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How do I convince Parents that they need assisted living?

My mother has dementia ( I beleive stage 3-4) diabetes and high blood pressure. My father has serious health issues also. He does not want to live with any of his children and also refuses in home health services. They live in a condo which they very rarely leave except for my Father going for groceries or Doctor's appointments. If you show up unannounced and he lets you my Mother is usually still in her pajamas.He isn't consistant giving her hed meds and doesn't consistantly monitor her blood sugars. He has ended up in the hospital several times recently and it was very hard on my mother. One time he didn't let any one know he was in the hospital and that he would be staying overnight. My mother ended up staying in the room with him and was very disoriented the entire time. Afterwards he agreed that Assisted living was needed in the event that anything happened to him and that she needed to be settled somewhere. We found a nice place, signed the paperwork , they did their assessment and we were just waiting on the assessment form from their Doctor. When my Dad picked it up he suddenly stated that his Doctor doesn't feel they need Assisted living and now is refusing to go. We are concerned for my Mothers health and well-being and are wondering if there is anything we can do?
Status: Open    Jul 27, 2016 - 02:45 PM

Elder Law > Guardianship, Dementia

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Aug 04, 2016 - 07:39 AM

This sounds like a challenge, and I assume that finances are not the issue. From past experience I would suggest a soft approach. You don't mention if any family members or friends are checking in or helping with your parents daily needs. If so, you might try to leverage that as a way to sway their thinking and gain some trust. From what you describe, this may be a multi-step plan. For instance, if a family member is helping out on a regular basis, they could explain that they aren't going to be as available as they have been, but would like to get someone to take some of the tasks they have been providing. This would be a segue to having an in home caregiver start coming by. You could have the caregiver shadow the family member for a couple of visits for guidance, and to gain trust with your parents, Any success at this point would seem to be better than what is going on at the present, and would be a step towards their acceptance that help is needed. Over time, you might have a better chance of getting them to transition to a facility, just don't expect instant acceptance. Put yourself in their shoes, be patient, and try to be understanding of their feelings. Above all, try to avoid forcing things unless there is a imminent health/safety issue. Good luck, and I hope you have some success.
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By barpier on Aug 04, 2016 - 10:05 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

Unfortunately any offer of assistance is taken as an insult. My Father has refused all offers of help by family members or home caregivers. Thanks for your suggestions.

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Aug 08, 2016 - 07:35 AM

Hi I don't think you can force your dad to change as it is tremendously unlikely he will change. I think you have to change. It is hard because you have to become the parent and he the child in a sense - you have to take control. Your mother and he are not thriving, but he is fearful of losing control. For a lot of seniors, moving into an assisted living or having a caregiver is a reminder that they are nearing the end of life and makes them feel less of an adult/less of a man. You need to take control and be the one in of the hardest things ever. In any case, I would write a note to his doctor, explain the situation and give a few examples of what is happening. My guess is your father gave the doctor a false sense of the situation - often they will do this and doctors are also trying to balance whether the patient needs more intervention or whether children or others are just trying to get the assets. After you have given the doctor a chance to review your communication, I suggest making an appointment - the doctor will not talk with you without your father, or without POA, but see if your dad will go with you. And you both face the doctor with the situation. OR at least nicely tell your father that you are concerned about both he and your mother, and that you feel that you need to step in and help him make some decisions. Give him some options, such as either assisted living or in-home caregiver, but that doing nothing is not an option any longer. If you have to, tell him that you will have a third party come in and evaluate the situation - in NC we have a not for profit Centers for Volunteer Caregiving that may come and do a needs assessment. We also have a senior omsbudsman program through the state that will advise on a number of issues.) I do know how you feel. My mother was draining everything out of me, I was worried sick about her all the time, and she didn't realize how difficult she was being due to the alzheimers. I was still behaving as tho she was the parent calling the shots. You can't allow that or you will burn out completely. Figure out how to say no, and figure out how to say "this is how it is going to be". He will get through it and you will feel so much better about his care, your mother's well-being and yourself.
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