My 76 year old mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She still lives in a single home by herself. My father passed away 3 years ago and my sister and I have been pleading with her to move to a retirement community. She has stated that she will never move from her house.
Her mental condition is deteriorating rapidly, but she is still aware enough to insist that if anyone ever tries to put her in a home, she will get a lawyer. Over the past few months she has forgotten how to make coffee, forgotten how to use her thermostat in the house, repeatedly thinks that she is tallking to a live person when she gets a telephone answering machine, called her landscaper 7 times in one day (forgetting that she already called him) , gone to Mass on Friday and Saturday (thinking it was Sunday) and last week hired a man walking down the street to trim her bushes (who I later found out did prison time for murder) and invited him into her bedroom to “fix” her tv (which wasn’t broken).
She insists that there is nothing wrong with her and that the doctors are all “crackpots”. She is really an accident waiting to happen.
My sister and I (we have power of attorney) were able to get her name on the waiting list at a wonderful Catholic assisted living facility ( complete with an adoration chapel!) and we just received a call that they will have an apartment in the next few weeks. Our problem is that there is no way she will go willingly. Therefore, we were going to tell her that the water company found an unsafe condition in her house and have to turn off the water to fix it. We will then find her a place to live “temporarily”.
Even though we can’t reason with her and are doing it to protect her, I’m starting to have reservations about lying to her. I’ve been all over the Catechism and all I keep seeing is that lying is always evil and that one can never do evil in the hopes that good may come out of it. I see no exclusions for people who have diminished mental capacity. Is it morally acceptable to make up a story to protect someone and, if so, are there any Church documents that state it?
I would appreciate any advice and prayers that you can send my way. This has become a very agonizing situation.