My Mother keeps insisting on moving out of assisted living. What can/should I do about it? - AgingCare.com

My Mother keeps insisting on moving out of assisted living. What can/should I do about it?

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Pretty much every phone conversation, my mother insists that she's going to move out of there and back into an independent living situation. She is really unable to take care of herself, but if she succeeded in moving, I would want nothing to do with it. Can I walk away without any obligation?

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Come to think of it, I remember reading on the forums here that wanting to move out of assisted living or a nursing home is very common. A parent will whine, plead, pout, go on a hunger strike, act like they are dying unless they can move home or in with you.

Yet I remember a writer here saying her Mom was saying how unhappy she was at the nursing home, and on every visit it was high drama with the "take me home". Turns out the writer was going to the nursing home the same time every day, and one day she went at a different time of day and found her Mom in the common area with a group of other women enjoying herself. If I remember correctly, Mom was startled to see her daughter and was quite embarrassed. Oh the games our elders can play.
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Ribbman you mention "in telephone conversations". Does she call you every day demanding to be cut loose and refusing to listen to reason?
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Sunnygirl1, I'm not sure yet what the diagnosis/prognosis is going to be The growth needs a biopsy and then we take it from there. At 84, surgery seems little iffy, but her vitals are really pretty solid so I dunno. We'll know more next week.
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Oh, yes. It could. I'm sorry to hear that. Is she a candidate for surgery? Keep us posted.
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Sunnygirl1, it's a sad thing that further cognitive decline has positive aspects, but it's true. My mom has had some digestive problems, and a CT scan revealed a pretty large tumor on her pancreas, so that could change everything.
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Oh, she stopped mentioning leaving after she went into Memory Care. It's secure so she can't leave, but I can't imagine having to deal with threats to leave long term. That would be challenging. I think that phase leaves with some patients.
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I guess it's always safe to get the guardianship. I did fine with a DPOA.

My loved one may have initially asked about going home while in regular AL, but I knew that she couldn't really do it, because she didn't know the address anymore, she couldn't dial a phone anymore, she had no cash or checks to pay a cab-plus a cab company wouldn't have known where to take her, and there was no family member who would take her anywhere. She had no means to do move out.

What I tried to do was to listen to her requests and promise to put it all in writing so the doctors and therapists could review her tests and progress and then we would make all the plans. She would forget this conversation each day, so it usually seemed to placate her. I told her she was in charge, but we had to complete paperwork and follow the doctor's orders so her insurance would pay.
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My uncontested guardianship proceeding in MN cost $4,000 after all the attorney fees and court costs. The point is to be aware that this should be a tactic of last resort. There are a whole other world of legal rules that begin to apply to what & how you can do things once you are a court appointed guardian/conservator. Things like property sales become very difficult. Things are a lot easier to accomplish as a POA. The rules vary by state, so do your homework before leaping into that boat.

My tip to you is to get used to hearing the delusional statements and demands. Let it go in one ear & out the other. You don't need to take them seriously. This is a new behavior to learn as a caregiver and it does feel weird. It seems like one day mom is a credible adult source of good information in your life, and the next she is not. It takes purposeful work on our part to shift into a different mode of interacting.
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Ribbman, you control her finances as POA. She could fire you, of course -- is she competent enough to think of that and follow through on it? And even if she had you out of the financial picture could she find housing and negotiate the move herself?

It doesn't sound to me like this is a real threat. It is a complaint and wishful thinking. She will be less able to act on these kinds of fantasies as time goes on. If you were her guardian you could prevent her from moving. But it doesn't seem to me that is a realistic possibility anyway. And I don't think that having guardianship would make it any more pleasant for you to hear this assertion over and over.

Mom has a delusion -- "I can live on my own." And like any delusion she is not going to be reasoned out of it with logic. Placate her and try to redirect her. "OK, Mom, I'll look into what it would take to get out of your contract here. By the way, I saw a big sign for the holiday party next week. Shall we pick out what you are going to wear? "
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You should file for Guardianship. If you win, the court fees are paid from her funds. We had to go that route when mom insisted she was going home. In NY it cost about $2500 for uncontested guardian proceedings.
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