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How can I make my mother go to assisted living if she does not want to go?

Asked by  |  Dec 30, 2009

People talke about putting parents in assistive living or nursing homes. How do they do it if parents do not want to go. My mother is still capable of making decissions. She has dementia which has caused aphasia. She has lost most of her capability to talk and writes notes but so far pays her own bills and such. The doctors are now saying she should not live alone but they say they cannot force her and want us to move her but how do we do this. I am her power of attorney but she is not imcompident. plus complication. One of my sister lived with her for awhile and verbably abused her. Mom made me promise she would not move back in. Now Mom is panicing and says my sister has changed (three month sense last fit) and wants her to move back in. I just do not know how to force her to go into the assistive Living apartment she put her name to get.

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angelgirlpj

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Jan 12, 2010

Like you said you are power of attorney and you probably could make her move, but do you want that? You can see in my profile I not only have my own home care business but I write articles for The examiner under the section of Elder care. I get my articles from my clients or former clients and their families.
I know from personal experience that trying to force your elderly mom to do something is not good for your relationship.
I slightly understand dementia but know that it's different for every person. I don't know what aphasia is at all.
I've known people with dementia that their minds lived more in the past than they did the now. The retained good memories and would refer to them often.
I guess before you even approach your mother about moving I'd research the assisted living facilities in your neighborhood. In our area they are much higher than living at home and hiring a part time home care provider. The benefit usually is they make the meals for them and provide maybe 20 minutes of personal time a day. But you can hire someone to make the meals, do laundry, talk to your mom and help with the bills.
I am not an expert, I've just seen struggles that occur with a family when not united on an idea.

 
 

Braida

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Jan 12, 2010

I'm going through a similar thing w/ my Mom right now. She is in an independent retirement community, and has a 1 bdrm apt. with full kitchen, washer/dryer etc. Her memory is VERY bad (short term, and some long term) but I feel she's handling herself fine at this point. She showers every morning, and dresses nicely, she fixes her own breakfast, takes good care of her cat and litter box, she goes down to dinner every evening with other residents and chats and laughs, (she can't find her own way to the dining room as she hasn't been at this place too long, and it's quite a distance) but if the others couldn't take her down one evening, she'd be fine with staying in her apt. and fixing soup or scrambled eggs, etc. One very active and fully functioning neighbor lady keeps telling me she thinks Mom should go to the assisted living section of this place. Mom is adamant about NOT wanting to go to assisted living. I live 5 minutes away from Mom and see her at least twice a day, take her places, have her over to my place, etc. so I see how she's doing. Some days are better than others, and when she gets extra tired she becomes a bit more confused. I think parents should be allowed to live independently as long as they possibly can, if that is their desire. I've heard that forcing them into assisted living against their will can often result in fast deterioration.
If the parent is able to do MOST things for themselves, and not endangering their own lives, why can't they continue to live in their own homes? Your Mom is paying her own bills and communicating by writing. (My Mom could no way be paying her own bills....I do all of that) Your Mom must have her wits about her, I would think. Maybe your sister could have another chance at caring for her, and you could install a Nanny-cam to make sure that there is not verbal abuse going on. Another idea would be to get somebody to give your sis a break on a somewhat regular basis, so that she can get some stress relief. She might not have the degree of patience it takes to care for an elderly parent on a constant duty. A break each day might help immensely. I would encourage you to try to let your Mom have her wishes met as long as possible. If it doesn't work out, at least you'll know you gave it a shot.
Best of luck to you. I can totally relate.

 
 

anonymous11306

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Jan 12, 2010

Has her doctor told her what he told you about not needing to live alone? In my state, NC, I have heard of a doctor writing an order for a person to go to such a home and they went.

My mother was able to write checks for several years before her stroke which along with a broken hip forced her into a nursing home. However, the ability to write checks does not mean competency to handle one's business which she did not do for since all of this exploded I've been working with a CPA to file 6 years of past due taxes.

It will be much better for you and your relationship with your mother if someone else can help her see her need to go to assisted living. Otherwise, you will have to wait until she is willing or some crisis takes place like with my own mother.

 
 

hapfra

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Jan 12, 2010

Hi - I totally agree with Crowmagnum...the fact that she is compitent right now, one does not know what will happen down the line, also inasmuch as the doctors think AL would be good for her, I am in agreement. Also you DO NOT want to wait for a crisis and then you will have not much choice, if any, in finding a facility for Mom....
I would check the different facilities, and get her on a waiting list...you can tell her that this is what the doctor has ordered, and ultimately it will be a sound move for everyone involved.

My own Mom was told by her doctor to make such a move, and coming from a person with a medical background-I was fortunate she went along with it.

AL is not the end of the world-and she will still be able to maintain some/ or most of her independance. She may even thrive with all the activities many of the AL facilities have to offer.

Good luck!

 
 

anonymous11306

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Jan 12, 2010

I love the idea of having the doctor tell your mother and her learning that AL are far different that a nursing home. It's not the "Poor House" that so many are afraid of.

My overall approach in trying to influence people in a good direction is to find someone whom they respect greatly and discuss the concern with them. If they agree with me, I encourage them to discuss this with ___ in generalities or ask them if I have their permission to quote them to ___. For example, my mother greatly respects the opinion of the family lawyer. Her trust level of me is high enough that often I would share what ___ thought of ____ and she'd go alone because the lawyer thought it was a good idea. My mom's neurologist was so tactful that she never really grasped what he was saying to her about assisted living. So, quoting him never got us anywhere.

 
 

dpfitch

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Jan 13, 2010

If your mother competent, as defined by your state's law, then you don't have the ability to make her do anything against her will. The best way that I have seen work over is to slowly introduce the facility to an elderly person. If they have adult day care, use it occasionally. If they have a large social event that they would allow non-residents to attend, take your mom.

Much of the resistance of elders to ASL's or NH's is fear of the unknown. If you can knock down a lot of the unknowns, your will eventually succeed.

David Fitch
http://elderlawminnnesota.com

 
 

LynnPO

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Jan 14, 2010

Yes!! have the doctor tell her that she needs the medical assistance she'll get in assisted living. My Mom began to suffer severe arthritis complications and one knee would give out. She fell a few years ago and broke a hip. He told her "move now or you'll fall and end up in a nursing home. Move while you can have input on the decision and can still get around well enough to make friends." it worked. She still asks if she can go home but we repeat the same thing to her: Your house is not safe and remodeling is too expensive. You can't cook food, can't shower alone and need wider halls and doors for your wheel chair. You are safer here. She can't argue with that. Some days she becomes beligerent about it but we change the subject. The Mom we know and love is slowing leaving us and that beligerent lady is not her but we're kind to her just the same. It takes some getting used to but after six months we're okay with it now and Mom's in a safe place.

 
 

LakeForest

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Jan 16, 2010

I am the Direstor of Admissions for a Retirement/Assisted Living/Memory Care community called Lake Forest Park in Ft. Pierce Florida. I have to work with this issue every day. For those of you wrestling with this serious issue, a few thoughts that may help: When our parents were young, there was no such thing as assisted living. Our elders stayed at home until the situation was a panic then were sent to a nursing home (SNF) where people were degraded, treated poorly and often abused. Is it any wonder they have this immage about assisted living? Also consider the shrinking world of our elders. First they lose a spouse, then the dog dies, then they are told that the home they have lived in for 20 years is no longer safe for them, then you take the car away, then the checkbook. Is it any wonder they fight so hard to maintain what they feel is their independance? You and I know this is wrong but it does not change what they believe. Please understand that they are quite literely afraid.

Make sure they visit the community and dine with and talk to the residents there; it will go a long way for their comfort level and you will learn quite a lot about the real story on the community you are considering.
The doctor idea is a GREAT one and can be very successful. Use it whenever possible.

When you speak to your parents about the concept of the move, try not to present it to them as something they must do for themselves. Telling Mom she has to move because she is incapable of self care will only get you a ton of push back. Instead, present it more like: "Mom, you and Dad have been making sacrafices and doing things for us kids your whole lives, and we love you and admire you for it. But, WE need to ask you to do one more thing for US, please make this move so we can stop worring.

I hope this is some small help to some of you.

 
 

pamela6148

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Jan 16, 2010

Thank you LakeForest.

 
 

amdphoto

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Mar 19, 2010

My mother-in-law is suffering from dementia and currently has a family friend that cares for her several states away from her children. The children are wanting her to move closer to them and live in an assisted living facility. She absolutely refuses. She cannot cook for herself, her eyesight is poor (I think moreso from the dementia), her hearing is poor and she does not shower until after getting prodded by her caregiver to do so over several days. She gets very mad when asked to bath. Her memory is getting worse also especially for the short term. Her two sons and daughter are wondering if they can get her doctor to demand that she go into an assisted living facility or nursing home. Her caregiver that lives with her is going to retire. There are no other caregivers that would tolerate the hoarding conditions of my mother-in-laws house and because of her failing mental condition as well as the other issues we feel it's time to move her. Her response is that when her care giver leaves she will curl up in bed and stay there. She is NOT leaving. My question is a simple one. What steps do we have to take to make her leave even when she doesn't want to? She lives in Texas. We live in Missouri. Do we have to go to court?

 
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