Last month I asked how one can get past the guilt and grief of putting a loved one in Memory Care. A month later, I can honestly say it was the best decision.
We found a private, highly rated retirement village that has a memory care floor. It was a hard move for me since I was my mom's main caregiver for the past 2 years. Her dementia was getting worse, and I couldn't be there for my family and her. She was staying at her house during the day, while I was at work, and then I'd pick her up to stay with us in the evening. She didn't like staying with us either. In the evening, should would insist on going home to the point of walking down our street. Her reality was out of wack and we couldn't convince her otherwise.
I felt so bad when we finally put her in Memory Care. The night before, my husband, son, and I packed all her stuff up to be ready for the movers the next day. She was at my house with my daughter. She had no clue. The next day, I let her know that her primary care Dr. wants her to visit the memory care facility because he thinks it will help her. My brother took her there after we got the OK that everything was moved in to her apartment. We moved some of her furniture so she'd feel like home, but bought her some new. Some say to have everything the same as home, but my mom wondered how her furniture got there! It would have been just fine with my mom to have it all new.
It took a whole month, many nightly phone calls from her confused of where she was at, a UTI that she became aggressive toward staff, us not being able to see her due to COVID, and me working through my grief and guilt. Now we are able to take her out of the facility for lunch, a drive, or a visit at our house(by the way, we all had COVID in June..including her)! She has a friend! The staff say she sings all the time! There are times when she still asks to go home, but she did that when she stayed with me. There are times she is so sad missing my dad, but she did that when she was with me. I realized that I wasn't responsible for her happiness. I was never going to make her happy. The only way I could is if I could turn back time. I can't. Now I'm at peace, she's singing most of the time, and we can see each other now. I never thought I'd feel this peace, trusting other people to take care of my mom, and getting back to my family. It only took a month, but it was a long month. I still have to talk myself through that we did the best we could do to keep her safe. I thought some of the comments were "her safety trumps her happiness." It's true! I can't fix her. Now I'm part of a team that gives her the best care.

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Thanks for sharing this. I found it uplifting and gives hope to others who may be in your situation.

So happy that all of you have recovered from COVID!

Take care.

Congratulations on realizing you did the right thing by placing her in MC. And coming to that realizations in only a month! Most of us go thru some guilt emotions when we give the care of our LO to someone or some facility we don't know anything about. I don't think I felt guilt in doing that, it was more a sense of relief. I visited my wife 2 times a day initially, then once a day when I got more comfortable with the staff, and finally every other day. I trusted them. I could start to re-establish the lifestyle I gave up.

I love you saying "you're part of a team that gives her the best care". That's exactly your role now... not just an observer, but a partner in her care and still her healthcare advocate. Two thumbs up for you Marcy ( three if I had 3).

Oops! sorry - I was in a hurry and thought you said does anyone "have" a happy story...

Dear "marcykong,"

Sounds like you all have been through a lot especially with the whole family getting COVID including your mom - so glad you all got over it completely.

My mom who is 95 with Alzheimer's had lived in an ALF from February 2015 through April of this year. Mainly because she was completely mobile and her main issue with the Alzheimer's was "time" related. She still was able to dress herself as well as feed herself. Until April.

She nearly died of severe dehydration, COVID, bi-lateral pneumonia and a severe UTI which I considered to be neglect at her ALF. COVID was rampant there, they were on every local news station and had at last count that we were allowed to be privy to - 22 deaths - the facility only had an 85 resident capacity.

I had her sent to ER and thought she would die there without ever having seen me again since February 28th was the last time we went out to lunch. I thought she would feel abandoned. Hospital staff were wearing those big, black what looked like "gas" masks that even I was taken aback by when we got to do a Facetime visit. I reassured her that I knew she was there as I was the one who had her taken there and I was involved with all the doctors/nurses who were taking care of her. Unfortunately, when she was taken to a rehab facility for three weeks, she was no longer able to walk on her own or dress herself. All of this took place when we were basically just a month into the pandemic so there were many uncertainties. We couldn't find a place to move her to as I couldn't in good conscience take her back to the ALF. Thankfully, we were put in touch with a Placement Agent recommended by the rehab Discharge Case Manager. She could only find three places at that time. The one I picked decided they didn't want to take my mom in who had COVID. The second place had a lot of citations on our state's Department of Health website - that meant only one place was left. They would take my mom IF she had a negative COVID test result. They had five memory care units available. Since we weren't able to take a tour, they sent me a map. They had two private, one-bedroom apartments that we could afford all with windows so we would be able to do "window visits." My husband and I rushed down there and found one perfect choice as far as the location. I went ahead and immediately put a down payment on it in order to hold it until we got her retested. She did get a negative result and she was moved in on May 19th.

She does have hospice care now and since the facility had a few issues with some agitation, she was put on a low dose of medication that would help her sleep throughout the night. That helped tremendously (I kept watch on her to make sure she wasn't getting doped up).

This facility is wonderful and communicates well and I actually feel like I can breathe and be a little more relaxed now that she is getting "more" and "better" care.

I thank God a lot for everything He's provided for her and our family!

Just like you said "I'm part of a team that gives her the best care."

So glad everything turned out well for your mom and family too!

Continued best wishes to you all -

OMG..I'm so glad that you all recovered from Covid! That must have been so scary. It's wonderful you found a solution for mom which is working out.
Yes, teamwork is the way to go. Enjoy this newfound peace of mind!

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