My Mother (93) has dementia and is refusing to eat, take her medication and becoming abusive/uncooperative. Any advice?


She moved into a new assisted living facility yesterday. They want me to handle this. I don't know what I can do as two minutes after I leave she won't remember I was there. I can't make her do anything she doesn't want to do. Any suggestions?

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I'm a little surprised that Memory Care finds her behavior odd. Many dementia patients have difficult behavior. Resisting, agitation, etc. are common in Memory Care units. They are trained to handle that kind of thing on a daily basis. They know how to redirect and tolerate the behavior, while trying to engage her in ways that will make her more accommodating and content.

I think I would talk with the director and see if the team can meet and discuss it. She may need some medication. You say all she is taking is a vitamin. It might be challenging, but if they can get her on a good med, it might help her feel much better and she wouldn't be so uncooperative.

I have seen how the right medicaitons can have a huge impact on the dementia patient. She may need something to calm her anxiety. A daily med for that might take just a few days to provide improvement. I would certainly discuss it with her doctor or a geriatric psychiatrist.

I know what it's like to get daily phone calls reporting dementia behavior and wanting you to do something about it. The first place my cousin was placed, they would call me at work if she reported she couldn't find her hairbrush! I'm not kidding. It became obvious, they were not able to care for her and I don't think they really tried. Anyway, now that she is in Memory Care, they take care of her. I don't get a call for every little thing. And there have not been any significant issues. I hope you can get her someplace that is able to meet her needs.
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Yes, my mom is in memory care. I am going to see her this morning and see if I can assist the staff. I have decided to tell the staff not to make her do anything she doesn't want to do. I found out the "medication" she will not take is a vitamin. I am just feeling a bit frustrated with the staff. This is a new situation for her and I am sure she will adjust to the change, they just need to give her time. I apologize for the venting. I was sincerely hoping I had found a place she would be safe and well taken care of so I could have a day off.
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I'd give it several more days and see if she adjusts better. Will she take her pills from you? Or is she generally uncooperative with everyone?

Does this facility have a wing for memory care? Do they think she belongs there?

My heart goes out to you. This is so stressful!
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She needs a higher level of care in a memory unit.
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