Should mom live in the nursing home or live at home with me?

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I am in a situation many of you have been in after reading many of the articles on this website. My mother has been in assisted living for about 3 years but now has been assessed by the facility to move into their health care side (nursing home) into a smaller room, with little personal belongings. She is refusing to go, saying she feels claustrophobic in the small room and keeps saying she wants to go back home. She cannot live by herself and we sold her home to pay for the assisted living quarters. She has mobility issues, needs help getting out of bed, changing her pull ups, bathing and is basically dependent on someone helping her with everything she does, except eating. It would be very hard on me physically to care for her in my home, but if she is refusing to go into the health care side, and I force her, she will only decline further I am afraid, and the guilt is killing me. I have 4 brothers and sisters and they are all out of state. I live alone and work from home and need to travel on business once in awhile so would have to depend on an agency or center of aging to have people in my home to care for her when I am gone. I love my mother and it is so sad to see her unhappy. I am being told by my siblings not to move her in with me, but I just can't force her into a situation that may impede her health further. I am very unsure of what to do, as when I am reading the discussion articles on living at home, it seems everyone is really unhappy they made that decision. My mother is 84 and has very bad arthritis and incontinence. Anyone that can give me advice is welcomed into this discussion.

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I second everything deb said above. Right now my Mom is in her own apt., living very close to where we live. There is not a day that goes by where I am not on the phone with her undoing some mess she created, running errands, taking her to apts., taking care of all her financial stuff, finding people who can fill in for me when I am unable to be there, and the list goes on..... If she were to move in with us, I would be responsible for her 24/7. In addition, I heard from her all my life: "I don't want to live with family. I want to pretend that I don't even have children." (I'm not kidding - that is exactly what she used to tell us.)
As I get older, I see that she may have a point. Combining two households of adults just has disaster written all over it. I promised myself that I would try to keep my Mom in a home environment for as long as it was safe for her and that she could still get around on her own. But I see that the end will soon be near for that living arrangement.
I am in the same position. ALFs are for relatively healthy people who can still get around. NHs are for severely ill patients. Mom is somewhere in-between, unfortunately, there are no facilities that really meet her needs.
I have no family or sib support. I do it all and, frankly, I am exhausted.
I would recommend that you be very "clinical" and objective about your decisions. Make a list of pros and cons. Be realisitic about how much time you will invest in her care all the while giving up your life to do it. There are many people on this site who say that this arrangement has worked out well for them - especially when the parent has seperate living quarters in their home. And others who feel as though they are living out a jail sentence.
One thing you may consider, is a facility that has a "tiered" approach. The have all levels of care under one roof, therefore there is not the trauma of transitioning to a brand new facility everytime her needs change. Your mother may also benefit from having several other people to interact with.
I feel guilty too whenever I have to think of alternatives. These are the things that our parents did not have to deal with. But I keep reminding myself that the prime directive is to find the most appropriate and safe care for my mother at any stage of her life. If I accomplish that, no one could expect any more of me.
good luck...there are no easy answers....Lilli
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I wish I whad read this site before I took my mom in. I may have made the same decision but I would have been much better prepared. Here are some thoughts.
The average length of caregiving is 4-5 years. Some have been here much longer. I have been at it 3.5 years. I believed I would have the help of sibling. You know a picture where thet would keep mom on some weekends and allow my husband and I to have our lives. But that never happened. If your siblings are already not supportive you will definitely be on your own. My mom's world has shrunk to mine. She is consumed by everything I do. Where am I going? What am I buying? Who am I talking to?
I really thought I could do this and I can and will because I do not like the option institutionalized care. Like your mom, mine doesn't qualify for assisted living due to mobility issues. But I have a different kind of guilt because I resent that my mom expects me to provide this care.
I understand all the things we as caregivers need to due for our own sakes and I do them. Including getting out and paying for help. But I always have to come back to a situation that I don't want. Like a vacation from a really bad job, its nice but it doesn't change the underlying reality.
Hiring caregiver in home is expensive at best. I hire privately but I have to take off work when she is sick or can't make it due to crazy winter weather.
I don't know where you live but an option I wish I had is an Adult Family Home. They are licensed in several states on the west coast and WI, TX, maybe more. From my research they are private pay comparable to assisted living but able to provide more care. In MO where I live it is not an option, but I am trying to set up a home modeled afted them where families (typyically those who are alone providing for a parent) can work together to provide care in a home like setting.
Bottom line, I would try to work with your mom to find something suitable and pay if necessary. If you move her in with you it will be next to impossible to move her out without a great deal of trauma to all. More trauma than not moving her in now. Hope something here is helpful.
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