How to Convince Elderly Parents to Move Closer

How to Convince Elderly Parents to Move Closer

Due to the fact that parents are living longer, many middle-aged adults are forced to wear their caregiver hats even after their own children have grown up. However, if you live far away from your parents, this can be difficult. By communicating your concerns first, you can try to persuade your elderly parents to move closer to you. Then, because many parents are concerned about being a burden to their children, demonstrate to them that they are valued members of your family. Finally, if they refuse, be ready to resume the conversation at a later time.

Method 1 Communicating Your Concerns

1. Calculate the cost-benefit ratio. Providing care across the country or even in another state can quickly add up. Adult children may need to take time off work to visit their parents, buy plane tickets, book hotel rooms, or find childcare. Calculate the cost and time involved. Get a clear picture of how much money the family will save by relocating.

When you have the conversation, the information you gain will assist you in persuading them that moving is a good idea for everyone.

2. Take charge of the conversation. Don’t put off talking to your parents about relocating until a crisis arises. Open the lines of communication as soon as possible. Waiting until after an accident or a health scare to make a decision can lead to haste.

Furthermore, if your parents have lived in the same area for a long time or are currently doing well, there’s a chance they’ll decline your offer.

By bringing up the subject early, they can begin to include it in their list of options when making future plans. To put it another way, they’ll have more time to think about it.

3. Face-to-face communication is preferable. Naturally, your parents must take an active role in the decision-making process. However, having the conversation in person will be beneficial. Holidays and gatherings with a lot of people should be avoided. Plan a visit when you and your siblings (if you have any) will have uninterrupted time with your parents. Then be open and honest about your concerns.

Make the conversation about your issue, not theirs. Let’s say, “We’re very concerned about how you’re doing, Dad and Mom. You live in a large house with a lot of space. It’s a lot to handle all by yourself. Plus, Dad hasn’t been able to get around as well since his hip surgery. Having you closer would give us peace of mind. What are your thoughts on moving to Denver?”

4. Encourage them to talk about their reservations with you. Keep in mind that you’re asking your parents to make a significant change in their lives. Be respectful if they flatly refuse. It doesn’t rule out the possibility in the future. It simply indicates that they aren’t quite ready. Try to understand their objections and validate their decision to stay in their current home rather than forcing the issue or starting an argument.

“I understand you aren’t jumping for joy,” you say, “but why are you so opposed to the idea?” Please assist us in comprehending.” “The opportunity is here in the future if you ever decide this is something you want,” you can also tell them.

Learning about their concerns can aid you in gradually developing counter-arguments for a future debate.

Recognize that your parents have the right to refuse to move unless they are cognitively impaired and unable to make sound decisions for themselves.

Even if medical professionals have determined that they are unable to make decisions for themselves, you will need to complete an advance directive or durable power of attorney allowing you to make decisions on their behalf.

5. Ascertain that all siblings are on the same page. You’ll need to enlist the help of your siblings to persuade your parents to relocate closer to you. If everyone is on the same page and agrees that this is the best option, you’ll be more likely to make a convincing case.

First, speak with your siblings. Let’s say, “Mom and Dad are in their eighties and aren’t getting any younger. What are our plans for their long-term care? We can’t adequately care for them because they live too far away.”

If everyone agrees, you can have individual discussions or do it as a group. What matters is that the message remains consistent.

6. Look for an ally. Perhaps one of your parents has reservations about the move. Or perhaps they both dislike the idea. Find someone they can trust and present your idea to them. Another elderly family member or a close family friend could be the culprit. Explain your worries and request that they speak with your parents on your behalf.

People sometimes need to hear an idea from multiple sources before they can truly consider its validity. If you find an ally, they may be able to communicate your concerns to you in a non-aggressive manner.

Inquire of an aunt or a family member “I believe Mom and Dad should move closer to me, but they refuse. Could you talk to them about it and see if they’re willing to change their minds? They have always valued your viewpoint.”

Method 2 Helping Them Adjust to the Idea

1. Take small steps at first. It’s possible that your parents are open to the idea of moving closer to you. They may, however, act in the opposite manner because they do not want to intrude on your lives or lose their independence. Talk to them about increasing your level of contact with them to help them reintegrate into your life. This will result in more phone calls and visits.

They may come around to your original proposition over time as they appreciate your caregiving efforts.

Check with your parents first to see if this is okay. They might be content with their current level of contact with you.

2. Prior to moving, make a list of your specific requirements. Contact extended family or family friends who live near your parents during the planning phase prior to the move. If no family members are available to help, speak with a neighbour, caregiver, or health care professional who can help you understand your elderly parents’ basic requirements.

Working with someone else can help you better understand your parents’ daily needs, which you may have missed while living away from them.

Arrange a visit to your parents in their homes and communities, as well as a caregiving coaching session with their providers. Their geriatrician may be able to assist you in arranging a group meeting with you, your parents, their medical team, and possibly a social worker.

These meetings will help you get a better understanding of how the move will affect not only your parents, but also you.

3. Persuade your parents to let you stay with them for a week. Again, gradually introducing your parents to the idea of moving can be beneficial. Invite them to stay with you for a week or so to get to know your neighbourhood. You can also do a trial run in which they find a temporary rental or assisted living facility in your area, if that is possible.

4. Allow them to play a larger role in the lives of the grandchildren. Grandparents are usually ecstatic to be able to spend more time with their grandchildren. Allow your parents to spend quality time with your children when they come to visit.

Remind them of all the things they’re missing out on because they’re so far away. Show them a video of your baby taking his or her first steps. Make sure they have a seat at your daughter’s recital. If they’d like, offer to babysit while you go on a date.

Helping them transition into the role of close-by grandparent may persuade them in a way that words alone cannot.

5. Assist them in locating a home and activities. Give them a tour of potential apartment buildings, rental homes, or assisted living facilities while they’re in town. Inquire about their preferred location and present them with some options. Show them around the local community centre and introduce them to some elderly neighbours.

If you’ll be living with your parents, set aside a room for them during the trial period.

Method 3 Making Additional Considerations

1. Ensure that everyone has access to high-quality health care. It is critical that your elderly parents have easy access to high-quality health care no matter where they live. If you’re helping them relocate so they can be closer to you, look into offices and hospitals where they can find a good health care provider.

Request recommendations in your area from your parents’ current health care provider before they relocate. Assist them in making initial appointments with potential doctors and specialists. This will assist them in learning about their new services.

It is recommended that these calls be made well in advance of any move.

Make sure your parents sign all information releases with their current primary care providers so that all medical records can be faxed to the new provider ahead of time. Keep a hard copy of the records with your parents as well.

2. Recognize their disadvantages. Consider the gravity of the decision if you’re upset or frustrated because your parents refused. Moving can have a significant impact on a person’s life satisfaction because they are leaving familiar surroundings, friends, medical care, and possibly a home they built and in which you grew up.

Putting pressure on your parents to relocate can backfire. Many elements that made their lives their own may be sacrificed by elderly adults who move closer to their children. Indeed, many elderly people are lonely, isolated, and depressed.

You can alleviate these fears by going slowly through the process. That’s why it’s crucial to have this discussion before your parents need to be nearby. Allow time for them to become accustomed to the idea or to consider alternatives.

3. Determine how their proximity will affect your life. Moving closer to your parents can cause a shift in your own lifestyle. According to research, caregivers may spend up to 40 hours caring for their parents when they relocate. It won’t just be a big change for them; it will also have an impact on you and your family.

Consider the personal costs of your parents’ relocation. Is it true that relocating will benefit everyone involved? Will your siblings assist you in managing your responsibilities as a caregiver?

4. Make a list of resources to have on hand. A relocation to a new area necessitates extensive planning. It’s best to compile a list of resources if you plan to bring up the topic again in the future. That way, you’ll be prepared the next time.

Examine the health-care quality in your area. Local elderly care advocates can be found by doing some research and contacting them. Learn more about assisted living facilities by obtaining pamphlets from them.

Meanwhile, services like ElderCare Locator, which helps you arrange transportation to doctor’s appointments and other needs for your long-distance parents, may be useful.

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