You’re raising a family in the Midwest, but your elderly mother lives in the same southeastern Massachusetts home that she’s lived in for over 50 years. But mom’s health is declining, and you’re concerned. With your own household and career, it’s hard to visit; let alone provide the care she needs to keep her aging comfortably in place. Long-distance caregiving is very difficult, so wouldn’t it make more sense for mom to consider moving closer?
Convincing a senior parent to consider moving closer is never easy. And ultimately, it may or may not improve their quality-of-life. To help ensure that it’s the right decision, use these guidelines.
Consider What She’s Leaving Behind
The older a person gets, the harder it is for them to start over. Moving is difficult under any circumstances, and for most seniors it’s highly stressful. For those reasons, along with not wanting to disrupt their daily routines, older people usually reject moving from an area they feel comfortable in. To see things from mom’s perspective, consider what she would be leaving behind- starting with a home she loves- and also including:
- Doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers
- Old friends
- Shopping, banking, and transportation
- Social activities
- Support groups
Putting yourself in their shoes, that’s a lot to give up, while having to find replacements in an unfamiliar setting. They will also probably ask: “Where am I going to live when I get there… with you?” For these reasons, most seniors typically refuse an initial offer to move closer to an adult child. But you’re still concerned about mom’s health and wellbeing, and feel that relocating is the best option. So, what should you do next?
Convincing Your Aging Mother to Consider Moving Closer
Once you’ve made the determination that mom’s at-home independence is at-risk, it’s time to develop a strategy to convince her to move closer so that you can provide the nurturing she needs. Here are some creative ways to do so:
Use a Gentle Approach
Call your mom, and gently ask her to discuss the possibility of moving. If she agrees to talk, mention how much she means to you, and your concerns. Present the idea by saying something like: “We’d really like to see you more, and I could use some help with the kids”.
Address Her Concerns
Politely ask what her main objections are, and respectfully address those concerns. If she doesn’t want to leave her friends behind, mention how many seniors there are near you, and how she can easily make new friends. Offer to research local banks, shopping opportunities, senior activities, churches and transportation. Update her with information as it becomes available.
Discuss Housing Options
Find out what type of living accommodations mom wants, and discuss housing possibilities. Is assisted living a better fit? With your caregiving support, would she be open to living independently at an apartment complex that caters to seniors? Or, talk about moving into your home.
Find Healthcare Providers
Alleviate mom’s healthcare concerns by offering to research local doctors and hospitals that specialize in geriatrics; notably if she has a chronic medical condition. Periodically share with her what you’ve learned, and offer to accompany her on any initial doctor visits. And, offer to help her sign the necessary medical information release forms back home to ensure a smooth transition.
Recruit Your Siblings
Involve your siblings in the discussions, and tell them why you feel it’s best that mom moves closer to you. Discuss her future care considerations and potential problems as her aging continues. Ask them to help convince mom to move, and recruit other family members as allies to help move the process forward. Always use a gentle approach with mom, and don’t make her feel like she’s being ganged up on.
Offer Moving Assistance
Tell mom that you will help her pack and move, and that other family members will also assist. If logistics are simply too difficult to manage, hire professional movers. If your mother wants to sell many of her belongings beforehand, volunteer to help with a yard or garage sale.
Schedule a “Face-to-Face”
If mom is still reluctant to move, ask if you can come and meet with her in person. If she agrees, ask your siblings to join you for a sit-down. Once mom sees the concern on your faces, she may be more receptive to the idea.
Convince Mom to Accept At-Home Caregiving Instead
If your aging mom lives in southeastern Massachusetts and still won’t move no matter how hard you try, call Cranberry Home Care instead. As a family owned and operated home care agency, your senior loved one’s safety and wellbeing are our primary focus. Our highly trained and thoroughly screened aides can provide dependable in-home daily living assistance for light housekeeping, personal hygiene, cooking, shopping, medication reminders, transportation and companionship; all delivered in an individually tailored package to put your mind at-ease.
To schedule a FREE, in-home care consultation, or to learn more about Cranberry Home Care’s family trusted caregiving services for at-home seniors in the Middleboro, MA, area, click: www.cranberryhomecare.com now!