How can we handle my mother's move into a senior living facility when she keeps forgetting she agreed to go?

4 answers | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
Chard asked...

My mother has dementia, after many talks about moving into a Senior living place my mom finally decided to move there. We talked to a realtor to get a price on her home, talked about what auctioner to use, went and looked at rooms apt. she could choose and afford, had several conversations over several days in a row. She finally decided on a room, put a down payment on the room to save it till we could move her in. She wrote the check. Then sat down with the advisors from the Senior place, she signed the contract and wrote another check for the first month. I called her later in the day to remind her we would be coming to take some of her stuff to her new home, she was up beat and fine with it. Then when we showed up to move her she didn't know why we were there and threw a fit and said she wasn't moving. Accused me of taking it all over, she didn't want to do it and I did all of it without her knowing. She really needs to move into a place where she has someone around, I can't always be there. I don't know what to do or how to handle this. Please help!!!

Expert Answers

Donna Quinn Robbins is the author of Moving Mom and Dad and On the Road of Life, Drive Yourself. She helps individuals, families, retirement communities, and corporations make successful transitions through her company, Ultimate Moves. Robbins is an active public speaker on the topic of senior transition services and has appeared on NBC's Today Show.

You may want the marketing person to come to the house and talk to your mother, show her the checks and contract and tell her it was her decision. I'm afraid you may not be able to deal with this yourself. You could also wait, try the process again and video parts of it for insurance for yourself. If none of this works you may be able to get your mother's Dr. involved.

Community Answers

Chard answered...

My brothers and I are going to talk with her doctor this week, and we have been talking with her lawyer also. I also called a lady my mom trusts and asked her if she could talk with my mother. I am planning on getting copies of the check and the contract to show her along with a letter from the doctor and lawyer strongly suggesting she make the move. I hope our encouragement helps and if we time it right and she says okay, we will start moving her at that moment. Thanks for being there.

Patv answered...

CharD - I want to share that these first few steps may seem the most painful for all of you. Sooner rather than later, you need to get a Power of Attorney for financial and medical reasons. Simply drive your mother to the attorney, sharing few details to your mother. Emphasize to your mother that you are available right now and these papers are "in the event". Make this trip about you not her. Do not apologize or rationalize - simply have her sign these papers for "later". Then proceed with the move. The old phrase "Too many cooks spoil the soup" really fits in this situation. Make the decisions and press on. Hopefully her doctor has already recognized her limitations so use that support if you have it. Things do get easier.

Patv answered...

Just move her. I know that sounds radical but it sounds like the decision has been made already. Your reticence to plunge forward is feeding her reluctance. Move her first, then pack her things up. It is extremely emotional for her to pack her own things, and will fuel her resistance to change. Get her set up into the facility, taking only a minimum of her belongings. You will be surprised at how little she actually needs/wants all that stuff. Less said the better - truly. Rehashing the move just gets everyone upset, and serves no purpose. Your emotional ties are as tangled as hers. It's time for both of you to step into the next chapter, together.