What Can I Do If My Parent Refuses to Consider Nursing Home Care?

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What Can I Do If My Parent Refuses to Consider Nursing Home Care?

Elder Law Attorney Boca Raton, FL

It can be heartbreaking to watch an aging parent struggle to provide self-care. While you may be able provide some of the care your parent needs, caregiver burnout, other responsibilities or proximity may make it impractical to provide all that your parent needs. Though it may be obvious to you that your parent needs help, what can you do if your parent adamantly refuses to move into a nursing home?

Alternatives to nursing home care

When talking with your parent about care, it can be helpful to try and discern what about nursing home care he or she does not like. This may help you to dispel misconceptions or find agreeable alternatives.

Depending on the type of help your parent needs, some alternatives to nursing home care may include:

  • In-home care: A professional caregiver will come to your parent’s home and provide support services.
  • Adult daycare: Your parent can spend a few hours or a full day at a center that may offer meals, activities, socialization and transportation.
  • Assisted living: Your parent would move into a private, apartment-style space at a facility that provides assistance with some activities, while allowing greater independence than a nursing home does.
  • Adult Family Care Home (AFCH): Your parent would move to a private residence owned and operated by someone who is licensed to provide meals and some care to a maximum of five residents.


Sometimes there are no appropriate alternatives. If your parent requires 24-hour nursing supervision and has an impaired ability to make decisions, you may consider petitioning the state for guardianship of your parent.

To be awarded guardianship, you would have to prove that your parent no longer has the capacity to make decisions. The court will only grant guardianship when no other less restrictive options are available.

Guardianship would allow you, or someone else appointed by the court, to become a surrogate decision maker for your parent. A guardian can make financial and/or personal decisions on behalf of your parent, such as where your parent will live and what care services will be implemented. However, the guardian must also submit regular updates to the court, and some decisions may require court approval.

It can be difficult when a loved one refuses to accept the care he or she needs. You can work with your parent to find an alternative that can provide the help your parent needs, while retaining as much of your parent’s independence as possible. However, there may come a time when guardianship is your best option to make sure your parent receives the care he or she needs.

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