It might be easy to assume that once a person has said ‘no’ to something, that that’s the end of the discussion. With certain things, yes. Absolutely. But not for everything. One such example can be topics of assisted living.
Perhaps you brought up the topic of assisted living with an aging parent. Let’s say your mother. She flat out said, “No, not a chance am I moving into some facility.”
Depending on your history with her (not as a teen but an adult) and her temperament, you may assume that really is the end of the discussion. But does it have to be?
First, you must respect a senior’s wishes.
Absolutely true. In most cases, adult children, a spouse, siblings, or others can’t force an aging senior to do something they don’t want to do. Sure, you may be able to bring this to court, but that should only be as a last resort, and rarely will a judge side with family over the senior, especially if he or she is cogent and rational, and it can cause a ton of damage to the relationship.
Yes, you must absolutely respect your mother’s wishes when it comes to where she lives and what she does or doesn’t do. She still has that right of autonomy and independence.
However, circumstances can and often do change.
When you first brought up the topic of assisted living to your mother, maybe she was in a different place emotionally and mentally. Perhaps at that time she was still visiting with friends, able to take care of herself (for the most part) with only a little help from you once in a while.
But what about now? Is she calling you for help more often? Are you getting frustrated constantly rushing over to her house at all hours of the day and evening? Is it wearing you down?
Then it’s time to sit down and have an honest discussion about how all of this is impacting you, your life, your health, your own family and relationships. You can then point out the new challenges she faces daily, the things she is missing out on, and so forth.
Getting to the ‘yes’ for assisted living.
Most of the time, a person will dismiss something like assisted living because they have the wrong idea about what it is. Your mother might know next to nothing about it, so she leaned on misconceptions.
But as people struggle with age, health, and other factors, they often become more open to certain ideas that once had been shot down without a second thought.