My mother-in-law is living with us at high altitude (6200 ft); she was prescribed oxygen to wear at night and during the day also. When she is not wearing it, she is dizzy and says she feels like she's going to fall. She also sleeps the majority of the daytime. My husband's brother lives at sea level, yet, for some reason, she does not want to go down there to live even though they have room for her. We just measured her O2 Sat and it is 85%. When she is on oxygen, it is 95%. She is very stubborn about wearing the oxygen during the day. Our dilemma is: should we send her to my husband's brother (where she will be uncomfortable, but where she will have air to breathe), or should we honor her wishes and let her live with us even though her oxygen is low up here. We have told her continuously that she needs to be on oxygen day and night, but she is very stubborn and will not wear the oxygen during the day. We are worried that NOT sending her to sea level will constitute elder abuse, even though she is of sound mind and is making a decision not to go. What would you do?

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All I need to do is tell my mom that if she doesn't wear it, she will eventually fall, and end up in the hospital, and I would rather have her here. Although she says she hates wearing the oxygen, the idea of going to the hospital scares her, and makes it worth it. She ALWAYS needs to be reminded, though.
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She would be "uncomfortable" living with her other son. Don't they get along? Are there other options for her to live at a lower altitude? For example, would she do well in assisted living?

Do you know what her reasons are for not using oxygen during the day? You say she is of sound mind, but that doesn't seem like a very sound decision, does it? Is it vanity, cost, skin irritation, the sounds, ... what? If you can get at the real reason, that may give you some clues about how to overcome her resistance.

If you cannot persuade her to change her mind, you have two options, as I see it:
1) accept her decision. Expect her to sleep a lot. Expect to fall.
2) lay down the law firmly but kindly. If she lives with you she has to comply with the doctor's orders. If she doesn't like the house rules, she is free to move out. You will help situation her elsewhere and visit her and love her. But if she lives with you, she wears oxygen.

I don't think you can insist that she live with her other son, or any other particular place, but you can insist that she can't live with you unless she is taking care of herself. Or you can simply accept her self-destructive behavior.

Not good choices, are they? I am sorry you are in this situation. Do you best, and don't beat yourself up.
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