How can I deal with my mom’s mixed emotions with being in an assisted living home?

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My mom has been in an assisted living for two weeks. She is 87 years old and couldn't live by herself any longer. She was confused at home on her own, didn't like anyone that we hired to take care of her either She suffers from mild to moderate dimentia. I have two other siblings but she's the closest to me. She's had her ups and downs. The facility is excellent, beautiful and has a very tight knit group of workers. They all know the residents names etc. They have 24 hour nursing on staff so she is well taken care of constantly.
When she is down, she calls me and demands that I come over and get her out of there. She says she wants to go home etc. When she is up she says that she'll get used to the place and it's not so bad.

They have exercise, bingo, outings, social hours etc. They even have Mass on the premises.
I've gotten to the point that I don't want to pick up the phone when she calls. When the phone rings and I see her number, I get a pain in my stomach. My husband told me that I'm making myself sick. I know that I made the best decision and picked a great place for her. So the pain in my stomach is not guilt, it's awareness that she's going to beat me up on the phone call.
The wellness director advised that she needs her space and I shouldn't go running over there every time she calls. She said I have to be strong since it's probably harder on me then on her. They told me that she's is fine and if there is any emergency, I'll hear from them. Can anyone share how they cope with these phone calls from their parents? I would greatly appreciate it.

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This is normal behavior, and you need to do as the doctor says. I was told by excellent nursing home staff that I needed to take better care of myself and not run every time my mother called. I, also, hated the phone and to this day I dislike the red message light - a reflexive reaction. So, I do understand.
Your mother will take time to adjust. You know she is well cared for, so just "don't be home" every time she calls. Make a point of answering a certain number of calls, visit her, but ignore the "I want to go home" pleas. She is as well off as she will get. This is a time when you need to learn to detach a bit from her neediness, understanding that you are doing everything possible. It's hard to grow old and dependent, so have compassion for your mom. But don't let that make you sick.
Take care of yourself - that is taking care of her, even if she doesn't know it.
Carol
regarding the phone calls. My mother is also in assisted living, where she insists that she doesn't need to be. I have been taking care of all of her needs since 1999 when my father got sick and eventually died in 2001. He did everything for her and I took up where he left off. At a time I should have been raising my two children, I was answering her every beck and call and she would call me 15 -20 times a day, even in the middle of the night, waking me and my family up, to tell me that she couldn't sleep.. the list goes on and on...hanging up on me because I wouldn't come rushing over, telling me that she was going to have my children taken away because we were going on vacation without her, calling me names, telling me that she wished I had never been born... etc., etc., and I was answering each and every one of those phone calls.. so.. I started seeing a therapist and she suggested that I get a second phone that only my mother has the number to. IT HAS BEEN A LIFE SAVER!!! I can turn that phone off or put it on silent.. and then listen to (or not listen to), the incredible number of messages when I am feeling up to it. I no longer have to dread the phone ringing, because my other phone is where I get the calls that I need/want to answer.. the place where she lives has my home phone number and my other cell phone number, so they can always reach me if there is a real issue that I need to deal with. I still feel guilty, I still get cramps in my stomach when I feel the need to call her back, I still feel sick when I need to take her to the doctor or go over to see her... but, I don't have to answer 20 phone calls a day and that has helped me immensely!! Plus, I have limited my "visits" to no more than once a week and sometimes I even go two weeks..I just can't take the abuse any more and have finally realized that my families needs come first.. not hers! She is being taken care of and I have done all that I can do for all these years, while she did nothing but tell me that I wasn't doing enough. Nothing I did ever made her happy, so what's the difference? She was not happy when I was running over every day and she is not happy now that I am not... either way she is not happy.. so I'm making myself happy now.
I call these "meltdown" converations. They are a cry for attention, not need. It takes about three weeks just to get acclimated to new placement and 6 months for it to feel like home. The director is correct, you showing up each time your Mom calls is just an exercise in her getting attention from you. A move is hard for anyone...but when you are in your 80s everything is intensified. When your Mom calls in a chaotic emotional state, say, "Mom, it sounds like you are not feeling up to talking now. Get something to drink and we will talk in a few minutes." Let her be the one to call back. Chances are that she will settle down and forget what she was upset about. Be consistent and do this EVERY time. Do not try to have a rational conversation when your Mom is in an irrational state...it will just end up making you sick and nothing gets accomplished. Think of it this way, if a child cried and did not want to go to kindergarten, you would not swoop in every day and "fix it" nor would you take him out of school because you know that it is the best place for him. The same is true here. It sounds like you made a very thoughtful decision and found a lovely home for your Mom where she will get the around the clock care she needs. Trying to do it on your own would not be healthy for either of you.
I have also gotten some very good advice from other forum members about "detaching" - in other words doing as much as you can, and detaching from the rest. Take care of your Mom's needs first and her wants on your time and at your choosing.
Now that your Mom is safe, decompress. Take some time to rest and take vacations. You are too steeped in her care. You need to step back...trust me on this one.
good luck
Carol is so right about "detaching from the neediness." That is exactly what is going on. Remeber this too: your mother will NEVER understand or acknowledge what a toll this is taking on you...in fact, she may be one of those "misery loves company" moms. Some parents get angry that they are at this point in their lives and have illnesses that will not get better. My mom is not handling this gracefully and the person she takes it out on is me. Maybe because I listen. One day when I asked her why she is so nasty to me and so sweet to total strangers she simply said: "because you are family and have to put up with it."
Also, as people age their world shrinks and they do not have opportunities to practice their "social graces." Mom just blurts out anything that comes into her head just because she "feels like it." They become mercenary and as long as their comfort needs are met, at any cost, they are happy.
So why do we do this? It is out of compassion, humanity, a sense of responsibility, and love. These are not bad things. But it does not mean that you need to sacrifice your life and health. It has taken me 4 years and lots of advice in this forum to come to this conclusion. I wish that I had taken the advise sooner.
My mother is in a ALF and is on medicare and medicaid, does she still need a supplement (like bcbs) insurance policy for things that those do not pay for?
Thanks so much for all your responses. They were extremely helpful!
Liliput, just had to pop in here to say that your words on this thread have helped me!! I am going through something with my mom, maybe I will type it out, but I just don't have the energy now. I have had way too many "meltdown" conversations this past week. My mom even wants me to cancel back to school shopping with my teen (yes, my teen still likes to shop with me) to go sit in her filty house and let her complain that we want her to go to assisted living. So thank you. Your words touched others that they were not intended for. I appreciate you!
Emerald.. my mother would not only want me to cancel the shopping, but to come and take her along... so that she could complain the whole time we were out.. I simply don't tell her anymore when I am going anywhere. I just say taht I am busy..
A continuation of my first question about my dealing with my mother in assissting living. She is going on her 4th week. It seems to be getting worse. Could it be that now she knows that she's definitely not coming home and she's escalating things? My mom just called me crying that she wants to come home. She says that she doesn't know why I'm doing this to her and what she did to deserve this. I told her I had to get off the phone since I was feeling sick to my stomach, very true. She hung up on me.

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