Lherndon Asked March 2012

My mom just put her 96-year-old mother (my nana) in assisted living yesterday. Nana said some very UGLY things to my mom. How can I help my mom feel less "guilty?"

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How can I help my mom feel less "guilty" AND what are some things I or my mom can say to nana after an outburst like that?

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EXPERT Carol Bradley Bursack Mar 2012
Cattails said it all - I'm just seconding what she said. Support your mom, try to understand Nana and continue telling your mom that she did the right thing for Nana. Your mom is still a caregiver - she just got help.
Take care,
Carol
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Your Nana is angry and afraid. I read your profile and you said your grandmother has dementia. That is an important point to include in your post here. If your Nana has dementia, there may be little that you can say to her about outbursts. It won't stick because her mind can't hold on to it. Don't argue with Nana, it only makes it worse. Just do your best to be kind to her and let her know you love her.

Your mom, on the other hand, can understand that you support her decision. Don't bad mouth Nana to her. She doesn't hate her mom, she just can't cope with the grief and stress of taking care of her. Tell your mom how much you love and respect her for all she has done for your Grandmother. Tell her that you are so happy that she has stopped being the primary care taker for Nana because you want her to have some happiness and health in her life. You want her to be around for many years to come. Be with your mom and just let her talk about how she feels. Kindly remind her that Nana doesn't really mean what she is saying. It is the disease talking.

Another thing to remember is that your Grandmother is getting professional help. There is a staff. No one works 24 hours shifts like your mom did. In time your Nana may adjust.

Remind your mom that this was a difficult decision, but one that had to be made. I'm assuming that your Nana went to a nursing home and not assisted living. I could be wrong, but at her age and with dementia that just seems likely.

Take care. I hope my comments were helpful. Please give your mom and big hug for me and tell her I feel her grief. She did the right thing.
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Lherndon: There are so many caregivers on this site who struggle with that very same statement. Saying something and living with the reality of it are two very different things. Keep supporting your mom and visit Nana as much as you can.
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Lherndon Mar 2012
CATTAILS: Thanks so much for your response. My nana did indeed go into Assisted Living and not a nursing home...her dementia is very mild at this point. Our biggest struggle is the fact that my mom, many many years ago, made a grandious statement that her parents would NEVER go into a nursing home...so my mom is struggling with "I'm a failure as a daughter" syndrome. I kept trying to tell my mom that Nana is can't see all that she has gained from the move because she can only focus on what she has lost. Thanks again for your kind words...I am hoping a little time will quiet some of the turmoil and hurt feelings.
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