Does the new trend of no closets in Assisted Living and Memory Care seem odd or unworkable to you? - AgingCare.com

Does the new trend of no closets in Assisted Living and Memory Care seem odd or unworkable to you?

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My mother is so unhappy in her present AL, including three others that she has occupied, that I am considering moving her. The newer, jazzier ALs feature an armoire and no closet at all. These are expensive new facilities recently opened up in Austin, Tx. Is this another new normal? "They" claim that a dementia/alz patient could get lost or trapped in a walk-in closet. That doesn't sound right to me. Am I just not hip?

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I agree with Misty. Continuing to move your mother is not going to fix the problem- and could very well be contributing to it. Could your mother be finding fault with each place thinking you'll eventually give up and let her go "home" or worse yet - move in with you?

At first my mom agreed to move to a nh if we could find one that...(fill in the blank with any ludicrous accommodation you can come up with).

I knew mom was jerking us around. But my brother - only recently stepped up to help after I did it alone for five years, didn't realize what he was dealing with - and he certainly wasn't going to listen to me. So I watched for two months while he ran himself ragged looking for a place that fit moms requirements. Each time he found one and we'd take mom to visit- mom would find massive - nonexistent fault with the place. Eventually my brother bought a vowel and mom was moved.

At the new place mom dug into her bag of tricks - first finding fault - even saying the head administrator was molesting her. When that didn't work mom began to "fall" once or twice a day. After all - her falling was what got her booted from AL so that should work, right?

Seriously? An armoire instead of a closet? If that's the only issue - you're kidding yourself if you think your mom will be happy anywhere.
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I think the real question would be if not having a closet really matters. The AL might have had an instance where this happened and so they're taking precautionary measures. Either way, I am not sure if it's the norm but if she doesn't mind then I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I would be concerned however with her going into her 5th AL! Your mother needs stability and I'm thinking she will continue to find something wrong with each facility. Instead of changing her home again, see if you can either fix the problem or reach a compromise. Talk to the facilities and the staff social worker. Always remember that you are your mother's voice and advocate, and as long as what you're asking from the facility is reasonable there should be no reason not to accommodate her.
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Rainmom, you've awakened a suspicion that's been lurking in my mind that Mom might just be angling for a place in my home. She won't say it , but she is sneaky enough and narcissistic enough to believe this might be possible; and this in spite of her Stage 5 dementia behavior.
Obsession with clothes has also been her focus in life for decades since she was a Great Depression child living in poverty. She has tortured me with all her clothes being dragged around with every move, and now I have to hear about the aides who are supposedly stealing them. Anyway that's why the closet matters to an 86 year old who is wearing her daughter out with all of Mom's complaints and silent pleas for pity.
My husband has no patience for any of this but will support me in saying No to more moves that exhaust all of us and make Mom no more happy or easier to deal with.
Thanks for your replies. They helped me think through this situation.
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Wait a minute. Your mother is narcissistic and sneaky and obsessed with her clothes and also has dementia? Accept it. You will never be able to please this woman.

There could be valid reasons for a move, such as it costs less, is closer to people who would visit, etc. But trying to please Mom is not a valid reason. Ain't gonna happen. Sorry.
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An armoire instead of a closet makes sense, as an armoie can be moved within the room, where a closet cannot. Makes for rearranging one's furniture much easier. My Dad didn't mind.

As for a walk-in closet and a person with dementia getting lost in the closet, I believe that is true. I know it seems odd to compare an elder parent with an elder pet who also has dementia, but some of the traits are so very similar. My elderly cat with dementia gets lost in the hallway many times during the day and she cries out with confusion. I had another elder cat do the very same thing a decade ago. The other cats have/had no problem, and no dementia.

flummoxed, as Rainmom had mentioned, its a way for your Mom to get all her belongings on your front step, ready to move in.
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Rainmom nailed it.
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flummoxed- unfortunately my area of expertise is "mother manipulations".

I'm happy if I was able to help shed a little light for you. Lord knows, the good people on this site have gotten me through some hard times.

Best of luck to you!
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What if all boils down to is they can build more units if they don't have to give up the space to include closets. And a 12 X 15 room without closets appears more spacious and desirable than a 12 X 12 room with one.
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Mom has a tiny half closet built into the wall and roommate has an armoir

Neither is ideal but closets would make the room smaller and with walkers and wheelchairs about the space is better
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