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My mother will not go to the doctor . we need a geriatric assessment for her inevitable nursing home care package which is coming down the line rapidly and she will not go to the doctor. The doctor thinks she is afraid he will find something wrong with her (eh,,,hellllooooo!! ) At this point , I think she needs to go to a psychiatric unit. I cannot see her co operating with nursing home care. Doctor says we cannot force her. People think shes relatively normal and fairly nice ,till they get to know her, then most run a mile in the opposite direction. She not only refuses to go to the doctor but also hair appointments. Refuses to wash herself or her clothes, refuses to move from her chair. refuses to do anything at all and never goes outside the door. it is 4 years since she stopped doing for herself. she is capable of more yet she pretends to be disabled. my dad has to do everything . the house is in a state ,they refuse to get a cleaner in.

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BTDT. Are you an only child? Either way, better get used to being assertive with mom & dad about what is going to happen and when. There comes a time when the grown up (that's you) has to take charge to make anything change for the better. Yes, you will likely be yelled at, cussed at, spit at, fought with, and see all manner of temper tantrum behaviors, but you have to forge ahead anyway. Just keep in mind that you are not dealing with the mother you had growing up, who probably had it all together every day. This is a new person who desperately needs you to intervene.

A lot of us with experience have parents who remain defiant and kind of rebellious even though they are in great pain or feel desperate fear. Pay no attention to what mom says about needing help. Use your eyes, ears, nose, & brain to assess the situation and go with your gut. Never ignore that voice inside telling you what to do. Also, take pictures of the scene next time you are there. Sometimes these pictures of their home, them, the inside of the fridge and state of the bathroom tell a more compelling story than we can ourselves.

A lot of seniors at this point fear change, even if change is exactly what they need, and they will go to any length to avoid it. Even if it means running off all their friends & family, living in filth, neglecting themselves, and losing all human dignity.

There are a lot of white-lies you can use to coax some level of cooperation if you want to go that route. Sometimes it won't work and you just have to take the gloves off and tell mom "we are going here today, and you are going with me. The end." You have to know what your mom's triggers are. Like, "mom I have to take you in for a little exam to make sure you are getting all the benefits you're supposed to have. You don't want to miss out do you?"

And if you don't get results from one doctor, go to another. The doctors in my home state acted like my mom's decline was my fault for marrying & taking a job in another state 20 years ago. I had to tell one it's not 1809, it's 2009 once. I wanted to ask him if he normally just treats farm animals, but I'm too polite. The doctors where we are now are fantastic and could immediately see the many layers of what is going on with her, didn't fall for her acting and story telling, were not put off by her antics, and proceeded into a nice cognitive eval through CAT scan, OT activities, and interviews. Not one has mentioned this is some kind of cosmic retribution against me.

She may not really need a nursing home. If she gets her medical problems treated, regular meals, activity/stimulation, and physical movement, she may be just fine in assisted living. First you have to get her out of this crisis state, which is what this is. Don't fool yourself or let anyone else tell you that it's been this way for long enough it can't be a crisis.

"Honor thy father & mother" doesn't say to go by what they are saying, even when it makes no sense and is dangerous for them. It means we need to do what we can to make sure they are safe and as healthy as we can get them.

Check in - let us know how it's going!! There's a lot of info on this site, and in a lot of the members.
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"Difficult" is a relative term, but you truly have a difficult situation, if I ever saw one. I'm in agreement with others here - take action now, or she will just sit there until she develops some sort of illness or infection from not cleaning herself or taking care of herself...and it could lead to her death.

My own mother hadn't showered for months - literally months - before I moved in...so sometimes it just takes someone else telling them what needs to be done - and with your mom, it probably needs to come fro someone outside the family - like a doctor. And if she is so far gone that the decision needs to be taken out of her hands, then so be it - it's in her best interest to take action now.
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You file a petition for Guardian status. The court will order a psychiatric evaluation. If you can't afford to do this, then you call the county office of the aging and they will evaluate her at home or get a court order for inpatient evaluation. Leaving her like this is not an option.
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