How do I convince my elderly mom it is time to move in with me? She resists then agrees.

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She 'appears' to have it altogether, she drives, handles bills (but not too good and she's late paying), sweet but you can't discuss changing her way of life then she gets aggressive, cries, fights and later forgets any of it happened! Watching her decline has taken a toll on me. I love her so much but do not know how to handle this. I can't force her to move or can I? She is 86 years old, lives alone (and loves it that way), and is in a state of denial because she 'thinks' she is handling things and doesn't need anyone, especially me, telling her what to do. She thinks I'm 'fussing' at her all the time but I'm not. When I visit her, I see signs of hoarding, she doesn't keep her self up, she buys too much food and forgets she did. She thinks she is handling her business but she is not..totally. I mean she handles some of it but gets behind, gets tired and things go lacking. Other people have taken advantage of her too but she does not think so. As she states, I do these things because I want to. I believe she has early signs of dementia and I need help. Thank you.

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You're in a tough position. Does she have a religious organization where she trusts someone? I believe it will take a third party to convince her she needs different living arrangements. Maybe she'd be more agreeable to assisted living because she would feel more independent than living with you? Not everyone is suited to living with their children no matter how much love there is. The only way you could force her is if she gets so bad that social services sees her as in danger. It doesn't sound as though she's that bad, yet. You could call your local social services people, but I'd try talking to her about AL and maybe taking tours, or talking to a trusted friend or other third party first. If they approach the matter gently, she may decide she'd like to try another arrangement.
Good luck,
Carol
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I spoke to my Dad's doctor on the side, and got him to deliver the tough message. It worked, after a few months. Maybe that could help. In the meantime, I quit being the safety net -- by which I mean I stopped preventing issues before they became problems, so it was more apparent to my Dad that he WASN'T handling things as brilliantly as he supposed he was. It costs some late payment penalties, but I chalked it up to something along the lines of getting professional advice to help him move. Good luck!
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I can not believe this is not me writing that. This IS my mother. 86 yrs old, still driving and thinks she s just fine. My mother was diagnosed with Dementia 8 monnths ago. And these are ALL her symptoms. My best advice is to get her to a neurologist. Have her diagnosed. Make sure all paperwork, POA's anything else you might need to take over her life for her. As time goes by, you may notice a fast decline or a very slow one. It is a roller coaster ride. One day almost normal, next day a total disaster. Total personality change. Adiment that she is able to handle things on her own, and you know she can not. I wish you all the luck in the world. Take care of YOU. It's a rough road.
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What if she stayed where she is, but had a lot more help and supervision?

If she has dementia, she probably is not really safe to drive. That is the first battle I'd fight, I think. It will be extremely hard. Maybe harder than getting her to consider moving. But the risks are not only to herself. This is an issue worth dealing with. There are articles on this site about elders driving and when/how to stop that activity.

She buys food she forgets about? Maybe has a fridge full of things you hope she never eats? Perhaps she isn't as careful around the stove as you wish she was? Maybe after all the meals she has cooked in her life she deserves to retire a little, and have meals on wheels or a similar program deliver a hot meal once a day. My 91-year-old mother can still microwave a frozen dinner but she does not use the stove. She loves meals on wheels. Without a car, your mother is not going to be able to stock up on food on a whim. You can help ensure that she has a reasonable amount of fresh food on hand.

You can help her set up as many payments as possible to be made automatically from her checking account. Then they are never late. Help her balance her check book or review the bank statements to see what has been paid. It may be possible to gradually take over the financial chores for her.

We got my mother to accept a once-a-week cleaning service.

Depending on how the dementia progresses the day may come when your mother absolutely cannot live on her own no matter how much support you give her. (My husband with dementia could not live on his own without 24/7 caregivers). But maybe for the immediate future you can arrange support services for her that will extend her period of "independence" a little (or a lot) longer. My mother seems to be doing OK in her familiar little apartment, but without a lot of support (and visits a couple times a week from her kids) it would be impossible.

Carol is right. You are in a tough position. Hugs to you, and best wishes for working things out without alienating your dear mother.

And, first things first: deal with the driving!
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I appreciate the responses from JaneB and Carol Bursack! As I continue to research more about the elderly, I see that I'm certainly not alone. My brother and I have discussed this situation at length and have determined that AL is out of the question and he will move in with her. You're right Dr. Carol, some children are not able to live with their parents at this stage. I know that now because anything I attempt to do or say is not received well and she's always on the defensive with me but not my brother. So for now, my brother will make the sacrifice and care for her in her own envirnoment which we both feel she'll be happier in and live longer. We love her so dearly and only want the best for her. My brother knows how to approach her, is more patient and knows how to adapt to the elderly so much more than I. I'm grateful to him but at the same time I feel selfish and guilty that I could not have taken this on too. Nevertheless, since I'm married and he is not, this will probably be the best solution. Again, thank you for taking the time to respond.
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I didn't see the other responses until now...thank you all for taking the time to respond!
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You can be a huge help to your brother, even though he will be the primary caregiver. The biggest thing caregivers need is respite -- a chance to get away from the responsibilities for a while. Perhaps you take over every Thursday evening so he can continue with his basketball team at the gym, and give him every other weekend off. You two work it out a schedule that suits you both. Don't wait until he is overwhelmed -- start out with a respite schedule from the very beginning. Invite Mom and Brother to your house for dinner once in a while. Perhaps you can be responsible for all of her dentist and podiatrist appointments. It is typical -- almost universal -- that the main burden of care falls to one person. That person can use family support! Regular time off is critical. So is appreciation. The loved one often is resentful or forgetful or takes the care for granted and isn't willing/able to show appreciation often. Make sure the main caregiver isn't taken for granted by everyone!

You are obviously not selfish, don1. You need not feel guilty about this solution. Pitch in and lend your help and support.
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A good option to get someone elses eyes on her and get her less cooking responsibilities is the daily lunch served at the senior center.

For my mom I had all her bills put online on auto-pay. So all we had was the visa card, that I could also check on-line the day I did my bills.

moved my mom across the street from me at this stage in a rental house. The location is the key; this really will not last more than a year or two so don't be too afraid of the cost of the rent. I gave her a rolly suitcase to walk to the store and had her in for dinner each night. My kids and neighbors buffed some of the watchful eye stuff.

That ended the day she went for a wander in the middle of the night.

This disease is progressive, no stage lasts forever. The most important thing for me is to keep the rest of my family sane as we all go through this together. If she is combative and does not want to come you will all be miserable.
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