Moving Mom to assisted living.

Started by

We finally have a room in a wonderful assisted living facility for Mom. It is so nice, and it appears she will get loving attention and assistance. At 100, with increasing dementia, she has needed this for the past two years but refused to go. Now she is skipping meals and living on soup broth, Ensure and yogurt and getting weaker. She is very very difficult, refuses to accept she needs help, but we are both seniors ourselves and completely worn out after 8 years of making trips to IL and doing it all for her. IL wants her moved as they don't provide the attention she needs and she is getting paranoid, blaming them for stealing (which of course is in her head). We can't be there 24/7 and know she must have more oversight. She lost one of her hearing aids for the 4th time in 2 years! We are moving her this week, but she doesn't know. Its going to be a nightmare. She will stay with Sis while I move all the essentials, then we tell her. She will throw a fit, we'll probably have to force her in the car and carry her in, but we have no choice. She can't live with either of us, we have health issues. She complain and has never been happy wherever she is anyway. This is the only choice, best for her, and we will have the burden of care and worry lifted. We pray she will grow to appreciate the attention and might thrive with better care, but with her negative attitude we don't know. She dumps on us, but it appears she does not do that as much to others, so maybe it will work out. We are getting her a new doctor who we hope will take more interest in her and prescribe something to help her depression and appetite. Fortunately she does not need any other medication, good thing because she can't be trusted to take them. She would never let anyone in her apartment including an aide. We're praying this will go off smoothly.

8 Comments

AmyGrace, I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything will work out smoothly once your Mom is in her new residence. When I read your post, I am seeing what might be my future as my parents are in their 90's and I can see they are declining more and more, but they refuse to notice.

When one's parents live *independently* why are we the ones who is so worn out?
freqflyer, I think its because of reversed roles and now we are the "parent"! Its going to be very hard on the baby boomer generation and beyond with seniors living longer and their children caregivers seniors with health issues also. They have to hope their parents have some money saved or they will have to take them into their homes. Thank God Mom has enough income to afford AL for the time being. There is no way either of us could live with her. I tried it 20 years ago and I lasted 2 years and she drove me crazy (and she was healthy and not senile then) I'm a boomer, my sister is older and we are exhausted both physically and emotionally trying to deal with a mother who is healthier than we are and for 40 years totally uncooperative. I bless the people who work in AL facilities. They are angels. Maybe the residents are nicer to them than they are their relatives. I hope so!
AmyGrace, my parents also seem healthier than I am, too. Thank goodness they also had saved for that huge rainy day. I just hope us boomers have saved enough. I know that the generation younger than us are gliding through life without even thinking about saving for retirement.

With the people who work at the Assisted Living facilities, they get to have a good night sleep, all ready and refreshed the next morning. The workers I have heard about have a great sense of humor to get them through their shift. Where I tend to lie awake through the night wondering about my parents future, and my sense of humor has been missing in action.
Once upon a time I thought we would have a decent retirement.. now not so sure.. At least the value of housezilla has gone back up.. I live in my retirement! And we do have some accounts if they survive the economy.. Now that we are going to test drive MC Mom is upset "our" inheritance is going to be getting smaller... What the heck, It's their money and we need it for Dads care. They do have good retirement income and investments so at least that is fine. And if hubs and I have to live in our car at least it's an SUV...
A few days to go and the pressure comes off - Mom goes to AL and I won't have to shop and do laundry and check up on her constantly, empty the disgusting pee soaked pads she sticks in every waste basket and doesn't empty (even though the trash room is right next door). Took her for her evaluation physical. She lost one of her hearing aids and that and her dementia, she believed it was just a checkup. I'm so hoarse from talking at the top of my lungs to be heard that I sound like I have laryngitis and my nerves are shredded. I feel guilty feeling so relieved that I won't have to go there so often and hear her complain and someone else will be worrying about Mom and taking care of her needs. I will be nice to go and visit her and not have to clean out the filthy fridge, do laundry and get frustrated by her being difficult and protest she doesn't need help!
AmyGrace, thank you for your post. I felt like I was reading my life. How is your mother doing now that she has moved? I have signed my father up for AL and I, too, am hoping the stress will diminish. I couldn't convince him to go to a facility closer to me that does end of life care, but as long as he is safe and gets meals, I can deal with the drive. My father has hearing aids but refuses to wear them and when I get home, I am hoarse. Did your mother have to go through an evaluation to get accepted? I will be going tomorrow to sign the contract, etc. and he will need an evaluation. I'm terrified that they won't take him because of his dementia.
Jiggs, the evaluation for Mom was pretty easy. The representative came to her apartment and just chatted with her. I did not tell Mom we were moving her, and she thought the lady was my cousin. That didn't seem to bother her. They expect some dementia and as long as they are not violent, suicidal or wandering or needing constant watching they are ok with them. Depending on how much help they need you pay accordingly. Mom is really good at fooling people and she will put on a good, well behaved act in front of strangers. I don't know how bad your father is, and depending on if he wants to go or not will make a difference in how he does I guess.
Mom has been there two months. She complains, but she complains wherever she is. We got her new hearing aids and now she can hear, but they are different than the others and she hates them. I'm not sure if she is taking them out, or taking the batteries out, or turned the phone ringer off, but I've tried to reach her for days and she doesn't answer the phone. I called the staff several times and they tell me she is fine. She is uncooperative and won't let people help her with showers (which she still refuses to take, but they say as long as she doesn't smell.......) They do control her incontinence program, thank goodness. The doctor put her on Zoloft a few weeks ago because her obsessions were getting so bad and she is getting very confrontational and verbally aggressive with my sister and me. But she saves it all for family because they tell me she does fine there, eats with friends, etc. Its a good thing we moved her when we did as my sister's husband is ill and she can't see her much and I had been carrying most of the responsibility. I broke my ankle last week and now can't walk or drive - so there is great peace of mind that she is where someone is looking after her. Good luck with you father. It appeared to me that most of the residents where Mom is were quite content. Mom has never been content anywhere so I didn't expect she would ever say she liked it!
Thank you so much for your insight. Hoping your ankle heals quickly. I'm glad things are going smoothly, or as smoothly as can be expected. Thanks again. Take care.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support