Can an elderly person be forced into an assisted living facility?

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My mother is 81 and has Alzheimers and Macular Degeneration. She is completely blind in one eye and can barely see out of the other. She lives alone with her little dog. Her doctor has told her she needs to be in an assisted living facility but she absolutely refuses. She thinks she just a 'little forgetful'. My sister and I have been caring for her for the past 3 years by driving her wherever she needs to go, paying her bills, taking care if her meds, etc. She's been evaluated by her long term care insurance company and they say she needs care 24/7. Her insurance is not enough to have someone live in. Mom refuses to leave her house. She is in complete denial and doesn't care what the doctor says. We've tried to warn her that if something happens and she falls and breaks something, she will end up in a convalescent home and I know she doesnt want that. She won't budge. We took her to tour an assisted living facility and she refused to like anything about it. Even after looking at it, she compared it to a nursing home. And it clearly was not a nursing home. She doesnt care if my sister and I worry about her. She wants to stay in that house, all alone, watching tv.
Now that I've vented, my question was this: Can she be forced to move into an assisted living facility?

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Top Answer
OK, deep breath here...the answer to the question you are asking is probably yes, if you have guardianship of her person, not just her finances, and that noramlly requires a couple of doctors to sign off on a statement of incompetency and for her to be given those papers to look over and possibly contest them before a judge says OK.

Realize that the LTC insurance company may be scamming to some degree - or not - by saying she needs care 24/7, they may be exempting themselves from having to pay a part-time aide or some other limited services that would let her stay at home more safely with less constant attention and hovering needed from you.

But, "She wants to stay in that house, all alone, watching TV." And she's got a little dog! - that probably could only occasionally visit if she was placed soemwhere else - if someone agreed to take care of it for her. If you and sis can continue to maintain her as you have, that could be best. She possibly is playing it safe both cognitively and physically by mostly sitting around doing something unchallenging, and it would be difficult and maybe even disorienting for her to adapt and make the adjustment to a new living situation. Possibly you could take additional steps to reduce falls risk as well. Would she wear a LIfeLine or anything that would ease your worries at all? Do you know what her bone density is? Honestly, if you nose around on here, some people manage to fall and break something in assisted living too.

There probably will come a point when she can't be left alone and/or needs skilled nursing care, and at that point, you may find that a lot of nursing homes now take pains to make themselves look more like assisted living. You may want to look around now and find which facilities are like that, and ideally which ones have some experience and familiarity with low vision situations. And until then, as you try to decide for her, focus on what gives Mom the best quality of life possible for as long as she has left - which usually (though not always) means seeing if there are ways to honor her preferences in any reasonable way.

If it helps any, my mom had vascular dementia and multiple physical disabilities where she physically as well as cognitively could not manage; I could not get her to agree to move to my city to a really nice assisted living and give up her home of 50+ years either. I tried to enlist a social worker at the geriatric evaluation to talk her into it, but she informed us she was done talking and started wheeling herself on out! I ended up being able to convince her to come to a rehab hospital near me sometimes later, after Dad (who developed severe dementia and Parkinson's, so she had placed in skilled nursing because she could not care for him) passed on, and then we just never went back. So I just used my POA, got her to resign as trustee so I could manage the sale and all that, and never had to put her through a guardianship, which would have devastated her and possibly made her hate me to boot! We had a little over a year together here in Arkansas, and ony a month or two before the end did she even realize she would not get strong and well anough be able to go home and live in her own home by herself again as she had so desperately and deeply wished and hoped. By then she really liked the idea of having full time care in her facility and getting grandkid visits a lot more often - she decided she would let us try to find her an apartment in town once she could walk again at least a little. We did the best we could to make good was hard and sad, but thank God we do have quite a few.
The short answer is Yes, but it would take a court order.
My father n law has the srarting of dementia. He is physically healthy, but sometimes forgetful. I took him to the hospital bc he wasnt responding. No the hospital said he must have 24/7 assisted living, & we have no rights to deny this. We visit him 4 times a day to give him his med & feed him. Otherwise, he is fine. Can the state force this assisted living? They wanted to know about his bank accts etc. I think this is a scam just to get all his money
Yes, if you get the help of an elder law attorney and Power of Attorney (modest cost) or guardianship (more expensive). When my in-laws were still in the refusal stage of moving into assisted living I kept up discussions with my husband about their safety. They were falling, the apartment was cluttered, and they couldn't even change lightbulbs anymore. One time I walked into their kitchen and found a dish towel burnt to a crisp on the stove. I documented everything I saw that indicated they could not longer live alone. In the beginning it was every once in a while but within a year stuff started going wrong every week. Considering my inlaws are not demented and do not have Alzheimer's someone who does poses a serious safety hazard not only to themselves but also for their immediate neighbors. When hygiene and/or safety become issues it's time to call an elder law attorney. Good luck!
The hospital, not "the state" can refuse to release him into what it deems an unsafe environment. There is a world of difference between 4x a day visits and 24x7 supervision. Is grandpa safe to use a stove? Probably not.

They want to know about his assets because it matters whether he will be able to private pay for care or if he needs to apply for Medicaid immediately.
Can an elderly person be forced to stay in assisted living if they can walk with a walker, see fine, hear fine and does not have dementia?

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