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When a Parent Refuses Assisted Living

Father knows best, mother knows best . . . and sometimes children know best! As the years go by, you might begin to feel a role reversal occurring in the relationship you share with your parents. Your mother will always be your mother and your father will always be your father, but somewhere along the line, the role of caregiver will likely be passed down from parent to child. When you notice that your parent is struggling to live on their own, you might encourage them to move into a retirement community, but what if they say no? When a parent refuses assisted living, their child might be left feeling concerned, frustrated, or disappointed. If you know that your mom or dad would benefit from the care offered in an assisted living facility, but they firmly disagree, use the tips below to tackle this difficult topic.

When a Parent Refuses Assisted Living


This is your parent’s choice, not yours, and it may take time. Don’t force your ideas on them, and don’t “play the parent.” You are still their child, so don’t give them commands or ultimatums. Focus on your love for them and explain how much you would appreciate it if you could discuss the possibility of assisted living. This should be a conversation, not an intervention.


If you’re constantly battling your parent on this issue, they aren’t likely to change their position. Moving into a retirement community would be a major change in their life, and they are more likely to say yes if they feel that the decision is theirs. Even if your arguments are valid, they won’t want to change their mind if they’re under great duress. So step back, cool off, and wait for good opportunities to restart the conversation.


The favor? Accompanying you on a trip to an assisted living facility. Visiting a very welcoming facility and showing your parent the many advantages of retirement communities may sway their decision. However, be sure to visit the facility on your own beforehand to scope out the place and to prepare for a positive return visit with your parent.


Don’t insist on an assisted living facility if you haven’t done your homework yet. Senior care centers vary, so start researching facilities in your area and find a retirement community that fits your parent’s lifestyle. Tailor your arguments to their needs and concerns. Do they hate cooking? Talk about the restaurant-style meals. Are they lonely and missing their old social life? Mention the programs, clubs, and activities available. Are they concerned about the cost? Figure out how they could make the transition work financially. Without solid research, you’ll have a hard time persuading them to move.

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For additional help with this subject, we urge you to check out our previous blog posts concerning how to talk to your parents about assisted living and how to know when to move into an assisted living facility. This is a difficult topic to discuss with your loved ones, so we wish you lots of luck!

If you’re looking for a senior living facility in the Midwest, be sure to check out Hearthside Senior Living. Our eight senior living facilities are located in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee. If you would like to take a tour of one of our facilities, please click here.

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