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She has a bit of narcissism and moderate dementia but wants to stay in her room instead of assimilating in the common area as her doctors and neuropsychologist have ordered. The staff make her eat dinner and lunch in the dining area and stay out for an hour or so in the morning and afternoon (after a short nap) in the common room. She lit into me about how being out in the common area depressed her and didn't help her to hear all that arguing and yelling being done by the staff. She hates any negative feelings, (avoiding them and leaving) and perceives that firmness and loudness is arguing and yelling even though she's pretty much deaf without her hearing aids. I told her it was the doctors orders and that I had seen improvement in the last 4 mos since we started making her do this. She is no longer morosely depressed and her cognition is much better. She just kept arguing with me so I told her I was not there to argue with her and was leaving. She popped off at me but I don't know what was said so I ignored it and shut her door. I reported to the staff she just wanted to argue about the issue so they would be aware. Another factor is her favorite caregiver quit about 2 weeks ago and I think she is angry about that. A fairly new caregiver has been vocally mean in my presence which I have reported and supposedly has been dealt with. Other than refuse to engage her about this, do you all have any advice?

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Thank you all for taking time to answer. I will talk to the staff about not requiring her to stay out if she has been out for a period of time. She was always quite the extrovert and life of the party. I guess dementia has taken that, too. Being encouraged to stay out, eat meals and visit for a period of time has really helped her to not be so depressed but she does need to have some choices.
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I agree with Katiekate. I am also an introvert so I wouldn't want Staff making me join the others at senior living. Now if I made friends with someone in senior care, then I would try to seek them out, hopefully someone else who is shy.

My Dad kept pretty much to his room at senior living but he did keep his apartment door opened so that people could pop in to say "hi". Dad did enjoy going to the "restaurant" for all of his meals and be with his table mates. He did go to physical therapy. On the down time, he was happy as a clam sitting in his recliner with the sun beating down on him, either reading or watching TV.

I figure being in his 90's, Dad should be allowed to make choices that are comfortable for him.
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As an introvert, I can tell you that being force to spend time with groups of people is NOT good for my mental health. I need alone time...the more I am forced to deal with people in short intervals, the more I need to recharge by being with just myself.

I am amazed that a doctor would "order" such. Who is he to tell me that I will "do better" being force into unwanted socialization?

Rather than to put her through that...how about she be allowed to leave whenever she wants? Maybe make it so she must go, but can leave whenever?
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What's improved? Apart from that she's now livid and argumentative instead of depressed and morose, any other changes? You say she's much better in the last four months, and attribute this to her being encouraged to mingle.

Though, is encouraged the right word? Does she actually have any option?

Socialisation is generally considered to be good for people. Sitting alone, never talking to anyone, never interacting except on the most basic level - your brain is bound to fall into disrepair. I do get what the idea is.

Having said that. Being trapped in a room with the t.v. on, forced to overhear conversations along the lines of "did you go to the bathroom? DID YOU GO TO THE BATHROOM? Well, let's get you to the bathroom!" to your left, and "I said, YOU WENT ALREADY!" to your right, with nothing to look at except a couple of your contemporaries slipping sideways in their chairs as they struggle to stay awake, and the backsides of aides bending over to prop them up again....

Got to be the second circle of H*ll, surely, if not lower down than that?

So if she really doesn't want to spend this much time in the common areas, for whose benefit is she being made to?

How about trying a compromise such as her agreement to stay up and about for one hour after breakfast for her posture, if not for the company; and to try all group activities at least once - you could get a weekly schedule from the co-ordinator. There is one, is there?

But yes, you should feel free not to engage directly. Delegate this negotiation by all means. And all credit to you for standing up to that bullying, by the way.

I wish for you that your mother would realise you are in fact on her side. Hugs.
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