How to transition from independent living to assisted living/memory care facility?


We live about 7 hours away from my mother-in-law. After much persuading we finally got her to move from her house to a Senior Independent Living apartment. It is obvious to all (including her physician) that she needs more supervision and care as her dementia is becoming worse with each passing day. We've offered to move her closer to us, which she has refused. When the topic of assisted living came up after Christmas she told my husband " Well, you should just go ahead and kill me". She MUST move as we worry about her safety. The assisted living facility is on the same "campus" where she is currently living, so it wouldn't be as traumatic a move as when we got her out of her home. My husband is going to go down there at the end of the month and I just wonder what approach he should take if she absolutely refuses or pulls her
"whoa is me, I have no family here" schtick. She has two other sons. One who hasn't talked to her in over 4 years and another who has been pretty neglectful.I love the woman but she has been stubborn in the best of times. And I know this conversation could get really ugly. Thanks for any advice

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We've offered to move her to our area numerous times. She's always refused. She has one very close (and slightly younger) friend who takes her everywhere she needs to go. She also keeps in touch with us to let us know what problems have arisen. To add to the stress, my father, who is sharp as a tack, is taking care of my step-mom who is spiraling downward due to Alzheimer's. They are currently 1200 miles away and I'm very concerned about that situation, but that's a question for another day. It would certainly be easier for us if she lived closer, but I think she's going to dig in her heels and refuse.
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Have you thought about moving her closer to where you live? As she ages, the emergencies are going to increase.
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My goodness, I spent so much time writing about communication style, I left out any ideas about content. 1. Try to make this transition sound as positive as possible. 2. Emphasize how much freedom you have and that you live in your own apartment; your meals are prepared and served in the dinning room; I believe they come in every so often and clean your apartment for you; they have activities; they do check on your health vitals from time to time; and very often they provide transportation to a doctor's appointment. 3. Also, emphasize that assisted living is not a nursing home. 4.You may even want to take her on a tour of one and eat lunch there.

I'm probably covering things that you have already thought of. Take care and I hope all of this works out as smooth as possible.
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I agree with your sentiment because it really is his monkey so to speak with his mom.

To drag you into this runs the risk of triangulating the three of you into some drama which would not be productive.

Maybe, you two can discuss things, but send him in and stay back at the hotel or just be the quiet supportive person who refuses to take sides. This really places you in an awkward middle position where I'm sure you'd rather be the DIL without having to look like you are teaming up with your husband against her or that you're the one behind your husband doing this. I do wish he'd just man up and leave you out like you already stated that you would love to stay out of this. On the other hand, he does need your support, but maybe not so visibly.

This is not going to be an easy move for him to make as he is the one who has been more involved in her life and current care, but never the less , it is something that needs to be done out of love for her care and safety at this time which may be very hard for her to understand.

This is one of those tough transition times when the parent needs, but may not like at the moment that their adult child is functioning more as their adult child for their well-being than functioning as the little boy who may be afraid that mommy will get angry and upset. Let her vent her emotions without feeling the need to absorb them by over identifying with them or feeling like you have to mirror them back to her which is not the same thing as validating whatever she is feeling at the time.

I think if he can stay calm, be the voice of reason, validate her feelings of anger, fear, etc. without getting defensive or argumentative without letting her see him sweat, then he should be ok.

However, if he flinches emotionally and the discussion goes into drama, then it might be better just to back off and say let's take a break and talk about this later on and state a time in order to everyone to calm down.

Being anxious and fearful over doing something like this is ok and it's normal, but he does not have to let his anxieties overpower and control him. He is the only person that can control him anyhow which is true of any of us about ourselves.

I fee like I'm writing a lesson about the basics of conflict management, but I am.

While in sharing her feelings she might use conflict escalating words and phrases like you make me feel ____. You messages assigns blame and tends t provoke a defensive response which only escalates the discussion from an open discussion into a major emotional conflict where everyone is talking but no one is listening.

For example, instead of saying "you broke your promise" which sounds like an attack, one can own their own feeling by saying "I feel let down by what you have done" says the same thing without sounding like an attack.

You can Google "I messages and You messages in conflict" for more on this, but I think you get the basic idea that you own your own feelings without blaming and attacking the other person for them.

Good luck. You are blessed to have a good husband, a good MIL and your husband is blessed to have you. I'll be praying for ya'll that this all work out for the best even if the conversation is not perfect or there is the need to return to the topic later that day or the next because communication broke down emotionally.

Do come back and let us know how it all goes.

Well ya'll have received more emotionally from his mother and like you said because you all have worked at being a part of her life which the others have chosen not to do and that does not make any sense. Where's their 1950's-60's respect for their mom?
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I would LOVE to stay out of this, but my husband is hoping I'll go with him when he talks to her about moving. As to her other 2 as..oles, (uh, I mean sons), no she hasn't burned bridges. They have a lifelong family dynamic of you never speak your mind and upset the parents. Very traditional 1950's-60's upbringing. So, everyone shuts down and doesn't express themselves. But, she's always been a loving woman as far as I can tell and I just never played that gam with her. I was fortunate to marry the good son and he was fortunate to marry someone who has always enjoyed the company of the elderly. She's always bent over backwards to treat her children the same, but the other 2 think we've received more (financially) and emotionally from the parents. Financially, Ha! We've spent a tremendous amount of our own time and money getting her this far. Yes, we (and our children) are her favorites, but that's only because we've made the effort to be a part of her life.
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Shoot, what a statement of emotional blackmail to tell one's son "well, you should go ahead and kill me." That also sounds like a lot of self-pity. Has she ever visited an assisted living place. It would be worth her while and her son's to go visit one when he is down there the end of this month.

At some point the people at the senior independent living place are going to be telling her and her son that it is time for her to move within so many days. I think that's one thing your husband can tell her and I'd stay out of it and let him handle his mom. She's no longer in a position to say that she is not going to move because she is no longer living in her own house. She's somewhere that they can tell her to leave when her level of care goes beyond their boundaries. Given her care and safety needs, it really isn't a question anymore of what she wants, but what she needs that possibly at this point she may be beyond being able to process mentally.

It's sad that the other two sons are so neglectful. What's going on there? Has she burned her bridges with them?
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