I am thinking of placing my mother in a facility, but how do you know when it's time?

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I just joined this forum and this is my first post. I'm extremely thankful for this forum because it has helped me maintain my sanity through my years of caregiving for my mother who is over 90 years old. She has Parkinsons and early stage dementia. But right now I'm beyond burnout. I'm exhausted and angry and feel like screaming all the time. I know my situation is not as challenging as others, so when I read their posts it gives me strength to know that others are coping with situations that are more difficult than mine. I am thinking of placing my mother in a facility, but how do you know when it's time?


Candlelight, welcome. My answer to when do you know it is time? When you start asking yourself "when is it time?"

You have done plenty, you have done your time. Ask yourself if your mom would have wanted to burden you in this way. Most of us would hear "no" from our folks. They would want us to live our lives. And that is ok to say you cannot do it anymore. We all reach the point where the caring is too much and taking too much from and out of us.
Gladimhere is right. Have faith in yourself to know when it’s time to place her. Your description of your emotions and mood indicates the time has come. It’s not that your situation is any less taxing on you than each of our’s. It’s just different.

A physical disability like PD coupled with dementia is a double whammy. My husband is bed ridden and dementia runs in his family. I dread the day when I start to see signs in him.

This process will not be easy. Start now to research facilities around you, both on the Internet, where you will find ratings, and narrow the list down to visit some in person. If you can have an honest conversation with Mom, do so. If not, there is a lot of good advice here on how to prepare for the transition from home care to care in a facility.

And, come back whenever you need to. We are open 24/7!
Others have answered well as to how to know when it is time.

I'm going to second the point of visiting facilities and am going to add that even if you aren't certain, get your Mom's name on the waiting list. We didn't do that because Mom didn't want to move at that time (she was still competent) and we were trying to respect her wishes. However this last summer her forgetfulness changed into dementia quite quickly and now we are having to wait for an opening in the AL of our choice.

If there is an opening, and you aren't ready yet, you can just pass and they will keep your name on the list. And then there is a much better chance that you will be able to get in where you want to when the time is right.

I also want to repeat what my brother told Mom about why she needed AL. He said the goal was to keep her safe and happy. But that the goal was also to keep all her children safe and happy. And if you are angry and feeling like screaming all the time you are not safe (the stress hurts your health) or happy. Your needs are as important as your mom's, and you need to honor them.
Candlelight, one can be overwhelmed just doing the logistics and not being hands-on... I know I had crashed and burned twice from the stress.

Since you are already feeling the effects of burnout, wanting to scream is major, it's not going to change unless there are changes made toward the care of your Mom. Almost 40% of caregivers pass away leaving behind the love one they were caring. So ask yourself, do you want to risk those terrible odds by hanging in there caring for your Mom.

Since your Mom's dementia is just starting, now would be the right time to move Mom into an Assisted Living orMemory Care, if that is within the budget, or to a nursing home if Mom needs Medicaid to help pay for her care. This way, she would still be able to learn the layout of the facility, learn the Staff, and still be able to make new friends :)

I was lucky, my Dad (90+) told me it was time for him to move to senior living, and he was happy as a clam living there, being around people closer to his own generation... as he would say "more new ears to hear his stories".

Let us know what you decide.
It's time!
Thank you all for the wonderful support and advice. I have started the process of researching facilities to see which one is best. She is already on Medicaid and has long term care so that will certainly take care of the costs. Let me also add that she had a stroke earlier this year and lost most of her memory, especially her recent memories. Freqflyer, you mentioned assisted living but from my understanding of ALFs, I'm not sure this is suitable for her. She needs someone to fully manager her schedule, prepare her meals, tell her when its time to eat, take her to the bathroom from time to time, etc. You also mentioned Memory Care, but I don't know what this is. If you or anyone else could please explain, I would appreciate it. And thanks again for all the help.
It's smart to allow yourself enough time to look around, do your research and not have to do it when there is a crisis. It's very stressful, if there is a crisis and you have to rush.

Ref. Memory Care. I suppose that it depends on the state, but, in my state, Memory Care is paid for by a state program that is similar to Medicaid, called Special Assistance. They also pay for refular AL in cases where the doctor says it is necessary. This is for people who need help with meals, medication, bathing, dressing, etc. and they meet the financial requirements, of course. I've heard that some states do not have programs that pay for this and that in their state, Medicaid only covers nursing homes. I have read that dementia patients are accepted in nursing homes, but, I can't imagine how that would work for my LO, since she didn't need skilled nursing care, plus, she was quite mobile scooting around in her wheelchair. (She did need all other total care though and was double incontinent.)

I think that in most states, there will need to be an assessment done to determine what level of care that she needs. My LO did well in a regular AL at first, but, soon progressed rapidly and I had to transfer her to a Secure Memory Care unit, by doctor's orders. I'd ask a lot of questions at the regular AL's and observe just how much one on one care they can provide, because, I learned that they could assist, support and remind the resident, but, they were not equipped or trained to really provide the constant and direct supervision that a person with dementia requires. In regular AL, the staff seemed baffled by some of my LO's behavior, confused, frustrated and pretty useless in some cases, but, the Memory Care staff knew what they were seeing. They didn't throw their hands up if she resisted care, but, worked with her and showed her patience. She seemed to be much more comfortable there too, as it seemed she sensed they were able to take care of her.

I'd discuss it with some of the professionals and see what might be the best fir for her.
I am finding it so hard to decide if it is time for my partner to go into care because most of the day I seem to manage as he just sits watching the television all day and calls me wherever I leave the room but late afternoon and early morning are so hard to cope as he completely changes into a frightened distressed and worried person who does not remember where the toilet or other rooms are in the bungalow. I think it is very hard to know when its time for more care
I researched information for my dad because he asked about Assisted Living because at this time mom could walk, feed herself. But, Dad said he wasn't ready; So I put the information in a drawer and told him when the time comes I had this, 3 months later it was time. My dad as the main caregiver crying because he was Emotionally and Physically exhausted and felt so guilty for feeling this way. But the time had come and he knew it, After mom had to lay in the floor to sleep because dad could not pick her up, He knew then it was time. No way was this an easy decision, very hard but after took her to hospital because of the fall and she was evaluated on mental ward at a very good hospital; They confirmed what we already knew in our heart.
I know exactly what you are feeling. My 93 year old mother lived with e for almost two years. I became resentful for all the work. She did nothing for herself and I felt so overworked (I am 70 years old) and could not handle it either. It is time when you feel like this. Trust me it will not get better only worse. Both of you will be happier. My mother is very happier living in her new "home". I am too. good luck

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