Mom will not move. I have a feeling the director is going to leave it to us to physically remove her. Has anyone faced this and how have you handled it?

Asked by

My Dad and the continuing care facility they live in have decided they need to move to assisted living. Dad is OK with it; Mom, who has been diagnosed with dementia, is not. I am hoping this is not the case, but I have a feeling she will have to be physically removed from their independent living apartment into AL. Obviously, the facility is not going to call the sheriff to handcuff her and have her evicted, even though technically she is being evicted. All someone has to do is pick up a cell phone and start filming, and there goes the reputation of the facility (which, by the way, has been fantastic in the face of my mother's anger and resistance; it's a beautiful facility and the people are wonderful, but Mom's past recognizing that).


The director is wonderful except in one crucial respect: She refuses to give information about what "might" happen in any given scenario. She very much deals with things in the moment. Dealing with my mother, I have appreciate why--things can change very fast. But in this, it impacts my brother and me severely, and it would be nice to know what the facility does in these cases. My brother is again making a pitch to know, but I have a feeling the director is going to leave it to us to determine how to physically remove her.


So, assuming my brother can't get an answer, my question is, has anyone faced this and how have you handled it? My brother and I are probably strong enough to overpower her, but forcing her down the stairs (or elevator), into a car for the short trip to AL, and out of the car and into their AL apartment could result in injury to her, and possibly to us (we are 67 and 63, respectively, but in pretty good to great condition; Dad can't help because he's really weak from Parkinson's disease).


idahopilot

Answers 1 to 10 of 10
Top Answer
I do wish you and your parents all the luck available!

Would mother feel better about this if you privately convinced her that this was mainly for your father's sake? His disease is progressing, blah blah blah? And privately explain to your father that this move needs to be done before Mother's dementia progresses? Would they each be willing to make sacrifices for the other?
Wow ... I can't imagine having to physically move her like that.. I wouldn't think that would be a good idea.

I had to move both my parents (I was all alone) from independent living apartment to memory care facility. Neither wanted to go. One day I just came in and told them I was going to take them to lunch (which was at the facility). From there It was sheer hell for a while ... but months later they are somewhat acclimated to it (of course they still have times when they want to go home and wonder where their car is..etc).

Can you set up a situation like that.. can you trick her into going on her own free will. (I felt awful having to do that but sometimes you have no choice).

Another option would be to get some medication to relax her and make her more willing to go. Its such a hard situation.. I know.
If you never take her out it may not work, but something another person on the forum recommended was to use a little trickery. Arrange to go out for a drive or lunch or a shopping excursion and when you are finished bring her back to her new home. This would take a lot of coordination since someone would have to be busy moving the larger items while you are out, but if you can get their new home set up as close to the old one as possible she may not even notice the difference.
 Oh, I see katiekay has the same idea ;)
Idaho--
This is touchy, for sure. And you are right about the "camera" thing--my goodness, sometimes I think the whole world is filming life rather than living...

Perhaps your mom will need some anti anxiety meds, an hour or so prior to the move. If she is combative, it could get ugly, fast. The meds might also help her to ease into new living conditions. I can relate to her in that I have an anxiety disorder and new places, people, make me so uncomfortable. Talk to her dr.

How aware is she of where she is, etc? If she's quite far along with the dementia, that could either be a swing in your favor for moving her, she may not notice the change of living quarters. Anyway--I'd talk to her PCP and see what can be done to keep her calm and quiet. Her throwing a fit will just ramp up the stress for everyone.

Can the move be made during a "quiet time" or a time of day she's "better"? Howe helpful can your dad be? Does she still recognize him as her hubby? Would she be calmer if he is also calm?

I really hope this goes well for you. I could physically wrangle my mom at age 61, but wow, I hope I never have to!

Good Luck!!
Fingers crossed for you. I like Jeanne's idea. Also, with my dad, we could just tell him he worked hard and *deserves* the extra care he's now getting. So make it seem like they'll have people waiting on them and helping them. That might work? Your mom would have to do less to take care of dad (my mom would have loved that idea) and you could tell your dad that mom needs a break from taking care of him (if she's been the typical 50s wife, doing for hubby).

Good luck and fingers crossed for you!
I’d use the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend to get this done and enlist / draft family to make it all happen. Will be turkey from hell weekend but on Sunday they go back & into the new AL. I’d start on the downlow prepping for this....like washing all clothes, linens so when family comes in to move stuff things are clean & ready to go onto beds into bathroom. If there’s a refrigerator or wet bar in the AL have it all stocked and ready with whatever they like; get photos framed & up. I bet they can bring in their own chest of drawers, chairs and lamps so figure out a fib to get these out of IL (refinishing, new upholstery whatever) & get your draftees to move stuff in ahead of Sunday. Admissions at the ccrc will likely do whatever to help as they need this problem resolved yesterday. There could be staff at the CCRC who can move stuff.....like you take pictures of the IL and denote what moves. Thanksgiving is early this year & I bet you can get the rest of the stuff left in apt dealt with so that by Dec 1st IL is empty so painters come in to get IL apt ready for next resident.

My aunt moved into a CCRC & died just a few short mos after moving in. I was her executor & my first experience in ever dealing with a ccrc. I’d really suggest you carefully review the contract your folks signed. Whether the buy-in was $100k or 1M, the contract is likely to be very VERY one sided towards the ccrc. It is not sunshine & lollipops & rainbows even if they do Leslie Gore dance party at the CCRC. They can boot your folks out if they refuse to be in compliance. My issue was with selling Aunties place as all sales and review of new buyers all dependent on CCRC approval. Lots of foot dragging by CCRC. Took about a year and meanwhile all the not included in contract tenant costs billed to the estate. Then another 6 mos to deal with the settlement on the balance of the CCRC contract (a real atty flurry). My point is.... do what you can to keep their situation at the CCRC a positive. Good luck.
Thanks everyone. Mom's dementia is not that far along, which is one of the things that makes this hard. She is convinced she's fine and can take care of herself, which she can, but in a more limited way than I think she realizes.

That also is going to make trickery difficult. Mom is amazingly smart, even with mild dementia. She'd see through us in a heartbeat. Igloo572, your post made me smile. You must have a big family. I do not. My family is tiny, and we haven't celebrated Thanksgiving for years.

I am already down at my parents'. Dad now has changed his mind about going into AL. He was all for it before, but now he's turned around. That's going to make things a lot harder. We have a meeting with the facility director tomorrow morning. I guess we'll just see where it goes. I've already, since being here, been working on Mom about the next steps and she hasn't had a meltdown. Everything could change in a heartbeat, but right now it seems like her resistance is more like mourning for what she will be losing than actual resistance, if that makes sense. The main thing I've been working on with both Mom and Dad is that they have no choice at this point. They ARE going to be removed from IL. The only place they have to go is AL, unless they decide to try to find an apartment on their own, which they already know my brother and I are adamant against and will not help them with.

An unfortunate thing is that neither one of them opened the emailed eviction notice, so the first time they saw it was this evening after I arrived. Mom's read it a half dozen times and hasn't kicked up a fuss except at first. I get the feeling they are both processing it even as I write this.

I thought Dad was going to have a meltdown earlier, partly because he felt my brother wasn't giving him a chance to speak (which was true--my Dad has a hard time speaking because of the Parkinson's, although his mind works OK). But he calmed down, and both of them are pretty quiet right now.

We'll see. Maybe they just need to hear it directly from the director and have a chance to complain to her. She is very compassionate, so maybe they will finally process it and realize their best option really is to move into AL.

Wish me luck.
Idaho, just occurred to me your the one with the dog dramarama at the CCRC last year, right? This CCRC likes your folks. They have probably cut them a lot of slack. I’d bet that as your dad hired private pay caregivers to enable them staying in IL probably a big factor as residents / families tend to believe the theory that help isn’t needed or that CCRC needs to just provide......  Your dads pretty frail and if mom is pushing impossible to function in IL, you just have to move them ASAP. CCRC likes them but I’d bet mom is becoming a concern by her neighbors to be in IL, which becomes a liability for the place.

Can you schedule being off over thanksgiving flight schedule to do this? You & bro to me kinda need to get this done as a joint project ASAP. It may be easier just to hire someone CCRC has to do the moving. Also by doing now there will be Xmas events going on in AL next mo and less time for mom to fume as there’s distractions. Good luck & remember to buy whatever adult beverage you like in the larger bottle (aka a handle). 
First, the Director may not be able to tell u what will happen or what to do because...its up to the family to work things out. Just like if ur parents lived in an apartment the IL is just a landlord. Is the AL part of a complex? If so she will be in the same area just a different apt. I agree that maybe something to calm her would help and a little fibbing. When we took Mom from her AL to longterm nursing we told her she was going to a new apt with new people to make friends with. But my Mom was in late stages of dementia. Hope we helped. I know its overwhelming to you. But it has to be done and done by you.
Hoping and crossing my fingers that all goes well!

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support