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How To Convince Someone With Dementia To Move

Can You Force Someone To Move To A Care Home

Convincing someone with dementia to go to higher level of care

You cannot force someone who is deemed to be of sound mind and able to care for themselves to move into a care home if they dont want to.

It is vital that, throughout discussions regarding care, the persons wants and needs are addressed at all times. That being said, there are a few possible circumstances where a person may have no other choice but to move into a care home. Usually, these are related to preserving the individuals health, safety and quality of life. And these decisions are made with their best interests at heart.

Search For The Perfect Dementia Care Facility

Once aging parents agree to try assisted living, do not disappoint them by showing them an unsuitable environment they will hate from the very first second. Take time to find out all available options and select the very best choice you feel will make your dementia-afflicted parent happy. Remind them that assisted living facilities are nothing like nursing facilities near you they offer many recreational, social and dining opportunities and are more like retirement communities than your typical old-age homes.

Do not just trust the residences advertising. It is essential to schedule tours to multiple assisted living facilities and visit them before the aging individuals will settle in to see first-hand if they are the best choice. Interact with directors, staff, and residents as well to get an accurate picture of what goes on daily. Visit several times before deciding the memory care community where that will provide the best dementia care for your parent.

After confirming that the community will be a great fit, let the senior also visit so that he or she can see the environment where they will be spending a considerable amount of their golden years. Knowing that they are part of the decision-making process helps retirees to be confident with leaving their previous lives behind and starting a new one in their new assisted living homes.

Stay Calm And Dont Force Things

You know that old saying, you can lead a horse to water, but you cant make him drink? That adage applies to this situation.

Your parent is used to being independent and in control of their life. Its often very difficult for seniors to face the harsh reality that they may be at a stage in their lives where they need help.

As they say, timing is everything. Dont bring up moving when your parents are already stressed or when you are feeling helpless or frustrated.

Stubborn though they may be, your elderly parents are adults. This means they have the right to make their own decisions about relocating even if you dont agree with them.

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How To Convince Someone With Dementia They Need Help

Many people say that one of the biggest worries about growing older is the fear of losing their memory.

And yet for many people when this does start to happen they have no awareness of it. Its their family and friends who notice it most and inevitably have to pick up the pieces.

Trying to get someone with early dementia to recognise they need help is not easy, and the subject demands far more attention than in a single article like this. However, weve outlined a real case study here , and weve pulled together some tips and advice from the family concerned.

You may find this advice helpful if youre in a similar situation with a relative or friend with dementia

However, she was forgetting conversations, her house was deteriorating, she was losing touch with the realities of day-to-day life, she would open her post but not deal with it, junk mail was accumulating in every available space in the house, and bills and important items of mail were getting lost in all the piles of paper.

Not only was this a fire hazard, especially in the kitchen, but it soon became clear from the final demands lying around under all the paper that Alice was not paying her bills. Having her phone cut off and receiving a demand from the power company to enter her property were the final straw.

Here are some of the familys ideas about getting a relative with dementia to recognise their need for help:

If a Power of Attorney is already in place

Please share your thoughts and comments.

Why Someone With Dementia Asks To Go Home

Talking to a Parent with Early Stage Dementia about Assisted Living ...

Alzheimers and dementia damage the brain and cause a person to experience the world in different ways.

So, what we hear as I want to go home is often a request for comfort rather than literally asking to go somewhere.

The kindest thing to do is to meet them where they are, focus on comfort and reassurance, and respond to the emotions behind their request.

The goal is to reduce your older adults anxiety or fear so they can let go of the idea.

Helping them to calm down also gives you a chance to check ifdiscomfort, pain, or a physical need is causing this behavior.

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Give Your Senior Parents Time To Process The Need To Move

I made a big mistake in not talking to my dad about moving soon after my mother was diagnosed with her terminal illness. I didnt want to add to his distress by discussing life after she was gone. But I really should have planted the seed.

If I had begun dropping hints, hed have had more time to get used to the idea and he might have seen the merit in it earlier than he did.

As it was, once food became an issue that he couldnt sidestep, he started thinking more positively about moving. At least he knew hed be fed properly.

Except When Its Actually All About Your Parent

Dont fool yourself into thinking that you need to be completely open and honest about this with your parent, otherwise youre a horrible person.

Again, go back to the kids getting shots example above. Some people get stuck on the but I could never lie! point. Think about it like this: Whats the KINDEST, most LOVING thing you could do for your parent in this moment?

If you can say something nice when an acquaintance is sporting a hideous new hairdo, you can do the same for your parent, right?

Christy Turner is a speaker and consultant, the founder of, and creator of the program What To Do When Your Parent or Partner Has Dementia. Shes a regular contributor on The Alzheimers Podcast with her segments Guiding You Through Rough Terrain with The Dementia Sherpa. Christy has enjoyed the privilege of working with over 1200 people living with dementia and their families.

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Start With Short Term Options

You might find that your family member or friend is more receptive to the idea of a care home stay if it is short term. There are a number of short term options like day care and respite care which can be positioned as short breaks or even as a hobby in the short term. With the right care home, a person might be convinced to stay there for the long term.

Consider Visiting The New Assisted Living Community Together Before Moving Day

Memory and dementia: Moving a mom with dementia

Familiarity is key to feeling safe.

Once a community is selected, some people find visiting the community a few times before moving day helps ease the transition. You and your loved one may consider attending and participating in activities and events, meeting other residents with similar interests and interacting with staff.

Each of these visits proactively builds layers of familiarity.

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Q: What Is The Best Way To Bring Up A Possible Assisted Living Facility Transition

Ms. Drelich: I think it is best to be honest and open from the earliest of conversations. It is sometimes helpful to point out to the parent that this is also for the childs benefit, not just for the older person. For example, saying something like, Dad, I am very concerned about how you are managing. It worries me to see you like this.

Very often older people do not want to be a burden on their family, and in the process, they may even hide things from them. If the family member can openly and caringly stress their concerns, this often makes all the difference.

The Importance Of Making Plans Before Theyre Needed

Most of the time, the initial signs of dementia are only seen in hindsight. The fact that my mother, a cradle Baptist, stopped going to church, counts as withdrawal from social activities, one of the 10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimers disease, according to the Alzheimers Association. In hindsight, the indications were obvious: the purchase of questionable financial instruments demonstrated decreased or poor judgment, the time she thought her car was stolen indicated challenges solving problems, the bags of mail on the closet floor showed difficulty completing familiar tasks.

Its hard to be prepared for dementia, or in Moms case, Alzheimers disease, the most common form of dementia. It creeps up on you. It comes and goes as portions of the brain function as usual while others go awry. Its easy to write it off in its beginning stages as quirkiness or old age.

Cindy says that older adults should make plans before they need them and share those plans with family who may have to implement them some day.

My sister and I saw the writing on the wall, agreed to look for the next opportunity when Mom might be more open to our advice, and seized it. She was able to decide to trust us before she forgot who we were. Her horror of harming a child, combined with her trust in us, overcame her fear of moving. She allowed us to sort through her things, pack up the stuff shed need in the new place, and move her to an assisted living facility near my sister.

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Take Advantage Of Counseling Services & Transition Programs

This is a major physical transition, to be sure, but its also a major emotional transition for everyone involved.

Often, spouses and family members are the most dramatically affected as they watch their loved one settle seamlessly into place while the rest of the family is experiencing a sense of grief. If your parent opts to move into assisted living in the earlier stages of dementia, you may find support from a counselor valuable who can help you or your family process the complex array of emotions the transition elicits.

If youve been an integral part of your parents dementia care, we suggest reading,Adjusting to LifeAfter Being a Caregiver, which offers nourishing tips on how to handle your next steps.

How To Convince A Loved One With Alzheimer’s To Move To A Nursing Home

Elderly advocate, caregiver, aging parent, assisted living, independent ...

Let’s face it, no one wants to place their loved one with Alzheimer’s in a nursing facility. But sometimes that’s the best alternative, especially for those in the late-stages of the disease.

It takes a large team to care for people in these stages. They need a doctor on call 24 hours a day. They need a nurse available at all times. They need aides, a social worker, activity professionals, cooks and laundresses. And they need to be around other people for social stimulation. They need 24/7 supervision and they need to be in a safe, secure environment. Providing for all these needs can be done but it’s a full-time job.

In many cases the primary caregiver has to work full-time and thus can’t provide adequate care. People with Alzheimer’s who have a clear and compelling need to be in a long-term care facility typically want to remain in their own homes. Often they are unaware that their condition is such that nursing home placement would be best for them.

Family members are sometimes adamantly opposed to the idea as well. Some view putting their loved one in a facility as a criminal act. In many cases it’s even more difficult because the patient’s staunch objections usually make the family member feel incredibly guilty.

“If all else fails and you don’t have power of attorney,” says Hammond, “you may face costly court action in order to be appointed the person’s guardian or conservator. You can then make all decisions for them about where they will live.”

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Accept That You Might Not Convince Them To Move

Thankfully, my dad finally accepted that it was best for everyone if he moved. For more stubborn parents, it might be helpful to enlist their doctors intervention to advise them to move. We also have some tips that you may find helpful in our article, What To Do When Elderly Parent Refuses Help.

It might also work to have the moving conversation with trusted friends or family members. Your parent may listen if someone else points out how beneficial a move would be.

Sometimes, however, a senior parent will refuse to relocate no matter how much they need to. In these cases, you may just have to accept their decision. Meanwhile, do the best you can to help them as much as you can. You can always sprinkle hints into conversations or bring up the subject of moving again when another opportunity comes up.

Allow Your Parent To Have A Sense Of Control

Be persistent about moving without being obnoxious. Its not helpful if you continually argue with your parent about the subject. Sometimes arguments are a way for elderly parents to vent frustration about being thought old or incapable.

Instead, calmly voice your concerns, then offer a solution. In my dads case, I was most worried about him eating enough and not eating spoiled food. Hed lost weight and couldnt seem to grasp the concept of tossing out food after a certain time frame.

After repeated bouts of stomach troubles from eating expired food, he and I talked about ways to avoid more problems. I listed several ideas , all of which he turned down.

At that point, he grudgingly agreed that eating in a cafeteria-style setting in a senior community could be a way to stay healthy.

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How To Convince Your Elderly Loved One To Seek Help For Dementia

After discussing the signs and the common reasons why one would refuse treatment, weve now come to the most challenging part: Putting in the work. But just because its a challenge doesnt mean its impossible.

Below are a few ways to approach the situation delicately and effectively, to yield the best outcomes and solutions for them in the long run.

Why Would A Person With Dementia Refuse Treatment

How to respond when someone with dementia constantly asks to go home.

In a 2017 analysis of National Health and Aging Trends Study data conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, 45 per cent of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 to 74 had probable dementia or required help with at least one activity of daily living but still received no professional assistance.

Lets explore some of the most common reasons why persons with dementia may refuse treatment.

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Listen To Their Concerns

It is likely that there is a reason why a loved one doesnt want to move into a care home. For example, they might not want to change their routines or they are anxious about starting again and meeting new people. They may also feel that their freedom and independence is being taken away from them. As a friend or family member, the best you can do is listen to them and be guided by their choices.

While you may be very keen for them to move to a care home, it is important that they are given the time and space to make a decision for themselves. In these situations, information is power. Be ready to provide information that may allay their fears and actually demonstrate the many benefits of living in a care home. You could also try talking frankly about the things the person can and cant do, and relating these to how a care home can help. For example, if they enjoy walking but dont often have someone to go with, does the care home have a walking club they can enjoy?

Noticing The Signs: How To Identify When A Person Needs Help

Before diving into the different ways to approach this delicate matter, lets take a look at the subtle symptoms to look out for that indicate early signs of dementia. These warning signs could be cognitive changes, psychological changes, as well as a combination of both.

  • Memory loss or subtle short-term memory changes
  • Difficulty concentrating and focusing
  • Confusion with time or a familiar place
  • Difficulty carrying out normal routine tasks
  • Misplacing things frequently or putting them in strange places
  • Failing sense of direction and difficulty with spatial and visual abilities
  • Asking questions repeatedly and forgetting the answer that was just received
  • Lack of coordination when it comes to basic motor functions

While these symptoms start as mild, they could potentially become more severe when untreated and as time goes by. Be sure to keep an eye out for these things.

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Moving Elderly Parents To Assisted Living

This entire process can be very difficult for some older adults. Leaving a home full of memories is an emotional decisioneven for seniors who are looking forward to assisted livingand downsizing when you have accumulated a lifetime of possessions is a lot to ask of someone. Be kind, be sensitive and try to make it be about your parent and not about you. It will take some time for Mom and/or Dad to settle in to their new home, but they will probably enjoy the change once this transition period has passed


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