My husband and I live in Sask. I have a cafe business there. My brother Dave has a business in Courtenay. Mom is 89, lives at home, can hardly walk, can’t hear very good, eats very well, but does not care for herself very well (cooking) dietary supplements for weight loss. She gets home care twice a day, seven days a week, but … I’m getting very tired and have to leave her to go back to Sask. We tried to convince her to live in a care home—she doesn’t want to go. Can you help?

Thanks for writing in. I am pleased that your mother has two visits a day from home care—this provides a basic safety net. Yet based upon what you’ve written, it seems clear that she shouldn’t be living alone or at least needs more care. Here are a few ideas:

You’ve written that she gets home-care twice a day. Does the company or organization providing home-care have a social worker or other professionals who can make an assessment and offer recommendations? You can then talk to your mother about what needs to be done and stress that this is the advice of the social workers or professionals—try not to become the bad guy!

Is it possible to get more hours of help in the home? This would allow you and your brother to keep up your careers and provide her with more support.

Placement in a good elder care or dementia care community near you or your brother is another idea. Identify a place that you like and fill out any paperwork that needs to be done. Even if your Mom refuses now, there will be an inevitable health crisis or emergency; when that happens, you can use this as an opportunity to make the move.

Check with your local Alzheimer’s society office to see if there is a group you can attend for information and support. They may also be able to identify other resources for you and your family.

Best wishes.

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