Decision to keep mom at the facility for long term care.

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July of this year, mom fell at home, she lives alone. I am her daughter and her caregiver. She didn't break any bones, I took her the doctor and everything checked out fine. Mom has COPD, A-Fib, mild CHF, limited mobility due to osteoarthritis in her knees and back amongst a few other issues. Since the fall I noticed that she started declining in her health and I was spending more and more time over her house caring for her until it got to the point where she was not eating or moving around much, sitting and sleeping most of the time. I finally talked her into going to the doctor on Aug. 14th, the labs showed mom's sodium level was dangerously low and was admitted immediately into the hospital. She was there for 4 days and was transferred to a skilled nursing facility for physical therapy. 3 weeks later mom and I met with the interdisciplinary team and were told mom has not made any improvement and they recommended 24 hour care. Mom has medicare and med i cal so she can stay at the facility if we so decide. We cannot afford in home care and In Home Services does not provide 24 hr. care nor can mom live with me since she has mobility issues and we don't have a bedroom downstairs.
Since mom has been at the facility I have learned that she is quite social and has met many new friends, she loves the staff and they love her. She has lived alone for 40 years. She has never driven a car and has depended on me to do her shopping, doctor appts. etc all these years. It has been very sad watching her decline and I feel so sorry for her, but, on the other hand, she is getting good care, 3 meals a day, and I don't have to worry about her being safe at home. She keeps telling me she wants to go home but I really want her to stay there. The decision is putting so much stress on me I don't know what to do. How do I tell her? Should I tell her, or just let her think she needs to continue to work on getting better, knowing she will never go back home. The facility told me they would sit down with her and I and they would tell her that it is not safe for her to go home, and have it come from them. I feel so bad when I go to visit her and leave her there to go home. I know I am not the only one that has gone through or going through the same situation. I will welcome any advise, thank you.


Just be upbeat an positive on how much better it is here. she has friends and good care. It is such a relief for you not to worry if she fell again and not of been able to have help it could of just been disaterous for her. I am sorry this is going to be hard on you, until you can come to grips with she needs help and there is nothing more you can do. You are doing the best you can for her that's all anybody can do. You have done exactly what you were suppose to do as a daughter. My heart goes out to you and I hope you both can come too peace with your decision.
The facility has given you the correct advice about letting the news come from them. My mother constantly asks to go home and she has to be reminded that it is not safe for her to go home. I often will tell my mother that it is not up to me, but that the doctor does not consider her a safe discharge. I think basically everyone in one of those places wants to go home, but it is no longer safe for them to.
My dad has been in a home since January. He too, went for rehab after a fall but never got strong enough to go back to their apartment. I had to make the same decision and it was hard; it still is. He would have needed round the clock care and they have no money. I am one of three kids and the only one caring for BOTH of them. I have to hear almost daily from my 84-yr old mother, "Oh, I can take care of him," "oh, why did he fall," etc... It exhausting. She could no more take care of a 150 lb psycho, demented man than I could. We never say to Dad, "you're not coming home." You just don't need too. You're making the right decision. For all of you. She is safe, washed and fed and hopefully, you have a life.

I don't have a life because my mother is still too much stress for me. I an friggin' errand girl, not a daughter. I do have help from a local group to drive her around sometimes but it is the mental pressure of having to deal with everything, all the decisions, for both of them, that is killing me and robbing me of a good life.

Keep her there. She's safe.

Thank you all, your posts are very helpful and kind~Spoonfulasugar
As of my Sept. 9th post regarding my mother going in to long term care. Well, she has been at the same facility since Aug. 17th, going on 3 months now. As you can imagine, it has been an emotional roller coaster for all of us, especially her. I am now dealing with her becoming more and more negative and complaining about everything from the food to her CNA's and her room mates.
I am trying my hardest to be understanding but I am losing my patience and I am starting to dread going in to visit her now. As many of you are going through the same thing I am going through, raising a family, working and trying to take care of an aging parent, I'd like to hear how others are handling their situations. At first I was going twice a day, then once a day. Now, I try to go at least every other day but I feel so guilty if I don't. I was going every Saturday and Sunday but would like to go only 1 day not both. It's easy for friends and family to say just do it, but they don't have the emotional attachment I have, I feel so sorry for her. She continually tells me she wants to go home and why I can't just take her there. I explain over and over that she needs 24 hr. care and she is getting what I think is great care at the facility, and how lucky she is to have Medicare/med-i-cal to pay for her care.
It makes me feel so bad that she can't go home to her home where she lived for 60 years.
Have the people from the facility met with your mother and explained to her why it is not safe to go home?

No, I doubt your friends do understand the guilt that you are feeling nor your dreading to go see her. Does your mother expect you to visit more than you do? Does she say things that make you feel guilty for not going more than you are?

Does the facility have a social worker that you can talk about your feelings of guilt and dread with? If not, I would suggest finding an objective third party who understands these kinds of issues to talk with?

Unfortunately, you are not going to be able to fix your mom's emotional state. I'm not sure arguing with her rationally is really going to settle what for her is probably a very emotional issue. I would try affirming her feelings, but then try to divert her attention to another subject. At some point, your mom is going to have to choose between staying miserable or accepting this major change in her life which does provide her both safety and care. At some point, you might have to detach with love from her constant complaining and limit your visits even more.

What does your husband think about all of this?

Also, I don't see where you have done or not done anything to feel guilty for.

Maybe I'm waxing too boldly and am totally wrong, but this is how I see it.
Cmagnum, thank you for your advice and questions, very helpful. I read your response to my husband (he is very supportive), he said, "you are right on the money". Yes, we have met with social services and the unit manager, they have explained to mom why it is not safe for her to return home and they have been very supportive. Take care.

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