My mother has moderate to severe dementia and is living with me. I set up an appointment for her to visit a local dementia day center. I told her about the about the fun activities they have but she refused to go so I cancelled the appointment. Should I have insisted that we check out the center?


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Hi, I would recommend that you go check out the center. Have you already visited it? Make sure it’s a place where she would do well, and if it is, remember that at some point she is not able to make healthy decisions for herself. If she needs to be in adult day care (and if you’re thinking it is time, it IS time) then she needs to go there. Maybe suggest that she’s going to go there to do a job of some sort, so she feels like she’s going to be accomplishing something there. Don’t tell her she has to go because “she has dementia,” or “something is wrong with her,” but instead suggest that where she’s going will be fun, engaging, and purposeful.

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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