My retired 70-year-old brother lives with his adult son, who works strange hours as a police officer. For various reasons we have concluded that he should not be left alone, including: wheelchair-bound, inability to bathe himself, inability to manage his meds, many chronic conditions and poorly-healed injuries, cognitive issues beyond the already-diagnosed mild memory impairment, and dependent sedentary lifestyle. Assisted living is more cost-effective (and probably better care) than a home care aide. The son is at wit’s end with the situation and wants his dad out of his condo. It would be better care for the dad, and peace of mind with less stress for the son. We have searched for and found a nice assisted living center that my brother’s limited resources can afford. We need a loving way of insisting that he make this move. It’s essentially a loving eviction. His only other option, if he refuses, is to find another living situation on his own, and he doesn’t have the wits or mobility to do so. He has an upcoming annual physical (his first in 2 years) and we have clued in the doctor about the various issues, and asked him to bring up assisted living before we discuss it further. I know this isn’t the ideal scenario for an assisted living discussion in which the loved one feels like he has some choice. It will be a difficult conversation. Any suggestions to make this talk less of a bitter pill for my brother?

Clue the doctor to be firm and forceful. Sometimes the voice of authority carries more weight than the concerned kindness of relatives that have always been push-aroundable by the head of the family.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Fawnby

Sometimes its easier to put the blame on ourselves:
Maybe you can use the words: I cannot lift you out of the wheelchair anymore, My job is asking me to be on call 24 hrs, My back is not good, My doctor told me to take it easy, I am tired.
Try not to use the words: You cannot take care of yourself, you are too much work, you cannot stay here any longer.
Try and stay positive about the place, mention the activities, great people that are there, let him in on the choosing of the facility.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Ohwow323

In our case it did get a little ugly - but the choice was necessary. It was my FIL that needed to be moved and my SIL/BIL that were providing 24/7 care (they lived with him) that was no longer sustainable due to some health issues of their own and FIL's immobility. He was in a rehab facility with no further progress able to be made at the time.

He told us - and the social worker - in no uncertain terms that HE was still competent and HE had the last word and that he was going home. As Alva said, you cannot MAKE him do anything that he does not choose to do unless certain criteria are met, but you can make the choice they want uncomfortable or unachievable.

He was 100% correct- the choice was up to him. But we had a choice too. We did not have to facilitate that choice. And we said as much. That we as a family would no longer be providing his care and that if he chose to go home, he would need to hire 24/7 skilled nursing care or that he would be an unsafe discharge - because it was very clear that he was completely unable to take care of himself.

Once we took ourselves out of the equation - that severely limited HIS options. He either had to hire someone 24/7 to take care of him (which was out of his budget) or he had to agree to move to the SNF that we had found for him (a very nice place, that he could afford.) It was still his choice. He just didn't like his choices.

Many times if you take yourself (and anyone else) out of the equation that can facilitate/prop them up and be the solution and remove the roadblocks/impediments to them achieving exactly what THEY want - they are only left with what you want them to do anyway. But they are the ones that make the choice because they don't have any other option. BUT they aren't literally forced into it. Maybe figuratively, but I guess that's semantics at the end of the day.

Frankly, I'm surprised my FIL didn't hire someone for a brief period and then fire them and see what we did. But maybe he finally took us seriously.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to BlueEyedGirl94

The sad truth is that neither you, his son, nor all of you together can make the father move. Not unless they are POA and he is judged incompetent under the law, and you have the medical letters and diagnosis to prove it.

I sure wish you luck. The only way is for the son to be honest with his father that he cannot live there anymore, and that if he has to legally evict him, Dad will be homeless or left to his own devices. The father is now a legal tenant whether he pays rent or not. An eviction attorney is the only way to legally remove him. That is the hard truth.

I sure wish you luck and I sure hope you'll update us.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to AlvaDeer
LittleOrchid Jun 6, 2023
So true. It is hard for me to understand why so many families think they have the right to make decisions for family members. Once a person has reached the age of majority in the state where they reside ALL their personal decisions are their own to make unless they are deemed incompetent in a court of law.

Families can advise, encourage, or make ultimatums (seldom a good idea), but they cannot force a family member to move, hire help, or much of anything else.

For those who may be considering moving an elder into your home, be very aware that older people's symptoms will only get worse. If your elder loved one is stubborn and willful, that will not change when they move into your house, but your ability to say yes or no changes considerably.
See 3 more replies
By saying that dad requires more care than his son can possibly provide for him in home now while working a stressful job as a full time police officer. AL is not a house of horrors, but a way for an elder to maintain autonomy while getting the extra care they require. Present it properly and have the doctor back up the recommendation. Be sure to say you'll be visiting him often in AL and calling on a regular basis.

Not everything is negotiable in our senior years when disease and dementia set in. I would think your brother can see the toll his health situation is taking on his son and want to remedy it asap. Let's hope, anyway. If not, a legal eviction will have to take place.

Best of luck to you.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to lealonnie1

Brother, your care has become way more then your son is able to provide.

You will be getting a needs assessment so we can find a facility that can give you the care you need and deserve.

We love you and know how hard this is but, we know how vital it is that it happens.

Repeat as needed.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

Brother/Dad, "I can't do this anymore. I found a nice place for you to live with lots of help. Would you like to visit tomorrow or Saturday?"

Keep it simple, straightforward and honest. Don't argue. Just say "I can't"
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

His son is going to have to speak up and tell his dad that this is more than he can handle and it is stressful for him. He needs to tell his dad that he loves him, but he needs more care than he can provide and that they need to look for a place that can care for him 24/7.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Jamesj

You can't "tough love" with a person you say has "cognitive issues beyond the already-diagnosed mild memory impairment"

Your brother can no longer make informed decisions about his care. Its not what he wants, its what he needs. I do hope someone has POA makes things easier. With my Mom she was probably stage 5 out of 7. We told her she was going to a nice apartment and was going to make new friends. Had no problem with her and she acclimated well. Yes, I was lucky.

Has this AL evaluated ur brother? Usually when Dementia is involved, Memory care is recommended.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to JoAnn29
Beatty Jun 6, 2023
So true. I have used tough love but it does often fail to change behaviour when insight is really lacking.
Perhaps a ‘white lie’ might help to make this less difficult for S to say and for B to hear. For example, S says that he has been told that he will need to transfer to another city for a month, coming up soon. “It’s policy to help ensure that all police forces are working in similar ways”, and he will have to agree. B will need to stay in AL while B is gone, and B needs to go in now to get used to it while S can still visit occasionally – he won’t be able to visit when he is transferred. S is not prepared for caregivers to be in his house while he is away and won’t be able to monitor what is going on. So AL is the only option.

This can be repeated until it’s ‘normal’. Worth thinking about this, or another option along the same lines.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter