What To Do When Your Parents Refuse Assisted Living?

What To Do When Your Parents Refuse Assisted Living?


Assisted living facilities offer many benefits that are not always accessible to older adults who decide to spend the rest of their golden years at home. From nutritional monitoring, health care services, planning meals, up to transportation, seniors can benefit from the services provided by the assisted living community.

However, not everyone likes the idea of moving into an assisted living facility. Refusal of facility admission can be a critical concern for family members. It’s difficult to deal with an elderly parent who refuses help and assistance.

Still, it’s imperative that seniors should be transferred to a caregiving assistance shelter, especially when taking care of them is no longer possible.

Here are some things you need to do when your elderly parent refuses caregiving services and assisted living.

Understand Them

You need to understand the fear of seniors about living alone in an unfamiliar environment rather than continuously demanding them to move into a caregiver shelter or assisted living facility.

Seniors who show changes in their behaviors are conscious of their situations. But, they do not fully understand why and how they're suffering from cognitive impairment or other bodily malfunctions. For this reason, seniors tend to think that their children don't understand their struggles, physically and emotionally.

To lessen their worries about function loss, provide them a lenient reassurance. Doing so can save you from feeling angry, helpless, frustrated, and guilty.

Keep in mind that you cannot force your elderly parent to accept the assistance or your advice. Seniors are legally allowed to make their own healthcare decisions, unless they're suffering from a physical or mental health condition that legally permits you to make healthcare decisions on behalf of their personal interest.

Get Expert Advice

Some seniors prefer the advice coming from a professional rather than their children's advice. Consider getting help from social workers or caregivers who can clear up the complications in convincing a senior family member who refuses caregiving services and assisted living.

A professional can clarify to them the rewarding advantages of living in a senior care facility such as healthcare assistance. Additionally, experts can provide the correct and proper answers to the worries of seniors regarding assisted living.

Give Them Options

Senior family members often refuse caregiving services and assisted living because they feel like they no longer have options and freedom. Keep in mind that providing them different options will make them feel like their ideas and judgment still matter.

Also, elderlies will still consider themselves as independent beings. Why not let your elderly parents pick their preferred date and time when setting schedules and appointments? Moreover, if your parents still want to do their hobbies and go for a walk, tell them that the caregivers at healthcare facilities will be their helper and friend, not a mode of restriction. These reminders will help ease their worries and inhibitions.

Be Open For Possible Future Health Problems

Families must always be prepared and open to possibilities of health problems. You can be prepared by establishing early discussions about how a family member sees himself or herself in the near future.

Additionally, you can ask your parents if they are okay with the idea of getting a housekeeper to assist them with their daily tasks in the future. Also, ask them where they'd like to reside when they retire.

During these discussions, an expert in senior care should be present. So, if there's anything you or your parents don't understand, the expert can clarify it for you. Through constant, repeated talks, you might find out how your parents' standards in assisted living can be carried out by a future caregiver.

Additionally, through these conversations, you can discover why your parents don't want to move to assisted living. Maybe it’s because of uneasiness around strangers, privacy, fear of losing freedom, or doubts about spending the rest of his or her life on health care.

Meet Them Halfway

If the senior members of your family don't want to move to an assisted living  facility, think about home health aide services. Do not put too much pressure on your parents just to agree with what you want.

Also, do not make ultimatums because an assertive approach, even if it is logical and rational, will look like an attack rather than a lending hand. Thus, putting your elderly parents on the defensive mode.

Many seniors who refuse to move in a healthcare facility are turning down the idea out of fear, such as:

  • Fear of leaving their family and friends
  • Fear of getting older
  • Fear of new people
  • Fear of new environment

Most of the time, seniors have as many misunderstandings about caregiving services as young adults do. But, it's just a matter of explaining how rewarding and useful senior care can be. Talk to your parents as someone who respects their point of view and input.

Try Again

As your parents get older, their medical and physical needs build up. It might be less complicated to persuade them to move into a healthcare facility in the long run. However, by then, your parents might have a different perspective on the subject matter.

Over time, your elderly parents might start to think that staying at home can be very lonely if isolated. When such is the case, wait for a few years and try convincing them again. Who knows, they might already see the benefits of moving into a healthcare facility when the time comes.


If you are having problems with your elderly parents refusing to move to assisted living, you're not alone. A lot of people are dealing with this dilemma and are asking the same questions as you are. The key here is to have an open conversation with your parents and understand what they want. Although you think that moving them to an assisted living facility is the best idea, they might think otherwise. So, talk to them calmly and sort it out.

We can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.

Call: 800-997-1342


Betty Aston

Betty Aston is a seasoned family and elder care content writer. Through her writing, Betty has helped hundreds of readers takes steps towards better care for their family. When she's not working or volunteering in nursing homes, Betty spends her time in the kitchen baking pastries with her two daughters.

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