Ask an Angel: July 27, 2017

Our Ask An Angel correspondent is Arlene Petersen, Life Care Navigation Specialist in the area of senior home care.

Q. My mom has had several falls over the past few months. She lives in her own home, and I’ve suggested she move to an assisted living community. She will have nothing to do with that idea, but her falls are happening with more frequency and it is taking a toll on me. I am thinking of having her move in with me. I need guidance on how to proceed. How can I convince her to make a decision to move forward about this?

A. Your mom’s situation is progressing to a point of concern. It sounds like it is very un-safe for her to be alone. As you talk to her about what is happening, it is important to acknowledge her true feelings. As we age, we want to maintain our independence. Talk of assisted living or moving in with an adult child translates into losing that independence. That opens the door to understanding that fear is most likely at the core of her desire to remain in her own home. Address this fear honestly by talking about how she may actually gain freedom with some of the options you present to her. Empathy will help as you verbalize that you know it will be a time of transition and could raise feelings of loss knowing she will leave her familiar surroundings. In truth, we are creatures of comfort! If you have not considered it, you might want to consider the help of a professional caregiver. A caregiver can help with the transition process by providing companionship while assisting with daily activities. A caregiver can be your second set of eyes in your mom’s home, and can do things for her to reduce those fall risks. Present as many options as possible and include your mom in your thoughts and ideas. Giving her control will help in your relationship and will help her process this stage of her life.

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