When it comes to making a decision about assisted living for a couple, things can get very complicated if they disagree. Siblings almost always squabble about what’s best for Mom and Dad, but if Mom and Dad aren’t on the same page either, moving forward is that much harder.
Let’s suppose Mom wants to move to assisted living because she is tired of cooking and housework, wants to be around others her age, and desires the added security of getting assistance with other daily tasks should the need arise. On the other hand, Dad wants to stay put in the house he’s poured time and money into for the past few decades, bringing help there as needed.
Affirm both of their feelings on the matter; recognize and applaud the value of both options. Work towards a compromise: suggest a short-term stay at an assisted living in the area. Hire temporary, part-time home care for a few weeks (someone to help with housework, for instance). If socialization is the big draw for assisted living, check out senior centers or groups in the area (i.e. church-sponsored or senior-focused volunteer opportunities). After these trial periods, come together and reassess the situation.
In a large family, it’s crucial that members do not take sides if the couple disagrees on where to go and when. Instead, focus on getting them to reach a decision they can be happy about.