Help! My mother refuses to move into assisted living home.

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I have legal guardianship over my 89 year old mother, who has dementia. She is in complete denial about her dementia and refuses to believe there is ANYTHING wrong with her. She has been diagnosed by a doctor and many people have talked to her about it, but she just dismisses it all.
We have recently found that she is urinating in her bed at night and there is spoiled food in her refrigerator and she even had a BM in her bed.
My sister has been caring for her, but she is not well and it is becoming a terrible burden, emotionally and physically.
We found a very good independent living place for her that has an apartment available now. She can transition to assisted living there and we can add services as she needs them. She thinks she needs nothing and is FLATLY refusing to move. I have the legal authority to make her move, but I will probably have to have her physically restrained and moved to do that.
Should I do that?


if it's possible to keep her at home, why not if she wants to be there. There are several in home health agencies that can assist with her daily activities such as, Housekeeping, bathing, meals, senior companion or volunteers to visit with your mother. That's what we did for our mother because she wanted to stay at home. We found the information in the Senior Resource Directory and Seniors Blue Book free publications picked up at our local Senior Center.
My mother also refuses to move from her home but also refuses to wear a hearing aid, stop driving, accept assistance from any agency that will help her (e.g., Meals on Wheels, in-home assistance). What can my brother and I do?
Hi Losi,
Since I posted originally, we have gone to court and been appointed guardians for my mother and moved her into assisted living. While she is safe, she is not happy. I am hoping that will change. I wonder if I did the right thing, but we were totured by our guilt and fear about allowing her to live alone at 89 with dementia. Now we are tortured by our guilt that she is so unhappy there and wants to leave. It is so difficult, but we have been told by everyone that we have done the right thing. We are really hoping that she acclimates and feels more at home there eventually. She has only been there for 3 weeks and I know that any change to a person with dementia is difficult. My mom was the same as yours, thought she needed nothing and nobody to help her and she was just fine. We knew she was not. I guess you just have to be strong and do what you know is right for her. Take comfort that your actions are motivated by love and in that, they cannot be wrong.
It is good to see an update on your mother. You did the right thing, and although it may take a while for her to adjust, I am hopeful she will. Be sure to visit her (even if she seems mad) and perhaps that will help. Be sure to help her by being her advocate there at the assisted living center, making sure that she gets the care she deserves as this progresses. They need us more as time goes on.
Pandoralou, Even with guadianship, how did you get her into the assisted living? My sisters and I are going to begin the guardianship process. My mother also has alzheimers, refuses to accept anything is wrong, and refuses to move to assisted living. I am with her on a daily basis, but at night she is alone. She has fallen, doubled up on her meds, left the stove on. She is also having bowel incontinence. We are concerned for her safety when she is alone.
It's sad to see that children don't want to kept their parents with them. This is the time when they need you the most. She's just like a 2 year baby now who need extra attention and love. Just remind those days when you were 2 years old and your mom use to feed you on time and also changing your nappies. I think you can have a caretaker at home for her. Else you can find some senior living community like near your hometown.
Taking care of an elderly parent is so not like having ababy in the house. This is a totally false and unfair comparison.

Each situation is different. You have to do, first of all, what is best for you and your family. Lifestyle and dynamics in your home will change dramatically. Caregiving has been the most physically and emotionally draining experience of my life. I am glad were we able to help Mother but it is time to make other arangements.

It is a good lesson for all of us to get our ducks in a row regarding our own long term care.
Sometimes it is not that you don't want your parent with you. The is no bathroom downstairs so she would have to stay upstairs. She could very easily fall down the stairs. Not to mention, I offered she refused that too. Like littletonway says, it is not like a two year old. A two year old does not weigh 100 lbs, they do not verbally abuse you when they are having a bad day.
The assisted living that we are looking at is 10 minutes from my home so she would be very close. It is even a place that will take her dog. She would also no longer be alone. She would have people her age to talk with.
I am SO sick of the claim that caring for an impaired incontinent parent is like caring for a two-year-old, and that after all they did it for us so we should do it for them.


Having done both, I know for a fact that changing the nappies on a 35-pound toddler is not remotely like changing the incontinence pants on a 120-pound adult, who may be totally unresponsive deadweight, or actively agressive. The entire experience is totally different. And with a toddler you have the assurance that eventually this little critter will be toilet trained, and before he gets too big for you to manage. With the adult you know that this is forever, and will probably get worse.

Feeding an adult who has swallowing problems, or unhealthy and very vocal tastes is not remotely like feeding a toddler.

Finding and affording respite care for an impaired adult is not remotely like hiring the highschool student down the block to babysit occasionally.

I have done both, and I gotta tell you, caring for a two-year-old is NOT AT ALL COMPARABLE to caring for an impaired adult. No way. Not at all.

As it happens, the impaired adult in my life is my husband, and I have chosen to keep him home as long as I can. Lots and lots of factors go into the decision about what is best when an adult can no longer live independently. Each case needs to be decided on its unique basis. But the claim that caring for such a person is like caring for a two-year-old is not a valid factor to consider. It just is flat-out NOT TRUE.
Oh, and have you ever been with an impaired adult in public when they've had a bm in their pants and need to be changed? I have. Did I manage? Yes. Would I do it again for this person I love? Yes. But was the experience remotely similar to the many, many times I changed a toddler while out in public? No, no, NO! I cannot anyone who has done both thinking the two experiences are comparable.

Plus, when I was dealing with toddlers I was in my twenties and in good health. Many of our posters are in their forties or fifites, or like me, in our sixties, and often have some health issues of our own. Does that matter? Oh my goodness! I wish I could say I have the strength, stamina, and energy I had in my twenties, but sadly that would not be true.

A person past middle age caring for an impaired elder is NOT like a young mother caring for a two-year-old. It just is not.

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