Everytime my brother or I visit mom in assisted living, she asks to come home.
Mom is 85, has lived in her home for almost 55 years, and has always been very independent. Last year she was hospitalized with a pulmonary embolism and also treated for a detached retina. Now, she is generally in good physical health, but suffers from dementia -- long term memory is great but short term is getting progressively worse and occasionally suffers panic attacks.
I'm her single son and have been her primary caregiver for almost two years -- managing her finances, making sure she has and takes her medications, doing yard work, grocery shopping, bringing meals, taking her to doctor appointments, etc. (all the stuff caregivers are familiar with). I’m so burnt out emotionally, mentally, and physically that I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up. My older (divorced) brother helps out some, but I feel like it is all on me.
We brought up the idea of moving her to assisted living late last year, but she wanted NO PART OF IT, so we dropped it. She also does not want any outside caregivers coming into her house to assist her. Nevertheless, I knew the day would eventually come when she would need help, so I did a lot of planning over the past year in preparation for this event including evaluating different assisted living facilities, putting her name on a waiting list, getting her finances and estate planning in order (including Living Will, DPOA), etc, so we would be ready when the time came.
This past summer after a panic attack SHE brought up moving into assisted living and wanted us to make the move before winter arrived. She said she would not fight us on this issue and if she protested, we should ignore her and continue with the move. This was a HUGE day for all of us!!!
Over the past few weeks she would ask when she was moving into her new apartment and I would show her on a calendar. On moving day, she was ready and willing to go. She has been in her new apartment for less than a week and every time we visit, her first question is always “when am I going home?” She gets so very angry with us and so worked up that we have to get assistance to calm her down. She cannot take care of herself at home and we can no longer provide the care she needs (even though she does not think she needs any care).
My brother has taken a more active role in her care now that she is in assisted living, but I still feel emotionally, mentally, and physically spent. I’m not sure if or when mom will accept her new living arrangements or where I can turn to for support/help for her or me.
Any assistance is greatly appreciated -- thanks in advance!!!