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How can I get my 103 year old mother to consider moving?

My mother is 103, lives alone, in a very small town of 550 population, located in the midwest. There is literally nothing in this town; except, a small post office, gas station, bar, and two churches. No restaurants, food stores, or entertainment. The closest shopping is 25 miles away. Medical, 75 miles. Fortunately, there are 2-3 peole who will get her food and medicine as needed.

At 103, she is very frail and feeble. Nearly deaf, poor eyesight and mobility, but does get around in her home with a cane. However, her cognitive ability is very sharp and she is aware of local and world events, as well as, what is going on with the neighbors. She flatly states she will not move, and only wants me (73, only child) or one of my daughters to come and live with her, in her home, in that town. Numerous attempts by my family and children have been extended to her to either reside with us or go to an independent living facility. Either locally or close to us. Both of my children are adults with jobs and children and cannot leave their family/careers to live with her. Both have ask her to live with them to no avail. I live 2,300 miles away and certainly cannot visit as much as I would like or need too. Communicating with her is near impossible due to her hearing problem and is much to vain for hearing aids.

Financially, she could afford some type of independent living arrangement. I am uncertain what to do or expect. As long as she is competent, and safe, I have been told I cannot "force" her into any living situation that she does not approve of, or volunteer on her own.

Its very frustrating and concering.
Status: Open    Dec 01, 2014 - 02:38 PM

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Jan 06, 2015 - 01:29 PM

What a blessing that she can still get around with a cane and has her cognitive abilities. It does seem she has made the decision to stay in her home in her town even though she has been offered other options from family. I do agree as long as she is safe in her environment and mentally competent to make her own decision then the decision is hers. However, she cannot make the decision for you or anyone else to move in with her. If the ones she would invite to live with her are unable to do so then other options could be outlined. Other options for someone to live in or stay for a set number of hours per day could be offered by a friend, neighbor, or home care company who services her area. This type of arrangement would require payment for this type of care, oversight, or companionship.

In addition the area agency on aging or county senior services division could assist with home meal delivery, adult day services, or other potential services for home bound seniors.

You may also want to consider a life alert button for her in the event of a fall or emergency and she would be able to communicate her need for help.

Lastly I would recommend someone else (outside the immediate family) having a conversation with her about potential alternative living arrangements and identifying the reality of what these facilities have to offer. Many folks in her generation can only visualize an "old folks home" setting and are not familiar with the community and social environment offered now in an Assisted Living Center. With a mindset of "old folks home" she would not be able to see herself there as she is very independent for her age.

This person could be someone she respects and maybe has authority in her eyes such as a physician, clergy, elder care attorney, financial advisor, or a close friend who has experience a similar situation with their family.

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