Move to nursing home was traumatic for Mom - Just need to talk.

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I moved my mom into a NH 2 months ago from the hospital after her home care agency said they could no longer care for her. She is 82 and has a lifelong history of mental illness. She has had Parkinson's, dementia for a while. I live 3,000 miles away and in same boat as many others - sole caregiver as sibling can't be bothered. Felt upon visiting that NH was not too bad. The staff appeared decent and surroundings comfortable. Was relieved they were willing to take her considering her medical history. This entire hospitalization/NH transition has traumatized her I am afraid beyond recovery. She is so miserable. I try to talk to her every week or two and she cries and says very sad things like "I don't care what you do with my body". I have her former home caregiver who is wonderful visit once a week and even she has expressed concerns about her mental state. It breaks my heart that what I had to do has traumatized my mom so. Just need to talk and maybe hear from others who have similar experience. Thank you.


One thing that is mentioned on this site quite often is what your mom says to you may be very different from how she's living day-to-day. Is there any way you could get some "behind the scenes" information about how she's doing? She's going to tell you and the former caregiver that she's miserable - that's almost a given. But she may be fitting in and going to activities, etc.

If it was me, I'd contact the director of nursing or the facility social worker and ask how your mom is adjusting. Also realize that with dementia, it may take longer than two months to settle in. You did what you needed to do and your mom is in a safe environment. Don't beat yourself did the right thing. Hugs to you!!
Blannie above is so right. I remember reading here about how a person would visit their Mom every day at a certain time and found Mom so very unhappy begging to go home.... but one day they visited Mom, without warning at the different time and found her happily enjoying herself with the other women in the facility... oops.
Thank you for taking the time to write. Very much appreciated.
What was your mom like before she went into the NH? You said that she had suffered from dementia and that she has had lifelong mental illness. How was her state of mind then?
Good question. Her mental state wasn't very good which is why she was hospitalized and then went to NH from there. Since I am so far away it is hard to know exactly how she was. It just seems like she cries so much more and says very sad and sometimes bizarre things when I call. All in all I know she was traumatized by the move and based on other comments it sounds like this is relatively normal. Thanks so much for posting. Am going through this alone and no one else to talk to.
I realize it can be a very lonely thing to go through. Often other family members or friends just don't step up. I can understand I guess. It can be uncomfortable to be around a patient who is miserable, crying or saying odd things. Sometimes, it falls all upon one or two. Please come here to vent and get support.

Since your mom has a history of mental illness, it may be that she is just having to transition. When I first placed my cousin, who has dementia, into a regular Assisted Living Facility, she asked when she was going home a lot. I was in the place at least once a day, sometimes two and it didn't help. She seemed to rely on me too much and the staff did too. They called me to address her issues instead of dealing with it themselves.

Later on I placed her in Memory Care and she did much better there. I didn't visit her for 2 weeks and she loved the place. She never even seemed to know I didn't visit for that time. Her dementia had advanced by that time.

You say that she has dementia too and that she repeats that she is unhappy and that says some bizarre things on the phone. Even though she may not have done that at home, it could be that she is progressing with her dementia. In that case, she won't be happy anywhere. She may have talked that way, even if she was living in her own home.

And she may not have the capacity to know where she needs to be to get the best care. I guess I would just try to trust your judgment. Dementia patients often are not content. This may be a phase and it could change. I would try to stay strong and not let her behavior bring you down. You know you did the right thing. That has to bring you peace.

You might speak with the director of the facility and see if they have any insight about her progress. What if the social director could intervene. Sometimes the staff can make an extra effort to make her feel needed and welcome. That might be worth trying.

Is her medication working? Cymbalta did wonders for my cousin and she is quite content since she went on it. It does't make her groggy or dizzy. You might look into her meds.

She may keep telling you this, because she doesn't remember telling you previously. Do you think that could be the case? My cousin has told me some pretty bizarre things, but I confirmed that they were all in her mind. For example, she's told me that her doctor sleeps on a couch in her Memory Care Unit. That little dogs live in trees outside her window and that her boyfriend came to pick her up on a black horse and took her out to eat dinner. So, your mom's grasp on reality may not be as she is reporting to you.

Just remember this is about as good as it can get for her. She can't be home, her care would be too much for you to handle, and it's only two months. She may adjust eventually. There's really nothing you can do.

As others have said, she may be playing the guilt/pity card on you a little. My Mom is a professional class pity party dramatist. I catch her all the time looking and feeling just fine just after a weepy pity party when she doesn't know I'm looking in on her.
Thank you so much windy and sunny. You are a wealth of support. Thank you.

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