move without permission from mom/dad.

          Sometimes, the safety of a loved one means switching child/parent roles, where the adult child now becomes the parent and thus makes the decision. In an ideal world, Seniors would be receptive to receiving care assistance, tour several on their own, and make a deposit with the one they have chosen. Where I work, this happens a LOT, but industry standards state this is not the norm for most.

          • madelaine steller cain
            Executive Director at Caroline Place Retirement Residence

            My parents owned and operated a retirement home for 25 years. Now they live on a 9 acre farm , my mom has mild dementia and my father has had cardiac failure. I am slowly approaching this reality with them. It is a ‘ real time’ experience. As the ‘child’ in the scenario I can only see helping my mom. She will need support in the future and we are slowly integrating her into that. Ie going to programs for dementia and Alzheimer’s. My father would be more difficult he would rather “burn out then fade away “.

  4. Linked In LeadingAge

    that’s a loaded question. Initially seniors do not want to move out of their homes unless medically indicated. The easiest moves are from the hospital to a facility. Moves from the home have to be cultivated, a relationship has to develop and a friendship begins. This can take months. Home visits with food from the facility is a good marketing tool. Everyone wants a choice, but what they really want to know is how good the food is. Invite your senior to a meal and to weekly activitites. Lead events are great, but everyone knows that the facility is on their best, shining and smelling good.
    By Diana Hendrix

    • Diana, you are 100% correct – tough question. We want to provide seniors with dignity and respect. Yet, if they wait too long, they run out of options. My in-laws are in this situation now. My father-in-law got lost driving to his home of 50 years. What is really scary is that he is in charge of the meds for both my mother-in-law who had dementia and himself. We have been cultivating a change for two years. The mom wants to move and be in stimulating environment and my father-in-law wants to stay home. Many have suggested waiting until they go to the hospital to do the transition to a level of care. It is so hard to watch someone fade before your eyes.

      • Diana Hendrix
        LNHA, Resident Director, Business Owner

        You know since your dad got lost he may be more open now to moving. Even if he’s not telling you your dad probably realizes that things went wrong. Moving might be more appealing now.

        • Diane Masson
          Regional Marketing Director at Freedom Management Co.
          Top Contributor

          Thanks Diana, we are hoping that he is more open now.

          Ellie Vollmer
          Volunteer at Hospice of the Red River Valley

          I think when someone doesn’t want to leave their home it’s better to get services in the home so they can live out the rest of their life where they want to. Not everyone thrives in an institution in my experience. Some go to the nursing home or assisted living and remain secluded probably because they have been that way all their life or it’s part of their personality. I wish more seniors understood their legal rights to live where they want and court proceedings necessary to move them when they don’t want to go.

          Linda Armas, CSA
          President, Clear Choice Senior Services

          I agree that not everyone thrives in an institution, and if they are set on staying home and can afford reputable care, that can be a solution if the home is accessible and they can be safely cared for. Many people are resistant to moving because they assume the only choices are home vs nursing home or large institution. There is also the factor of fear of the unknown. I have seen so many seniors who thrived and improved after moving from relative isolation in their home to a quality licensed residential care home. Often they say they regret not moving sooner. This option is not at all like an institution, and can provide a calm, homelike environment, with opportunities for social stimulation and care provided by experienced staff at a cost less than half of what it would cost for in-home care. With the new wage laws here in CA, it is now costing well over $250/day for full-time in-home care. Many people simply can’t afford it and don’t realize there may be excellent alternative solutions.

          Diana Hendrix
          LNHA, Resident Director, Business Owner

          You are so right Ellie that’s why I created Guardian Angels ~ Senior Concierge Services. It was to give seniors another choice. As long as your senior can live safe and have great care they should be able to age in place if that’s their choice. In my experience isolation, the fear of the unknow is usually acompanied with not much family or caregiver interaction, not always, but usually. Those who can afford services to be brought into the home and wish to stay there should have that choice.

          Vivian McDaniel
          Lead Product Marketing Manager – mHealth at AT&T

          My Grandfather is 101 years old. He absolutely refuses to leave his home.My aunt who is approaching 80 has been making visits to his home to take care of him. He is in relatively good health and sound mind but at some point it will be too much of a strain for my aunt. I think we need to give caregivers the tools and support to have the conversation with loved ones.

  5. Linked IN The Elder Care Network

    Hi Diane, this is probably the most difficult process for families of loved one. No one really wants to move their loved one from their home, but to the right care home, it eventually is a blessing to family and resident. We have used different tactics for this monumental change depending on the individual. For some they trust their PCP or a certain family member or friend. so the PCP will tell them it is time for a move for a higher level of care, and can be for medical reasons or fall-risk, sometimes it is said for physical therapy and rehabilitation to get them stronger, with some we have had to say this is temporary until you get strong. Or we have to work on the house, you can get a contractor involved to say that they need to move temporarily while work is being done on their house. Oftentimes, getting in the routine of a care home with activities and exercises, and lots of attention, they get to the point that they end up thriving and not longer want to go home. The family and care staff have to be on the same page with the ‘story’ for success. How is your mom?
    By Denise Walker

    • Denise, your tactics are excellent! I have never heard of the contractor idea – that’s good. Great point on once they start thriving they don’t want to go home! Struggling with my in-laws now. My father-in-law got lost driving to his home of 50 years and he is in charge of giving my mother-in-law with dementia – her medications.

      Thanks for asking about my mom. She is declining. Since I wrote the last blog – she can’t walk, feed herself or talk as much. I think she had another mini stroke… There are less good days and we just hope for good moments.

      • Elizabeth Rider
        Licensed Vocational Nurse/CNA

        It’s hard to do this with integrity. As caregivers, nurses, and just loving family members we know oftentimes that friends and loved ones can’t see the forest for the trees, and that they’d be much safer, and ultimately happier in a care home, or even renting a room from a trusted person. I have personally experienced being in the situation of trying to convince someone that they were no longer safe living alone, and yet she refuses still to see any other way, though she is no longer able to even walk from her couch to her kitchen or bathroom. Her whole existence is her sofa, coffee table, TV set and bedside commode. She has no living family members who can stand her temper tantrums; and trust me, it wasn’t always easy for me as her caregiver to stand being yelled at, belittled or accused of wild things because she just wasn’t in touch with reality. More than once she called me in the middle of the night because she’d fallen off her couch, and couldn’t get back up. To add to my worry, she lived all alone down a dark and winding dirt road. I worry all the time about her being alone in that little house thinking ‘what if someone broke in’, or if there were a fire? While none of us wants to feel like we’re depriving our loved ones of their home or their surroundings, many of us have good reasons to worry about those who are no longer safe, and the hard part is when you can’t get them to understand when it’s time to go. As a nurse in an LTC, it’s easy to see how hard an adjustment it is to make. Patients will have to give up most all of their privacy and freedom in exchange for safety and security, but the alternative of staying in a home where you’re no longer safe is unacceptable. Thanks for some good ideas, Denise.

        • Elizabeth, what a story you shared. It is so sad when someone’s world shrinks and their home becomes more important than human interaction.

          • Eric Russow
            Volunteer Fund Raiser at Alzheimer’s Association®

            As a former manager for an independent living community in Middleton Wisconsin, I think my perspective is a little different. We had over 100 apartments. We would have on occasion had folks move in that been saying no to the moving. What worked well was to know it up front through good communications with, typically, the family member(s). Once we became aware of the issue, we always made a more protracted effort to make sure they were integrated with the other residents at meal times, and during activities. We, the managers and staff, would make extra efforts to sit with them to make sure their specific interests were addressed, as well as any concerns they may have. Typically within a week or two, they were enjoying the fact that they had moved.

  6. Linked In CCRC’s – Continuing Care Retirement Communities

    Diane, if mom or dad can live independently and one or both are saying “no,” then I don’t see how you can move them against their will.

    From a marketers’ perspective, I have to provide the adult children and the client with the tools that they need to be convinced or do the convincing. “Sample stays” can be very helpful, where the adult child or marketer offers mom and dad the opportunity to “test drive” the community without any obligations. The marketing staff must be very good at engaging mom and dad with other residents of the community during the sample stay in order for them to feel welcome.

    Whether you are the adult child or the marketer, keep in mind that this will likely be the most important (if not traumatic) decision mom and dad have ever made. Couple this with the fact that mom and dad are not happy about growing old and all that comes with it, and you have a most sensitive situation.

    The sales cycle is very long for senior communities. The sooner in life that mom and dad begin to investigate how and where they will live in their retirement years, the better. And the more likely both will be ready to make the move when the kids are ready.

    My advice to retirement communities, begin to market the concept of senior living to younger audiences. This will ultimately make things easier on everyone, including your marketing and sales staff.
    By K. D. Feldman

    • K.D., Sample stays are awesome. Your key statement is when one or both or independent. So what happens when one or both have dementia? Now we are in tricky territory. Providing dignity and respect while trying to keep them safe. My in-laws are in this mess now. They have waited too long. We have been encouraging a move for several years. Now they have less options because both have dementia. My father-in-law got worn out taking care of my mother-in-law with dementia. Now he can’t remember to pay the bills and got lost driving home. The whole family has to figure out what to do now. It creates stress for Boomer children who want to respect their parents wishes, but want them to be safe at the same time.

      • K. D. Feldman
        Senior Living Specialist and Director of Development

        Diane, your first two examples given were regarding independent living, so I wanted to address this first. You are correct that it is very tricky when one or both parents require assisted living. When you say that for several years you were encouraging your parents to move, asking them these questions may have helped them to agree with you on the answers:

        “Mom and dad, if one of you has dementia and can’t function independently, will the other provide all of the care for the rest of his/her life?”

        “What do you want us to do if both of you have dementia and can no longer function independently?”

        “If we are working full time, who will take care of you? How will you be taken care of?”

        “There are outstanding communities where you can live independently in your own home, and never have to worry about who will take care of you if one or both of you can no longer take care of yourselves.”

        It is important that while parents are independent and of sound mind that they consider the future. Asking them the right questions can help them to realize on their own what is best for their future — and what is best for the future of their children. Agreement should follow. And while one or both parents may change their minds when dementia sets in, the agreement came when they were of sound mind. The adult children should never feel that they are doing something cruel to their parents by doing what is best for them.

        • Diane Masson
          Regional Marketing Director at Freedom Management Co.

          K.D. – awesome questions to ask. My father-in-law said he would take care of my mother-in-law for life. We said, “What if something happens to you, she can’t manage on her own because of dementia.” He said, “I am not moving, wait until a crisis.” Now we are in a crisis.

  7. Linked In Executives in Long Term Care

    Having worked with seniors for very many years, I strongly believe that every option should be explored to keep seniors living in their own homes for as long as possible. Several of these options include: a live-in hired caregiver; purchasing additional community support services; making alterations to the home to accommodate declining abilities, e.g.stair lifts or elevators, main floor accommodations including washroom, conversion of bathtubs; enrolment into a government approved day care program; daily delivery of hot meals; seeking weekly volunteer visits from community support agencies; and removing tripping hazards from the home environment.

    I recognize that not all seniors can be maintained in their own homes but I have too often seen a sharp decline in mental health, level of independence, mobility and stability when a senior is “forced” into a long term care facility against his/her will.
    By Esta Wall

    • Esta,

      Some people can benefit from short-term Band-Aid solutions to stay at home. My in-laws have waited too long and both have dementia now. They are not safe. My father-in-law got lost a couple months ago, driving to his home of 50 years. He is in charge of the medications for my mother-in-law with dementia. A home care solution would be very expensive. It would require two four hour minimums per day to dispense medications. This could wipe out their assets quite quickly. I believe that all seniors should look at the short-term and long-term care needs and financial resources. If a senior wipes out their assets, it can limit their care choices in the long run.

      In my career, I have it more beneficial for seniors to be in thriving community. Nutritious meals, stimulating conversations, strength training classes, live entertainment and energetic staff can increase the longevity of a seniors life. Living in a isolated home with one care giver does not seem like a healthy choice to me for the long-term.

      • Candyce Henry
        Vice President at AFFECTS LLC

        The issue is complex and there is not a simple solution. A key problem of communities is affordability when a person lives too long and depletes their resources. Another issue is families that keep their loved one in a facility where they lived but friends are gone. The adult children fly in for their quarterly-if that- visit. Clearly, if someone is falling or cognitively challenged , they cannot live alone. The most beautiful facility is nothing more than a well appointed prison if the individual does not feel needed-that they make a difference. Maybe that is colocating a day care next door, sewing or crafting to raise money for a cause etc. whatever the individual is capable of doing. Neighborhoods are comfortable for so many because they have lived in their homes for many years. They know their neighbors and complain about the teenager that needs to lower the music volume. The Girl Scout sells them cookies and the neighbors periodically stop and visit. They go to the local mall for exercise and have made friends there who meet and have coffee. It is not an isolated situation for many.

  8. Linked In The Elder Care Network

    Denise Walker
    CEO Golden Moments Care Home, Inc. Senior Assisted Living Residential Care/ Family Primary Caregiver at O’Brien Family

    Hi Diane, I am sorry to hear about mom’s decline, cherish the moments. I always believe that even though they no longer speak and are in the advanced stage of the disease, that our loved ones are still there and in their minds heart and soul, are comforted by your love and visits with them. There is another forum I visit called Where others across the world can post questions and receive replies from other family caregivers that have gone through or are going through the same things. Take care.

    • Brett Frankenberg
      Program Director at RehabCare

      While there is no doubt that many Seniors have become set in their ways and are reluctant to change, I also must advocate that this type of move should be done with integrity. Integrity in my mind means we are educating and collaborating with Seniors and family members so that these life-altering decisions are made with transparency and truth. Preparing Seniors for eventualities that may come with the 8th, 9th or 10th decade of life should begin long before with meaningful discussions about advanced directives, living wills, durable powers of attorney for healthcare and finance and should also include discussions about the what if – as in:

      What if something does happen and you can no longer care for yourself?
      What if a situation beyond anyone’s control requires a physical move?
      What if there is a diagnosis that will result in an inability to live independently?

      These discussions are not specific to Senior Living – any family member should know what their loved one’s desires are with regard to end of life care. If we are having these discussions, we can avoid deception and embrace the change together with our Seniors and honor them in the way the deserve. We can then plan ahead and celebrate the move into CCRC or another similar environment as a moment in time where our Senior(s) has earned the right to be cared for after spending a life caring for others.

      • Gaye Aaberg
        Owner – President at Synergy HomeCare of Central Illinois

        My father in law told me – “I want to stay in my home as long as possible”. We have been able to accomodate this by having non-medical caregivers (however they are CNAs) come to his home for six hours each day to assist with his personal care needs, provide him with medication reminders and drive him to his favorite diner to have lunch with his buddies each day. This has been a great solution for this 86 year old man. His children have comfort that a caring trained person sees him daily and can report to them any changes they may see.

        • Kimberly McKibbon
          McKibbon Consulting Services cell – 289-925-0141 Retirement Home & Dementia Care Specialist

          I am torn on this issue since I have lived it within my own family more than once. And as a past administrator, I have been the one who is ultimately responsible and will ensure that a potential new resident is ready and truly a good fit into the senior community. Absolutely once a new resident has the opportunity to live within the community they enjoy the new found social group, the comfort/security readily available to them, as others have discussed. But when ‘Mom’ says “NO”, when issues like Elizabeth’s calls in the middle of the night (yes – but call was that my father-in-law went ‘missing’) or when ‘Mom’ has medical conditions, starting signs of ALZ, etc. what do you do? as Diane asks us. My recommendation is that it is so important to get a true diagnosis, written history of what’s going on, and I have experienced that when a professional outside the situation – but with enough facts to make the recommendation – such as a physician – takes Mom aside and tells her straight up what the issue is, what the outcome could be if not addressed, works if she truly is diagnosed with conditions requiring full-time support outside her home in a safer environment. As an adult kid you must realize that we will all hold onto our independence and control as long as we can, and be sensitive to same for your parent. Ensure that her giving up her living at home is worth it to HER for getting the safety and support elsewhere. The transition from complete independence, to family assistance at home, to in-home professional care first as Gaye advises, is perhaps a better progression than directly moving Mom against her wishes into a senior community of any type.

          • Gaye Aaberg
            Owner – President at Synergy HomeCare of Central Illinois

            Brett brings good advice in his post. PREPARE…that is easier said than done but something I find very important as the baby booming generation ages. Too many times I meet families in crisis. Their loved one has fallen and is getting ready to be discharged and the family has not had a conversation about where this family member will go – will they be able to go back home and have home care or do they need to move to a facility? How will we pay for this? Our Client Care Manager is working to get a panel together in our community that can address, legal ramifications, finances, home care vs moving into assisted living or skilled nursing. These decisions are easier made when every member of the family is educated.

  9. Linked In The Elder Care Network

    Annette Morgan
    case manager at Uniquely Done Managed Care, LLC

    Hello all, It is very hard to place your love one in a different environment; most often, the answer is NO in more ways than one. However, most people adjust more rapidly when there is someone with them. I found it works better when a friend or distant family member (cousin)is there for a few days. If that can not happen, a joyful companion would be nice. Often , I have seen the elderly get very upset if a Son or daughter remove them from there home; may even make them angry for a while, but we know the love still remains. Just try very hard to place them in a trustworthy facility if they can not live in there own home with quality assistance.

    • Judy Robinson
      Moving,Downsizing and Relocating Seniors. Executor Assists-Helping Executors

      I find that seniors do not like being told what they have to do. They like to make the decision themselves. We are senior move managers in Ottawa, Canada. Family often call us in when mom refuses to move and sometimes we can help and sometimes we can’t. Depending on the senior I use different approaches. Often they are “Moving for someone else” (not always for them selves. Two examples – your husband has been looking after you for 2 years..doing the shopping, some of the meal preparation… and we are worried about him “burning out” and then what might happen to you. It would be better to move together and have the help and support you need to give him a break….The other is your child is taking a month’s holiday and you would be giving them a BIG GIFT if you would stay at ….They usually know that the GIFT is peace of mind not worrying if mom has fallen and no one will be there to help…Also if children live out of town I often address the worry they feel and how a parent could give them a big GIFT knowing that they would be okay and eat properly and be looked after.
      I find many seniors WILL MOVE for someone else but not necessarily because they “Need to.”

      • How To Move Someone Saying, “No!”

        I relocated back to the East Coast to provide care to my aging mom who has vascular dementia. She celebrated her 81st birthday this past Wednesday. I am a Hospice Chaplain and I can tell you for sure after serving many of families in this discipline. Now, serving my mom has placed me in the familiar of the patients and their loved one I served for so many years. First, it is so fatiguing more… mentally. My mom asked of me “not” to place her in her terminology … “an old folks home”. She is a retired educator of over 38 years during her working years. She is slipping the more away and as I observe her struggle to stay in the present become the more emotionally fatiguing. The day will come where I will have to make decisions on how much more I can handle alone. I pay a PCA to assist me but now that I have become an unemployed Hospice Chaplain, still searching for employment in the State of South Carolina so that I want be far out from her and my PCA, patient care assistant. Reading your Blog’ and comments is encouraging for me. My mom asked me to promise her to keep her in place and allow her to transition from her home. I am going to do everything in my strength to keep that promise. My question to the Group….What if I can’t keep that “promise”….would I have failed mom. For now, I am keeping her desire to remain in place. However, in the economic climate in which we now live…. it is becoming more of a challenge. Love does not pay the bills to keep or place our loved one’ in a safe, decent and sanitary assisted living situation’s… However, it does guide you to Groups like this one to help you stay purely cognitive of what is before you. A simple ride out to pick up her med’s, get the mail, groceries, et.cetera has become my time and slow drive respite out during my weekly errands.

        Thank you all for your thought of wisdom…
        Chaplain Willis Broughton
        By Rev.Willis Y. Grainger Broughton

        • My heart goes out to you. I am writing a book and would love to use your story with your permission. Your situation represents so many. Connect to my blog and I am doing part 2 this week. It will post tonight. Hopefully, it will help. At some point, you need to do what is best for you and your mom. What she made you promise long ago sounded so simple at the time. She would be shocked to know how it has affected you and so many other children who made the same promise. She did not want to be in a horrible place. There are good places. You can still advocate for her. It is time to start being a son again, instead of a full time caregiver. Just my two cents. Diane

  10. Linked In Senior Healthcare Marketing Professionals

    I work in a CCRC so we have the “I’m not ready yet” malady complicated by downsizing trauma – sometimes with family involvement, but most often not. That said, we focus on our relationship with our prospects, know that they take time and work on building trust. Unlike AL where turnover is high, these relationships can take years. So we have them stay overnight in our guest room when they’re open to that and have our masterful Hospitality committee dine with them, take them to lectures/activities on site, and share their experience of living at our CCRC. This is immensely helpful. I am generous with my time when I feel the undercurrent of resistance, as this is calming to them. I offer resources in terms of information, respond immediately to calls and e-mails and work with our staff to support this effort. When we know they have friends at our community, we leverage that relationship to support their move. Most of all, as a team, we try to emotionally “walk in their mocassins” and exercise patience and empathy while moving them forward in the process.
    By Candiece Milford

    • Great plan Candiece!

  11. Linked In Senior Housing Forum (

    We are running into this same exact situation right now. We just screened a potential resident that lives alone, is 94 years old and has not left her house in over a year due to major anxiety issues. She is unsafe alone due to many recent falls, luckily without injury. Family is struggling to get her to commit. They want to “force” her, which is not ideal for any of us. I am looking forward to seeing the suggestions shared! Thanks for your post.
    By Julie Schlieter

    • Julie, it is so hard to see someone like this. Seniors tend to live in the moment and don’t see the benefit of change. There have been several good suggestions in other groups. Such as taking time to developing a relationship with the senior, stop by with a meal and offer a sample stay.