Should she be put into assisted living against her will?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother is 96 living alone in her own terraced home. She has neighbors who can look out for her, although I live 100miles away. She suffers from a heart condition which needs monitoring since she had a stroke last year. She is frail through arthritis & her eyesight is too poor to enable her to do household chores, but able to manage her personal care without too much difficulty.

Expert Answers

Chris Moore is a certified aging in place specialist (CAPS) and the founder and president of Solid Rock Enterprises, Inc. He is a contractor with more than 24 years of experience in residential construction. He specializes in using the principles of universal design to help seniors age in place in their own homes. He writes a monthly column called Housing Matters on the Senior News website.

As an aging in place specialist I always look for a way to keep people in the homes they love. I would never recommend putting your mother into assisted living against her will. You said she can manage her personal care without much difficulty. If I am hearing you correctly you are concerned for her safety. I would recommend a remote activity monitoring sytem such as Simply Home ( These systems will alert you or a caregiver if certain pre programmed events occur or do not occur. For example if an exterior door is opened during the night or if there is no motion in the bedroom after a certain hour. This type of system in conjunction with some home care would certainly be less costly than assisted living and would help your mother feel independent for as long as possible. I would also recommend going through the house and removing anything hazardous and adding safety features like grab bars. Oftentimes remaining in one's own home does as much to raise an elderly person's spirit as anything else you can do. Hang in there and be creative and I believe your mother can stay home and be happier for it.