Know this: You are not alone when it comes to elderly parents refusing to move from their lifelong dwelling. There are many reasons for this, such as familiarity with the surroundings or neighbors.

Even so, the major reason an elderly parent refuses to move is they feel like they are losing their independence. So be aware that their being difficult most likely stems from their fear of moving or just change itself.


Sometimes it’s important to make decisions for an aging parent who is no longer capable of helping themselves. The following four issues are an indication that a loved one needs your assistance in making a decision for their future care.

A. Medical Issues:

“If a parent is suffering from chronic medical conditions which prevent them from adequately taking care of themselves, families must make difficult decisions.”

B. Safety Issues: such as failure to take medication properly and/or on time; forgetting to turn off the stove. Perhaps your loved one recently suffered a fall and is in need of help to navigate their overall needs.

C. Financial Issues: If at all possible be certain to keep your loved one in the loop as far as the cost of an assisted living facility or else even a retirement community may be worrying your loved one. But if they are no longer capable of taking care of their own finances. Then you need to make sure all the “I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed” when it comes to the cost of this endeavor.

D. Self-care Issues: signs that your parents are no longer taking care of their personal needs: no longer bathing regularly, laundry not being washed or general housekeeping is lapsing are all signs that you parents may need an assisted living facility.[i]


First of all, if your loved one is refusing to move, make certain this is the right time for the transition. It may be that over time, as your loved one’s health continues to diminish, they will come to understand that a move is the best choice for them.

However, if you are meeting resistance from you loved one and you really believe this is best for them, I wouldn’t rule out seeking advice from the family doctor. The doctor may also be able to point you to a social worker if you find that you need that sort of help.

[insert image of adult child hugging parent]

With that said,

The best way to stave off your loved one’s fears or even resentments regarding a move is to present your loved ones with options.

Unless you are dealing with dementia or some other loss of mental capacity, you should try to explain and reason with your loved one as to why it is important for them to move. Use the above outlined categories of medical, safety and/or financial issues as well as personal care issue to help them understand their position.

If possible, you can take your loved one to visit various facilities so that they can begin to get the “lay of the land,” in their mind, so to speak. If they are unable to ambulate, then there are many facilities that offer virtual tours.

Be sure to consider your loved ones wishes on location and even perhaps the weather. They may no longer wish to live in New York City where it snows. Rather, why not see if they would like to be in a warmer climate such as Florida.


Great! You and your loved ones have gone over all the pertinent issues of medical, safety, financial and personal and weighed your options.

Now it’s time to make a plan:

· Organize all records and important paperwork into a binder for handy referral.

· Set appointments for attending to estate planning, care management and financial advisors.

· Buy a calendar book and use it to set down important dates.


It’s important for you to accept your limitations on your accomplishments. If you try and cannot succeed in helping your loved ones, do not allow guilt to take over. Just continue to do what is right.

[i] “When An Elderly Parent Refuses to Move.” Landmark Health, 15 Mar. 2019,


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