I checked out a local senior care center for mom. When I showed her the info she said "no way." Now what?

Follow
Share

I've posted this before. I've been thinking about sending mom to a senior center.....once a week to start.....for a few hours. When I mentioned it to her before I actually gave her the information she didn't say yes but she didn't say no. That all changed when I handed her the monthly bulletin. Mom lives with me and watches TV all day long. She has mild to moderate dementia but can feed herself and go to the bathroom by herself. I know she likes to socialize once she is in the moment....she proves that at every doctor appointment and when we are in stores...she talks to anyone who will listen.

I explained to mom that she must get up and get moving and have some conversations with others her age. If she doesn't use it, she will lose it. Well, I know that will happen anyways...but this will help. I can already see from mom barely walking at all....except to make a cup of tea or a walk to the bathroom....the muscles in her legs are weakening.

My feeling is.....and I've asked her this.....if she wants to continue living with me as long as she can she must start getting up and out of the house. She may or may not participate in bingo, bible study, movie day, silver sneakers, but maybe she'll make a friend with someone her own age she can relate to.

I left the conversation today with, "we'll talk some more this weekend." I don't think she's very happy with me right now. I told her she needs to go a least once to see what she thinks.

Yes, I don't work so I'm home most days so she could just continue doing what she's doing. But, I think it's worth a try. Advice, anyone?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
13

Answers

Show:
Care4mama. Can you go with her for a day or two? My mom was apprehensive. I told her we would go together just for a look, no pressure. We went, mom and I went on the tour, then she wanted to go....I plopped down on the sofa in the library/lobby and picked up the paper. She said "I'm ready to go". I said, well I liked it there and proceeded to get a cup of coffee and sit down to the paper. She finally sat down, then got up and wandered around...a few of her friends came in for an exercise class and gushed over her (they have her stubborn number). Then they signed her up for a luncheon they were having that week and she went. She went on a couple day trip outings. She liked the socialization and it was good for her and wore her out.

Sadly, she stopped going after awhile and I'm not there to reinforce or take her and reintroduce. But I agree with others, if you can get tough, attend first couple days with her, ignore her protestations, and persistence to leave and I think you will win the battle. She will make friends, the staff will call and tell her "they miss her, where have you been mrs. Smith?" And she'll have fun. Just don't count on her telling you that ;)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi, why not try going in the other direction - what if you bring a caregiver to her for a few hours a day, just a couple of days a week to start? This is much more personal and won't cost a lot, and will get her used to the idea of getting care. There are many good home care companies out there, try Synergy HomeCare, Visiting Angels, ComforCare. They are all national and probably have caregivers in your area.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Roxanne, no I didn't but I should have. I didn't push it because prior to arriving at the center my mom was refusing to return a call/text to one of my siblings she hasn't spoken to in a long time and we were going back and forth about that.......mom is the queen of avoidance! I really could write a book about the dysfunction in my family! Anyways, maybe next time I will score a point or two......I'm not claiming defeat yet! ;)
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Care4Mama - did you ask some of the staff to come out to the car? If not, try it next time! I'm so sorry that your Mom is being difficult. Be persistent...maybe you'll "score" soon!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Update: After blood work and a trip to our local pharmacy for mom's cookies and candy I drove to our local senior center so we could "check it out" together. Mom REFUSED to get out the car! A couple of senior citizens came up to my car and talked to my mom about the center and how nice the people were to talk to.....one very nice woman even offered to meet mom for lunch if we called her at work and told her when mom would be there! Of course, my mom had every excuse as to why she wasn't interested....ugh! I really wanted this to happen but I wasn't going to drag her in.......sigh.......not that I'm keeping score, but.....MOM-1 and DAUGHTER-0......so frustrating........
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Yes, definitely don't give up. This sounds exactly what I went through and finally realized I had to get firm, stop asking and just tell her you are going to do this. The staff at these centers are great and really know how to relate to people in this condition so as Roxanne627 said they will most likely be able to get her to go in. They are also a wealth of information for you the caregiver on how to deal with her and care for her. Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

When you go to the senior center, go in! If she refuses to get out of the car, the staff will come out and talk to her and most probably get her to go in. Don't give up! It sounds like not only would it be beneficial to her to go, but you, as well. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Thanks for all the kind responses. Well, my post was in June. It is now August and mom hasn't been to the senior center, yet. I drove her past it a couple of times one day to show mom what the building looked like but that's about it. So, I know it will be tough getting her there! It's TV TV TV! Yes, she is controlling me and quite frankly I am getting tired of it. I told mom the other day that living in a home....assisted, memory, nursing....is something I may be considering for her.......it might be the best thing for her or the worst thing for her....ugh! She doesn't have much to say about it......all I know is is that if she continues doing what she's doing soon she will barely be able to walk.....I can already see a difference in her since she moved in last year...and she has scoliosis in her back.....and her leg muscles will atrophy. Not to mention the fact that watching all that TV and no socialization other than with me.....is not good for her brain! Her responses? I don't want to meet people! I don't care! I'm old! I'm 74 years old! I like sitting in my room doing nothing! Who cares! I don't want to be the one watching her decline like she's slowly doing......I feel I must act in some way......soooo.....she has to get blood work soon.....on that day while we are out we WILL BE stopping at the senior center....next week! Wish me luck....I need it! ;)

When we discussed the senior center again last month....July....she got so irritated we barely spoke to each other for three days! That was a wonderful weekend.....sarcasm! This is stressful to me.....and I'm sure to her as well because it is something new and different......but something has to give! I sure hope I can get her out of the car........
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My Mom was very nervous her first day at her Adult Day Club, but I told her that she was going. That we all have to do things that we don't want to do, which is what she said to me many times when I was growing up. She has a cell phone and called me later that afternoon, that she was ready to come home. I told her that when I was done at work, I would come to get her. She was a bit apprehensive the rest of the week, but has now been there for a little over 8 months and loves it! She was only going 2 or 3 days a week and asked me if she could go more. She is now going 4 days a week.

The people that work at the facility are wonderful, caring, understanding people who will do their best to make your mom feel comfortable. There are several "club members" who are very welcoming to new members...now my mom is one of those people who take newcomers under her wing.

I hope that you will take her, as it would be great for her and wonderful for you to have a much deserved break! Keep us posted.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I was in this position with my MIL. She has the additional problem of having muscle degeneration in her legs so keeping mobile was a necessity or she'll find herself in a wheel chair. Unfortunately unless you made her get up she'd just sit and stare at the TV all day.

She can also get to the bathroom on her own and feed herself but I found I just couldn't count on her getting up and having lunch if she was on her own and being a diabetic she definitely can't be skipping meals. I was trying to work from home, but found myself spending most of the day telling her what to do or finding projects for her to do that I wasn't getting any work done.

One of the women in my building suggested a local senior day care for people with dementia. Like others she wanted no part of it when I mentioned it but I just told her flat out we tried it your way and even though you know what you need to do, you won't do it unless I make you. Since I have to be able to work if you're going to continue stay with us, for this to work, you're going to have to go a few days a week.

After that I solely focused on the pluses to her, she'd get to make friends, have catered meals, etc. The staff at the center is wonderful. Used to dealing with these type of seniors and knowing they don't want to attend they told her right off that they understand it can be difficult meeting new people, doing new things, so you do need to give it a chance before deciding you don't like it and asked her to try it for at least a month. And sure enough the first few weeks she was a little grumpy about it but by the time the month was up you could tell she was looking forward to going each day, though she would never admit it, lol, and she just never mentioned not wanting to go again.

It was the best decision I ever made, for her and for me. They plan different activities, games, etc. each day that are focused on maintaining their mental and physical health. They've taken them on field trips, had special entertainers brought in, had a photographer come in and do portraits, all kinds of great things. I've noticed a definite difference in her mental/social abilities and she's maintaining her mobility.

For me, I can actually get some work done and it gives me that needed break from feeling like I was doing nothing but nagging her all day and thus made our relationship and the living situation better.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.