Alzheimer`s Disease/ER visit


My mother is midway through Alzheimer's and still living on her own. Until recently my brother and I have visited her daily to make sure she takes meds and eats. She has no intention of leaving her home. Of course she thinks she's not too bad yet, because she doesn't remember. She recently refused to go to her Dr. appt. She has lost 11 lbs in approx 4 mos. Her O2 is 86. She spends most of her time in bed. I'm hoping to convince her to go to the ER. Maybe at that point a social worker can also get involved. If she won't let me take her, should I call an ambulance? Would they even take her if she refuses? I'm not sure what to do. It's not as easy as many might think to force an old person to do something against their will. Your opinion is appreciated.

Hello Ed:  I know how stressful this is for you and your family.  It's imperative that someone has  power of attorney (medical and legal) for her in case at some point you must make a decision to either take her to the hospital or place her in a facility.  If she adamantly refuses to sign for a POA, then you must seek guardianship for her, which you would be able to achieve if her physician agrees that she needs one.  There are several things you could try to get her to the doctor--don't tell her about it until right before the appointment, then say "You know, they will charge you anyway if you don't show up, and you need to get more meds, so let's just get it over with."  If you can get her up and out, don't tell her where you're going and just show up at the office--again with the same excuse.  If she says she's not taking any more meds, etc. then appear to go along with her and just say "It's your decision Mom, but I'm warning you that when you fall or pass out from not taking your meds, you'll be in the hospital immediately."  She will become more and more debilitated with the weight loss and being so sedentary, so you are waiting for the crisis to happen.  Once it does, it's important you have that POA so you can make some decisions for her care.  You and your family would benefit from reading my book "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia," which will give you many tips on how to interact with her and achieve a higher level of cooperation.  
If you were to call an ambulance without a POA, and she refused to go, then I don't think you can force her unless she has an obvious injury like a broken hip.  Good luck to you Ed as you and your brother continue to move forward with your Mom on her journey through dementia.  Cindy

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner


As a nurse and dementia consultant, I can answer most questions on all types of dementia. If I cannot answer your question, I will attempt to find someone who can. My passion is to help caregivers of people with dementia, which in turn helps all those wonderful elders with dementia live better lives. When caregivers are better educated, they are able to better care for themselves and their loved ones, so education is key to decreased stress levels and healthier, happier families.


I have worked as a nurse in various disciplines of nursing for over 20 years, most of which was with the elderly. I was a health care coordinator in a dementia dedicated assisted living facility for 4 years before I started my own business (M.I.N.D. in Memory Care) as a dementia consultant six years ago. As a dementia consultant, I help families nationwide through phone conference calls as they struggle to care for their loved ones with dementia.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Geriatric Interest Network Sigma Theta Tau International

Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" which is a collection of stories about people with dementia I have known, loved and worked with. Every story has a lesson to teach and this book gently teaches family caregivers lessons about how to better care for their loved one, as well as themselves during their caregiving journey. Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem In Eldercare Facilities: The Master Key For Dementia Training" Created "Bringing Nurturing To Memory Care" staff dementia training video Created Ebook: "Hair Stylist's Helpful Tips For Working With People With Alzheimer's & Other Dementias"

Registered Nurse with Bachelor's degree in Nursing; Certified Dementia Practitioner; Author of 2 books and an ebook

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing

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