How can I get through the fact that my parents are upset that I put them in a nursing home?.

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I just put both of my parents in a nursing home. My Dad has Alzheimers and my Mom has mild to moderate dementia. They were both in the hospital and I moved them from there. My Mom is so mad at me, she says I put her there to die. But she can't take care of herself well anymore, let alone my Dad. He really needs to be there. They were living on their own and the conditions of the home were deplorable and she was either under medication him or over medicating him. She was not taking her own meds. I am single and work, I get no help from my siblings even though I have some. I had one brother who helped but he had a stroke himself 2 years ago and cannot walk or talk anymore, so that leaves me. None of the others help me, although they like to judge me and bad mouth me. It has been the hardest decision I ever had to make and I feel sooooo guilty. I feel they will be better cared for there if my Mom at least gives it a chance, but she is so scared. She thinks they are going to come and get her at night and hurt her or kill her. She cries and begs me to get them out. I have visited everyday, some people tell me not to, but when I don't Mother is so upset. She gets upset and gets my Dad upset. He would be ok, if she didn't continue talking about it to him. It hurts so much to have her say I don't care about them and just want them to die. How does one get through this without any family support???

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Hi, everyone:

I like ezcare's comment about the "role reversal." When our parents become elderly and infirm, they become just like small children - incontinent, need to be fed and bathed - except they weigh 100+ pounds instead of 20. When it because obvious that I needed to put my father into assisted living and then into the nursing home, I did not feel ONE BIT guilty. I knew he would be safe there, get his meds on time, have other people around him, have some social activities provided, and if he went missing somebody would notice. This would not have been true if he were still in his own home alone. I was only around 40 at the time, working full-time and lived 9 hours away. I had no other options.

I did my research,and scoped out three different nursing homes that were located near the area where my father grew up. I brought him with me to visit each home so he could see what the options were "for the future" when the time came - and then allowed him to choose which one he liked best. He was aware that he was just "not with it" like he used to be and he verbalized that he overestimated his own ability to live in his 2-story colonial house alone and function independently. I kept talking up the advantages of having all of his meals prepared for him, his laundry done, room cleaned, etc.

I did what had to be done, handled all of his affairs without assistance. My husband agreed to rent a U-haul truck to help me move some of his things to the assisted living. I still remember that day.......because as we pulled away from his house for the last time, he turned to me wistfully and said, "will they have coffee there?" (He loved his morning coffee.) I assured him, yes, there would be plenty of coffee there and he could have it whenever he wanted. (They had a 24/7 coffee & tea bar there for the residents.) That seemed to satisfy him and we arrived at the home without incident.

I do not understand all of this "guilt" that I keep hearing on this forum. Why should we feel "guilty" about doing what is right for our parents, what is in their best health & safety interests, when they get to the point where they are no longer able to live alone? Believe me, you would feel far MORE guilty if they were at home and something happened because you did not have the medical or emotional expertise to know what to do.


As to the person who said their parent was "soaked in pee," that's often related to insufficient staff at the home. Most people in nursing homes are incontinent - and the staff would do nothing but change diapers non-stop in order to keep everyone as dry as we would prefer. Are any of you going to tell me that your own children NEVER sat in a wet or soiled diaper - even for a few minutes - until you found the time to change them when you were a young mother? It is curious that many of us hold a standard for the nursing homes that we did not hold for our own children.
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my 94 year old Dad is now in a nursing home and begging to go home. his mind is sharp, which makes it more difficult. there's not much mental stimulation or other sharp people to talk with. he fell a lot at home and the last fall put him in the hospital, but he insists he could be fine at home. he wants to go back for "at least a little while" but he really wants to go home. it's hard for me because i completely understand how independent he was a few weeks ago, even tho he'd fall. he drove and everything (not saying he should have)
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My heart goes out to you. And I think you are doing the absolute best you can. If you weren't you wouldn't feel so guilty. I speak from experience as I am an only child who lives 2000 miles away from my 93 yr old dad who just until last week was living independently at home, but with great neighbors, family in area and a little help from a home agency. In a way its worse, as his mind is very sharp . He has mobility and balance issues but otherwise fairly healthy. I feel terribly taking him away from his neighborhood of 60 plus years, but he can't afford the in -home private pay care he needs to prepare meals daily, help him dress and be there at night when he gets occasional anxiety attacks and shortness of breath and starts calling the neighbors. You can see my situation is different yet the same. Like you, decisions all on my shoulders. Oh - he chooses not to come back to CA with me and my husband because it takes him away from his home city/friends/culture. So assisted living seems the right thing . Not my first choice and the facility not my first but its what he can afford and it's pretty good. Like you this is the hardest decision I've ever faced. My mental physical and financial health suffer ( I travel here a lot and don't get paid when I don't work). I weighing the risks of happiness vs safety for him (he tells me he's not happy there and wants to be home). For you the scales are a little different but its still damned difficult and everyone around you seems to know what YOU should do. Follow your heart and your critical thinking Don't dig your own life or health in too deeply - you still have years to live. At same time love , love , just love your parent deeply and openly whatever you decide. In the end whatever you choose will be the right thing because decision was made out of love.
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Deciding to place our parents or spouse is never made without much soul searching the truth was my husband needed placement a good two years before I made the decision I kept hoping others would speak up he went to over 100 doc visits alone in a 10 month period also many hospital visits and over 15 times in rehab and I seemed to be the only one who got the picture until my health gave out and I said I could no longer do it then EVERYONE except him agreed with me so no one makes that decision easily in fact most put off the decision too long and suffer along forever- I would never put my kids through what I went through and we went through with my MIL and what my sister is going through and I do not feel guility for placing my husband because God and I know how difficult it was.
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That figures that it isn't made public. A lot of help seniors can get is not made public, guess that is one way they keep them from using it and running up a big tab. I will have to question the nursing home about it. And no, just pulling it won't work, the problem is in the root and nerves. Anyway, it is worth a try, I am tired of having to take her for pain shots two hours away in Fargo. If we can settle this in town and give her some relief at the local dentist I am all for it.
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Dear IMW124,
I'm bringing my dad to the dentist today and he is also on Medicaid. After I pay the bill, I turn a copy of it into the nursing home and they deduct what I paid the dentist from his total living expenses that I pay for him each month. You may want to check into it at the facility where your mom lives. It isn't very public, but I happened to read something about it one time and inquired.
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Imw, seems like there are many bumps along the way. At least its not like my brick walls and endless nightmares. Haven't heard of Caregiving being smooth sailing. Can she have the tooth just pulled instead? That should be a lot less expensive. ~Pudding, anyone?
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I just hit a big bump in the road today. Took mom to the dentist, she needs a root canal and how am I going to pay for that now with her in the nursing home on Medicaid? She will have to sign up for denal assitance now, I don't even know if this will be covered. Then on the way home we went past the place where we used to live in our apartment together and mom started whining again about wanting out of the nursing home. I guess next time I will have to somehow avoid going past our old apartment across the street from the dentist office. I guess the next hurdle I have is having to declare bankruptcy, having to pay all these dental bills and back medical bills and moving expenses so we could be closer to my sister here. It is my own fault though, I did not manage finances very well. Once I get past this financial bump hopefully things will get better. Fortunately I have a good place to live here with the rest of my family. Both my sister and I were able to go visit her today with the MLK holiday, it really improves her mood when we are able to visit.
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SecretSister - Exactly! "Now what?" - that's the BIG problem!!! Through this forum I hope we can help each other to make some decisions that are the least harmful for both the person needing care and the caregiver. NANCE, you are welcome. What I wrote is what I have come to understand after MANY years of searching for answers. But my understandings are not everyone's. I am glad they were of help to you, though.
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lcs, that was great! But for many of us, it means, "Now what?!"
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