Making the transition to Assisted Living when your parents refuse – Part III

missionaccomplishedSo my parent’s licenses were revoked and they kept driving so we hid their cars. Then my parent’s started to take cabs between their two homes. This created a whole new set of issues since they would arrive without money or keys.

When they broke into their town house and called the police to report the break-in, we were dumb-struck. My dad realized what happened while my mom argued about it as I drove them to their apartment at the retirement community.

At this point, their retirement community was starting to get alarmed at my parent’s behavior. They called me to share the concern over them getting into cabs. We met with the staff who suggested we consider petitioning the courts for Guardianship / Conservatorship and force our parents into Assisted Living.

This process would have devastated my parents. The struggle over the cars and driving made us very aware of how much ego played a part in the needed transitions. We were also hesitant to make this a matter of public record. I was berated many times by my mother when she felt that I did something without first discussing it with my parents. I treated my parents the way I would want to be treated and did always discuss the issue with them, however, they often forgot the conversations. Eventually, the retirement community called in Adult Protective Services. My parents failed to remember their visits.

Eventually, what we found out was that as a resident of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), the community had the ability to force my parents from Independent Living into Assisted Living. The community respected my parent’s privacy and never told us about this, but when they called to tell us they were going to move my parents, we quickly understood the silver lining in my parent’s choice for this retirement community.

While the organization of getting the move done was monumental and stressful, my siblings came into town to support the move and one of my brothers along with his wife, returned to clean out their town home and Independent Living apartment.

The three steps that helped us support our parent’s transition were:

  1. Address driving if you think it’s an unsafe activity for your parents and their doctor agrees.
  2. If they continue to drive disable or hide the cars.
  3. Look to their retirement community to see if they can help make the transition when it’s needed.

Finally, my parents are in the environment that suits their current needs and they are very happy in their new apartment. Accomplished.

7 thoughts on “Making the transition to Assisted Living when your parents refuse – Part III

  1. We are going through this now…..long distance. My in laws both suffer from dementia and live alone. They can’t cook, drive or take their meds unassisted. There was an incident in which the paramedics were called. My father-in-law believed he had given his wife CPR for 10 minutes. When EMS got there she was asleep in her bed. EMS agreed not to call adult protective services this time but said they would on the next visit. FIL came here to Florida, looked at a place, agreed to move and then changed his mind when he returned home to KY. We are now looking into the laws to see what our options are. My husband has power of attorney but not guardianship. Extremely frustrating.

    1. This is very hard. My first suggestion is that you call Adult Protective Services to at least get them on the local radar. I assume they are living independently and not in a retirement community. I’d try to introduce yourself to the neighbors as well and give them your contact information. Start keeping a log of the issues.

      With a power of attorney – the individual can change what you are trying to do. My parents undid things they asked me to do for them because they forgot. The worst case scenario is that you will have to pursue Guardianship / Conservatorship. It can be lengthy, expensive and a hardship to all involved. Sadly, it seems that you will have to face a few pivotal events before it you realize that you have to get sneaky to help them get to a safe place. It sounds like a terrible and disrespectful thing to say, but it was necessary to keep my parents safe and the lives of those around them. The log of events will help in case you do need to pursue this legally.

      It may help to research and have a conversation with a local elder law attorney – they should give you a free consultation and that may help you know the local laws and process (and costs). Best wishes.

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