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TaraG

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #1 
Has anyone had the experience of their parent being very resistant to moving to an aide facility but then end up liking it? My mom is 88,pretty independent but slowing down , not eating a lot, hygiene issues. It’s hard for me to take care of her from one hour away. She is adamant about not leaving the house she’s been in for 55;years but we may have to force her. Her friends are worried about her. But will it kill her to move her there? Or will she adjust?
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Splotchy
Reply with quote  #2 
Here is my take....like any big change in life, moving to a facility can be hard at first.  Any time you have to face new routines, new  schedules, and new people, it's going to be an adjustment.  I compare it to taking a child to school for the first time....some kids will adjust pretty quickly, some will cry at first and then grow to accept it, and some will whine every day for 12 years.  But if the decision to move there is truly the best overall choice for their safety and health, then you cannot let emotions run the show.   

Will it kill her?  If it is a good facility and you are there to oversee things, I doubt it.  Will she adjust?  Most do. Will she love it?  Maybe, maybe not.  But if it the best place for her, given her needs and issues, then that has to be the determining factor.

Assisted living facilities run the gamut.  Some are like fancy apartments that offer lots of amenities and services, and others are pretty sterile.  Nursing homes, on the other hand, are truly for sick people.  If your mother is still pretty independent, she will probably be in an assisted living facility.  I have had several people in my family move to assisted living, and most grew to accept it.  My mother has moved to a nursing home, and actually likes it better than assisted living.  (She hated having to eat in the dining room at assisted living, but loves having her meals in her bed at the nursing home.

These choices are never easy, but my advice is to figure out what she needs (and what you need) and then determine the best way to meet all those needs.

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TaraG

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you, this is helpful
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Splotchy
Reply with quote  #4 
TaraG

My mother has been in several facilities, so here are some things I have learned.  (Keep in mind that my mom has a personality disorder, so what has happened with her may not apply to everyone. She cannot get along with people beyond superficialities, so it's been a long journey of trying to find a place that will both manage her personality, as she's a handful, and be acceptable to her, as she is very picky.) 

My mom seems to do better in places where 1) She knows someone there; 2) She feels in control of the decision to be there, and 3) She thinks has an option to leave if things don't work out.

Now most people are not my mother, but I think most elders do better adjusting to a facility when they have a friendly face with them.  If possible, see if you can find a place where people she knows and likes are living.  Just as in school, a friend can often soften the adjustment and make things less scary.

In my mom's case, we had medical professionals tell her that she needed to be out of her home and in a safe place that could meet her needs.  If we had been the ones to do so, I am confident that she would have resisted and then punished us forever.  My mom has addiction issues, so the lure of being near drugs all the time made her agree to the idea of assisted living.  That is probably not the motivation of most elders, but perhaps you can find something positive that will convince her that moving is the best choice (if, in fact, it is.)

Since we did not sell my mom's home (we actually cannot due to legal issues), she always knows that she can leave any time.  In fact, she has threatened to do so many times, but we realistically will never let that happen as she is a safety risk to both herself and others.  When she threatens it, we tell her that it is her choice, and every single time, she has chosen to stay in a facility. 

Granted, she has moved five times (or is it six) and it has not always been her choice, but overall, she likes the idea of not having to cook or wash her clothes or make her own bed.  Ultimately, though, her needs are driving the decision.  She absolutely needs 24-7 supervision, or she will OD again, so I have made my peace with the idea that she is never going to be anywhere but in a facility.

If you are struggling with what is the best decision, that is where I would focus your energy.  If she senses that you are not confident, she will feed off that energy and it will likely make the adjustment worse.  
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TaraG

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you, lots of great tips!
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