How do you place a parent against their will?


My mom has been the sole caregiver for my father who has Alzheimer's. He has been mentally declining, and we've begun to look for placement for him. He is 88, she is 84. I've been staying with them around the clock for the past month, as my mother has been weak from a recent serious medical event and hospitalization. And now, time is of the essence because she has advanced cancer with only weeks to live. My goal for her is peace, which means getting him out of there. She is all for this, as he badgers her, tells her she's stupid, etc. He's not a "happy drunk". He is a "mean drunk". Yet there are moments when he tells her he can't live without her, etc. I have 2 questions: 1-how do you place someone, knowing it will be against his will, and he will probably go down swinging? How do you physically do this?
2- Do we tell him she is dying? Will he be aware, or forget the next day? Hospice is about to come in, which will be just more confusing for him. But for her sake, he needs to be out. She works too hard at trying to answer him, console him, explain to him, etc.

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The quickest way to get someone placed is to wait for a precipitating emergency. This can be a fall or out of control sundowners. The person gets to the ER and the family informs the staff that they can't take their family member home. The hospital social worker will get involved and will find a place for your dad. The social worker might give you several places to choose from but they're all places that the hospital has worked with before.

Now, for the emergency. I know time is of the essence and if your mom only has a few weeks left to live this may not happen by then. Hospitalizations and placements take time. Financial ability to pay has to be proven and this takes time too.

If you want to get your dad to the ER wait for a particularly nasty outburst and call 911. Don't drive him yourself. He'll refuse to go but the paramedics will ask him questions to assess his mental status and he won't pass so they will make the judgement call on taking your dad to the ER and they will opt to take him if he's very agitated. Once there you start the ball rolling.

I agree with Countrymouse that you should discuss this with your hospice team.
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My cousins went through this. They ended up getting guardianship of their dad so that they could force placement in memory care.

In their case, however, they needed to wait until my aunt passed away, because she said that she would fight them on guardianship.

Psychiatric meds worked wonders on my uncle's mood swings once he was properly placed. Has your dad been seen by a geriatric psychiatrist?
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What a tragic situation, Tired. Why not talk this through with the hospice team and your mother together - how long will you have to wait before they arrive?

And how are you?

The difficulty with simply removing your father from their home is that worrying about him may make it impossible for your mother to rest. And when you say he is a mean drunk - what, literally? Where's he getting the alcohol???
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