What to do about mom refusing rehab after stabilization post stroke?

0 answers | Last updated: Sep 08, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My 75 year old mother has refused almost all medical care for thirty years. In 2004, she injured her knee in a car accident and was treated in the ER but did not follow the doctor's recommendations and the knee healed fine. Now, she has had a stroke which is believed to have been caused or in part caused by untreated hypertension. We believe that she had the stroke about 24 hours before my brother discovered her. She was on a ladder trimming roses when she had the stroke so in addition to the brain injury she sustained 2 broken ribs and multiple bruises and abrasions. Thankfully the speech center in her brain was not affected by the stroke and so she can communicate well and is still very cognizant of what is going on, but like with previous ailments she wants to go home and "let the body heal itself." She has been in the hospital for less than one week and is still having to receive IV medications to control her blood pressure. The stroke caused paralysis of her right side (she is right handed). She can lift her right arm and it is improving everyday, but she still can barely lift her leg and she is refusing to go to rehab. She lives alone and her home is fairly hazardous because she is a horder. I believe that not pursuing rehabilitation through OT and PT is foolish and is another example of my mother's tendency to be out of touch with reality (this is something we have dealt with for years, the stroke has not increased this at all). My mother tends to believe that time will heal all and she probably thinks that one hundred years ago grandma or grandpa would just convalesce at home to recover and all would be well, but I think that left untreated she would have died and that she is being unrealistic. She is continent, but has to have assistance to go to the bathroom, to go from the bed to a chair, and groom and feed herself yet I'm concerned that she may be able to sign herself out of the hospital or refuse rehab. What can we do to make her understand that she could be throwing away the chance to recover more fully? She seems to think we want to take things away from her, when in reality the stroke is what has robbed her of her ability to do things. I asked her tonight if it was going to take us having her discharged from the hospital and taking her home before the reality that half of her body is paralyzed will sink in to her. Is there the possibility of having a stroke survivor come talk to her so she can get her questions answered from another senior who has experienced something similar? Can we legally make her do rehab since there is no one at home to care for her? Do they routinely do psychological therapy for victims of strokes, because she really needed mental support before but now it seems critical that we get through to her that her 'eccentricities' and 'stubborness' have the potential to be very detrimental to her life and her family's life. I and my brother and sister and her ex-husband are all trying to make the hospital stay as pleasant as possible. She is never alone and we do the things she asks of us, but demanding to come home in this state seems like way too big of an ask to me. What do you think?