Moving a Reluctant Parent – Part 12

Blog by Joy Loverde

So you know by now if you’re up to date on my blogs regarding the saga of my Aunt and her reluctance to move out of the family home (Parts One through Eleven) that there has recently been a shift in the action. Keeping the trust level high these past few years has finally paid off.

If you are a long-distance family caregiver, the importance of sitting side-by-side with your aging parent or elderly loved one cannot be over-emphasized. Have you made plans to visit in-person? If not, you may not be as successful in reaching your goal of moving him/her out of the house. Trying to keep the relationship intact over the phone rarely works, and you will be continuously challenged. Make an effort to be there physically. I know this is not easy; but you are missing out on opportunities to sustain a high trust level. Witnessing body language and facial expressions is priceless. Please keep this in mind and consider scheduling a visit if you haven’t done so recently.

I bring this up because what followed after I helped my Aunt with her paperwork was a turning point. I could see that she was physically and mentally relieved when we finished the task of getting her organized. When she thanked me for everything I did for her that afternoon I reminded her that I could help with anything and that she is never alone. And that’s when SHE brought up the subject of moving.

As she spoke, I proceeded cautiously. I did not interrupt her train of thought. Instead of making statements, I waited for her to finish and then I said, “Tell me more,” and “What’s your biggest concern now?” Her answers led me to my next move. She explained that her greatest fear of the moment is not knowing what she could afford if she moved out of the house. That’s when I asked, “If you knew what you could afford would that bring you peace of mind? Is that what you need to know before you decide to move?” She said yes. BINGO!!  I suggested that she work with my lawyer-husband to get her financials in order. She agreed. .

In the meantime my cousin (her son) responded positively regarding my suggestion of him buying a condo and having his Mom rent from him. Win-win. She pays him what she can reasonably afford and he makes a real-estate investment that will offer him financial returns down the road.

Are things going smoothly at this point? Heck no. My Aunt is already regretting talking about the move with me and trying to retract her words. Of course I anticipated this would be the case.

More to come.

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