I am burning out. How do I talk to Dad about moving to an Assisted Living Facility?


My husband and I have been on Team Daddy Bear for close to three years. Dad has Parkinson's and his PD Dementia is progressing rapidly. He has changed significantly in the last 6 months, to the point we really cannot leave him alone. Even with the personal alert necklace. Everyone has noticed how we have changed too. We are so tired all the time. Dad is a real sweetheart, easy going except when the PD Dementia gets going as he becomes fixated or frustrated... etc. I feel he would be happier with the independence of A.L. and making new friends. I just do not know how to start the conversation. UGH I feel sick to my stomach thinking about bringing it up and badly as I do not want him to feel like he is a burden. HELP?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing


I agree with FF; go and visit these places and pick out three, max, to present to dad.

Take him to visit; they usually offer free lunch with tours. Make up any excuse you can to get him to see them.

After the tours....

The conversation is "Dad, we can't do this any more; you need more help than we can give you. You need professional folks around to make sure that nothing bad is happening to you health-wise. We want and need to go back to being your advocates and visitors, not your caregivers."

When he argues....

"I'm sorry dad, living at home with us doing all the helping is no longer an option; you need to be in a professional situation"

When he throws a tantrum...

"Dad, we don't want to walk away from you and let the government take over your care. But if we die while caretaking you, that's exactly what will happen. We're trying to prevent that. "

Tough conversation, I know. I had it with my mom
Helpful Answer (23)

BBCrawford, you never know until you ask your Dad. Don't call it assisted living in front of Dad. Call it senior living apartments or something that sounds positive. He might surprise you and say "yes". Your profile mentions that Dad lives at home. Are there stairs at home? That is usually the big turning point where some elders want to move.

With my own Dad, he never knew senior living facilities even existed. He heard of nursing homes which he didn't want any part of living there. When Dad toured an Independent Living facility he was greatly surprised. The place had for him a lovely sunny 2 bedroom apartment, large living room, and full size kitchen.  Part of the tour included a free lunch. It was the food that impressed Dad and he was ready to sign on the dotted lines. The extra bedroom became his home office.

Down the road Dad needed to move into Memory Care in the same facility. I was tied in knots wondering how to tell him he needs to move into an one room studio apartment. Since Dad liked saving money, I used a "theraputic fib" to tell him that studio apartment would cost less. Told Dad to think of the room as a college dorm, so it became a standing joke with him. Much to my surprise, Dad's main concern was if he was going to have the same chef for his meals. When I said yes, Dad was ready to move as long as he could take all of his books :)

Therefore, you look at the places first, and go by your gut feeling. You will know right away which places would be pleasant for Dad. Some are built like hotels, which I think are the best in the looks department.... other's look too institutionalized, Dad might get great care but you want something pleasant so that Dad can be comfortable at this point in time.
Helpful Answer (21)

I agree with the above advice. It’s difficult because basically you are now being thrown into the position of being the parent. Think of it as if he was telling you as a young adult it’s time to move out. Yes, it may seem tough but you can do it. Remember why you’re doing it...because it’s in his best interests. He will have better socialization, activities, care and independence. Find 3 places that you like that are in budget and arrange tours with a lunch. It really is the only option. One thing about dementia...you can’t give him a choice on 'if this is ok with you dad"'...you just say "dad, we've come to a decision and this is what we’re going to do for you". Etc..
Helpful Answer (12)

I started with, "Pop - we have a problem, but I think I have a solution."
Helpful Answer (11)

You might be talking about memory care more than just assisted living. He might need more participation from the staff than assisted living offers. I have an idea for you. I take my 93 year-old-mom with dementia to day-time activities at a memory care facility. It's new, pretty, and they have specific memory activities and exercises scheduled. So she participates in a couple activities, and then they have lunch and another activity. She likes it. Might be a good means of starting to talk about it.
Helpful Answer (10)

My Parents had been living with my younger brother in Utah and when Mom had a heart attack at the kitchen table and in the chaos of getting her out from the table they all fell on the floor. In the holy crap moment it turned out good, when they fell on the floor it re-started Mom’s heart. Well after the trip to the hospital and back home again, my Dad made the decision that it would be better for Mom if she was in the Long Term Care center at the Hospital. So Dad would go visit her and on Wednesdays they would get their nails done, I was there visiting and my Dad was getting his done too! He then set out to make them a revolving book case that would hold 90 books. When he got that all set up he supplied the books for it and then started getting his affairs in order. He told me he sat down and made a list of his ailments and thought holy crap I better get myself into Long Term Care before someone tries to commit me there! So he put himself there after he turned 90 years old. My Parents share a room and we have decorated it with family photos and a painting my aunt made for her sister, my Mom. They have activities every afternoon, church, work out room and my Dad fixes everything they need help with. He is in charge of the garden, so he has a schedule. Every Thursday a bus runs them around town so they can go shopping and they have a tour of the town. Mom has a nurse that comes in and takes her for a bath. There is a beauty shop where she can get her hair done every couple of weeks. So it’s perfect for them and all the nurses are so nice and helpful. I think if you were to take your Dad to a Long Term Care Center and he was able to experience a day there he would be checking in. Good Luck
Helpful Answer (10)

I agree with using correct terminology. Never use the words nursing home or retirement home! I used the doctor. After yet another hospitalization, I told mom the doctor insisted she have 24 hour supervised care. She was aware we were having difficulty getting someone to do that in her home. The hospital made the referral and mom was excited about moving there. We all loved it! The food and care was great. They had a lot of activities and we visited her often. She was there 9 months before she passed. Mom had been a guest at several rehab facilities and this had one. So, that factored in also.
Helpful Answer (9)

I would contact the one you are interested in and ask them to set up a tour. Ask them is it possible to have lunch there during lunchtime. Take Dad out for an outing. Not a lot of conversation just let him see for himself without the fright of staying. In addition to the necklace, Walmart I purchased Tend Secure Monitor. I have it on my mother. I only promote as it was reasonably priced $59 and I can see mom while I am out shopping on my cell phone as it is in real time and you can even see in the dark. I haven't gone out to eat with friends/family in a very long time and now I don't feel the burden that if she does not answer the phone I have to rush back. As far as Dad's Dementia, I urge you to watch a YOUTUBE video called Alive Inside. Have a tissue handy. Good Luck.
Helpful Answer (7)

Ok, this is the first time I’m admitting how I got my Mom to agree to move to Assisted Living. After a hellish, exhausting year dealing with my Mom and her boyfriend they kept rejecting the need for a safer living situation. I told her “Mom, Dave (my husband) is going to die and I’m still going to be taking care of you. I will have missed the opportunity to spend this part of my life with him.” She was a romantic and for some reason this made sense to her and she thought she was going to live forever. She called me a few hours later to say they would give AL a try. I’m not proud of it but it worked. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (7)

Although it is not always the case, it seems like men are a little more agreeable when it comes time for a move to MC.

Rather than focusing on bringing up the topic first, as others have suggested check out a few places on your own first. For the ones you like, go back at different times, to get a better idea of what activities are provided, what other residents there are (and what their abilities are) and how the staff interacts with the residents. If possible, do this with little notice, so they don't have time to make everything nicey nice!

Once you find place(s) you like (and he can afford), then schedule a visit for him (like others said, usually they include free lunch for you all with the tour.) Any excuse to get there... even say you are checking it out for yourselves, for the future! Once he can see that it is not like nursing homes of old, he might be more accepting. Then you can discuss that he gets to interface with others in his age group, gets good care and food, and quality time with YOU (and hubby) as you are not spending all your time doing the "chores!"

Depending on how far the dementia is, this may or may not help. Our mom oohed and ahhed during the visit, questioned who will pay for it (little fib that VA would) and seemed to be okay with it, but by the time she got back to her condo she did not even remember the what and where...
Helpful Answer (4)

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.