Is there a way to preempt those with legal control of my mom, who want to dump her in a horrible "memory care" facility? -

Is there a way to preempt those with legal control of my mom, who want to dump her in a horrible "memory care" facility?


I'm the youngest of many siblings, the eldest of which have legal control over my mom. In two weeks, those charged with her care plan to move her , without giving her any other option, to a dark, smelly "memory care" facility. I am sickened at the the thought of her being in that place. Is there any way I can stop them from doing that, opting instead to bring her to my own home?

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Sounds like the oldest sibling is the one who's been providing the hard caregiving work and the others have just gone along. I think I'd talk to the oldest sib and see if you can work together to find a more suitable place. Just leave the others out of the decision making process.

I did some quick checking. There's a Sunrise facility is located between Lawrenceville and Snellville in Georgia, NW of Monroe. Looks like it's about 20 miles away.

I've seen two local Sunrise facilities; they're quite lovely, in a Victorian image style.

It might be worth checking out; I never smelled any odors when I toured there some years ago. There were resident pets which added an animal component for the residents to admire and with which they could interact.
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Who is caring for her now? Children usually don't want to move their parent into a facility, but caring for them may have become too difficult. Talk to your siblings about the why of the change and ask them if they want to try your house first. I do have to warn you that it won't surprise me if you discover pretty fast why they chose to move her to memory care.

BTW, I've seen a few facilities. They are not like dungeons at all. You may feel better if you visit the facility.
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When you say " legal control" do you mean that your sibling has guardianshop over your mother? That would mean that 2 doctors have cerified, and a judge has agreed, that your mother no longer has the capacity to make decisions that are in her own best interest.

If this is the case, your sibling may not just be a control freak. S/HE is charged by the courts with providing your mother with the proper level of care to keep her safe. If the AL says they can no longer handle her, it may mean she is attempting to elope. What is your plan to provide 24/7 supervision and care for her?

Would that care plan stand up to a judge' s scrutiny? Write it up and submit it to the court.
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Babalou, you wrote what I was thinking. There is a lot more to this story than we're reading. The profile says the mother has Alz/dementia. Goldfinch, I'm wondering if you're only able to visit once a week now, then how would you be able to devote 24/7 to your mother's care. Was someone keeping you from visiting more often before? There seems to be a real bitterness against all the other siblings for wanting to move your mother to the dungeon.

The biggest question in my mind is if the AL facility had requested the move.
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goldfinch, why not help your siblings find another memory care facility. I see you live in the Atlanta, Georgia area, thus there are more than a dozen places that offer Assisted Living/Memory care. From the names listed, many of them have very good ratings.

Please note, if your Mom's current facility says she needs a higher level of care, that would mean if you did bring your Mom home, you would need 24 hour care, thus 3 shifts of caregivers. I assume you would take one shift, and hire out 2 other shifts. You would need to set up your home similar to Assisted Living/Memory Care.

My Dad had 3 shifts of caregivers at home and it cost him $20k, so be ready for the sticker shock. If you plan to take the night shift yourself, be ready for very little sleep. My boss's wife had Alzheimer's and most days he came into the office with 2 or 3 hours of sleep.
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goldfinch, yes you can step up at the assisted care facility and agree to be with mom for all her waking hours so she doesn't have to be moved out. Have you volunteered to do that?
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Mom cannot stay where she is.

There should be more options than a sub-standard memory care place or your home.

Have you considered a nursing home?

Have you looked at other memory places?

What about a facility near you, so you could visit often?

I would hope that you and your sister can work things out because you both want what is best for your mother. Is Sister the healthcare proxy? POA? Guardian?
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When my mom had a stroke, she had been living in an Independent Living facility equadistant to my brother and me, each of us about an hour away. By the time we got to the hospital, several errors had been made because no one had gotten there quickly ( nothing irreversible, thank G-d).

We decided at that point that it was going to be imperative for mom to be in a long term facility quite close to one of us. Given our options, we chose to place her closer to my brother in Connecticut as opposed to near me in Brooklyn. My brother and his family bear the brunt of the caregiving, visiting, etc. I do the most travelling. Compromise is needed, trust in the other party, and an ackowlement that what we are ALL doing is hard.

Try to think the best of your siblings, and try to imagine what has been going on...are they getting several calls a day from the facility? That can be enormously stressful. It sounds like your mom is pleasant, but is she at times suspicious, paranoid or delusional? My mom spent this summer weeping that she had leprosy. It would have been funny if it hadn't been so wearing, especially on my my sister in law.

Try to have a sit down with your sibs with an attitude of understanding and not accusation, of " you've been carrying the load, let me take it up now" and not " you've made a mess of things, i can do better".
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Goldfinch, the other sibs aren't interested in looking for an alternative facility, ok; but have *you* looked? What are the alternatives?

If you want to change anyone's mind, you'll need to come up with workable options that won't throw you into direct confrontation with the eldest Sibling-In-Command. Taking your mother out of your sister's location into your home, for example; undertaking a level of commitment that vastly outweighs (read: outshines) everyone else's; these are exactly the kind of things that are the caregiver's equivalent of Joseph and the Coat of Many Colours. They're *going* to say no, and you know that, and you can't overrule them, so don't even bother.

Focus on finding a better memory care facility. Be quick about it, too.
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Many thanks to all for your thoughtful replies.
I do have training / licensed as an Ombudsman for the Elderly in California, and an EMT with specialty in geriatric care and have done elder care, so I DO understand the level of care involved. My mom is not currently a night time wanderer, diarrhea is not common, but happens. No the AL cannot care for her- they say "if she can't get to meals by herself, she doesn't eat". She does not get to meals by herself and the lack of nutrition definitely impairs her cognitive capability. That is one of my biggest concerns about where she is now. I live 1.5 hours away right now, work from home 3 days a week, work out of the house weekends and would need care for her then. She has been getting private daily care in the AL 5 days a week, but even that is not enough as she cannot keep track of time of day to get to meals and needs help bathing. (The times I was there on her bath night, nobody came to help her. She now has open sores on her back)
I am happy to bring her here- (already have the walk-in shower and accessible toilet). But I cannot make a three hour round trip drive daily to take care of her.
The facility is awful- no natural light, blinds drawn, figures slumped over tables with a drink and straw in front of them, and awful odor. My mom is nowhere near that level of deterioration and enjoys accompanied walks outside, watching the birds, and is very pleasant . She is not a flight risk. I enjoy my time with her.
Sibs are not interested in looking for any other facility- the ones that aren't here feel so guilty for not being here and helping that they automatically and without question capitulate to the oldest sib who is here. If I sound bitter, perhaps I am- that the eldest sib will allow her burnout to burn my mom (even though she is not now nor has she ever had my mom in her home)
I appreciate the questions on "legal control" and will follow up.
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