caremom1 Asked July 2010

How can I break the news to my mom that we can no longer care for her in our home and have to move her to a nursing home?

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We live in Orange County,CA and are considering board and care because she is on a fixed income and we can't supplement it anymore. Prior to moving in with us 7 months ago she lived in a great assisted living costing 5,000 a month. We paid about half of that. I am on disability, my husband is out of work ,we have one son in college, our daughter is a senior in high school and two other sons who, God bless them, help out as much as they can but they have their own problems, own lives to live.

I really need input from you about how to break the news to my mom, how to help her make the transition and also how to evaluate board and care facilities to try to avoid a nightmare in advance.
Thanks in advance for reading this. God bless each and everyone on this forum who struggles with senior care.
Kim

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castoff Jul 2010
caremom1,
Check out website medicare.gov. They can point you to NHs in your area and you can print out a handy NH checklist for evaluating each NH.
The info they have is varied and useful.
Also your local Area Agency on Aging. Very helpful.
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caremom1,

I'm so glad to read that you are going to see a counselor and it will be money well spent because right now you and your husband are strung out with so much stress I bet you feel at times that you are just going to snap into a thousand little pieces.
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wornout Jul 2010
ditto, put it on the doc. They're prepared for this, understand the family's position, know what to say, and, in my mom's case anyway, the doc is god! But she will continue to ask why she cna't go home with you so be prepared. We just keep saying she needs the care and rehab and we'll evaluate down the road. She has dementia so she has lost track of the time -- 5 yrs. now, but still asks. THe biggest surprise was that Mom became quite the social butterfly at the nursing home, whereas she had been so isolated living alone before "the fall." SHe was quite mobile in her wheelchair and never in her room, always at Bingo, poker, trivia, visiting others, etc. So watch for that silver lining in this dark cloud. God bless, keep us posted.
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castoff Jul 2010
After she's in the place where she will be staying......try to bring as much of her surroundings at home to the NH.
Decor and art are important. Her personal things will be more important to her than you may realize. You will have to limit the items, but bring in what you can. It will warm the sterile and stark environment.
Little treats help too if that is at all possible.
Family pics, favorite blanket, shawl, nic nacks etc.
Try & get her involved in the activities they have. The NH my mom was in had an ice cream social every afternoon. Even had sugar free for the diabetics.
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susanT8403 Jul 2010
"Prayer helps alot" is surely true!! I hope he will adjust, my mom has still not quite adjusted, only because she is so quiet, and judgemental of people, that she just will not socialize! so while there, You try your best to push him even further into participating in some of the activities they offer! I so wish my mother would do that! She wont, and unfortunately I cannot do a thing about it..............It has to be her choice, everyone is too dumb or old for her to associate with.............cant understand how she can judge just by outter appearance alone! always been that way though........even with me, I learned way late in life that it is an inside job! thats when I realized the saying "dont judge a book by the cover came into play" Good Luck to u, and everyone else struggling with similar situations.........
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pamela6148 Jul 2010
We will be facing the same delima in a minute.
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caremom1 Jul 2010
195austin-
Thanks for the additional details. My mom is currently in a skilled nursing/rehab after a 3 day hospital stay. I am supposed to meet with the social worker there before they discharge her. Is this who you are referring to?
I have told everyone there, repeatedly, why my mom can't be cared for in our home. The social worker said she knew "many resources and options". I sure hope she does because right now my husband and I are just short of being crushed with the multiple stresses and pressures in our lives.

I made an appointment with a counselor for myself even though we really can't afford it. Right now I think it will be money well spent.
Thanks again to you and everyone else who has shared , and continues to share, on this tough topic so many of us are struggling with.
Kim
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195Austin Jul 2010
I would only add let a social worker help with medicaide if she gets in rehab after a three day hospital stay-and many docs will understand this-then it is easier to have her placed-first you need not to feel bad about this decision after you tell the social worker that you are not able to care for her at home you will be surprised how much help you will get-I waited a long time waiting for someone else to step forward and help me and my counsulor convinced me I needed to rescue myself and when I told the rehab facility I was not able to care for him myself at home everyone agreed as my husband did a few days later-even he did not at first-speaking up was the hardest part for me.
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caremom1 Jul 2010
Tweetie-
Well, it looks more and more each day that is where my mom will end up. Right now the nursing and rehab facility where she is doesn't offer long-term residency but I have to find a suitable place that does. Then I have to figure out how to pay for it. I'm sure she will be asking to go home just like your dad.

Have you taken the Savvy Caregiver workshop offered free by the Alzheimer's Association? It is fantastic and it is a national organization so classes, this and others, are offered all over the country. It is open to anyone who is a caregiver, with emphasis on the challenges related to dementia in all forms. I highly suggest all of us who haven't taken it do so. I have also met some wonderful people there.

Thanks for your support and info. My prayers are with you, your family and your dad. You're right, they do help.
Kim
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tweetie1016 Jul 2010
My dad was just placed in a nursing home because he wants to live by himself but has dementia and has absolutely no strength in his legs at all. He kept falling at home and I just told him he had to go to the hospital for his legs to see what was wrong. From there, I talked with his doctor who agreed that he needed longterm care in a nursing facility. It breaks my heart when he asks continuously when he is coming home but I have to keep telling him he needs a lot of therapy. I don't know how long that will go over for but I can see that he is feeling a lot more comfortable where he is and hopefully, he will stop asking. I understand, believe me, it is so hard for you and them to make that transition. Prayer helps a lot.
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