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Our mother is living independently with moderate dementia. She has an aide visit 2 days a week for 2 hours, but won't let her do anything. She does not want any help but is no longer cooking, cleaning and recently went for a walk to the neighbors at dusk without her walker. She can understand what we tell her, but her reasoning is no longer sound. We would like for someone to spend much more time at her house. However, she is adamantly opposed. How do we talk to her? What do we do?

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My 90 year old dad needs 24 hour care and when his girlfriend left him, I automatically said I would be his caregiver. He did so much for my sister and mother before they passed away and now is it our turn to take care of him. My family and I have lived thousands of miles away for many years but always visited. Living so far away, I wasn't told how much care he was needing. I'm finding it is more than I can provide and now I don't know how to tell him he needs a professional in home caregiver. He will be scared and has said he doesn't want any stranger living in his house. How do I tell my loving dad that I can't be his caregiver anymore and that he needs a professional caregiver?
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I whole-heartedly agree with Jeannie Gibbs. Your mother's and your situation sounds so familiar to our situation almost 2 years ago. My mother would not listen to me, others in her home, etc. She went to an Assisted Living Home, was not happy, broke her back...and now is at at the Vacaville, CA Rehab/Conv. My husband and I discussed tonight how we have not seen her happier in a long time. She has friends, caregivers who are professional (and she listens to them), scoots in her wheelchair down to the activities and to make room visits. They have someone with her when she uses her walker for her daily walks. I'm so glad you found this site--so much helpful information and people who care about one another on this site. If I were you, I would take a few hours this week and next, and visit care homes. When you find what you think might be a match--visit it again. Google the facility and find out about the rating. Ask other residents' families what they see to be the pros and cons. If you find something you like and they have a sing-a-long or an activity you think your mother might enjoy--ask her to go with you to breakfast and then to this place for the activity. My mother loves to go to see a particular piano player and we all go to the "church down the hall" at 2 every Sunday. If you have Power of Attorney for Health Care you might need to get the wheels in motion at that end as well. I can tell that you love your mother and want the very best for her. Please let us know what you decide.
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Your Mother must be related to mine somehow. The key word was adamant. When it became obvious that my Mom could not be left unsupervised in her home, I consulted with her husband and MANY different agencies who came to the home and visited with my Mom and Dad and discreetly assessed and made recommendations. When my Mom realized that these people were talking about in home care, my Mom would get EXTREMELY upset and withdraw. Locks and alarms were installed, safety measures were put in place, she had a lifeline necklace (and lost it) and a Nurse was scheduled to stop in and check on her. Her husband did all the cooking and cleaning, laundry, shopping...everything, a thome. Still she needed more supervision, so when we contracted a lady come in to the home so my dad could leave for hours, several days a week, my Mom was absolutely awful to her...she said she was snooping in everything and one day my Mom even walked away from the house (the worker followed her) and went to a friends home and slammed the door and locked the worker out! Nothing was workable. We did the best we could trying to arrange things. It went out of our hands when she contracted pneumonia and had to go to the hospital, then to a Nursing home for 'rehab'...Over-medicated, under-stimulated. She was so cross, she ended up a ward of the State. Legal battles later she is in another nursing home and due to heel pressure sores incurred by (found) negligent care from the State facility, she no longer ambulates. She is under financial and medical guardianship of her husband. I know she hates the way things have progressed. She is declining further. I encourage (hound) others to visit and try to involve her and arrange outside visits to our homes for Holidays. I feel like the facility fights us on these, but I am determined to make my Moms days enjoyable. I love to hear her voice, but she has withdrawn so, she can speak but usually won't. Sometimes things just fall out of control, when you try so hard to control them. I think time with her is best spent looking at pictures, reminiscing, me talking while she listens. She loves to watch the birds outside her window at the feeders. She loves to sing (she rarely speaks) and listen to music. As much family as possible has to remain so very involved. Know her eating routine, toileting routine, medications, activities and therapy, grooming...I mean everything.
You are probably in for a tough (adamant) time, and a lot depends on you for a happy transition to whatever direction you go. You know it's because you care.
Good luck and God Bless your Mom & you
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I think you have to approach her honestly and explain you are concerned about her. If indeed she wants to stay home it is very important that she let people help her. Believe me I know this is NOT easy. My Father has been gone for nearly 16 months. We found out that he had been covering for Mom for years. I knew that there was a memory issue however I did not know the extent. She has recently moved to an independent senior housing in our community. take care and God Bless...
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I truly believe there isn't one simple answer that fits every situation. Try the ones you think might work, but do make certain that you get in home care. Can you use the excuse that Christina 28 suggested? Suggest that the person you bring in is a distant family member that needs a place to stay and call her a "companion" like women used to have as they got older. You can even refer back to the Great Depression during which family members took in other family members and talk about today's tough times. No matter what, don't give up. I know that there will be many other answers to this question. Best wishes.
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If she can still understand what you tell her, that is good. But if she can't remember it 3 hours later, that isn't so helpful. She may understand and agree that she needs to use a walker, and going off without it may be forgetfulness rather than defiance, but she'd be just as injured if she fell down.

Does she had a med alert system in the house? Does she have an ID bracelet for when she walks, with or without her walker?

My 91-year-old mother, mild cognitive impairment, lives alone in a senior/handicap appartment building. She doesn't think she needs help, either, but we've simply arranged it. She really shouldn't use the stove. She now gets meals on wheels once a day, and has microwavable food for the other meals. A nurse comes to see to her meds, check her vitals, etc. every two weeks, who can also trim her toenails. She has a homemaking service once a week to change her bed linens and do light housekeeping. One son visits her 3 or 4 times a week, 2 daughters visit her once a week and do her shopping.

Even though she doesn't think she needs all this, we would not be comfortable with less. We just arranged it. When the social worker interviewed her and asked if she needed meals on wheels she said no, and one of us kids stool behind her and nodded yes, yes, yes.

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
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She forgot her walker? What might the next thing be that she forgets? From experience I can tell you that eventually, either from an unfortunate accident or by default, she will have round the clock assistance. Remember that she is fighting for her autonomy as an independent adult. She is used to it. Complicated.
It is all in the way you approach it. This is where psychology comes in handy!!! Perhaps a distant "cousin" is coming for a visit and needs a place to stay? For an extended visit. Hmmmm? If you make her think that she is making the decision to be a gracious hostess and let her plan a welcoming tea party, it could be Eureka! They are cagey, like a cat you are trying to catch, they have years of "guilt-trip" practice. Did you think it would be easy? haha! You have come to the right place. You will get lots of good advice:) Good Luck, dj!
Hugs, Christina
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