Ever since we placed our mother in a memory care facility she has declined more than 25%. We're thinking of taking her out and putting her back in her own home. Is this a good idea?

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We placed my mother in a memory care facility in South Florida that is closer to my sister in August of 2010. She has declined more than 25% since that time and we (siblings) are thinking of taking her out and putting her back into her own home in Lady Lake, Florida with 24/7 care. We would like to know if this is a good idea and where we can find trustting and experienced caregivers in this area.

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I would leave her there i'm sure they take good care of her
at home is not a good idea if she is advanced she might even
get hurt if she is 15 min alone. the 25% decline is natural
at one point Alzheimer speeds up in progress or some time one day to another, if she is abused then take her straight away. To much change is not good either. good luck
If you can locate an Alzheimer's Support Group or local chapter in Lady Lake that would be a good place to start. You do not say if you or other siblings live in Lady Lake. Having familiar faces around is just as important to Memory Care as being in familiar surroundings. So if the only difference between staying at the Memory Care facility and moving back home is the surroundings, then you may be doing exactly the wrong thing even though all of YOUR reasons for doing so make perfect sense to you.
Top Answer
Most of us try to provide assistance and our words come from personal experience. Yet, in that people's intellectual level, attitudes, backgrounds, goals and desires are so vastly different, one person's offering might be wholly different, even contrary from another's. And who knows who is right and who is not offering the best suggestion?

In my experience, though the care giving requirements became increasingly cumbersome I, because of previous in depth experience with Mom, knew that a nursing home or other such option would not be a nurturing experience for her. Granted, it could be argued the increasingly negative effects of Alzheimer's brought her to a near complete lack of awareness of reality and by so doing negated my concerns relative to a nursing home. But I don't think so. You see, during those infrequent and quite short periods of awareness, for her to have 'awakened' and discovered herself alone among strangers in a completely different environment than that which she knew as 'home' would have taken a considerable toll on both her mental and emotional state. Because, and again - who is to say - when she lost that moment of lucidity, would she have taken the horror of 'alone-ness' back with her to the depths of Alzheimer's?

Is the 25% decline due to such unfamiliarity? (The untrue, but surely emotional consideration of being alone and unloved?) Or, is it part of her normal decline. I doubt there is anyone who can say. My philosophy has always been to bank on the emotions and strive to ensure I've done what I could to preserve them. After all, with Alzheimer's at least, in my opinion even though the powers of intellect and reasoning dramatically decline, one's ability to experience and 'live' off their emotional content elevates.

And, of course, the above doesn't even address concerns of the day to day health and safety issues whether residing at a facility or at home.

No one can say for sure what you should do. The above are only one man's thoughts for your consideration.

Good luck,

It all depends on the quality of care they are receiving at the home. One of our patients was placed in a home before becoming one of our patients. He walked in under his own power and was laughing and joking with his wife. Within two weeks he was a vegetable. His wife brought him home and called us to care for him and within a week we had him up and walking and talking.

If your parent is in an exceptionally well run facility with the patient to aide ratio that would give you parent the care and attention they deserve, then by all means leave her there.

You may want to look at another facility. Don't make an appointment, and try to arrive around dinner time or later in the evening. Without an appointment no one can 'spruce' up the
facility or have extra attendents around. i would assume that in Florida, with their high rate of elders you would have a really good selection. Perhaps not. Look to see that attendents are assisting patients that cannot feed themselves. Note any nasty oders. See if the attendents are treating the patients with kindness and consideration.

Before you decide if you want to bring her home, check the review of your local elder care agencies. Meet with perspective caregivers to see if they would be a good and attentive match for your mom. Be sure they are willing to go to the facility to meet with her beforehand so that she is not going home to a total stranger.

If you choose to do this on your own through the newspapers,
(not a really good idea), ask them if they are willing to be fingerprinted. You'd be amazed how many hang up or don't show up for the interview.

Also be sure they are willing to work as a live-in. Preferably
only use two caregivers per week and always the same two,
so your mom doesn't become more confused with the constant change. Ask the agency if you can have just two caregivers per week.

You'll need to get a baby monitor or an intercom system so that the caregivers can hear her if she gets up at night.

If you go to our website at soseldercare.org there are a list of some of the questions you can ask (even if they are sent through an agency) and what type of things to look for once they are hired. If you feel in the least bit uncomfortable with the caregiver....DON'T hire them, use your gut instinct, your'e usually right. Be sure to drop in unannounced frequently.

Good luck to you and your mom.
The first thing you should do is take your mom to her own doctor. The one that has been caring for her up to this point. They will be able to accurately assess her mental decline and advise you as to whether it's just a normal progression of her disease or not. In addition, they would be able to advise you as to whether she would be safe in her own home and what agencies in her area are reputable. Good luck
I believe so. I was advised by doctors (and a sister in law who is a nurse) to take a number of medications that basically kept me "out of touch"....I decided I didn't like the affect it had on my life ..so I stopped taking the meds...its been almost 6 months and I feel like I'm more in control of my life, with support from my daughters who r paying my utility bills while I'm waiting to collect my social security disability...my food stamp allowance has kept food on the table and I'm still in my home.
I have heard this many times, depression sets in and they lose their zest to thrive. Of course home is best, if someone will do it. I know I wouldnt want to be put in a home for my last days, but sometimes it cant be helped. Good luck, its tough, I am going thru it here with mom, but I will keep her till the end.

In reality, no facility will ever replace the home environment. It just stands to reason that a small staff cannot take care of the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of all their patients....so care suffers, even in the best facilities.
My Mom is still in her own place - with lots of help from us and some paid caregiving. That will increase over time. My plan is to utilize in-home care for as long as possible. That way, Mom can stay in her home (her wish), feel more independent, and not have to get used to unfamiliar surroundings. Most of us have been to care facilities and most of us would not want to spend more than a few hours visiting - can you imagine living there? Also, the horror stories of misdiagnosis and over-medication makes me think that these are modern-day dumping grounds for unwanted family members. (this is happening in my own family.)
I hope you read through many of the threads on this site - you will get so many points of view here.
I wish you good luck in finding the right placement for your Mom.
Depending on the level of memory loss it may appear that she is declining but the reality is that once she is no longer in her former environment she is functioning at her true level. Mom was able to appear higher functioning because she was familiar with her surroundings.
I would also look at the facility more closely- does it meet moms current needs? Does it provide for and include her in to stimulating activities? Do they provide for familiar and comforting food? Is there too much stimulation where she feels overwhelmed? What is the ratio of aides to assist per person? Are they hurrying her through her dressing, grooming and eating? Does she feel safe? What memory level are the other occupants on her floor? If many are more impaired it may be depressing for her and make her feel hopeless. Know that all ALF's are not equal and that she may receive/need more one on one at a smaller facility. Moving mom home should not be up to the doc- some over magnify the situation and others may feel that it's a good move but the ultimate decision is yours. I did the 24/7 care for Mom but I also had mom in my home so I could supervise her care and her caregivers. Remember, if no one but an aide is living with her you will be at that persons mercy especially if mom develops some challenging behaviors. Make sure you do your own back ground check on that person that goes across all state lines.
God bless
kimmer132003 - There is an article in the LATimes today that
may be of interest to you
Taking care of Mom -- and all of her finances too
Hope this helps.

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