When an Elderly Parent Wants to Live Alone

When an Elderly Parent Wants to Live Alone

According to a recent article in Forbes, more than 90 percent of elderly people who were surveyed express the intent to remain living in their own homes as they age and are committed to never moving. This is true even if it means living alone after a divorce or the death of a spouse. Unfortunately, that is not always possible.

Signs Your Parent Should No Longer Live Alone

There comes a time when no matter how much your elderly parent wants to remain living alone, it is no longer feasible for them to do so. A few signs that they need help are:

  • They exhibit personality changes such as getting angry easily, or being withdrawn and silent or lashing out.
  • Forgetting to take their medications.
  • They have trouble paying their bills.
  • They neglect their personal care demonstrated by not brushing their hair, not getting dressed appropriately, and forgetting things like eating.
  • They can no longer use their computer and have trouble even with their phone.

If this is happening to your elderly parent, it is time to have a serious discussion with them about making a change.

Tips on How to Discuss Living Options with Your Elderly Parent

It is not easy to talk to your parent about making a change in their living environment when they belligerently refuse to move from their home and give up living alone. SeniorSafetyAdvice, an online information resource for seniors and their caregivers, offers some suggestions for discussing this touchy subject with your loved one:

  • Listen to your parent’s point of view. Treat them like an adult. Do not talk down to them as though they are children. Understand why they are so resistant. Are they simply afraid to move and fear they will be giving up control of their life? Give them time to consider your suggestions.
  • Give your parent a sense of control over deciding how the family will cope with the changes that need to be made. Don’t argue with them but be firm and calm. If possible, give them choices. For example, do they need grocery delivery, meals-on-wheels, or an in-home health aid? Do they need an assisted-living environment?
  • If they can be convinced to do so, include them in the research about what to do next. Will they need to move or is it more feasible to have a caregiver move in with them?
  • If moving seems like the only option, focus on the type of place that will meet their needs, not a place that you think would be wonderful for you if you were in their situation.
  • Be firm about discussing with them the potential consequences of them continuing to live alone.

Contact Beasley & Ferber for Assistance

After you’ve had your thoughtful discussion with your loved one, make an appointment with Beasley & Ferber. We are here to help with all things related to elder law and will discuss with you options for care for your elderly parent who can’t or should no longer live alone.