As your mother ages, there may come a time when you’ll need to broach the subject of assisted living with her. If she seems opposed to the idea, you may be left wondering, “What if my mom refuses to go to a nursing home?” You might also find yourself worried about finding the right care to fit your mother’s needs, asking yourself, “Is there even any assisted living near me?”

Disagreements about long-term care can cause unwanted stress and strain on your relationship with Mom. It’s not an easy thing to give up one’s independence. However, there are some steps that you can take to help your mother see why a nursing home might be the right choice for her future.

See It From Her Perspective

During any discussion with your mother on this topic, it is important to remember to stay empathetic. You might try to see the situation from her point of view. There are plenty of reasons why she might not want to move into a nursing home at this time.

Common reasons why parents don’t want to make the transition into assisted living can include:

  • Loss of independence
  • Changes to their personal routine
  • Loss of access to favorite food or activities
  • Severe changes in their environment
  • Loss of personal privacy
  • Loss of social settings and interactions

Many seniors feel the fear that is associated with many of these factors. It is wise to keep these in mind when speaking with Mom about a possible move. Empathy is always the right course of action, especially in the early days of this process.

Acknowledge the Difficulties of Change

Change is never easy, especially when someone has been used to their unique way of living for so long. As you go into these discussions with Mom, make sure you let her know that you understand that this isn’t an easy decision and that you yourself have not come to it lightly. It might make it easier for her to listen to you if she can see that you’re coming from a place of empathy.

It is very important that you listen to your mom, especially if she seems overly anxious or against the idea. The most you can do in these moments is to ensure that she is feeling heard. There can be a lot of frustration and impatience on your end, both of which are completely understandable. Just remember that it may prove vital to show and acknowledge just how hard you know this decision is for Mom to make.

Express Your Feelings

If you have a solid relationship with Mom, she’ll care about your feelings. Instead of falling into the temptation of making it all her fault or listing her health issues, start by discussing your own feelings. Good ways to start this conversation include expressing the fact that you want her to be safe, healthy, and happy. You want her to continue being able to stay active but in a safe environment to do so.

Make sure to avoid telling her that she’s being a burden on you or that she’s acting selfish. The goal in these early conversations is to express your own concerns while you present the idea of assisted living to Mom. Once she understands your perspective and emotions, she may become more open to the idea.

Get Help From Others

If Mom continues her resistance toward the idea of a nursing home, there may come a time for you to bring in backup. Inviting friends and family to discuss the topic with Mom might help her see that it’s not just you. In some cases, people are more open to things coming from a friend rather than a family member, especially one as close as a child. Additionally, involving more people in the conversation can show Mom how necessary the move might be.

People you could enlist to help talk to Mom include leadership she trusts, like clergy, a reliable doctor or other health physician, or a family member who seems to hold a lot of sway with Mom. If she still refuses, there may come a time for an intervention to take place. However, it is important that you don’t make Mom feel bullied or forced into the decision with no way out.

Highlight the Benefits of Assisted Living and How It Might Help Mom

Showcasing the positives when having difficult conversations is always a good course of action. Mom might be more receptive to the idea of assisted living if you highlight the following benefits:

  • Food preparation and housekeeping services provided by friendly staff
  • Life spent in a safe environment free of hazards
  • 24/7 access to necessary medical care
  • Neighbors with similar life situations who can empathize with her and be there for emotional support

Remind Mom of the comfort and security that is available to her in an assisted living situation. Make sure she knows that you only want what is right for her and her overall health and safety.


Q: What Should You Do When an Elderly Parent Refuses Care?

A: If an elderly parent is refusing care, the first step to take is to evaluate your parent’s situation. Explain to them your perspective and focus on the positives. Then, if they are still refusing care, start by listing options and start small, with suggestions like in-house care, before bringing up the topic of a nursing home.

Q: Is It Wrong to Put a Loved One in a Nursing Home?

A: If your elderly loved one continues to refuse care and is no longer mentally fit to be making their own decisions, you might be forced by the circumstances to make the decision for them. This is especially true if a doctor has confirmed that assisted living is necessary. Placing a parent into a nursing home against their will is never an ideal situation, but it may prove necessary for their health and safety.

Q: Can My Mom Get Kicked Out of a Nursing Home?

A: There are several factors that could get a resident evicted from a nursing home. They include:

  • A resident has needs that cannot be met by the services available.
  • Their health improves, and they are no longer in need of the services of the home.
  • Their behavior puts the health and safety of other residents in danger.
  • The home shuts down.

Q: Are You Financially Responsible for Your Elderly Parents?

A: Each state lays out the legal responsibility that their residents carry for caring for their elderly parents. Colorado does not currently have filial responsibility laws that require children to be financially responsible for their aging parents. However, in some cases, children may be responsible for paying for their parents’ long-term care.

Get Support From Rocky Mountain Assisted Living

In some cases, it can be difficult to convince Mom that assisted living might be the right path for her to take. Remember to approach every conversation with love, respect, empathy, and understanding. It is common for elderly individuals to resist the idea of giving up their independence, and the whole topic could stir up feelings of fear and uncertainty.

At Rocky Mountain Assisted Living, your loved one’s safety and comfort is our priority. We treat each resident with care and compassion and work to do everything in our power to make this life transition as comfortable as possible. Contact us today to learn if our services are the right fit for your loved one.