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Her knee gave out. My brother lives next door and has POA. He, my husband and I all feel she would be much happier and safer in an Assisted Living facility. She says she will just "take a pill" and end it all that way if she has to leave her house. I understand her situation and feelings about this. I would feel the same way. Would it be better to just let her stay there IF she falls one more time? Or make her sell the house and move? Those are the questions we are wondering about. Any comments would be helpful. My mother did NOT break anything this time. My father fell several times when he lived at home with mom without injury but finally broke his hip. That was the end for him. What do you advise?

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A therapist told me that if my parents refused to move from their single family home with a lot of stairs, then they had to take full responsibility for their choice. If they needed this or that, then they would have to make the call or find some way of getting what they needed done.

The therapist was right, but I tell ya, it is so hard to say "no" to ones parents.
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To give an example...

My mom wanted to remain in her home, a three level Cape Cod in a neighborhood with no sidewalks, no one home during the day and no public transportation. Mom's main problems were terrible anxiety and unstable blood pressure. She kept ending up in hospital because of bp spikes, for which no physical bases could be found.

We set her up with aides (who of course had to be able to get there in their own cars, in the NorthEast US snow and ice. Mom couldn't ask them to do anything, because they wouldn't know how, or they'd break the washing machine, or she was just too anxious.

She couldn't go anywhere in a cab, because it was always "harrowing" and the driver might get lost.

On the third day in a row that I had to leave work and drive almost an hour to "rescue" mom, I said enough is enough. We mived her to Independnet Living, where she had interesting activities, good food and housekeeping.

Mom can stay at home, just not at the expense of your life and happiness.
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Absolutely! I couldn't agree more - your mother wants to cope, then let her cope (with as much or as little hands-on support as you and brother are prepared to provide).

I realise this sounds contradictory, but I would even go so far as to add that as a competent adult your mother might be so considerate as to take her children's well-founded anxieties into account. They don't have to be the deciding factor, but neither should she ignore them altogether. Whatever plans she makes should be the result of a mental 'pros-and-cons' list; it is not unreasonable or bullying for the two of you to ask her at least to think things through carefully.
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Just an addituon to CM's wise words....mom's choice to remain in her own home is not a license for her to demand your "services" as a caregiver, chauffeur, cook and laundress. If she wants to remain at home, she needs to be flexible about help being accepted and paid for out of her funds.
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Just suppose that you and your brother together could overbear your mother's objections and browbeat her into selling the house she loves and moving into an ALF where her every waking move would be supervised. And she lives, God willing, for many years and is wretchedly homesick and miserable. Even if she doesn't blame the two of you, how proud are you going to be, how sure that you did the right thing?

Or you support her where she is, and make available to her all the options you can find: domestic help, personal alarm systems, regular visiting schedules, grocery deliveries, heaven knows what-all. And still she manages to ignore your pleas that she keep to the ground floor, chucks herself down the stairs one morning and breaks her neck. And everyone *else* blames you and your brother for neglecting her, and you find it hard to remember that what mattered was your mother's right to make her own decisions.

There is no way to guarantee that we will get through this experience guilt-free. But as long - may it be forever - as your mother is competent, she is the boss. Do your best to respect that and work around it.
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How old is your mother? I am 58, and I fall sometimes. But I am nowhere ready for a home! Although I will admit some of those places look like a vacation to me! It took a bigger health crisis than one fall to get my folks into my house, and even now Mom at 86 is not ready for a home of any type.. although we may think she would like it for the socialization. Make her home as safe as you can.. then deal with what comes next when it does. Sometimes it takes more than one fall to bring the point home. When we finally moved dad to MC because of his behavior he fell twice in 2 weeks, involving us going to ER to meet him... the home is no proof that she will not fall again!
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Wiseone, there's a wonderful book by Atul Gawande called Being Mortal. He talks a lot about the choice that most of us adult children have between keeping our parents happy and keeping them safe. We ALL struggle with this.

Elders fall. They fall at home, they fall at Assisted Living and they fall at Nursing Homes. I have been told by geriatric nurses that sometimes it's the bone breaking that CAUSES the fall, and not the other way around. Even with 24/7 supervision, falls happen.
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08/22/16.... wiseone, I had to deal with my parents who were both fall risks, who refused to move into something elder safe. A team of wild horses couldn't get my parents out of their house which had a lot of stairs. Both were in their 90's.

Mom refused caregivers/cleaning service. Oh well, both still were able to think for themselves even if common sense flew out the window at times. I even present brochures for wonderful resort type senior living facilities in our area. Nope, nada, never.

My Mom's stubbornness was literally her downfall. Dad eventually moved to a senior living complex but still has his tumbles and falls. It's just what elders do. But help is there within minutes to check him over.

Maybe your Mom would like Independent Living instead of Assisted Living. At IL she would have either an one or two bedroom apartment, her own kitchen, supper in the main dining room, and a lot of people closer to her age. Get a facility where they have different levels of care, and also an Assisted Living section for later on.
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At a minimum, she needs an alert bracelet to notify someone when she falls. You can also set up set call times every day. I call my 96-year-old mom at 8 AM and 6 PM every day. She lives in independent living and wears a pendant, but I like to keep on top of how she's doing every day.

Could you get her to try an assisted living place for a respite visit, like for a week? Just see if she likes it. Otherwise, I agree with the others about letting her stay where she is and making it as safe as possible.
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My brother who is in agreement with me and first suggested the move is her POA and could convince her. She thinks very highly of everything he suggests. We are just afraid she might break a hip or other part of her body WHEN NOONE KNEW it had happened and could not get to a phone for help. She could lay there for hours. She lives in a large three story house alone.
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Veronica is so right -- hips break wherever you are living. AL may be an excellent choice for your mother on many counts, but don't expect that moving would eliminate all falls.

How would you "make" your mother sell her house? Are you her legal guardian?

Since there is no legal way you could force a competent woman to move, take CM's advice and help her make her home as safe as it can be. Also consider a medic alert device.

Meanwhile, take her to see that Assisted Living places are not medieval torture chambers.
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If Mom still is mentally capable no one can make her sell her house and move to assisted living.
Does she have the money for that kind of care?
Try taking a different approach and visit facilities in your area whenever they have public events. Take her along and let her see how happy people are living there. let her make up her own mind. Don't even mention the possibility of living there. Mom has obviously thought about the possibility of having to move by her remark about ending it all with a pill.
Do what CM suggested and then hope Mom decides to move before she has an accident.
Just remember that hips break wherever you are living.
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OH the drama. If her MD recommended AL and the facility evaluated her for AL then she needs to stay in AL. We rented out mom's house, it helped pay for the AL without having to dip into savings. Perhaps that would work for you.
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If your mother wants to stay in her home and she is mentally well, then the best option is to make her home as safe and easy for her to manage as possible. Get an Occupational Therapist in for an assessment and recommendations, and impress on your mother the importance of listening to and acting on the advice if she wishes to remain living there.

The take a pill option won't be available if she follows suit, breaks a hip, and gets carted off willy-nilly to a nursing home.
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