How can we move someone with dementia if she does not want to go to a facility? - AgingCare.com

How can we move someone with dementia if she does not want to go to a facility?

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My beloved aunt lives alone and has dementia. Her loving daughters are running out of money for a full-time caretaker. How can we persuade her to move to the wonderful assisted living facility in her community (it would be paid for by insurance)? If we cannot persuade her, how can we move her (she is lucid enough to sound competent)?

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Yes. I am too young to go to a care facility, but I am already on a waiting list for my favorite place -- a Quaker run place with gardens, libraries, art galleries, connections to a kid's school so that the older folk mix with young ones, and close to both the countryside and a big city and lots of universities. I begged my parents to move there, and, of course they wanted to stay at home and have my partner and I take care of them! I hope when I'm ready to go I do it cheerfully and graciously.
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Ha! Love it. And I agree... One thing I have learned from all of this is to plan ahead. I am going to make my plans and desires known well in advance and accept that I may reach a point where I need this level of care. If so, I want my children to do the best they can for me but to do what is necessary and NOT struggle with this decision as I have. I think that is probably the best gift you can give your loved ones.
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On the lighter side, all this is one giant note to self, I will not put anyone through this. I hope when I am old & demented I go to an adult family home that has speakers in every room playing my favorite music, gardens with bird feeders out side, and that I can know when its time to go.
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Thank you cfant55,
I have thought of that....and I can understand how it may cause more problems by bringing her home. I brought her home for thanksgiving and it was fine (difficult to take care of her but emotionally fine)... But the next day she told me she should have had us drop her off at her apt. I tried to explain to her that we couldn't/wouldn't do that and if we did, we would have to live with extreme guilt when she fell and hurt or killed herself....but I don't know that she really understands that, she just wants to be home. I am just hoping for the best, but I see the situation getting farther out of my controll. Her body/mind is determining the way things will go now. Very difficult. Thanks for your thoughts on this and for sharing your experiences. It helps me and hopefully others reading.
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Cindyy - Just a note about bringing your Mom home as much as possible. I had thoughts of doing this with my Mom, however, after lengthy discussion with professionals (including ALZ.org help line) - I followed their advice. Dementia patients need to adjust to being in a AL or NH - changing settings (even for a short period of time) is not good for them. I was also advised to keep my visits and phone calls to bare minimum for the first 2 weeks. That was a bit too much for me, so I went every other day instead of every day (we still need to insure the facility is suitable and meeting needs). I made visits short - and hour or two at most. I did take my Mom out of the facility about one month after admission which proved to me how bad Mom actually was as she had a panic attack when we arrived at a favorite park. Taking her to your home may confuse her even more and you may have a heck of time getting her to go back to the facility, keep that in mind - if that happened it would be painful situation for both of you. I never was able to bring my Mom home, which breaks my heart, but I did what was best for her.
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Thank you Stephan and CarolLyn,

I have found all of the responses and other peoples stories helpful and is hope that the responses to me did nit take away from you Stephan. Our situations were similar so I hope you benefited from all of the stories too. CarolLyn is so right...each circumstance is very different and each family dynamic is different. Re: convincing to go to AL or NH...I am in the middle of that now so I do not know how to do it but I have no ability to provide 24 hour care in my home unless it can be provided through insurance which I am quite sure is not...my thought now is to find a place in my town or very close by so that I can bring her to my house as much as possible, but still have somewhere for her to be taken care of when I can't do it....not sure if I can get her to go along with this...she just wants to go home...and who can blame her. re: will insurance pay? It will for some I think..but if she doesn't have tons of money..you need to file for Medicaid for her..this requires a lot of paperwork so good to start early. It requires lots of digging through paperwork in her home and trips to her banks...etc. you need the POA to get the info from the banks and they need to bring that documentation with them to the bank. Good luck
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Stephen, I am so glad you posted and that you found some help in the responses given here. I was concerned that we had hijacked your query in trying to help cindyy.

But I'm going to take issue with one response in particular:

"Simple answer, your Aunt, unless she raised you.... is NOT your responsibility...................period."

My aunt, my mother's sister, was widowed at the age of 56 due to an egregious hospital error perpetrated upon her husband, also 56, and with no ability for resolution through malpractice. They had no children. Due in full to my aunt and her husband, she and my mother were estranged from 1952 (when l was 7 years old) until 1982, when my great aunt died. Mom & aunt just never spoke of the past and what on as if nothing had happened.

My birthday was the day before my aunt's and she always felt a special connection to me because of that. With my mother's personality, one did not have a relationship with someone she was angry at, so I was also estranged from my aunt during those 30 years. But when it was " acceptable" for me to have a relationship with her, we bonded over love for my great aunt and over our animals, of which both of us had many. In short order, she asked me, if anything happened to her, would I take care of her animals, to which I agreed.

Unbeknownst to me, she went to her attorney and set me up as medical and financial POA as well as her heir. She lived in No. CA while the rest of us lived in So. CA so we didn't realize that, over time, she had become a cranky, reclusive alcoholic. She "retired" early but I found paperwork later that she had been fired. She was an accounting manager and she was treating her employees very badly. They give her time to clean up her act so to speak but she couldn't seem to do it. Of course, it was the alcohol talking, which eventually lead to the dementia.

At the time, my mom and I were dealing with my dads Alzheimer's so we were unable to take trips up north. Over the phone, for short conversations, let's just say she hid it well. It wasn't until she fell and the paramedics reported the squalor in her home, cat and dog feces everywhere and the hardwood floor under the carpet completely warped from urine soaking through. Smell-o-vision anyone?

Without rehashing the timeline, I stepped in and basically saved her. She was near death; the doctors didn't think she would survive very long. But I took care of her for 6-1/2 years and she was probably more well then she had been in the last 30.

Every circumstances different and there are no blanket rules. My and didn't raise me and, due to no fault of my own, I didn't even know her for more than half of my life. But this was my decision to take care of her and not turn her over to a public guardian. I took care of her because I could and because in my case it was the right thing to do. That doesn't mean it's right or not for someone else to take on that responsibility..................period.
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I appreciated beachlover's response -- unvarnished, but true. So many of us caregivers will bend over backwards to help everyone and anyone -- it's good to be reminded about maintaining boundaries. However, my aunt called and asked me to be her advocate, so I did have a reason to be involved. And I did my best to communicate her concerns with her daughters, and they listened, and we discussed all the options, and came up with an equitable sloution that for now suits all parties. We'll see. But for now, that you all for your feedback. It helped.
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Thank you for your comment ...it's so difficult and I appreciate any and all feedback to help me wrap my brain around this.
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Cindyy,
From your last comment, I can tell you that it would be wisest and easier on everyone, including your aunt, if you put her in assisted living or whatever is appropriate for her. Your situation just screams no. Been there, done that, don't kill yourself trying to do the impossible. JMHO.
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