When the signs that it’s time for a nursing home become too great to ignore, what follows is often a deeply emotional discussion.
Moving to a care home isn’t easy. It’s not something any of us want to do, but there can come a point when it’s the best for all involved.
So, if you’re faced with helping a loved one make this decision, it can be useful to know some of the most common fears and objections beforehand. This will help you talk delicately and rationally about the benefits of nursing home care.
In this post, we share some of those objections and offer suggestions for how best to respond.
5 Common Nursing Home Objections
1. “I am not moving into a nursing home!”
This flat refusal to move is usually an attempt to shut down the conversation. Don’t let it slide. Many people still think of nursing homes as dimly-lit, beige-walled institutions, when that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Nursing homes, like Fulford, are alive with community spirit. And by providing a high level of care and attention, residents can enjoy their retirement in a warm and safe environment.
Your Response: “Let’s do a bit more research before we rule anything out. We can arrange to visit a few nursing homes close by, speak with residents and staff, and get a feel for what it would be like. Then we can talk about the pros and cons of moving.”
2. “I’m frightened of living somewhere new.”
This is perfectly understandable, especially if your loved one has lived in their home for several years. But if they’re frightened of moving, and you’re frightened of leaving them in their house alone for hours on end, something has to give.
Your Response: “I understand that you’re worried about moving, but I worry about you here by yourself. Let’s look into a trial visit or a few weeks of respite care before deciding one way or the other. Nothing is set in stone.”
3. “I’ll lose contact with friends and family.”
A common fear of moving into a nursing home, the idea that it means losing touch with everyone they care about can be hard to shake. And while this is largely an irrational concern, it will only be overcome by your reassurances and a first-hand look into the home’s amenities and social programme.
Your Response: “You won’t lose contact with anyone. If anything, the fact that I won’t have to help you with cooking and cleaning will mean we get to spend more quality time together. There’s COVID-secure visiting hours, Wi-FI so that you can video call, and you’ll be able to socialise with other residents throughout the day and at mealtimes. We can even arrange to have your own phone line installed in your room.”
4. “I don’t want to make a fuss.”
It can be tough for older people to accept help as this can mean admitting to themselves that they’re struggling. This can result in them pushing back at the idea that they need help, claiming that they don’t want to make a fuss or they don’t want to be a burden on anyone.
If you hear this objection, it’s up to you to be firm yet gentle. Tell them that they’re worth the fuss and that you worry because you care. Point to incidents, however minor, that reinforce these worries. Perhaps there has been a fall or an injury, or days when medication has been skipped.
Your Response: “I want to make a fuss because I love you. I need to know that you’re being looked after properly 24/7, not just when I can be there for you. You’ll have round-the-clock care in a nursing home, along with freshly cooked meals, a range of activities, and plenty of opportunities to socialise.”
5. “Moving is too much hassle.”
There’s no denying that moving, no matter your age or where you’re moving to, can be fraught with stress. But with support from family, friends, and the nursing home in question, it can be a relatively smooth transition.
Review what to bring when moving to a nursing home and see that there’s almost nothing your loved one can’t bring with them (space permitting).
Your Response: “Looking after you and your home has become overwhelming. I want to spend my time with you, rather than around you as I clean and tidy. You only have to move once, and I’ll handle everything. After that, we can go back to enjoying each other’s company.”
A Word for the Caregiver
When you’re the child of a loved one who would benefit from nursing home care, and you’re working full-time alongside caring for them (and potentially caring for young children, too) it can be all-too-easy to get stuck in a routine. This makes dealing with these objections difficult.
You might think you’re doing your loved one a favour, accepting their refusal to move, but in reality, you’re putting your relationship under a great deal of strain. You may also become stressed and burnt out as a result.
While pushing back on these objections can be heart-wrenching, in many cases, it’s the right thing to do for you both. Your loved one gets the care and attention they require, and you get to resume a parent-child relationship, rather than juggling personal and professional responsibilities.
If You Want to Talk, We’re Ready to Listen
Convincing a loved one that they would be better off in a nursing home is never easy. Many of the objections we’ve outlined above can be upsetting to hear, and responding calmly and rationally is often the hardest part.
However, the vast majority of concerns are quickly overcome when your loved one sees the home and meets the staff and residents. A tour or trial visit tends to dispel the picture they’ve built in their head, and they’ll soon come around to the benefits of this new way of living.
If you’d like to learn more about Fulford Nursing Home or arrange a visit, please contact us on 01904 654 269. We’re ready to listen and happy to help.