I have been researching reasons why people want to stay in their homes as they age. Many of the reasons are personal and psychological. Some of the reasons are financial. These are all valid reasons for the loved one you are working with.
Many of the people I spoke with conveyed the felling that moving was scary or frightening. There is a fear of the unknown. No matter how much reassurance you give them, they know they will be alone, you cannot be there with them all the time.
They feel that they will be forgotten, and no one will visit them. Many also do not understand the difference between assisted living and a nursing home. Some may feel that they are being moved into a nursing home (hospital) and they are doomed or will die soon.
Many are self-conscious and are embarrassed of their looks, and abilities. These are proud people and they feel that they will lose their dignity. Some did not want to meet new people. Some people I spoke with felt that moving into assisted living meant that they were “old”. One even stated that it was their final step toward death.
One of the responses that I continued to get was that they feel safe at home. Their memories and youth are in their physical home. For many of them, they built their lives in their home. If they have lost their spouse or partner, they feel safe and close to them in their home. It could be very traumatic to take them out of their home.
Another response I heard was that their home was their sanctuary and they were comfortable and felt safe there. Many said they were not up to the challenge. They were tired and wanted to stay home. Their home meant love and family to them.
The fear of moving will cause your loved one stress. Stress can bring on physical issues such as elevated heart rate, angina, lowered immune system and or digestive issues. Stress can also bring on psychological issues such as anxiety, irritability, negative feelings or attitude.
Keeping your loved one home is very important to them. Keeping them safe and comfortable is our goal. We will do our best to provide information and products to keep you informed and keep them home and safe.