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Care home resistance - how to handle it


New member
May 9, 2021
My mother-in-law is currently living in privately owned/self funded sheltered “independent living” accommodation, receiving 4 times a day visits from the residential care team. However the care she receives is no longer sufficient for her needs ( not just for her dementia/reducing mental capacity but also her very limited mobility and incontinence).
She originally said she wanted to move nearer to us and recognised/realised she needed more care.
After a lot of extensive research, my husband and I found an excellent care home for her, that is near our home. We very feel confident she will be a lot happier, safer and well looked after there.
All was going great until we took her for a viewing of the care home last Sunday (under strict Covid conditions/precautions of course).
Sadly she is now resisting wanting to leave where she currently lives - we have tried to explain that this decision may get taken out of her hands anyway as social services may say she has to leave due to her increased care needs but she isn’t understanding the situation. She does not realise she has dementia so doesn’t understand that her needs are going to increase as her mental capacity declines further.

Despite the dementia she is a very strong woman and also we are having feelings of guilt about placing her in the care home/making her leave her current home now that she is resisting. The frustrating thing is we feel that when she moves to the care home she will be a lot happier ( more company with high level of living care) and will be much safer (24 hour care).

She can’t live with us as we aren’t able to accommodate her immobility needs and paid live- in care isn’t an option either.

Has anyone experienced a similar situation with their loved one and/or any advice on how to handle this - we feel like it’s a race against time to get her in the care home as fear the longer she stays where she’s living currently means there’s an increasing danger of her falling/going in hospital and not coming out again 😢 - the care provided there is NOT/NO LONGER right for her needs anymore. Do we get social services involved?


Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
@Toffee34h , welcome to Dementia Talking Point. You'll get lots of help and advice here.
We had a similar problem with my mum. She was living completely independently, but it was obvious she needed more help. We arranged for her to sell her flat with a view to moving near my brother. The place we found for her was extra-care sheltered accommodation, but she didn't realise that. If she had, she'd have refused to consider it as mum didn't think there was anything wrong with her. By the time her flat was sold it was obvious that mum needed more care than the sheltered accommodation would provide. As my brother was seriously ill I moved mum to a care home near me. I didn't take her to look at it first, and I used the excuse that work was being done on her block of flats and the flat she was going to move to wasn't ready yet. Both of those things were true, but right from the start I intended the move to be permanent. It was the best thing for mum, as she was putting herself in harms way with her behaviour every day, but it took her quite a while to settle.
I think maybe make an excuse as why your mother in law needs to be out of her flat for a while and say that the care home is just for a brief 'holiday'. I wouldn't try to explain that she needs more care, she'll just deny it as she probably thinks she is fine. If the whole thing doesn't work, you maybe will need to think again, but I think after a couple of weeks she may well enjoy being in the home and want to stay.
I'm sure others will be along shortly with their ideas.


Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
a warm welcome to DTP @Toffee34h

if you have Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, honestly believe your mother-in-law no longer has capacity to make the decision on where she needs to live and she will be self-funding .... then you are able to make arrangements on her behalf, maybe telling a 'love lie' to get her to the care home eg it's a trial, it's a holiday, her doctor wants her in the cottage hospital to monitor her health (maybe chat with the home manager as they will be familiar with this situation)

this explains about funding

however, if your MIL will need a contribution to the fees by her Local Authority, you will need to have Adult Services on board ... in this case, contact them for an up to date assessment of her care needs and a financial assessment

if LPAs aren't in place, you have no real authority to act against your MIL's wishes ... it may be that 'love lies' will help, that you can take "She originally said she wanted to move nearer to us and recognised/realised she needed more care." as her aggreement and permission... however the care home and Adult Services may not accept this, especially if your MIL is deemed to have capacity to make this decision (if so, she has the right to make what you and others think is a bad decision)

if LPAs aren't in place and you honestly believe that your MIL no longer has capacity to make this decision, you can contact the LA's Adult Services, explain the situation and request a 'Best Interests' meeting ... the LA have the 'duty of care' to ensure that your MIL's assessed care needs are met and if they agree that residential care is needed they can arrange for this 'in her best interests' overriding her resistance

I'm not sure continuing to discuss this with your MIL will do anything but build up her resistance (my dad took any 'explaining' as proof he was right and either dug his heels in more or became agitated, even aggressive) ... sometimes you have to be a bit sneaky eg have conversations between yourselves, that MIL can happen to overhear, about how a neighbour's parent has moved to this great place and is so happy there .....

not an easy situation for you, I'm afraid