Assisted Living-never would I have thought Mom would actually LIKE it! EVER! So, there is hope and peace.

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Dear ones,

I posted a long drawn out message to you all several months ago about my Mom and what to do, my Mom refusing to go any where! EVER!!!! wanting to stay put in her home..her depressing, dark house..she could not even cook or drive let alone barely walk..and I mean barely.
My post consisted of being angry with my Mom about her not wanting to go to Assisted Living, how she was so isolated and not wanting to talk to any one. Her disability is mobility..falling, and being over sedated with xanex.
Well, I have great news.
On Aug 26th my husband and I successfully placed her in a wonderful Assisted Living.

She has a very small apartment in a B facility (B means that most of the people in the facility have mobility issues, if there was a fire then by law they would have to be able to get out of the building with assistance) A facilities are much different, they are usually multilevel.

I was in shock when my Mom agreed to go have lunch with us to meet with the Director and talk.... it took some reasoning and just saying to her, "Mom this is killing me to do this, I do not want to, but for your safety and for my health we must check it out. period at the end of that sentence. Inside, I was dying, I was angry, afraid..every emotion you could think of.
She knew that I could no longer take care of her due to my Fibromyalgia and Migraines.

At one time she told me that my Dad would turn over in his grave if he knew I was placing her in Assisted Living. I replied, MOM, he would NOT.

Thing is, she had no idea it could be as wonderful as it is.
My Mom is NOT a social butterfly..and has always been a loner. She was married to my Dad for 60 years until his sudden and painful death...
Always depending on him for every thing because of her challenges with her health.
She just wanted to stay in her dark house and have me come over and make her meals..but it came to the point where I could not do it any longer..my husband and I moved one door away from them when my Dad got sick, he only lived three months after we moved, and we took care of my Mom for one year after his death...it got to be where I wanted to crawl back to my house due to the physical pain I was having.

She would use her walker to go the bathroom, but only part time.. She would depend on my husband pushing her on her walker seat..I couldnt do it, I was too weak...and she fell several times during that year.. She weighs 210lbs and I weigh 95lbs so there was no way I could lift her, we would have to call EMS every time.
Her quality of life was going down fast!!!!
I have two siblings, they live in different states and do not do any thing to help.

So, on Aug 26th was her first day in her Assisted Living, she was not jumping up for joy, but she knew deep down that this is the way it had to be.

BY the way, it was murder in my heart having to place her..I did NOT want to! I expressed to her several times over that yr. how I myself was going down hill.

Now, she LOVES it, she has meal mates, breakfast,lunch and dinner..she loves them, oh my goodness, the things they talk about are NO different then the things We talk about...life, politics, all kinds of things...like they are back in high school!
not immature..but just stimulating for their brains. She also gets her hair set every week. Medicare does pay for her Doctor to come in and visit her, and the nurses from a facility. Assisted livings have a nurse but they are there to over see residents and make sure things are going smooth medically with them. There are Med Techs that dispurse meds to the residents if that is a need. Medicare and her Tricare does not pay for her assisted Living, she does have savings and also a paycheck come in every month from my dads social sec and his Military pay, even though the pay in half then what they made, she can still make the pmts. We are in the process of selling her house so that will help save money on her part.

I am shocked this has turned out the way it has!!!!!
She has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, it is contained in one of her breast and no where else, she is taking a pill for the treatment that has a high success rate.
Her attitude is amazing!
Never in a Million years would I of believed my Mom would adjust..would actually like her apartment.
EVER!!!!!!! Once we got all of her things in her apt. she realized this is MY home and I like it.. and she feels safe!!!! The staff are very good to her!!!!

She was one of the most private people I have known.
She still has her privacy..just that now, she is loved by the people there!

So, behind that dark cloud is the sun!

Note: I did check out several Assisted Living Facilities, I also went to my states Department of Aging, it helped. Very good website!

BEWARE: many places just want your money, ask the residents when you check it out, how they like their place of residents, how the food is..ask more then one.

God Bless every one here!
Thank you for reading this!

Best Regards,
Jan

27 Comments

Great news for you and your mom. Take care of yourself!
it IS very important to talk to as many residents as possible when looking at places, and keep notes during your search.
Thanks for updating us. I'm also glad that your mother loves her new home. I guess there's always a light at the end of the tunnel.
That is GREAT! If only my mother has money. That is where she would be. I am glad she has the income to do it. That is the best place for elderly people I think.
So good to hear a success story...one with a happy ending for all. You did the right thing for all concerned. God bless you for your courage!
Thanks for sharing the wonderful news!
I am happy this all worked out for you and your mother. I think if there were more assisted living facilities as you described at a price most middle income seniors could afford or supplemented for low income seniors, both our elderly and disabled and we, as caregivers, could have a great burden lifted knowing that they are being cared for and we don't have to surrender our lives and our savings to trying to help our family members. This is the way it should be. Why is it not? Since my family member is has a very low SS check, I have searched for assisted living in that price range. And they are dumps, not in whether they have fancy furniture or facilities, but that you can see that people are being warehoused and not properly give the care and attention they need. I'd like to hear from others as to what price range they have found good assisted living facilities in. And the senior housing out there is the same issue. For the very few low income facilities, like 202 subsidized housing, there are waiting lists of years. This is something we all should desire because we will find ourselves in the same situation some day.

People don't always respond the way we fear - sometimes things turn out better than we imagine and this is one of those stories. I am glad to hear that this has worked out so well. You might need to look into what could happen if/when her money runs out, however, since she will then be eligible for Medicaid which doesn't pay for many assisted living settings.
So happy to hear this - appreciate your detailed comments on what AL is like from the viewpoint for someone who needs more than just a little assistance. No mention of dementia or muddled thinking. My Dad repeats himself so often and can not lead a meaningful 2-sided conversation because of that and because of hearing loss (although when his faculties are good, maybe 40% of the time he has fascinating ideas) I wonder how he would fare. Would people put up with him and go out of their way to engage him.
You don't mention group activities and that is good I think since forced participation would be unwelcome for many people except those who really need it for a clinical reason. I guess they don't do that in AL like they do in some nursing homes. He loves people, but often requires they treat him as the center of attention. I wonder if being in a group would bring some humility and reality to him regarding his own limitations. (he refuses to act responsibly, quite impulsively excercising etc in spite of his frailness, quite aggravating to his caregivers). I am, by the way, one of the "out of state" family members who 'do nothing to help". I listen, and worry from afar, and visit as often as I can, maybe every other month, and provide respite for a week once in a while. We all do what we can.
I did wander far from your situation, and perhaps should repost as my own question, since it leads into another, although related question....
Thank you for your patience in reading this.

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