My brothers and sisters and I put my mom in a nursing home. She has dementia and has been getting worse as she gets older. She has typical problems associated with dementia, poor memory, not taking care of herself, refusing to stop driving (we finally took her car keys away, a nightmare for all involved), doesn't do her laundry, only eats junk, etc. etc.
She had allowed my brother to help with bills and then forgot he was paying her bills so bills were sometimes getting double paid.
She was livid when she couldn't find her keys and started trying to walk everywhere she used to drive, at all hours of the day in the dark of night.
My niece had moved in with her and this was another nightmare because as soon as the niece gave up her living situation to move in with Grandma, Ma decided she didn't want her there. Ma would go in her room and rummage through her things. (We figured Ma kept forgetting she had moved in and couldn't understand what all the stuff was in the room).
Ma demanded she move out and wouldn't listed to reason about how it's just not possible to pick up in an hour or two and move. Ma started leaving the house on foot (in February in New England) and refusing to come back in for hours. We finally had the police bring her home. We had our niece move out temporarily.
Ma called the next morning, barely coherent. We called an ambulance. She went to the geri psyche unit for about 10 days. After she was discharged, we determined, we would take turns staying with her 24-7. My brother who is retired went first. The first day after discharge was ok, but the next day Ma started in with demanding her car keys, running out of the house in the dark, standing on the front porch shrieking and shaking the railing and then, once he got her back inside, she just sat and kept repeating over and over that she must be having a nightmare, please God wake me up, etc. When she would not stop and would not respond to him, we finally called the ambulance again.
At this point, we knew we would not be able to control the situation with her home 24-7. We know she would be constantly unhappy with no driving and other people around 'watching' her. So, we finally had her discharged to a nursing home in NH.
Unfortunately, that did not get off to a good start because she had to quarantine for 14 days. I would call and talk to her but she would go on and on about if she didn't go home she was going to put the tv through the window and cut her wrists. She would talk to me normally a little but then the threats would begin again.
Ultimately, she did flip out and was sent back to the senior unit in the hospital.
Now she is back at the nursing home, but the general attitude is it is better for her kids not to call and talk to her because it is so upsetting and she just begins again with 'when am I going home' (probably never, but we are afraid to tell her that). She was told in the hospital she would not be going home but she does forget most of what she is told and perseverates on what she wants to believe.
I want to call and talk to her but I don't want to just make her feel worse. It's such a mess and so frustrating and just heart wrenching.
Thanks for letting me vent!

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Sometimes I’ve seen others recommend asking for a geriatric psychiatrist to evaluate and adjust meds. in order to find the right combination sooner.
I’m really sorry for what you and your siblings and niece have gone through. If there is a silver lining (to me) it is that you all worked together, were willing to sacrifice your own lives but were able to discern that your mom needs supervision and assistance beyond what you could provide in a private setting. All of what was in that too long sentence can sometimes take years and years to determine.
As it will take mom time to settle in, you will also need time to adjust to this new family dynamic. It is a lot to absorb.

Be kind to yourself. This was a hard but necessary task. You have also worked with your so siblings as a team. Tell yourself well done.

I'm going to rephrase some of your words a little in case it helps.

"My brothers and sisters and I put my mom in a nursing home" ...
*it was safer for my Mother to move to a nursing home*

"refusing to stop driving...doesn't do her laundry, only eats junk"
*She now is safer off the road, gets her laundry done for her & has meals provided*

"I want to call and talk to her but I don't want to just make her feel worse"
*I will call and talk to her to show I care. I will need to accept her feelings are hers to feel - even if angry, confused, sad. But if it seems talking to her makes it worse for her, I'll not call for a little while. Hopefully in time she will adjust*

"heart wrenching"
Yes. It sure is. 😞 (((hugs)))
Old age sure sucks sometimes.

I'm so sorry. It is tough. My mom wasn't going to listen to me either. We had to unhook the battery cables to her car when she was still living at her house. We tried to have her stay with us, but then she thought we stole her car and she started walking down the street. It was a constand battle over meds, appointments, she had to go home and make dinner for her family (that was 30 years ago). I finally had to put her in MC for the sanity of me and my family. It was during COVID so she was quarantined for 14 days. I did still talk to her on her cell phone. I kept saying her primary care dr. wanted her to try this memory care for awhile to see if they can get her brain working better...because she knew it wasn't. It was one of the hardest, gut wrenching times. I had to decompress of being her care giver, to surrender her care to the people at her facility, and I prayed alot! The head nurse during the week was so helpful and didn't care how often I called to check in on her. Now that she has been fully vaccinated and everything is open again, it's like the best of both worlds for me. I can visit and make sure she is being taken care of, and when she starts getting snappy...then I can leave. Also, didn't the psych people put your mom on any meds to help your Ma? My mom was on seroquel for awhile. She still has bad sundowners, but now she takes a high dose of melatonin. I hope things open up for you soon with everyone getting vaccinated. My mom's whole building, plus workers, were vaccinated.

Just know that you have done what is best for mom.
Your goal is to keep her safe. And from the sounds of it you all tried to do that keeping her at home but it just did not work.
Keeping someone at home is great IF it can be done safely.
If and when you do talk to her or see her if she asks or says she wants to go home gently tell her any one of these...
When the doctor says it is ok for you to come home.
You are home, this is your home now. You are safe here and there are people here that will take care of you.
After each one of these try to redirect the conversation. go for a snack if there are any available. Go for a walk around the facility. Discover "new" places there. A outdoor garden, a quiet reading room, an activity room.
This is an adjustment for her as well as you and the family.
Given a bit of time she will settle in. You may notice a decline before that happens but that is expected. Any stress can cause a decline but at least her environment will now be consistent with a fairly consistent staff.

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