You Can't Force Someone Who is Capable of Making Their Own Decisions
My mom will be 91 next month, and until recently she has been in remarkably good mental and physical health. She lives alone by choice. About a month ago, she collapsed in the street, was taken to the hospital, and spent three weeks in ICU. Her doctors diagnosed her with dehydration. She is home now and has fallen twice, once spending the whole night on the floor. She has a Life Alert and will not wear it. She has a cellphone and will not carry it. (“Who would I call?”) She has a walker and cane and will use neither. She is signed up to get groceries delivered and will not use the service. We asked her to look at an assisted-living apartment, and she refused. We found a home health aide who could drop in a few times a week and she said no. We are at our wits’ end. She is also welcome to move in with me or one of my brothers because we all have room, and she refused. My aunt says, “Force her,” but what do we do with someone who refuses every attempt at help? I can’t tie her up and throw her in the trunk of my car, although the idea is very tempting. My brothers and I all think that living alone is no longer viable for her. So what do we do now?