Thursday, April 17, 2008 falene867, Community Member, asks

Q: how do you convince someone to move into a nursing home if they don't want to?

My father is living in squalor in his own home, unable to take care of himself. I can't do it because I work full-time. I think the best option is for him to go to a home, but he is adamantly against it. I can't sit back and watch him live like this.

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Answers (7)
Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
4/22/08 2:52pm

If his living conditions are truly bad, you may be able to get help from your county adult social services.


So many elders don't want to go "to a home," because they envision the nursing homes of the past. Today, many homes and assisted living centers offer great opportunities to make friends and have a quality life. But he will fight it for awhile. Some elders love it, after they adjust, but won't admit it because they don't want to be wrong. I'd call your social services and see if they can help.


Sue, Community Member
4/22/08 8:51pm

Hi Falene - Thanks for your question.  This can be one of the most difficult challenges one could ever face as a caregiver.  There have been many diiscussions about this, some I have provided here:


How to Make a Smooth Transition by Dorian Martin (Expert)


Transition by Karen Wheeler (community member)


Moving a Loved One to an Assisted Care Facility: A Checklist by AFA Social Services Team (Expert)

When Is it Time to Move  Aloved One to Assisted Living or Nursing Home? by Jacqueline Marcell (Expert)


As well you might look at our Web Resources page for links to organizations that can provide guidance and support to you and your loed one.


Hope this helps.


All the best, sue

NC, Community Member
4/23/08 5:47pm

We have the similar situation back in late 2005. My father-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in Nov. 2006. But he was already in a bad situation because his wife passed away in Oct. 2004. Now we hired some home care service for him. At the beginning we hired one caregiver with few hours. Gradually we added more hours and now he has 24 hours home care by 2 caregivers. In this service, the home care company has a nurse who can oversee things. She is very good at talking to him. However it gets pricy for 24 hours. Soon he would go to a skilled care nursing home.


I don't know about your father's situation, but you can try some home care first - try a few hours and see. Sometimes the homecare company can persuade the elderly that he needs help. I wish we had called them much earlier. My father-in-law loves them so much. I am sure you can try the home care services in your area and see. It is better with home care at the beginning because it is personal care. Not that the nursing home is not good but it could be the last option.



Christine Kennard, Health Pro
4/26/08 5:33pm

This is almst impossible to answer. You have to weight each individual's human rights to live how they want to live (not how you want them to) against looking after someone whose judgement is impaired by a disease that gradually destroys memory and brain cells. You can seek independent advice by involving family and friends, the medical profession and social services.



Dorian Martin, Health Guide
4/27/08 5:39pm

One of the most important recommendations that I would make is actively involving other family members in this decision, if at all possible. In our case, I made sure that my brother and cousin (who handled a lot of my mother's finances) were involved in these discussions to move my mother from a home situation to a retirement community. It wasn't an easy transition for my mother to make (and unfortunately, she had progressed to the point where she needed skilled nursing care and had to enter a nursing home), but having family support made it possible to get action in a situation that had become stalled.



alex12my, Community Member
5/22/08 7:43pm

My Mom needs help but will not go into a nursing home. How do I get her into a nursing home if she will not go?

Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
8/12/08 9:57am

Sometimes you need help. If he is living in squalor, call your county adult social services. They will do a welfare check. Most elders don't want to move, but once they adjust to much easier and better living conditions, they can thrive. A lot depends on the quality of care centers in your area. But he can't continue to live like this, so even if he gets angry, you need to get him help. You can't do it alone. I'd call them for a welfare check and take it from there. They will advise you.


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By falene867, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/03/12, First Published: 04/17/08