Mom in assisted living, has dementia and wants to get her own place or move in with my sister. These are not options. What do I say?

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Mom hates sister's husband, becomes ugly talking about him. She wants my sister to take care of her. She cannot live alone due to her memory problems. It's the same conversation at every visit and phone call. She becomes so agitated and hateful I have to leave.

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Just say we'll see or I'll think about it or let's let the doctor decide. If she keeps on, then leave. Dementia patients have a way of going on and on and on. I know my mother would ask the same question 1000 times then I had to leave. Drove me batty.
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Rainmom, Thank you for posting your answer. I have about driven myself crazy with guilt because I am an only child and so much would love to give mom what she wants...to be in her little home. She kept on for 2-1/2 hours at our last visit about why is she here, take her home, she hates it here, she knows it is the
"end of life" place not home, etc. My husband, who usually stays calm, even got to the point of total frustration. We finally decided to only make 1/2 hour visits and if they seem to go well...extend or leave as necessary. I love my mom, but when you can't redirect and they are becoming agitated and you are upset, then it is not healthy for anyone. As you say...Dementia will win the argument everytime.
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Sending thousands of dollars to mailed charity requests. Not being able to drive anymore. Living alone in an apartment. Not coming to live with me. These are just a few of the topics I sent countless hours trying to reason with my mother, who had dementia, about. I didn't know much about dementia. My mom had always been so smart - the smartest woman I've ever known. I just couldn't understand why I couldn't get her to see reason - maybe if I explained it one more time? Used different words or a different approach? I know now I would have had as much sucess if I'd stood in her room and banged my head against the wall. Do yourself a favor and take the advice given - redirect and if that doesn't work, cut the visit short and come back another day. Dementia will win the argument everytime.
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You won't likely get through to her. I'd try to keep her busy talking about something else or just say, well that's something to consider, I'l have to explore that idea. I'll take some notes. We'll discuss later. The change the subject.

My cousin was under the believe that she could live alone, WITH the help of her neighbors checking in time to time. It was absurd, but I just said that we had to do what the doctor wanted for the time being and of course, the doctor said she could NOT live alone. It wasn't even a close call. She eventually did heed the doctor's advice.
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"Oh, that's an idea mom. How do you think that would work? Let's talk to the doctor about that at your next visit".

It sounds as though mom is trying to save sis from BIL. Don't argue. If you can't redirect, leave.
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Does your mother become agitated when you try to explain to her why she cannot live either alone or with your sister? If that's so, then - at the risk of sounding unsympathetic, which I'm not - the obvious answer is to stop explaining.

Let her ramble on about her plans, and nod and smile and give non-committal answers, like "we'll see" and "maybe" and "that's something to think about." Add questions about how she thinks this might work, and what she would expect to be better about a change in her environment.

When your mother gets on to the subject of your BIL, and you find it too hard to listen to slanders and vitriol, try to change the subject with "well, that's enough about him, let's talk about XYZ." But has she always disliked him, or is this a change in her attitude that could be part of her dementia?
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Unlikely she will stop asking - my mom thinks her 95 year old friend wants to take care of her
It's too cruel to tell her she has to stay where she is forever so I try to change the subject - you can't explain something that firstly they don't want to hear and secondly they cannot remember
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