Why Doesn’t Anyone Want to Move to Assisted Living?

Why Doesn't Anyone Want to Move to Assisted Living?

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



If you’re involved in the daily care of an aging parent or another senior loved one, there may come a day when you can no longer meet their needs at home. It is an unfortunate reality many families find themselves in. As a family, you might decide that an assisted living community is the best option for the senior and for you.

Unfortunately, your loved one might feel very differently about the matter.

In fact, some older adults are strongly opposed to moving to assisted living during initial conversations. If the older adult you are caring for is one of them, the key to changing their mind likely lies in understanding why they feel the way they do.

Why Seniors Resist a Move to Assisted Living

However necessary it might be, moving to any new setting can be a daunting and unsettling prospect. Although you may think you understand a senior loved one’s resistance to moving, it might be necessary to dig deeper to gain better insight.

Here are five of the most common reasons older people have for not wanting to move to an assisted living community:

  1. Leaving the family home: The senior doesn’t want to leave the home they’ve worked so hard to build and that has so many warm memories attached to it. It may seem like they are leaving a piece of them behind.
  2. Fear of the unknown: An older family member might object to moving to an assisted living community based on a fear of the unknown. While change is difficult for many of us, the older we are the tougher it is to adapt. Keep that in mind as you work your way through this process.
  3. Believe in old stereotypes: Some seniors have misperceptions about assisted living communities. Many times these are based on the old, institutional style nursing homes that were so common when this generation of seniors was young. They don’t understand how vibrant life is in today’s assisted living communities.
  4. Perceived losses: The loss of freedom, privacy and independence also ranks high on most seniors list of concerns. Older adults mistakenly believe they will lose these after a move.
  5. Finances: Many people believe assisted living communities are only for the rich. So an older adult might think they can’t afford the cost of assisted living. The truth is, assisted living can be an affordable solution because many of their current home expenses are included in the basic fees.

You’ll notice that all of these concerns have some degree of validity, especially when you look at the situation from your older loved one’s personal perspective. So it’s important to walk through each concern together.

Show Empathy for Your Loved One’s Feelings and Fears

There’s no question that leaving their home after decades spent there might be emotionally difficult. And it’s important to display empathy about their feelings and fears.

Instead of trying to change their mind about how much they will miss the family home, talk about the benefits of this move. Emphasizing the positives — including the improved quality of life for both of you — might help your loved one recognize assisted living as a viable option.

You can also take extra steps to ensure their memories of “home” come with them. Create a scrapbook with of photos of their home spanning the years that they lived there. Make a video that combines images of their garden during each season. These examples can help the senior continue to feel connected to their past.

You can take a similar approach to overcoming other objections. Once you acknowledge their concerns in a sensitive and compassionate way, the discussion will likely become much easier.

You can also demonstrate to them how some of their worries are based on misconceptions, while others are offset by the inherent benefits of assisted living.

Vitality Senior Living is Here to Help

Whatever objections your older loved one or family members might have, it’s best to learn as much as you can about care options before trying to overcome their concerns.

We created a resource to help you do just that. You can download our guide for making a smooth transition to senior living at no cost. And if you still have questions, a Vitality Senior Living team member will be happy to answer them. Call us at your convenience!

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