If my mom doesn't want assisted living, what should I do?

5 answers | Last updated: Jan 25, 2014
64px-hh6b80fd52d1
Q
An anonymous caregiver asked...
more
 

Answers
Caring.com User - Maria Basso Lipani
Caring.com Expert
Send a Hug or Prayer
Send a Hug or Prayer
A
Maria Basso Lipani writes a popular website on geriatric care topics, where she puts her expertise as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to...
answered...

I don't have any suggestions for getting her to stop self-transferring, but I do have a suggestion for determining the best setting for her: ask her where she wants to See also:
Assisted Living in Challenging Times -- Planning Is the Key
be. You might be surprised by her response and it could save you a lot of unnecessary back and forth. Plus if you can gather this information from your mom it would be the first step in getting her to work with you to stay there.

That said, in reading your question it's not difficult to see why your mother might regard her existence as miserable - I'd be miserable and I think anyone would be bouncing from one setting to another having to rely on others for the most basic and private of tasks like toileting. While we'll never know her true motive for trying to do things on her own a part of me thinks she may do it because she really doesn't want to need the assistance and may not have accepted that she truly does.

Also, you're probably right about the assisted living getting fed up sooner rather than later and asking her to leave; she presents a huge liability by not following the rule. However, if you want to try once more to make this work I'd suggest finding out which attendant she has the best relationship with at the assisted living and asking if she can be the one to respond to her calls. I can promise you that your mother is more likely to call for the help of someone she likes rather than someone she doesn't.

 

More Answers
EmK answered...

Just a follow-up, as I came here today for more advice. My mother loves to feel/act victimized and as we, her children, and her assisted living facility (who is REALLY trying to make this work, for her) make changes in her situation (the latest being moving her to a room closer to the attendant's desk, in hopes of providing faster responses to her needs WHILE keeping an eye on her for falling), she is trying to make us feel like we're "picking" on her and ruining her life. (That was a long sentence, sorry.) And we're just trying to keep her safe. She's in an expensive and VERY nice assisted living home.

Ms. Lipani suggests we ask her where she wants to be -- we don't have to, she volunteers it constantly, and it's to live with one of us. That is not physically or emotionally possible, and we've tried to make that clear to her as we try to get her to make the most of the reality of her life.

 

EmK answered...

Me again - this is a further QUESTION, not an answer.

Soon after my last post, she self-transferred, fell, and broke an ankle, spending her 90th birthday stuck in bed in the nursing home.

Back to assisted living after about a month, and she claims to be more cautious, but is still self-transferring. Her attitude is better, but it's almost like she's DEFIANT about moving herself, despite falls that should prove to her that it's not a good idea.

Lately, she claims that staff at her place is telling her, when she calls for assistance, that they think she can move herself, so she should go ahead. Management and nursing says that this would certainly NOT be the case -- that staff KNOWS that she needs to be helped. How do we know who is telling the truth? I know it's highly possible that someone there doesn't feel like being bothered with her, and so tells her to handle it herself, but I cannot prove it. I also know that it's highly possible that she CLAIMS to call for help but does not.

Advice?

Thanks

 

64px-hh6b80fd52d1
An anonymous caregiver answered...

Hello, I take full time care of my Grandmother right now. She has Alzheimers. In answer to the last question....you would be suprised how much these sweet old women start lying and believing their own lies. I will see my Grandmother lie to cover up something she forgot. Most times they lie because they don't know and they don't want to admit they don't know and other times they lie because they are fed up with people telling them they are wrong.
This being said, I cannot say 100% that your Mother is lying about her care, but I would say it's more likely that she's lying, then the home. The only way to get a 100% answer is to bug the place or something. You could use one of those bears with a camera in it. It's one of those really hard decisions and judgements. I feel like if you have researched this place and really find that it's legit and good, then you should trust them. Not trusting the caregivers only makes their job so much harder. You should hear the lies and stories my Grandmother tells people that makes it out like I never do anything for her and basically ignore her. I've been judged because of what my Grandmother says, so I feel for those workers. I hope this helps. God bless you with your Mother. I know it is difficult. LIH (Love in Him)

 

64px-hh6b80fd52d1
An anonymous caregiver answered...

I wish I could put as much love into this answer as the woman above me, but I am exhausted. Here is what I found to be true.Most even the nicest facilities have state regulations as to how many cna ,nurses and on and on is required.I know that there is a long wait to get help most the time. Then there is the dignity thing which I understand, not heartless just exhausted. I agree 98 percent withthe answer above me. I have stood on the outside of door ways and offices and well snooped and observed what goes on in the dinning area is a great place to see the care. We brought my mother to our home from another state and I know she doesnt want to keep going like this BUT I am only 30 percent happy go lucky here the rest is mom what do you need to do now and I also get the lost bewildered look and the whispering baby talk , but let a friend call or my husband ask a question or another sister and WOW she changes. So that is something to watch out for and then yeah I think we are getting played, maybe because she needs more positive stimulation. I tell my husband its hard lifting and all the manual stuff, up all night on and on.Then be miss chipper i my family knows I use to be even under pressure ........uhhhh not any more. The major weight gain and hair falling out and ghheee I have aged 10 years in 3. ITS the most difficult position to take on. I thought it was funny in a sense MOST of the women complained of the food served but ate it any way( even the cooking has been taken away from them) I never heard hte men complain. So your mom might act like she hates it there but when you arent around I bet they dont have as much problemns with her as she says she has. Routine is a biggie for the elderly.The issues even in assisted living or respit is IF and WHEN they do come back home.......it is easier for them to use a bed pan at those places. Standing becomes more difficult because they loose the ability.The frustration of waiting to go to the pot....they use chucks and diapers because most places are so under staffed ......so thats another issue.They are worse when they come out......Yep my mother is as quick thinking and can catch on to any thing anyone says......BUT when it comes to her helping me with transfers , exercise and really important things to keep her quality of life up .......nadda. I never thought I would get so frustrated/angry,distant, what ever you want to call it until now. I figured it out......I dont want to let go......I want her to work as hard with her caregiving as I have, the interest on and on. She will say I dont understanad why I cant stand its been almost three years......yes she does! If I stand backand wait for her to take the first move......she wont do it , or she will move her good leg up and down twice and say I have done them I moved them just now. Maaybe not enough but I did.You will drive yourself, her and every one around you nuts with all this. I have been there for my mother for 3 years now day and night even in the hospital...When we got her to her new home with us......This sounds like maybe a lot to do but it really isnt. When the helper comes do YOUR things then.I should have right then and there had in home care at least 25 hours a week. I should have had twice a week outside stimulation with others her own age. Once a week outtings with mom . One outting a week with the whole familly. This might be just to have coffee or cake..PLUS I should have taken time out for these things 4 hours one day a week just him (hubby)and I. Three hours a twice a week for myself.I forgot to live...........She needs to and so do you......

 

 
Ask a question Ask a question | Add an answer Add an answer