How do I convince my Mom that she needs to be in an AL?


My mother who is 89 years old and has dementia, COPD, and bursitis refuses vehemently to be placed in an AL. A family member lives with us and has taken her side. Further, he screams and accuses me of being a horrible person who is selfish and crazy for not continuing to care for my mother whose quality of life here at home is nil. I really think not only would she receive 3 meals a day but would get professional care as well as peers she could talk to on a daily basis. Who really is the selfish one here? I have been sole caregiver and slave for 10 years now and feel that she needs a change and so do I. I am 63 and have only few years left to try to save for a small retirement for myself. Who will be there for me when I am too sick to care for myself? I am tired of being ganged up on and accused of being a terrible person for all of the years of my life I have more than paid back caring for my mother. I don't want to leave and have social services come in but I may have to fight for my sanity.

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We took mom out to lunch. It was the free lunch at an ALF, with a tour. Not for NOW but for LATER, JUST IN CASE. Once a month, at a nearby place. Valentine's was dinner at one. Visit any of her friends who live in one. Most have a monthly social that visitors can attend. We told her either she could come with us or not. If NOT, then we would look, we would pick the place, not NOW, but LATER, when it is time. She came along.
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Forget about talking to her about it right now. Don't discuss it with your mom or the other family member. Period.

Go find a facility. Make appointments with Admissions Coordinators and tour a number of them; get recommendations from friends; stop and talk to some of the residents. Get all of the information on costs, programs, transportation, how doctor appointments are handled, what extra services do they offer a la carte, if they have doctors who will come to the facility instead of having to go to the office, etc.

The Admissions Coordinator will ask a lot of questions about your mom and, before admitting her, they will undoubtedly interview her to make sure she's a fit. She MAY not even fit Assisted Living. She may need more care than they can offer in which case, she'd be a candidate for nursing home placement.

Figure out how your mom's going to pay for it and keep moving forward.

After you've done your homework, you'll be more comfortable that you're making the right decision. Once you decide that and have settled on one you think fits your mom's needs, tell your mom that you want to take her to visit Sunshine Center (?).

Tell her alllll about it beforehand. Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Things you might say include:

Mom! They have so many social things for you to do! There's a menu so you can pick what you want for every single meal! There's free transportation to the doctor! They even have a doctor that VISITS once a month! You'll have a pleasant roommate; they'll help you as you need it. It's going to be sooo much better than living here! And I'm moving.

Offer to take her for lunch and to meet with the AC to see what it would be like. (This AFTER you've discussed your mom's reluctance with the AC to see if he/she has any suggestions for how to transition.)

If she flat-out refuses? Then call Adult Protective Services; explain that you can no longer care for your mom; that you're moving out in sixty days; that you've found a great place for her; and ask for their assistance. They may not help you directly; but may refer you to a social agency that can step in.

Make up your mind and forge ahead. There's no other way. If the only way you're going to get your life back is if mom says it's okay, you may NEVER get your life back.

And you will have no one to blame except yourself.
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Who is the family member? Does this family member contribute to your mom's care on a daily basis? And does this family member fear that if your mom goes into AL then this person might have to find another place to live?

What is this person's motive for not wanting your mom to go into an AL?
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You could talk with her doctor and be real honest with him/her. Take her in for check-up and let the doctor advise of her of the need for professional care. Do not let anyone bully you into doing what you know is unhealthy for you. Ten years is a very long time and you should be commended for such a commitment.

It is time to take care of yourself. Let the person who moved deal with the situation and get on with your life. Best wishes.
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