I am going to have to make a heart breaking decision soon regarding my mother’s care.

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My mother's cognitive function has declined over the past 3 years. At first it was just difficulty with word finding and forgetfulness. She lives alone and has managed well until recently. She started thinking that her money is being stollen and her thought process and reasoning started to decline. 3 days ago, i got a call from the police while I was at work. She called 911 as said she was being robbed. The police told me she was talking to people in the room, who were not there. Ibroght her to the hosp ER and she was admitted to a psych facility. She is so angry at me, and wont speak to me when I visited today. She screamed to let her out and they had to give her Haldol. I will have to make decisions regarding possible placement in a nursing home. She was so independent and happy in her home. I feel so incredibly sad to rip her life away, it feels like I'm killing her.


Dear DelilahAnn, I have been where you are at. In fact, I still am, to some extent. I had to place my dad in a Geriatric Psychiatric Hospital, who then transferred him to a nursing home. He wasn't just talking to people, but doing other bizarre things, and was a danger to others, including himself. I was the one who signed him in. It was horrifying, but justified, though it felt terrible. He is still incarcerated, 3 years later, and needs to be. He has adjusted, and so have I, but he is also declining. I attended lots of support groups, read everything about his diagnosis I could, and talked to Physicians, Social Workers, nursing staff, etc.

Might I just say, you are not killing her, but looking out for her best interests. We get blamed for a lot, but have to do what's right. And sometimes we are forced to make those hard decisions. It helps to say, "The Doctor says..." And know in your heart you are doing the right thing to protect her. You have to be convinced it is the right thing to survive this crisis. My heart goes out to you and your mom. It does get easier, but never feels good. When you find a really good place for your mom, it helps. But making the decision is tough, so I won't pretend it isn't. Know you're not alone. Prayer helps immensely; in fact, I wouldn't do well without God's help.
Did they check her for a UTI when she went to the hospital? As I understand it, those are some of the symptoms of an infection. May not be the case, but I'd sure rule that out first.
Thank you for your responses, Its uplifting to known there are people who who care.
Yes, they first fuled out a UTI and any other medical cause for her delirium. In fact thats how I got her to go with me to the ER. I told her that i think she may have a UTI and we chould check and then go out for dinner. (I'm a nurse, so she listened)
DelilahAnn, we moved my mom to assisted living instead of a nursing home. Check out all types of residential care in your area. The assisted living facility keeps Mom pretty busy and still allows her some independence with her own "apartment" her own furniture, etc. She does not yet need full time nursing care, but certainly does not need to live alone any longer. Like your Mom, she was delusional, forgetful, and very independent. If Mom needs nursing care later, we can actually hire a private nurse to attend her in the facility at about the same cost of a nursing home.

The research process takes time and patience. In the meantime try an adult day care or some type of in-home care. Call your local Council on Aging for references.
Delilah, you are taking good care of your mother. You did the only thing you could do, when finding she had called 911, the police arrived, and your mother had been talking to people who weren't there, and imagined that she had been robbed. You did the right thing; the fact that you had to listen to your mother getting angry at you doesn't seem fair at all, does it? But you're in good company here. Caregiving our parents often feels this way. Many of us here have said it is the toughest job we've ever had in our lifetime. ( me included). If I had been in your shoes with the situation you described, I like to think I would have done the same thing you did, but who knows if I would have had half the guts and smarts you did. I might have wimped out. But you didn't. You took decisive, focused action. I am proud of you for having the strength and the courage to make the tough call here and do right by your Mom. Now your mother is in the care of trained professionals who can give her the best possible care, and who can understand, diagnose, and treat her condition. Yes, your mother is mad at you. This unfortunately goes with the territory. The first time my mother berated me and got angry at me because I was "helping" her, it hurt so much. I did cry about this, knowing that she had cast me as the villain, all for doing the right thing to care for her. But after a while, I didn't cry any more, I just kept doing what I thought was right. I can't tell you how many times my mother got mad at me.....for "forcing" her and my father to move into assisted living, for "trying to run her life," for calling her doctor "behind her back" to discuss my mother's illness, for calling the floor nurse when Mom was in the hospital to check on my mother's condition. All of these actions I took which angered my mother were things I did because I loved my mother-- deeply. I say "loved" in the past tense because my mother is now deceased. And as I look back now, I don't have a single regret for having done what I needed to do to make sure Mom was properly cared for. And I believe you won't later on either. I honestly believe that if we are guided by our love for our parents, and follow that inner "compass" of love, we will end up making the best decisions on our parents' behalf. And I also believe our parents will thank us some day in Heaven.

Many caregivers on the site endure extremely difficult conditions, all because they are being faithful to their parents. They are not up and leaving and abandoning their parents.

I'm so sorry your mother's cognitive function just started to decline in the past three years. It's so hard to see, isn't it? We grieve the loss of our parent as we knew her or him.

You are so open and honest in your post. Obviously you are a person with a good, loving heart. God will guide you through your caregiving journey. You can always come here to talk.
Thank you again for all your support, it helps tremendously. I have an appt to meet with an eldercare attorney next week to try to figure out her financial situation. All so confusing to me (I'm a nurse with no head for finances beyond balnancing my own checkbook and contriuting to my retirement fund). Trying to sort through her heaps of papers is overwhelming to say the least. I seem to swing between deep grief and over the top anxiety along with trying to focus at work, I think I aged about 20 yrs in the past few days (despite the skin breakout at age 54 which makes me feel like 15 yrs old again). Funny, I thought when my children grew up, I'd be in for some "me" time. Haha. My heart grows out to all of you who find yourselves in this intense situation. Love to all of you.........DelilahAnn
Hey DelilahAnn,

any way you can have a live in at her house? She'd be able to age in place and she loves her house. Just an idea.
My mom was an absolute squirrlel there for a minute while we were getting things under control and flash forward to the late stages and we have a live in angel and she is amazing and affordable!
Your mom doing any of the meds? like Aricept, Namenda and there's that new patch... for mild to moderate. can't remember the name haha.
the pills made a HUGE difference in my mom and she was able to go a lot longer. it's too late for the patch for my mom.

Maybe you'll be able to find that she has the resources to have someone live in with her. Reverse Mortgage?

It can be a lot of work but it will save you the heartbreak of being the one who permanently removed your mom from her house.
I am here to tell you that once it is set up you and your mom can continue to have a mother daughter relationship.
Get her out of the psych ward before she goes nuts.
She's not nuts, she has Dementia. Dementia is not a mental illnes. it is a disease that affects the brain.

Good luck and you can do this!!


God Bless you its so hard I hope that someone will care for me that way if i get to live to be that age. I don't have any children. She will come around , she knows deep inside you love her very much she also knows that no matter how bad she treats you you will be there. HOPEFULLY she will get on some good medicine that will relive some of her symtoms at least for awhile.
They are starting her on a small dose of zyprexa to remove the delusional thoughts. They aren't sure yet if the delusions are actually part of the dementia or a separate entity. I wish I could have her live in her home (she rents her apartment). However, her resources would keep that going for a very short time and then she would have to go to a nursing home. I don't think that she would qualify for Medicaid though. she never would go for power of attorney or even health proxy as she was (still is) a very controlling person. She never wanted to give up any part of her control, and ignored the possiblity that someday she may be in this situation. (she always lived in the moment), Hoping the attorney can give clarity to the financial situation and then we can figure out how much homecare she can actually get. I think shell need at least 12 hours to be safe. Someone needs to make sure she takes her meds, and then maybe she will not have the delusions. Without the delusion, I think she may function well with home care. For how long, I don't know as this may be a slippery slope. Going to have a glass of wine and hopefully fall asleep.work tomorrow. Love to all
Anne123, you made me feel better too. My Mom is often SO ANGRY at me for "bossing her around" and "running her life." These decisions never come easily and most of us wait until the we MUST do something to keep our parents safe. My Mom vehemently refused in home care and "chose" assisted living.

This is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with - an I know that is a fortunate thing. Thanks for your post - it helps me too.

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