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So my mom's decreasing health and recent turning to hospice, I find myself arguing with her more and being more stressed than usual. My brother is with her 24/7 and is exhausted. But she refuses to go into the hospice facility for 5 days for us to rest. What are some ways I can convince her?

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five days? How about five weeks?

I will tell you what the director of the Area Agency on Aging tolld me when she decided my mom needed to be "placed."

SHE WILL ADJUST.

I believed her. My mom adjusted. Yes, it took a while. Well worth the courage it took. All is well.

Pull up your big girl panties, get your courage up, and do what needs to be done. Take Harpcat's advice.

And not just for five days--be realistic!!!!!!!!!
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Reply to Salisbury
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For what it's worth, one thing we learned with my mother, is if we ask her a "yes or no" question, 99% of the time the answer is a resounding "NO" even if it clearly benefited her; as simple as "do you want hot chocolate? So what we started doing is not asking her and she is now 99% compliant. It seems that when we get older we don't want to make any decisions out of fear. Based on what some of our friends and family have experienced, I would guess she is afraid that the visit would be permanent. Once they understand it is only temporary, she might be more likely to agree.
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Reply to rusbar
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How good are you both at acting?

Just daydreaming about it here, but suppose you suddenly discovered an insect infestation that required the house to be fumigated and therefore vacated for "up to a week." And cross your fingers behind your back.

More generally, and if your mother is too alert to be taken in by this kind of ruse, the thing to concentrate on is that you and your brother ARE doing x, y and z (for which neither of you needs her permission) and therefore a, b, and c arrangements have been made for her meanwhile. The point is to make yourselves the people in need and making choices, rather than her; because if you tell her what she needs to do and what decisions she needs to make you create the opportunity for her to say no. Let her stay in respite care be a natural side-effect of your being away, rather than a condition of your being able to go.

It's a cart before the horse thing, where you and your brother are the horse and your mother is the cart. The horse needs to lie down. It's no use asking the cart about it.

Technically, she does the right to refuse to stay in the facility if she wants. But if you have gone ahead and made the arrangements then once it all starts happening she's going to have her work cut out making them leave her in the house with nobody there to see to her.

You may not be in her good books for a while. But tough. If you and your brother don't get this break it'll get a lot worse than that.

And if you're too frazzled and your brother is too exhausted to go about this in a positive, let's-take-this-in-our-stride way with her, then make the arrangements and ask your hospice provider to do the explaining perhaps.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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One suggestion is to let yourself have the ‘breakdown’ you probably try to avoid. Burst into tears, keep sobbing, say you can’t take it any more, and walk out. Stay away long enough for Mum to realise that she does not have the power to call the shots, and she may be more reasonable. If not, do it again. Three times might help to change the dynamic. Mum needs proof that she really needs you to be able to cope better, for her own sake as well as for you and your brother.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Good luck! I do hope you and your brother are able to get a break. When my mother lived with me she could not understand why I needed a break. If I tried to explain it she became upset with me. I tried to get help numerous times from family with no luck. Mom
would not even consider hiring an aide, caregiver or going some where for us to get away. It was extremely difficult with her negative, criticizing attitude and some of our family still have no idea how much pressure I was under b/c they didn’t want to be involved. I reached a point where I could not handle it any further and had to do what was right for my own health. I really feel for
you and wish you the best.
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Reply to NicoleAnn
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Does she have dementia or is it the lung disease? Can you appeal to her motherly instincts and tell her you just can’t do it anymore and you need for her to allow you to take a break? Tell her if she doesn’t cooperate, your ability to care for her is going to go downhill and your health and that of your brother’s is going to suffer. I don’t read much on this site about loved ones cooperating when their caregivers say they need a break. Mostly it’s the exact opposite. They dig their heels in and flatly refuse to go along. Maybe, if Mom can comprehend how burned out you are, and be very honest with her, she’ll cooperate. Even if her feelings are a bit hurt, a little honesty can go a long way.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Since hospice is there to support her as well as the family, can you ask them to talk to her about it and be present when they do. Perhaps they could accompany her on a "tour" of the facility.  You have her bags packed and then tell her goodbye and you will be back for her in a few days. It is not fair for her to hold you hostage...she is exerting all the power and you will need to set firm boundaries with her. Otherwise hire a paid caregiver and go away for a few days. Let mom pay for it of course. Hospice will still come by as scheduled. You need a break or it will affect your physical health. It’s already affected your mental health based on your post.
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Reply to Harpcat
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When my mother was no longer safe in my care because of a severe fall risk, we very reluctantly decided that she needed to be placed, the first member of her family EVER to enter residential care.
We considered this the best of the few terrible choices we had, and we deliberately put her in the car and took her, me, her only child feeling worse with every minute of the trip.
For the first few days I stayed with her the full day, then went back to work.
Much to our great surprise, she not only “adjusted”, but THRIVED. Her caregivers loved her and she loved them.
We are now caring for her youngest sibling, and have executed the same process. However much we love them we have to keep in mind that doing the best for a loved one with dementia is not the same as doing what they have decided they want.
Hope you and your family find some way to relief soon.
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Reply to AnnReid
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Im fixing to do the exact thing! I desperately need a break and like it was suggested I don't plan to ask. I got it approved by doc and im telling my mom just like 3 days before she goes into the facility. She wont be happy but i need a break and will let her go there for 3 or 4 nights so i can go out of town a couple days. She will try to refuse and say she can be alone. Not happening. My "break" isn't going to be worrying about her falling and alone. So grateful i found the service and doctor approved her to go there few days. If we dont take care of us then we wont be good for anyone else. Best of luck and stand your ground!!
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Reply to Dianne38
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1. Sometimes money talks. If you tell her it's already paid for, maybe she would rather not waste the money, pay twice (because if she doesn't go to hospice, you will hire someone to come in, using her money), have you cancel your own plans for which you have already paid.
2. Manufacture a crisis. An out-of-town friend in need, a special opportunity to see someone, a health problem of your own (she doesn't need details).
3. If none of these work, I am struck by how often being direct, even blunt, can work. "Mom, I need a break, I need a life, and this is what I am doing. I am doing my best, all the time, for you. Sometimes I can't be there all the time, so these are the arrangements I have made. You might not like it but you will survive it, and I will get to re-charge so that I can resume being your primary caregiver."
4. There will be fallout, of course. She will complain about everything: the people, the food, the room. Let this wash over you like rain, then shake it off. If she starts to repeat, you may have to remind her that she told you all about that already, how awful it was. Tell her to find someone else to complain to about what a horrible daughter you are. With any luck, she will revert to being (somewhat) appreciative, and if not, perhaps the 3rd party can re-direct her to gratitude.
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Reply to mumtothree
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