How do I tell my elderly mother-in-law who has severe dementia that she is going to be moving into a nursing facility?
My ninety-three year old mother-in-law has been living with us since her husband died in hospice three years ago. When she first came we had no room for her. I took the kitchen table out and we put her there. After living like that for about eight months we were able to buy a small house where she had her own room with a half bath. But after living with us here for about two and a half years she began slowly slip into what has been diagnosed as severe dementia. At times the stress is impossible. As much as we love her and each other our relationship began to suffer. With friends and family proclaiming what a "hero" for taking her in... I have hit the wall. Yesterday I had a full blown panic attack (never knew what that meant until now. I ended up on the ground at Wallgreen's surrounded by paramedics. I caught my husbands cold and it culminated in my lungs. I went to the doctor and he prescribed meds. I drove over to fill the prescription, laboring for air and coughing my head off the whole time. When the pharmacist told me they were out of stock something in me snapped. My lungs shut down, I couldn't draw a breath, I began to shake and was pouring sweat. The next thing I knew I was out! I won't go into the details, but that was the deciding factor. I was no longer good for anyone...not even myself. SO...we found a long term care facility that we're both satisfied with. We even spoke to some residents and got good feed back from them. The question is we're not sure how or even IF we should tell her about the impending changes. She forgets everything anyway. We stopped telling her about any appointments she may have with doctors, etc. because once she knows she's scheduled to see one she never stops asking about it. When am I going? Where am I going? Why am I going? It doesn't matter if I write it on her chalk board, she STILL asks over and over. But somehow surprising her on the day she's scheduled to go seems so sneaky and wrong. My husband said maybe we should tell her we're going on vacation for a month and she'll be staying there, then she'll forget and just get used to it. Any feedback would be helpful.