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How to convince a parent to go to assisted living

My father does not believe he has a memory problem and refuses to leave his home. How do I get him into AL? My father is 72 yrs. and his girlfriend (they graduated HS together) is his primary caregiver. She is exhausted and I travel 3-4 days a week. He does not believe he has a memory problem and refuses to even consider Assisted Living or someone coming to his home. His girlfriend has her own home and is also missing seeing her family. How do I get my father into AL? I have POA and medical POA. He is also diabetic and cannot administer his insulin by himself, however, he is still "high functioning". My father gets angry if anyone tries to talk to him and even suggest he needs additional care.
Status: Open    Feb 18, 2015 - 01:43 PM

Relationships, Senior Living Communities

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4 answers

APFM Staff Answers

Feb 20, 2015 - 12:54 PM

Wendy, this is certainly a challenging situation and is made even more difficult when we understand the POA only gives you authority to enact what dad Wants ! You still cannot place him against his will.
If necessary you would have to work with a lawyer to petition for guardianship.

To do this, you will need proof from a medical professional who can verify dad is no longer mentally capable of making his own decisions. If the state declare him mentally incompetent, they will appoint a guardian (which can be a family member) to take over and make decisions for him, including placing him in secured memory care. Each decision with then have to go through the court to protect dad and to protect you should anyone challenge your decisions.

Short of the legal process, you may want to find and then work directly with a memory care assisted living community that can support you in finding ways to convince dad this is in his best interest. They are professionals with tremendous experience in working with helping seniors move in.


Aug 31, 2015 - 03:53 PM

I am sure your dad is very panicked at the thought of leaving his home. Remember that this represents a huge change and role reversal in your relationship; you are becoming his parent and providing the care for him. Of course he is going to rebel.

The number one goal of elder care is to TRY to keep someone in their own home for as long as possible. Bring resources to them before you try to get them to the resources. Suggestion: stop talking about removing him, instead talk up having someone come in. "Just someone to help with the cleaning", "This is a nurse who is going to help you with your medications" Remind and reinforce that you are doing all this because you love him. (removal to AL can seem like a punishment)

Because his memory is off you can also go ahead and hire a part time aide and then just tell him that he agreed to allow her in and that he forgot the agreement. If all this fails (and he is unsafe in his own home) you can say that if he doesnt let someone in to help THEN (and only then) you will be forced to place him (usng the legal procedure outlined above)
When dealing with the eldery carrots always beat sticks, and theraputic fibs are marvelous tools.

Dec 06, 2015 - 09:29 PM

My mother understands that she has a memory problem, and insists that she is doing everything correctly. She is fairly lucid most of the time, so I don't think that medically fibbing to her is an option.
She as amassed a horde of cats (18? 20? Fortunately, only 5 "live" in the house--they are indoor/outdoor, the rest are feral) and that might be the only reason that she insists that she stay in the house--she moved into it out of desparation and she has only been there for 4 years.

Her insistance is puzzling as she has no real connection to this house and constantly berates it.

She wants to be a part of EVERY decision, yet when asked to participate in the discussions, she says that she is not ready yet. At what point, as DPOA, do I get to say, " it does't matter if you're ready, this is happening"? It's not a card that I play lightly, or really even want to play, but I'm also not interested in her hurting herself or anyone else.


May 20, 2016 - 12:54 AM

If a very difficult situation. But I think sit with him and talk to him calmly and say that you are going for work out of the town for few days so he have to stay in assisted living and also tell him that if don't like it you will not force him. But convence him to just give it a try.


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