Moving a Reluctant Parent – Part 2


by Joy Loverde

“I am never, EVER moving out of this house, and that’s that!” Over the past several decades, my widowed Aunt has been determined to stay put and live out the rest of her life in her own home. Moving her would be like moving mountains. And if anyone was foolish enough to bring up the subject of moving, she would strongly suggest changing the subject immediately… or else.

Over the years, there were moments when I was successful opening the dialogue and talking about this sensitive subject with my Aunt. I’d “poke” at the idea by asking her probing questions. Sometimes I’d ask, “What are your plans if the day comes that you are unable to keep up with yard work?” (She cannot afford to hire a gardener.) “What will you do if you can no longer go up and down the stairs?”

No matter what I asked, her response was always the same. She flat out said that her being forced to move out of her home is going to be somebody else’s problem. Her plan was to wait until she had to move out, and then everyone else would make all decisions for her (and consequently do all the work).

I was taken back knowing something wasn’t quite right with this attitude. It is a rare person who is willing to give up control and power when it comes to making important decisions, and something about my Aunt’s statement did not ring true with me. I felt she was not being honest with herself and running scared, and it turns out later on I was correct.

By the way, early in the process of discussing the move with my Aunt you may be wondering if I made any progress? The answer is – yes and no. While I was not successful in getting any kind of agreement from her, I was successful being heard. Dear Reader… never underestimate the power of voicing your concerns even if what you say falls on deaf ears and does not immediately lead to a plan of action. When you say talk about the future with elderly loved ones, and then you drop the subject (for awhile) this technique offers our elders much needed space and time in order for them to spend time on their own contemplating their dilemma.

One more thing. I am not advocating that everyone has to eventually move out of their house. Bringing help in, including family members and friends is certainly an option for many; but not in this case. There were plenty of clues along the way that lead me to realize this was an inevitable move.


3 Responses

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steve Joyce, Laurel Kennedy. Laurel Kennedy said: Moving a Reluctant Parent – Part 2 - by Joy Loverde “I am never, EVER moving out of this house, and that’s that!” ... [...]
  2. My challenge moving my Dad from his home where we lived with him to care for him, to a facility was his friends. They don't see his illness. They think we are taking advantage of him. They also keep him stirred up. He knows the situation at home could not continue, he was angry and confused and made poor decisions that were scary. He was content when we first put him in his assisted living and then the friends started chiming in that he is not sick and that he is capable of staying in his own home by himself. I was shattered when I heard they were pooling money to bring suit against the courts decision of guardianship, and in turn my decision that I have made in regards to my father's care. The worst part was what it did to Dad. Thankfully those people and so called friends have gotten bored with the challenges and have moved on to managing their own lives. Dad is not settling in. God was so clear with me that he would take care of those concerns and that I was just to love Dad. Through visiting, caring, listening, taking the Grandkids, taking the dog..... he sees we care. He now says, not to me of coarse, that he wouldn't want to be any other place. :) I learned through this process that God is in control, he answers prayers and sometimes we just have to love in spite of feelings. The hate is fading, and I get hugs now and occasional I Love you's.
  3. Forgive me but this if off the topic but related to families that resort (for the benefit of the affected) to a nursing home, my father has been in nursing home for about 10 months for dementia issues, over time this turns in to behaviors that are sometime combative and the nursing home staff will treat this behavior with medication that results in sedation (over done at best, inhuman and lack of education) so that the affected family member is easier to deal with. Now this should harsh and as if I dont understand the job these people are trying to do, not in the least I fully understand are appreaciate their job of which most are caring and considerate, however the use of medications to fold these people up stuff them in a chair and forget that a lot of the time these combative out bursts are do to approaching them to fast not explaining of general misunderstanding between the affect and the staff. To keep someone sedated for the ease of being there is wrong and addressing this with the staff is sometimes more than the family cares to observe. Has anyone expereinced this same protocol and do you have thoughts or input to reply with. I am be reached at and would certainly like to discuss in more detail. Thanks
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