Saturday, May 28, 2011 oldie daughter, Community Member, asks

Q: How to convince Alzheimer's patient who lives alone to now move to assisted living memory care

Mom is in low Moderate Alzheimer's.  Lives alone.  Can still dress, no more showers, washes hair and does laundry.  Does not cook, mostly snacks all day.

Has become very agitated toward me.  Saying I'm trying to control her, taking her car keys (she has no license) poisoning her.  I manage her affairs, as she has been declared unable to do so.  Now she says I'm stealing her money trying to take her house and move her out.  Each night when I take her medication to her it has become a fight (on her part) I just listen and try to talk calmly.  She really needs to be in assisted living where she can interact with other people, get her meals, take her medications.  We have a facility with memory care.  I would like to see her stay in her own home but this is not feasible anymore.  She will not live with me or allow any help to come into her home.  Please how can she be convinced to leave her home?

 

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Answers (2)
Dorian Martin, Health Guide
5/30/11 5:06pm

Hi, Oldie Daughter,

 

I know how hard this is. My mom also fought tooth and nail against losing her independence, and eventually it got to the point where it was a medical decision due to her Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in combination with her Alzheimer's.

 

I'd suggest that you consider seeking help in persuading her from someone who she trusts, such as her minister, a doctor, or a family friend. They need to acknowledge her anxiety and loss of independence, but work with her to help her understand what the benefits will be (new friends! regular activities!). You also could enlist any of your siblings to have this conversation with her, although I'd suggest you not be in the room since you're current the object of her agitation. I'd also encourage you to have the head of the assisted living facility come visit your mom and talk about what a wonderful environment they have and arrange for a visit.

 

Take care and keep us posted!


Dorian

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AFA Social Services, Health Guide
5/31/11 1:19pm

This is a very challenging situation to be faced with.  It is important to understand that what makes this so difficult is the fact that the Alzheimer's disease may be impairing your mother's judgment; thus, she may not be able to understand the breadth of her own condition or make sensible or reasonable decisions any longer. Given this, it is important to alter your expectations of her abilities. Asking her to act in her own best interest may not be realistic anymore and you may not be able to convince her to go into assisted living willingly.  It is advisable that you seek professional assistance before you proceed.  A good first step would be to meet with your mother's physician. It is necessary to get a thorough understanding of what her level of care needs is right now and what the future may hold.  You also might want to meet with an attorney to discuss your legal rights (if you are her power of attorney, for example) as well as your mother's rights and other legal issues. Or, you may wish to consider connecting with a social worker, case manager or geriatric care consultant.  Aside from helping you manage your own thoughts or feelings surrounding this issue, the presence of a professional might make the situation easier and perhaps even more acceptable for your mother.  Lastly, in the meantime, you might consider taking your mother to tour some local facilities so that she can see things for herself and get a sense for the new environment.

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By oldie daughter, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/26/11, First Published: 05/28/11