What Do You Do If Your Elderly Loved One Hates His Assisted Living Facility?

assisted livingAfter spending so much time and energy finding the right assisted living facility for your loved one, you want to see him content and well cared for. You want the transition to be seamless.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work that way. You think you’ve found the perfect fit for your loved one, only to discover he’s terribly unhappy. What now?

Here are five steps you can take if your senior loved one hates his assisted living facility.

1. Look for assisted living red flags.

If your loved one is having problems with assisted living, the first thing to do is find out why. Does she dislike the new sounds and smells, her new neighbors, the new routines? Or is it something more serious, like being treated poorly? It’s important to distinguish between typical adjustment issues and concerns that signal real problems with assisted living staff and care. If you suspect elder abuse, contact the facility’s long-term care ombudsman immediately to file a report and work out an appropriate solution for your loved one.

2. Give him time to adjust to assisted living.

If your loved one is not in danger and is not being abused in any way, give her time to get accustomed to her new home. Transition is often challenging; a few days or weeks are typically not long enough to make a complete adjustment. While a good assisted living facility will work hard to help your loved one engage with the community, the change won’t happen overnight. Moving a senior from place to place could do more harm than good, so it’s wise to take a wait-and-see approach.

3. Spend time together.

Moving to assisted living should not mean that your loved one loses contact with you and with the outside world. If she feels like she has been dropped off and left to fend for herself, she will feel resentful of her new environment, no matter how wonderful it might be. Visit your loved one in assisted living, and spend time with her like you used to. Your familiar presence could help her feel more comfortable and at home in her new surroundings.

4. Consult a geriatric care manager.

If your loved one has continuous assisted living complaints and you can’t figure out what’s best for her, don’t go it alone. Consider hiring a professional geriatric care manager, or case manager, to help you navigate the sometimes-confusing world of senior living. The case manager can help you determine what’s really going on with your loved one, and help you find the most appropriate facility if a change is needed.

5. Take care of yourself.

If you’ve done all you can and your loved one’s unhappiness persists, recognize that the problem is out of your hands. While you are her advocate in assisted living and you need to make sure she’s being properly cared for, you are not responsible for her happiness. Her happiness is her choice. Do your best to maintain the relationship, but respect your own boundaries. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself, too.

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8 comments on “What Do You Do If Your Elderly Loved One Hates His Assisted Living Facility?
  1. Maurine Lattimer says:

    Well the article has very good points on things to do if your elderly parents hates assisted living. There are many assisted living homes like assisted living in morris county NJ where seniors are the part of the dynamic community and also enjoy their life with all amenities and care.

  2. Gena Baker says:

    We would like to keep my sister in the Paducah Ky area. But at the same time I want her medications given to her correctly. She loves people and playing bingo, crafts, and other activities. She has to have someone to give her the medication she is on. She has Bi-polar due to a chemical imbalance when her son was born 41 years ago. They put her on Lithium but it has destroyed her kidneys. She has to drink a lot of water to keep them flushed. Her brain injury was caused by her husband. He cannot have any contact with her for 3yrs. Two months before the DVO expires, her son, which is her guardian will renew the DVO. Her husband will never see her again. We go to court again Mon.the 11th of January. This is the only way to keep her safe and taken care of. She can bath herself, put on her on clothes. But she can’t make her own decisions or know what and when to take her medications. Thank You for listening.

    • Michelle Seitzer says:

      What a difficult situation for all of you. You mentioned going to court on January 11th. What was the outcome? How did it go? You are certainly doing the best you can do as your sister’s advocate. Have you talked to her family doctor about specialized facilities or home care in the area that might be appropriate for her needs?

    • Michelle Seitzer says:

      You can also contact our care advisors to discuss your sister’s housing and care needs: call (877) 751-0735 or (866) 873-0030.

  3. Lewis McCartney says:

    Nice Post. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Chris Craven says:

    Great read.

  5. Deidre says:

    I have watched my elderly boyfriend decline over the two weeks in a nursing home to the point where he can rarely speaks. I worry that he is being over medicated. He was a vibrant intelligent 95 year old not even a month ago. His son wants his father’s house and remaining assets, so I don’t know how to defend my friend of 16 yrs.Son has abused h is POA by taking the money from sale of father’s vehicle to buy himself a new SUV..

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