Q: How do I get my elderly mother with dementia and my siblings to stop fighting me about moving mom to assisting living? We are at a standstill.

A: It is important that you and your siblings get on the same page about moving your mom to assisted living, and figure out the best way to care for Mom together.

I often work with families in this situation, and I find that it helps a lot for the siblings to have the opportunity to each share what they think is best for Mom and why they think that.

Through this process, we can usually reach a collaborative agreement that works for everyone. Part of the process is to identify the various resources you and your siblings each bring to the situation.

Resources include proximity to your Mom, time available to serve as a caregiver, money available to pay for caregiving services, and special skills that one of you might have. Sometimes, once you all have a good sense of the resources you collectively bring to the situation, the range of feasible options becomes clear, and agreeing on a direction is relatively easy.

Then, once you all agree, you come to the issue about getting your Mom on board with the plan. How you get your Mom to agree to a move (if that is the ultimate plan) will depend on her cognitive status. You mention that she has dementia. Depending upon how severe that is will determine whether she can truly be a participant in the dialogue.

As her children, you and your siblings have a responsibility to see that your Mom is safe and well cared for, and if the best place to do that is in assisted living, then that is what will need to happen. If Mom is able to participate in the discussion, it's important for you to give her a chance to get used to the idea of this important transition before it happens.

I often find that seniors will be more open to taking direction to me as an objective third party than from their kids whom they fear have some other motive for pushing them to move.