We had to place Mom in a Nursing Home this weekend.

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I have always said that I would never place Mom in a home. I did not care if I had to hire 2 people to take care of her day and night. I have found out that you can't make that promise. I recently had 2 incidents that could have been life threatening however by accident I found out what was going on. I woke up a couple of weeks ago and I though that Mom had totally gone over the edge, well I finally found and figured out it was a UTI, I have heard how bad they can be on an older person but never had a clue that it could be that bad. Mom fell the other night and hit her head bad, I had her rushed to the ER and again, I never had a clue, there was nothing noticeable but it turned out that she had pneumonia, that was quite a shock and again I only found out by accident. She is so weak, I can barley get her to eat and she sits and will refuse to do anything but stair at the TV. The Doctor ordered Rehab and recommended that we put her in a home. When I think of homes I think of horror story's but I have come to find out that is not the case. We did find a very nice place and the staff is fantastic. The issue that I'm having is walking in a seeing most of the people in wheel chairs, slumped over and pretty much just out of it. My Mom can be very active if she wants to be and does not appear to be even close to the shape the I see the others in. I have also noticed she is much further than I would allow myself to imagine. They say she participated in all the activities and that amazes me, she even helps the staff clean up after lunch and dinner. I guess my question is does she really belong there? I don't want to put her anywhere before its time but I have come to realize after 4 years of Mom living with me, I have absolutely no life. I go to work and come home and sit there. I change and clean her 3-4 times a day and worry about her while at work. Her caregiver is a male and she will not allow him to clean her up and can't remember by time she gets into the restroom why she is there so if I'm not at home I worry that she is sitting in waste. This may sound terrible but I just need reassurance that this is a good thing for her. They tell me that she is happy and does not even know to ask for me when I'm gone, she seems to have forgot about her dog, she never asks about her. But she still seem pretty normal until I really start asking questions. They also tell me that People with dementia will say things to there children just trying to get their way because its harder on us to say No you can't come home. I have though about bringing her home on weekends but they tell me that's a bad idea. Can someone please let me know what happened when you were faced with this situation? I feel so guilty that I even agreed to placing her but I have come to realize that I'm just not equipped to deal with the illness and she is better off with trained professionals. I'm just having such a hard time getting through my head that we have done the right thing. Thank you for listening.


I think you have done the right thing for mom and yourself. What you are feeling is normal. Sounds like she is happy, though and so it is time for you to do something for yourself. You obviously love her and only want the best for her. I would assume she'd want the same for you. Be kind to yourself and know you've done the right thing.
I had always promised my parents that I would not allow Mom to go into a home. We knew we would loose Dad first. I felt so guilty until my cousin called me the other day. Mom and Dad moved back to VA to take care of my grandparents, they never said anything to me but I knew they were miserable and Mom almost went out of her mind. Well she was very close to her cousin and she called the other day to tell me that Mom made her promise that if anything like this ever happened to her that she would talk to me and let me know that after taking care of her parents that she did not want me to do this. She knew the time had come that I could not take care of mom but she also knew I was so upset over my promises to my parents. Her words were of comfort, she said now you know how close me and your mom were, I told her yes, she said that Mom had made her promise that if it came down to it she would sit and have this talk with me and she saw it was time to have that talk. She went on to explain that Mom no longer wanted this after taking care of her parents and going through this so in some ways this did make me feel much better, even though I do wish things were not this way I feel like I'm doing what my mom wanted. Thank you for your kind words.
I used to tell my children that I would move in with one of them when I got old. But, like your mother, after taking care of my mother I have a much different perspective. I have now told my children to put me in a home. Hopefully a nice one.

You have done right by your mother. You took care of her yourself as long as you possibly could and now it is time for a higher level of care that you cannot be expected to provide.
You have done the right thing.
Nor should you blame yourself for missing pneumonia.
Nor should you worry about the state of other residents, as long as your mother is doing well and is happy.
Nor should you feel there is something wrong if this move, which seems to have improved your mother's quality of life, also makes your life easier.

Ask the home if you can take the dog on visits - many dementia care homes do bring in petting animals for the residents to interact with, so if your mother's dog is well-behaved this might be nice both for her and for the others. They might even wake up for it :) and it could form a talking point.
Isnt it astounding how they change?
I thought mom would be trying to escape and be begging to go home - she didnt do any of that ! wierd huh? She forgot about her place and everything and her new life was "as usual"
Usually when one promises never to put a parent into a home, chances are the elder is still active in the community, and maintaining their home, etc. We never envision our own parents getting really old. Thus, when that does happen, it is a shock.

Aveeno, I agree 100% with the others above, you did the right thing. I had to smile when I read that your Mom likes to help the Staff clean up after a meal. That is so great. Bravo for the facility letting her do that. Maybe in her mind she feels younger and more active then some of the other residents, so she is helping out :)

I also agree, do NOT bring her home on weekends. When my Dad moved to Independent Living/Assisted Living Memory Care, he was there for a year. Even though I lived a couple miles down the road, I never brought him back to my own house. And he never asked. Dad was so happy where he was now living, and he couldn't miss not having a meal with his tablemates. So for holidays, we ate at the facility with him.

My situation is different..my mom went into AL, didn't participate in any activities, but loved meal time. The time came where she had to get moved over to SNF..same facility. She has Dementia, but she has really flourished. She goes to all the activities, church service, and hair salon, all on the same floor. Some of her friends are making the move from AL to the SNF. I pray that she doesn't suffer too long,but she is happy and safe..
Aveeno; I think you've done the right thing. My mom, who is 93, has had pneumonia twice since being in her NH (entered in 2011). In both cases, the staff picked up on it immediately; in both cases, my SIL and I had seen her the day before and had seen nothing amiss.

As medical professionals, they saw something "off" that was not on our radar. I'm fond of saying that my mom would have been dead two times over had she been in my care. And I mean it!

Visit, love her as a daughter! Be her advocate and voice for as long as she needs it. You done good!!
Your mom is well cared for and happy - the answer is "yes" you have done the right thing. You are making sure she is cared for without doing the hands on caring as you did at home. This is not something to make yourself feel guilty over. Be grateful for the time you gave her, be grateful for the good care in the home, be grateful that you have some time with her yet & get out and enjoy your life. Do some things you put off due to caregiving. Good luck to you!
Both of my parents in their 80s are (now) in assisted living/memory care; I am an only child in my mid-50s.

Just had to place Mom last month after a fall in the hospital, resulting in a broken hip and a nursing home rehab stay. I think that was what finally got Mom to realize she could not live at home alone anymore.

Dad has been in Alzheimer's memory care for a little over a year now; she was his primary caregiver up to that point and it took a toll on her. Yes, you feel guilty but realize they are getting much better care from professionals. We were in denial about Dad's condition until he ended up in the hospital (911 call) after a fall in the house; he never went home, ended up in the geropsych unit of the hospital which held him until we could find placement.

Mom has a tendency to overextend herself, e.g., says, "I have to wash those windows" (no, Mom, you don't - we will hire someone). I was endangering myself to assist her (standing on a ladder to dust tops of bookshelves, etc.). Mom and Dad are much safer in assisted living.

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