My 92-year-old mom has no short term memory. She lives with me and refuses to go to a home. How does this end?

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I am an only child.

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Susangrehan, it's ashamed that your Mom had refused to draw up a Power of Attorney to elect someone to make decisions for her when she is unable to do so. It doesn't matter if you and she or your Dad were only children.... everyone needs one.

Usually us caregivers, who have an elder parent who refuses to move to a place that has a higher level of skilled care, need to wait for a medical emergency. Thus 911, a trip to the ER, time spent in rehab, then a move into Assisted Living [if one can afford to self-pay] or into a nursing home [self-pay or payment through Medicaid].

I couldn't convince my own Mom that she and Dad need to move from a house which had a lot of stairs. She wanted to stay there no matter what... my Dad was more in favor of moving but not without my Mom. Sure enough it took two major falls before my Mom had no choice but to be in long-term-care. So you might just have to wait, and don't be afraid to call 911 even if your Mom says she doesn't need medical help.
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How long has she been living with you now, Susan? What would you like to see happen? It is very difficult to make them do anything that they don't want to. I know you've found that out already. I know you don't feel safe letting her live by herself, since she has no short-term memory. I think Barb's idea of a needs assessment is a good idea. If a third party comes up with the ideas, your mother may be more open to them. When children come up with the ideas, parents can fight them. Let us know a bit more about how things are between your mother and you. People may have some helpful ideas. Even if no one does, there are a lot of empathetic people who understand what you're facing.
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The answers from SueC1957 and Grandma1954 are both great for addressing the legalities which you obviously have to address first. Once that's done, we both know that your mom still won't want to move so, what then? I was in you're shoes about 9 months ago. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do but it worked. I arranged for the new living situation and scheduled movers to come in early one morning. My husband took Mom for breakfast and a movie, I swept in with the movers and packed only what she could use in her new apartment and then headed there with the movers behind me. We moved all of Mom's things in and unpacked. Husband and Mom showed up. Was she angry? At first she was. Her anger with me was gone within a few days because she had forgotten how she'd gotten there. She still expresses dislike for the place on occasion but I understand that's par for the course with dementia. I honestly can't imagine having done this any other way because Mom was not going to cooperate with a move. Best of luck to you!
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My mom is also 92 and I am an only child. My mother has 2 brothers and some cousins still alive in NJ who basically don't want to get involved. She calls these folks her family.

My mother is also loosing her short term memory. She writes everything down because she knows what is happening. We tried twice to have her live with us but she complained so much about everything we couldn't stand being in our own home.

I finally forced her to tour an AL facility where I had prearranged with staff to show her all the good things they have there. When we got home I told her she needed to be where someone would check on her around the clock and that she was moving to the facility we had just toured. Big fight ensued but I stuck to my guns. She pointed her finger in my face and said "You are my son, I am your mother you have to take care me!" She turned on my wife and said "You did this!" She refused to be persuaded and I kept up telling her it was all done and she was moving. On moving day she "fell" in her bedroom. I picked her up and said I wouldn't be able to do that much longer and she needed to have younger help. To this day she resents being "In this place." But she has made a few friends her age. She takes a toll on me every time we are alone trying to guilt me into taking her "home." I have offered to move her to any place she wants to go but our house. She declines approaching her "family" in NJ about moving her there. One of her brothers told her she would be in a facility if she moved to NJ.

Our home is peaceful once again. We make sure she is included in all family functions. I take her to all her doctor appointments and she has part time private help to get her up in the morning and get dressed. Her helper also takes her shopping and the two of them go to lunch together. Her primary care doctor visits the ALF once a week. I encourage you to take the steps you need while continuing to try and convince her. Maybe a tour would help. You will have hard times ahead but the end result will be worth it.
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Susan,
I had this similar situation. My mother was fiercely independent and never wanted me on her accounts. (Funny, my dad (divorced from my mom since I was 5) immediately put me on his accounts when he aged so I could help him out if needed.)

I waited until my mom was on the "brink" and she knew she was "loosing it" to talk with her, WITH A FREE ELDER LAW ATTORNEY, to explain to her that the state would have final say, if she took a turn for the worst, INSTEAD of me. She signed over POA to me, as she reasoned it would be in her best interest if her daughter took care of her instead of the government.
I also got her to sign me on her bank accounts. She hid 2 Visa bills in the couch and, when I found them, they were overdue. I brought this up to her and she relented to have me as joint owner. For me, it was timing. She realized she was slipping and had enough mind to reason it out.
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She is living in your home?

You may have to start eviction proceedings.

Has she been diagnosed with dementia? Have you had your local Area Agency on Aging come out to do a " needs assessment"? This can be a useful way to get someone "official" to talk to her about her care needs, and give you an idea about what local resources ( like adult day care) are available.
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Richard,
Great that she finally relented. Older folks sure can be stubborn! Good for you for sticking to your guns about her not moving in. That living arrangement can ruin a marriage.

Physically forcing someone to do anything is considered battery, and you could be charged with a crime. Knowing this, I had to cunningly enlist my mother's cooperation in my plan to move her to the memory care facility. Mom was pretty confused but she was still clear that she would NEVER be put into a facility! There was no "winning her over" or "insisting" to get her to cooperate.
I knew I had one shot at this or she would never leave her apartment with me again. I told her that she had an appointment with the doctor. (She loved going to doctors.) Fortunately, she doesn't drive and didn't notice the change in direction. We entered the facility and she stated that, "I've been here before." I stayed the night with her but slid out in the morning.
The movers came 2 weeks later and I brought a lot of things to her. She was so angry that she physically attacked me. The nurses had to peel her off me. But it was done. I could sleep at night now. Was it bad to lie to her? IMO, no. There was no other way to deal with this situation without physically forcing her to go.
HollyW, I'm right there with you. What a rotten thing we had to do, but necessary.
I hope I go willingly.
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If she refuses to place someone "in charge" of he with POA for Health Care, Finances..you might have to resort to getting Guardianship. Or the Court will appoint someone to be her guardian.
Not a great process, not an inexpensive one and there is a lot of paper work involved as well. But that might be the only option for you.
I don't know if you explained this to her now would she understand and appoint you as POA..
To obtain Guardianship you will have to have her "declared incompetent"
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All of these posts are bringing back early hurdles with my brother, living 1000 miles away, struggling with early onset ALZ.

Brother/sister dynamics, his choice; friends, taking advantage of him & doing zilch; his denial of his diagnosis & desire for everything to stay the same was the start of a roller coaster ride.

You will need the best of the best help for her & you & sooner is better than later. Experienced & knowledgeable professionals; a doctor to diagnose & an elder attorney for legal concerns. Yes, someone other than you may be needed to discuss with her health & legal issues & the ramifications if she continues to do nothing. You may have to be creative in getting her to these visits & consults, most are reluctant to go, but remember you are not the bad gal here, you are helping her. Opening doors, changes at 92, with a short term memory loss is scary stuff for her.

You have your homework cut out for you & if there is continued reluctance on your mom's part consult with an elder attorney for yourself, to know the right direction in which to go. This is your mom, with memory concerns, possibly health issues. She may not realize it now, but she needs you, you know this.

In time decisions will have to happen, trust yourself. Be strong & focused. Blessings 🌸
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My 90 yo MIL was having in-home aides, but kept falling--although never broke anything. There was nothing wrong with her mind, but two doctors were willing to state that she needed round the clock supervision, so my husband and his sister got court order to remove her (kicking and screaming, she had to be restrained) to nursing home. And guess what? After a week, she loved it because people were finally paying attention to her, a pastor visited twice a week, her meals were better. They used up all of her savings, including the money from sale of her house, and she then went on Medicaid, but nothing changed--she was still able to have private room and lived for two more years before dying of heart failure.
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