How do I persuade Mum she needs residential care?

Anne Y

Registered User
May 27, 2004

This is my first time on the forum. I face a problem that I'm sure is not unique and for which I seem unable to get practical professional advice.

My 78 year old Mum has had Alzheimers for at least 10 years and it is becoming clear she will need residential care within the next six months or so. My problem is that, given her memory problems, for much of the time she is unaware that there is anything wrong with her other than a minor problem with her memory. For example she genuinely believes that she cooks all of the meals for herself and my mentally handicapped brother (who lives with her), does all the washing and other housework, goes shopping regularly and has a bath every day. The reality of course is that she does none of these things. So against this background she is not going to understand, nor take kindly, when the time comes that I endeavour to explain to her that she needs residential care.

As I have said I am sure that this is not an unusual situation and would appreciate any suggestions for dealing with the problem.

Thank you

Anne Y


Registered User
May 20, 2004
Hi Anne

I'm pretty new here too but have only just passed the stage you are now facing. In our case circumstances took over and my Aunt was admitted to hospital from where the consultant told us that we could not continue as we were and in no circumstances should we agree to take her home. I'm afraid we used a little deception in telling her that until the doctors thought she was well enough to cope back at home she had to get her strength up and that involved being looked after. I think she was so glad to get out of hospital it made it much easier.

It is still early days (5 weeks now) and I still dread each visit in case she asks about going home and we have to repeat the story. Though I have to admit there is no real lie in what we have to say we are just avoiding telling her that there is no prospect of ever being well enough.

Our suggestions that maybe she should look around at alternatives (before her last serious deterioration) were always met negatively but maybe we managed to plant the idea of a home somewhere in her mind. We'll never know.

I guess what I'm saying is however much you try to plan ahead you never know what might happen when, so don't give yourself a hard time. Take each day as it comes, keep chipping away with the idea maybe. Play on the positives of friends, company, being spoilt etc. It might have some effect even retrospectively even if you don't think you're getting anywhere in the short term.

Good Luck