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    Going Bananas

    My mother who is living in an assisted living facility for about a year has become negative, mean and very high-maintenance.  I have stopped enjoying our visits and dread going to see her.  I feel very guilty but I can’t stand to be around her.  Any suggestions on how to handle this?

    Martin Connell

    You need to sit down with her and tell her what you’ve observed.  Then tell her you’re concerned and see if you can figure out what she’s feeling and why.  Perhaps she’s actually gotten depressed in her new environment.  With my Mom. we found out she had developed cancer and was in pain all the time.    With your Mom, maybe she’s gotten lonely and needs you to visit with her more often.If she seems depressed, perhaps your Mom would be willing to see a social worker, psychotherapist or a doctor who could prescribe her appropriate medication. Tell her you love her but you need her to help you and herself by keeping as cheerful and grateful as she can be.     If she is just being “difficult,” maybe a POP coach could help you and her.


    My father refuses to move to an Assisted Living facility.  How can I convince him to go if he doesn’t want to?


    Hi Selena – you’ll usually want to start a brand new topic to ask a new question… otherwise it can easily be overlooked! I’ll do my best to help though:

    I’m wondering why you think he should go?  Most old people want to stay where they are.  Can’t you make his home nice and safe? If you insist that he needs to go to an assisted living, you probably have your reasons.  Perhaps you can give it some more time and keep looking for opportunities to bring up the subject. When you see the opportunity ask if he will “indulge” you and visit a few Assisted Living places.Sometimes things get worse before seniors see they’re better off moving in with their peers.  Things may start happening more and more that make your father realize he can’t live on his own anymore, if that is the case.   You may have to get their doctor involved and have him or her explain the benefits of this move and the disadvantages of “aging in place.”

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