My grandmother took care of me a lot when I was younger and now that I am a homeschooling mom and she(90) has dementia, I would like to return the favor. But my father and sisters decided to put her in a home instead and I'm having trouble dealing with it. She is physically very able, just a bit wobbly but her mind is mostly gone. I visit her as often as I can, but I live an hour away. I have grown to hate visiting because I spend my whole time trying to fix all the things that are wrong, ie wrong clothes, moldy cups, missing toiletries, and trying to reassure her that she is safe. It's not a child friendly place at all so its difficult to bring the boys up there. My family is not particularly close and all the decisions are made without me and all my pleas to be her caretaker are just discounted as ridiculous, why would anyone want to take that responsibility on? I just feel so powerless as I watch her deteriorate and can't do anything but reassure her of what I don't actually believe.

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You think you would have been able to care for GM on your own 24/7 in addition to caring for your family. So you should certainly be able to visit her for a few hours a week without turning it into a gut-wrenching nightmare. It is VERY hard to see a loved one losing her mind, losing her memories, losing her ability to care for herself. It is hard in a care center and it is even harder in your home. But you want to give her something as she gave so much to you. Visiting her in an NH is not what you wanted to give her, but it is what is available. Being with her is the best gift she can have right now.

Relax. Be with her. Try not to "fix" anything. If the environment is truly not adequate, discuss it with the person who has POA and/or medical proxy. Don't sweat the small stuff, as blannie says. When I visited my mom today she had coffee (or hot chocolate?) all down her blouse. She never would have wanted to appear like that but it didn't bother her now, so I didn't bother about it either. We sat in the glider swing outside and there was a bush full of berries. I reminisced with her about the choke cherry tree we had in a backyard. That was a far better use of my time than running around trying "fix" her dirty blouse. Many visits I bring a photo album and we reminisce about the past.

The NH can provide her meals and see that she gets her meds and is dry and warm and does not take serious risks. But they can't laugh with her over the time my brother painted the cat, or the time the grave turned out goose-poop green.

Go, and give your dear Grandma what she can only get from you. It will be good for both of you!

I know a friend who was eager to take care of her grandmother instead of putting her in a home, she has a family of her own and still thought that she could be a full time caregiver of her gramma, after a while she was exhausted and couldn’t take it anymore! It’s not easy as it looks, you already have too many responsibilities, but I admire your desire to take care of her few people do that.

im living it right now . nh keeps them safe but not happy or content . i usually give examples so here it is . i visited aunt earlier in the week . after breakfast she wanted to lie back down and be comfortable . nurse obliged but the moment my back hit the door for a smoke , aunt was yanked out of bed and sat in her wheelchair in the hallway by the nurses desk . keeping her moving and rehabilitation wasnt the objective . she was crammed front and center so no one would have to keep an eye on her tendancy to rummage and wander . nh is a business with a thin profit margin . your elders contentment is nowhere on their list of priorities . my eyes are wide open and i call it like i see it . im glad my mom died in her home with her son and parrot -- one year ago today .
that is not possible in many cases . i judge no one on the choices they have to make . we were just fortunate to have the personal and financial flexibility .
just be there every day for your g ma if possible emily . shes lost in her mind and you can have quality moments with her . the rest of the family will stop visiting in a matter of weeks .

Emily, your father and sister did the right thing. Read what other posters are saying about caring for someone with Dementia. Just scroll down to the postings.

I agree with Ashlynne, your desire to care for your grandmother is admirable but probably not very realistic.

As for the visits, try not to worry about the small stuff, i.e. the wrong clothes or missing toiletries. Your time spent visiting and loving on your grandmother is much more important than whether she's got the right clothes or has toothpaste. Maybe take a few small travel toiletries next time you go. I've seen too many caregivers get hung up on the small stuff (because they CAN "fix it") and miss the bigger picture. The bigger picture is you want to spend time loving your grandmother and if she's at all able, reconnecting with her loving memories of you and your relationship. All of that other stuff can be handled by others. Let that stuff go...and just enjoy your grandmother as much as you can. She's in the right place for her safety and health.

Emily you cannot take care of her, especially with two young children. If her mind is mostly gone you won't be able to leave her alone for five minutes 24/7/365 in case she falls, wanders away or turns the stove on and burns the house down. If you haven't been a care giver before you have no idea what you'd be letting yourself and your family in for. I assume your father has POA. If you're concerned about the standard of grandma's care talk it over with your father. He may be willing to find somewhere nicer for her.

The wish to care for your grandma is highly commendable but, with her mind gone, it would be impossible unless you're prepared to hire a pretty much full time care giver. At least in a nursing home there's staff on duty around the clock to make sure grandma is safe.

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