Moving A Reluctant Parent (Part 3)
Are you in the middle of a major conflict with a parent who refuses to move?
Part Two of this blog series describes my experiences with conversations that go nowhere, accompanied by that hopeless sinking feeling that something bad will soon happen.
As an alternative to moving, hiring in-home helpers and asking family and friends to pitch in are certainly options to be considered. However, in the case of my Aunt, bringing help into her home is not realistic. Plus, I have evidence that she is putting herself and others in danger when she gets behind the wheel of her car. I have seen what goes on with my own eyes and ears.
Taking the time to observe what is happening is one of the keys to furthering the conversation about a possible move. Facts lend themselves to a more logical discussion. Gather evidence before you start any conversation about moving. When you engage your parent in a discussion about this sensitive subject, you will come from a more specific and realistic point of view. Stick to the facts. If it helps you, make a written list of your observations.
Also, be aware of your communication style. Do you tend to get bossy and bark demands when you get angry? An effective communication technique I use to calm myself down is to have a glass of water in my hand. I take a sip when I feel like I am about to explode and say something I will regret in the moment.
Here are the main reasons why my Aunt needs to move out of her house. Perhaps my list will be helpful to you:
- Location. My Aunt lives in the suburbs and must drive several miles to doctor appointments, to the hair dresser, and to church. There is no public transportation. There are no sidewalks. The closest grocery store is two miles away. She gets lost driving in the neighborhood that she has lived in for the past 50 years.
- Money. Her 1960’s house is falling apart and draining her life savings. The roof needs repair. The basement floods. Also, there’s snow to shovel, lawn to mow, and trees to trim. She pays workers to do this work even though she cannot afford to do so.
- Environment. The house is not age-friendly. The laundry room in the basement. Bedrooms and bathrooms are on the second floor. There is no walk-in shower only a bathtub that requires climbing over. She is falling up and down the stairs regularly.
- Nutrition. My Aunt no longer cooks for herself. She drives to the local fast-food establishments every single day.
- Isolation. Once a socially active person, she stays home most days and nights. Her neighbors have died and/or left the neighborhood to be closer to their children.
Take a look around during your next visit. What are you witnessing? Make a list before initiating any conversations about moving.