Bhenson Asked January 2012

Anyone think maybe their loved one is quite a bit more "aware" than the other nursing home patients?

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Has anyone felt totally exhausted taking care of their loved one and were at the end of their rope and finally put them in a nursing home when you knew they were mentally healthier than most of the patients? My mom has early to mid stage dementia and is definately more aware then most of the other nursing home patients. I can't put her in assisted living because Medicaid won't pay for it. It had to be a nursing home. I now feel terrible but know I can't give her the care she needs physically at all. She's blind in one eye, no use of one arm, and deaf. I feel like maybe I should have tried harder. I had her living with us for the last 2 years.

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Bhenson Jan 2012
All, thanks for the replys. I just couldn't do this to her yet and she was sooo unhappy and she played the guilt card very very well so....she's coming back home tomorrow. I am cringing but it's my mom. I KNOW I am going to regret this move back but I love and respect her and just couldn't do nothing. I sincerely feel like such a loser and..my anxiety level is through the roof. I know I'm going to be unhappy but mom is 87 and I think she too, deserves happiness. Guess I'm lost and there will be no way out from this until the end. (mom is extremely healthy). Again thanks.
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marianne18 Jan 2012
Has your Mother been clinically assessed for dementia? If she has not, please get this done. From my experience, dementia is placed on many elderly people. Dementia is when 2 or more functions of the brain is affected, anything less is cognitive impairment. My Mother after being in hospital for almost one year was told she had advanced dementia when preparations were being made for her discharge into a dementia unit in a nursing home. After 2 awful weeks there I moved her into another home and asked for a non dementia unit. Luckily this was granted and she has improved so much. I believe she has mild dementia, but she is very much aware and can have a normal conversation. When she is tired she begins to repeat herself, but it is not too bad. Because depression and infection can give the same symptoms as dementia, one has to be careful that the patient is not being assessed during these times. Like my Mother, my Father had a similar experience, he was recently in hospital for 4 months. All the staff on his ward told me he had dementia too, I asked when was he was assessed and I was told that he has not been clinically assessed, but his scan shows he has had bleeding on the brain and this has left damaged equivilent to a stroke and the damage will not repair itself. I asked more questions and found out that the scan could not tell what damage exactly the brain experienced as science does not offer yet the answers to all the questions of the brain. I then realised that the scan was down to interpretation. My Father has now joined my Mother in the NH and within 2 days he has bounced back to his normal brain function. Therefore, depending on the skill and experience of the Doctor, the patient is labelled with either normal or a dementia patient. I am no expert and know that alot of knowledge is available out there, but sadly it is not being used correctly, there are too many professional misdiagnosing and this worries me. Going back to your comments, I think you need to see what NH are available and which one would suit your Mother better. Moving your Mother may not be the best solution but then it could also be necessary. So research what is available and use your judgement to decided what would be better for your Mother. Your Mother may benefit from an alert unit which offers stimulation and suitability to her needs, but if she does have dementia then she may be best staying where she is as it will be able to offer her the care and attention she needs. Well done on caring so much.
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My dad is in a facility for short term rehab after a nasty fall. It is doubtful he will come home because he cannot care for himself personally at all, can't do stairs and can barely walk. My mother lives in a leased condo and she cannot care for him either. However, they both think they can.....I think my Mom is getting used to the fact that he may not come home. Dad has mild dementia but is mostly aware. But it will kill me the day we have to say "you need to stay here." Maybe we never actually say it. So I completely sympathize with you. I am the sole caregiver as both siblings took off -- don't write or call. I can't do it anymore. Plus, I still have Mom to look after. So I get where you are coming from. Hang there and write back if you want. :)

-SS
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Elmlawn Jan 2012
My mom too seems more with it and it's been 8 months of watching her change. All I can say is visit often and let her know how much you love her. Knowing that she is safe and building relationships with all of the staff is tiring but worth the effort to know you mom is being well looked after. There is no perfect place for our loved ones. Keep up your chin and be a light for her.
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195Austin Jan 2012
There might be another nursing home in your area that you like better. Also in most NH's there are units where residents are more alert or less maybe she could be moved to another area-one thing you might want to do is take her in a wheelchair to visit other areas and she will be able to meet others that would become friends and as suggested above get her into activities she would enjoy.
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jeannegibbs Jan 2012
How wonderful that you were able to give your mother two years in a loving home setting! You should feel really good about that.

It is sad when a loved one's needs exceed what we can provide at home, but it is a reality for many, and it is no one's fault. Within a skilled nursing facility there are a huge range of needs. Some people are mentally alert but not able to care for themselves physically. Other may have minor physical ailments but are out of it mentally. There are always some who are the "not too bad off" end of the scale, just as there are some who are at the "extreme need" end. Help your mother take advantage of any activities and services available to her there. Visit often. Relax and use this time to create greater bonding, now that you are relieved of the day-to-day care piece.
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