How do you talk someone into moving to assisted living

We have a relative who has been diagnosed with early stage dementia. We found a wonderful assisted living home for this person, but of course the person REFUSES to move. The really bad part is if this person will not go into this place, I think the only next option would be a place that has "lock down" for patients who are flight risks.
I think there are a lot of trust issue in play, that we will never visit, that we will sell this person's home, etc. None are true, we just want this person in a safe place with good care. It is also getting very difficult to aid this person in day to day things, like food shopping, cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc without all of our families suffering.
Does anyone have the magic words to help us?

My parents took in my grandparents when they could no longer live on their own. As time progressed, one's Alzheimer's and the other's dementia got worse. The grandparent with Alzheimer's was relatively easy to care for, but the grandparent with dementia was extremely combative, and it eventually got to the point where it just wasn't safe for them to live outside an assisted living facility.

One of the important things that they did was obtain power of attorney over both of them a few years ago while they were still cognitively functional enough to designate such rights. Having that power in place has made things infinitely easier.

I'm very limited in my scope of dealing with a dementia case. What I found was that if things were going her way, she was very easy to get along with and pleasant to be with. But if someone overrode her will on something-- "Oh, the doctor just meant I couldn't drive home today. He didn't mean I couldn't ever drive again." --she became argumentative, combative, and even violent. She would obsess for months over the things that were important to her--- "Where are my car keys? Why aren't my car keys in my purse?" ---and totally forget the things that were inconvenient for her to remember minutes after they happened --- "You say I kicked so-and-so? That doesn't sound like something I would do." It was hard for me to realize, but you can't reason with someone suffering from dementia--- although if the dementia isn't at an advanced stage yet, you might have better luck.

I'm sorry you and your family have to go through this. It must be very tough on all of you.
My first question would be does someone have a power of attorney over the relative who is in need of assistance? If not, it may be wise to consult an attorney before doing anything. If your relative is incapable of making such a decision due to the dementia, she needs to have someone who is legally in charge of her affairs (bank accounts, credit cards, medical needs and just general day to day decisions).
Unfortunately, there are no magic words. If she is truly incapable of managing her life without some kind of assistance, then whomever is in charge of her affairs may simply have to decide that this is what will be done and then move her. If she is still somewhat capable, and can afford it, maybe you could have someone come in to her home for now to help her out. Check with your adult social services agency to see what kind of help they can offer.
I have a friend who recently had to move her father into an assisted living apartment, and he did not want to go, either. He did not want to lose his home and his familiar surroundings. However, he had proven incapable of taking care of himself. My friend stopped asking if he would do it, and simply told him that this is what was going to happen and then moved him. He's actually quite happy now that he is settled in.
Again, I am sorry that you and your family are going through this. Watching our loved ones age and become ill is never easy.

Is there anyone whom the person still trusts? Even if it’s not a relative, it could be a stranger, as a matter of fact. Less likely to be plotting to STEAL his/her home, you know? It really depends on the person, and you have to be pretty crafty about it no matter what. It may seem like trickery, but you gotta do what you gotta do in order to protect them from themselves.

[quote="juno24, post:3, topic:251393"]
My friend stopped asking if he would do it, and simply told him that this is what was going to happen and then moved him. He's actually quite happy now that he is settled in.

[/quote]

But how is that done? We went for a visit to the assisted living place, just to spend some time there and get to know the people. I was told to leave to allow the staff to evaluate. Less than 30 minutes late I got a call to come back, as my relative tried to leave four times. She said she would walk home, she knew the way. Actually the place is just a mile or two from her home, so I am not sure if she really would have made it.

I tried telling her this was a non negotiable, it just wasn't safe to live on her own, and she told me she wasn't going anywhere.

I don't know which state you are in and it might be worth getting some good, state-specific legal advice. But basically if a person is unable to care for themselves either physically or emotionally, you have to petition the court to be named their legal guardian with the right to make decisions for them. That would require, I'm sure, some kind of medical documentation that your relative is not able to live at home because they are unable to care for themselves.

I'm sure it won't be pleasant because unfortunately a lot of times with dimentia don't realize they can't care for themselves. They think they're fully in control of their faculties when they're not.

Is this person competent to make decisions? If not and if has a POA - could be has no choice. My neighbor was in this situation - living in her own home at 93 years, falling, and I ran many of her errands and did shopping. Finally she ended up in the hospital and then a SNF for rehab. From there her family moved her in to an AL. She was angry at first but now realizes that she couldn't manage at home. Another option is to pay for a companion at home. A number of agencies have this service and would probably not cost any more than AL. Don't know where you live but Visiting Angels, Home Instead, Hanson Services are ones I am familiar with and have branches in a number of states. I heard the woman who started Visiting Angels speak. She and her husband started an agency as an alternative to AL as her aunt who lived in an AL fell and was not found till the next day. Felt home environment was a safer option - and of course who wouldn't prefer to be in their home.

[quote="Lovemyfaith, post:1, topic:251393"]
We have a relative who has been diagnosed with early stage dementia. We found a wonderful assisted living home for this person, but of course the person REFUSES to move. The really bad part is if this person will not go into this place, I think the only next option would be a place that has "lock down" for patients who are flight risks.
I think there are a lot of trust issue in play, that we will never visit, that we will sell this person's home, etc. None are true, we just want this person in a safe place with good care. It is also getting very difficult to aid this person in day to day things, like food shopping, cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc without all of our families suffering.
Does anyone have the magic words to help us?

[/quote]

Your relative is in early stage dementia and you want her to move into a home. She is not ready for that. Respect her dignity. Why don't you find her a carer who is experienced in helping dementia patients? Someone to live with her and assist her.

People with early stage dementia can live very fruitful lives with some help. It sounds to me that your family does not know how to care for such a patient. Get in touch with your local Alzheimer's Association (yes, I know you said she has dementia, but over 80% of all dementia is Alzheimer's). They are your best resource and will help carers to cope. It may be that there are too many people trying to assist her and causing confusion. Constant change, or many different people trying to get her to do what she now does not fully understand are guaranteed to cause confusion.

[quote="Lovemyfaith, post:1, topic:251393"]
We have a relative who has been diagnosed with early stage dementia. We found a wonderful assisted living home for this person, but of course the person REFUSES to move. The really bad part is if this person will not go into this place, I think the only next option would be a place that has "lock down" for patients who are flight risks.
...in a safe place with good care.* It is also getting very difficult to aid this person in day to day things, like food shopping, cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc without all of our families suffering.*
Does anyone have the magic words to help us?

[/quote]

Try looking for ways so that this person's home can be the safe place with good care. That doesn't mean that you or other family members have to be the full time care providers. Can you find home care to come in to do housekeeping, meals, baths, etc. a few days a week or even daily? That's usually much cheaper than full time care.

Even though it might be beneficial to this person from your point of view, if the person is otherwise in good health, early stage dementia may not require assisted living. You are probably used to seeing this person functioning well up until recently, but some people live their *entire *adult lives with mental problems. We don't institutionalize everyone who is marginal.

Since your relative doesn't want to move, then your family needs to respect that relatives wishes for now. Showing that respect now for his choices could help make it easier in the future. If the dementia progresses and this person lives long enough, you will probably have to re-visit the issue. Hospitalization or other serious illness often prompt that. Hospitals usually social workers or other staff to help with those situations if it is unsafe to discharge a patient to their home and can help address issues like power of attorney. The hospital or the doctor's office might also be the place to call now to help find home care.

When my dear GrandMother began the journey into Alzheimer's, and it began to become
acute, I did not want to see her taken from her home and put in a nursing home. So, even though it was extremely difficult, I moved into Grandma and Grandpa's home and lived with them 24/7 for 4 years. They both passed away while living a happy life in their home.

It took so much patience to care for her daily. I did all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, plus I did all of Grandma's daily grooming/bathing. Luckily I was the only other
family member, other then her husband, that she recognized by name.

Someone recommended going to a care-giver's support group for emotional support when
times got rather difficult once-in-a-while.

When I look back now, I am very grateful that I made this sacrifice for them both, as they
were there for me when I was a child.
I also recognize that being a care-giver is not cut-out for all people.

P.S. It was a bit more difficult to do all their cooking (3 square's per day + snacks) because Grandpa was born in the late 1800's, and loved his meals prepared from scratch like Grandma made them. So, chile con carne did not come out of a can, and the corn-bread was not made from a box of mix. Joy of Cooking type recipes all year round! Yep.:D

[quote="Joan_M, post:8, topic:251393"]
Your relative is in early stage dementia and you want her to move into a home. She is not ready for that. Respect her dignity. Why don't you find her a carer who is experienced in helping dementia patients? Someone to live with her and assist her.

People with early stage dementia can live very fruitful lives with some help. It sounds to me that your family does not know how to care for such a patient. Get in touch with your local Alzheimer's Association (yes, I know you said she has dementia, but over 80% of all dementia is Alzheimer's). They are your best resource and will help carers to cope. It may be that there are too many people trying to assist her and causing confusion. Constant change, or many different people trying to get her to do what she now does not fully understand are guaranteed to cause confusion.

[/quote]

One must be VERY careful to screen these people extremely well. Many elderly people can be harmed and taken advantage of, because of their vulnerability. Valuables should be locked away, taken elsewhere, etc. and someone should be hired through reputable agencies. Even then, you can't just hand over your loved one and not check in, because anything can happen in these situation. I'm sure there are lots of loving people but just the fact that a person with Alzheimer's or dementia cannot reliably remember what has happened makes them the ideal victim of theft or abuse.

When my mother was in early-stage dementia, I went to a talk for dementia caregivers, given by a geriatric nurse, that was very helpful. One of the things she said was to realize that you can't make anyone entirely safe, that lock-down facilities are not even entirely safe (because of course the patient is surrounded by other people with dementia, who are of course very unpredictable), and that as much as possible it is best to let the dementia patient be in the least restrictive environment possible for as long as possible. They may have dementia, but they are autonomous adults who deserve to have their wishes about their own lives followed as much as possible for as long as possible. To which I thought: that's what I would want.

My mother is at such a late stage that she sometimes doesn't know where she is, but she is still at home. My parents have the means to pay all-day caregivers--my dad is a stroke victim who also needs around-the-clock care, but not at a nurse's skill level--and this is what she and my dad wanted. I have no doubt that they've been much happier in their own home. That is not always possible, and it isn't always the ideal.

I will say that the hardest stage was when she knew that things weren't going right, but did not remember why. She thought we were all idiots treating her like an idiot, every day went like the worst Monday you've ever had, and she was not a happy camper. When her short term memory failed to the point that she no longer remembered the frustrations going on an hour before, life got a lot easier.

As for your relative, you know, I know, and s/he knows that when s/he leaves his/her home, s/he is not coming back, whether or not you sell it before s/he dies. Get in contact with a local advocate for the elderly, and get some experienced advice about what your relative's and your family's options are, because the solution has to fit all of you. They will undoubtedly have options you had not considered and will know of pitfalls you should be aware of. Advice like that from a source that knows local laws and resources is invaluable.

It's not what you want to hear, but I'm with the person who doesn't want to move on this one. Who will take care of them at the "assisted living" center? Not anyone who loves them.

I fully understand that personal relationships within family carry lots of baggage. There are often hard feelings over things that happened years or decades ago. I don't know the particulars of your entire extended family, but I would look to see if there is someone the person can live with who DOES love them. Would it be a sacrifice for those involved? Absolutely, most likely a very great sacrifice. But not greater than Christ's sacrifice for us, and He has promised that those who love others and suffer through hardships in His name will be rewarded in heaven.

Even in "good" homes, abuse is a very really thing. Who would those being "assisted" tell about it- since many recieve no or few visitors? And even if they can tell someone, they are often thought of as the crazy old person, and the worker is so polite and reasonable and nice. But even if the person isn't being physically, sexually, or verbally abused, they are still left to suffer seperated from those they love.

Pray on it. If you pray the rosary each day, make the care of this person one of your intentions. If you don't pray the rosary each day start- Our Lady has asked it of us, and who are we to deny her?

Pax and God Bless.

[quote="Dan_Daly, post:13, topic:251393"]

I fully understand that personal relationships within family carry lots of baggage. There are often hard feelings over things that happened years or decades ago. I don't know the particulars of your entire extended family, but I would look to see if there is someone the person can live with who DOES love them. Would it be a sacrifice for those involved? Absolutely, most likely a very great sacrifice. But not greater than Christ's sacrifice for us, and He has promised that those who love others and suffer through hardships in His name will be rewarded in heaven.

[/quote]

Right now, my mother-in-law has moderate stage Alzheimer's. She lives in a small home we own with her dog and cat. She was never the warm and fuzzy Grandma. She still talks about getting a car (not going to happen,) moving, (also not going to happen, as we had to "rescue her" from another state) and how she needs to call her sister (who is dead) to find her an apartment. Now, she writes notes and tapes them up around the house asking where her bank is, where her wallet is, or other assorted things she wants/thinks she needs: a leash for the CAT (despite the fact that she refuses to put the dog on a leash or clean up after her dog. Yes, I know, it's the disease. But it doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I know it is time for something else, but my husband is in denial. He thinks we can just do everything, but we can't. There is no one but us around as far as family. I know he thinks she should live with us, and I know that some of you will think that too, but I just can not do that. Not everyone is cut out to do that, and I know that I am not. And neither are my children.

I very much appreciate your situation IrishMom. We have many different obligations God commands us to fulfill

-to our Spouse
-to our Children
-to our Parents

Those are some of the biggest ones, not to mention, neighbors, society etc. When these different obligations seem to conflict it can be very hard. I will keep you in my prayers. May God grant you and your husband the wisdom to know the right thing to do, and the courage to do it no matter how difficult.

God Bless.

[quote="Lovemyfaith, post:1, topic:251393"]
We Does anyone have the magic words to help us?

[/quote]

you can't make someone accept this decision by force, unless it is taken out of your hand by the civil authority in some way (rare), they have to become convinced it is their idea and their choice.

there really cannot be an "us" as in the entire family "ganging up on" granny. The family member she trusts most and would be willing to sign a healthcare power of attorney, and legal power of attorney with, is the person who should be negotiating with the patient about her care and her future.

[quote="dachsiemom2, post:7, topic:251393"]
I Another option is to pay for a companion at home. A number of agencies have this service and would probably not cost any more than AL. Don't know where you live but Visiting Angels, Home Instead, Hanson Services are ones I am familiar with and have branches in a number of states. I heard the woman who started Visiting Angels speak. She and her husband started an agency as an alternative to AL as her aunt who lived in an AL fell and was not found till the next day. Felt home environment was a safer option - and of course who wouldn't prefer to be in their home.

[/quote]

We did hire someone to come. Of course, my relative refused to let her in.

Prayers to all those in those situations with elderly family members.

My father's (now late) mother was convinced to be moved closer to a few other family members. She had a home, and plenty of local family members to take her to appointments, shopping, Mass, etc as we felt at age 80 she no longer should be driving as she was not always being safe but did not cause accidents. She was able to have some semblance of independence until her health issues caught up with her, and she spent the last 6 to 8 months of her life in and out of hospitals & rehab/nursing places before the Lord called her home to be with her late husband.

My mother's mother has a mild case of dementia but it has not caused a lot of issues at this time with a few other health issues that come with being close to age 90. She was moved into assisted living nearby some of her family that live a few minutes away. She gets the care she needs, and the residents get to partake in many activities & outings with home employees accompanying them for outside excursions in addition to doctor appointments, therapy as needed etc. Some residents like her will have family come by, sign her out for a few hours to go to Mass, shopping, etc as my parents & I have done coming from 3 hours away for a day.

[quote="Lovemyfaith, post:1, topic:251393"]
We have a relative who has been diagnosed with early stage dementia. We found a wonderful assisted living home for this person, but of course the person REFUSES to move. The really bad part is if this person will not go into this place, I think the only next option would be a place that has "lock down" for patients who are flight risks.
I think there are a lot of trust issue in play, that we will never visit, that we will sell this person's home, etc. None are true, we just want this person in a safe place with good care. It is also getting very difficult to aid this person in day to day things, like food shopping, cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc without all of our families suffering.
Does anyone have the magic words to help us?

[/quote]

Juno24 said it best below - get a medical power of attorney and a general POA immediately, before your loved on cannot make the decisions. Someone has to be designated to make decisions for them before they cannot make that choice, and then it often ends up in court.

If you have a Dementia organization in your community, they may have a social worker who can come to the house and talk to the person. Sometimes, someone outside of the family can be of great help.
The person might not like the idea of moving into assisted living facility bbat first but if you would get him moved, he might settle down.

Good Luck! As this might be the hardest thing to do.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.