What to Do If a Person With Dementia Won't Go to an Assisted Living Facility?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 18, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I am concerned that my DH will refuse to go to facility when it's time.

Expert Answers

Jytte Lokvig, PhD, coaches families and professional caregivers and designs life-enrichment programs and activities for patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. Her workshops and seminars help caregivers and families create a healthy environment based on dignity and humor. She is the author of Alzheimer's A to Z: A Quick-Reference Guide.

It's a good idea for all of us to be prepared for different eventualities. No matter what our age, we all ought to have our paper work in order: write our wills, establish living trusts and powers of attorney for healthcare and financial and legal affairs. By the time we do reach a certain age, it's also a good idea to familiarize ourselves with facilities in our areas. You may be fortunate enough to have options of different types of care homes from assisted living facilities to secure homes specializing in Alzheimer's and dementia.

I would suggest that you team up with your DH and look at options for both of you. It will make it a lot easier if your DH doesn't feel singled out. Focus on your own wishes and concerns, which will make it easier to get him to share his desires. As the two of you visit facilities in your area, look at them and talk about them as a prospective home for yourself. You can ask his opinion, but if he's reluctant don't force it.

Facilities have improved greatly since our grandmothers' days. Most states require all facilities to provide clean and healthy environments, with regular activity programs.

Homes that follow the philosophies of the Culture Change movement, Eden Alternative and Green House Projects take it much further by involving their residents in decision making affecting daily life in the home.

It's quite possible to help your DH have a smooth move into a care home. When you think it's time for you to actuate the move, you will find several useful suggestions among my writings as well as those by Joanne Koenig Coste and Brenda Avadian, all here on caring.com.