You know, there’s this adage about opinions that’s a little bit colorful. We won’t repeat it here, but it basically says everybody has opinions, and it’s true. Opinions are easy. Opinions about assisted living are easy to have, too. You may have a number of positive opinions about assisted living and assume your father would do quite well there, which would likely be the case, but what is he saying?
Far too often, especially lately, people have a tendency to focus on their own opinions and shout over the opinions and feelings of others. While this certainly shouldn’t be about emotional feeling, but a rational, reasoned decision, it’s essential that your father feels respected enough that you listen to what he has to say, especially when talking about assisted living.
You may assume he’s being stubborn.
When an elderly person has difficulty maintaining daily life at home, turns to you and others and family, some friends, and maybe even neighbors to help on a regular basis, you might think assisted living would be the best option.
Yet, despite every sacrifice you have made, every difficulty and challenge you face with this new life as a primary caregiver to him, he doesn’t seem to want to listen. So, you assume he is simply stubborn or obstinate.
That can cause friction in your relationship. When there is tension, the voices begin rising and shouts take over instead of calm, rational discussions.
Why might an aging senior dismiss assisted living?
There could be a number of reasons. He might have had a bad experience in the past with an elderly parent or grandparent who was in a nursing home and he simply assumes assisted living is the same. They are completely different, but does he understand that?
He might think assisted living is simply too expensive for him. But, when you calculate in the cost of maintaining his own home, taxes, food, utilities, and all those other related expenses, he might realize it’s actually affordable.
He might be afraid of starting over. He may have lived in the same house most of his adult life or for at least a number of years and has grown comfortable there. Change is difficult for people to accept.
While you are frustrated because he doesn’t listen to you about assisted living, just ask yourself if you have been listening to him.