My father with caregiver burnout, no longer can emotionally or physically take care of her at home! My sister nor myself have homes that can accommodate her full time! We both have young children at home, full time jobs, and spouses that are strongly opposed to letting either one of us care for her 24/7! We got her in nursing home 3 days ago, it's been an awful transition for her, the staff, and U.S. So far! My mom is very demanding and can be very difficult! At same time she needs to be because she can't use her body anymore all she has left is her very intact mind and mouth! We r trying to go visit as much as possible even showering her cleaning her room and setting it up to look and feel like home! There have been several muses aides who have told her "your not at home this is a nursing home and we cannot give u care like u were getting at home so get use to it! I'm a nurse of over 25 years experience and when I heard this I wanted to go in with guns a blazing! But don't want to rock boat and make things worse! The guilt is killing me and how to handle nursingbhe staff at this point is difficult!

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I have been in your shoes. It is very difficult. I did the same routine. Daily visits. I did not do the showering or cleaning thing. Mom behaved badly. Refused to interact with the "old people" in the NH. I talked to Social Worker and Director of Nursing. They suggested I back off. Visit once a week. Let Mom find her place there and adjust to the new routine. It made all the difference. Be kind and sympathetic to the staff...its a tough job. But...if you have concerns about staff being rude to your Mom by all means take your concerns to the Director of Nursing.

* Her = my mother. I really wish there was an edit function on posts!

Change is hard for some people under the best conditions. Change is really hard for a lot elders. It's going to take longer than you think it should, or that it would take for you to adjust. It just is the way it is.

You all have taken steps to ensure her and your dad a better quality of life, safety, and sanity. You should pat yourselves on the back, don't feel guilty. What has to be done must. It wasn't illegal or immoral, so give yourself a break.

So many people come to this site with the agony of guilt over taking responsible steps. My advice is always the same. Sit down with a thesaurus and make a list of all the feelings you really have. Make is as exhaustive as you can. It's much, much more complicated than simple guilt.

Fear, loss, frustration, regret, sadness, etc. My list was very, very long.
These feelings come from tangible and intangible things.
They literal physical change is exhausting on everyone.
The emotional changes are just as exhausting.

By confronting the needs of illness and age head on, we have to admit it's happening. This can mean loss of the hope of improvement. Loss of the hope for better times, more experiences with one another, more time. We have to admit we aren't in control over any of it really. We know that in our logical mind, but the heart has a hard time accepting it.

I had to journal out all the things I had to let go of that I had hoped for when I moved her to be in a facility near me. All things I had setup in my mind that might help her snap out of her depression and anger. The things that might amuse her or be a meaningful experience with her & my kids. Gone. Not coming back.

This is a hard journey to travel, but so many of us have been through it. There is another side, and you will get there if you allow yourself. Feel the feelings but don't get stuck in the negative ones. Eventually there will be a new normal and the adjustments will happen.


It has only been three days. She isn't settled in. You haven't come to terms with the situation. The staff is getting to know her. Many people have a bumpy transition to a care center; it smooths out over time in most cases.

In the long run your experience as a nurse will no doubt be valuable in this situation. I think you might be just a tad emotional for it to be effective now.

If your experience has been mostly in clinics or hospitals it may take you some time to adjust to the differences in a care center. In a clinic you deal with a patient for less than an hour, in a hospital most patients are out in three days.

Please don't go in anywhere with your guns blazing. Not yet. Get the lay of the land and learn the best ways to communicate there. Your mother may be here for years; try to get off to a good start.

How to handle nh staff is that you don't. You have no authority here. You need to rely on persuasion, tact, and reasonable communication in the correct channel. Get to know the DON and the head nurse of your mother's wing. If you are having a problem with an aide or aides, discuss it with their boss. Stay calm. Say what the problem is, how that is harmful or demeaning to your mother, and, if possible, what you would prefer instead. Approach it with the attitude that you and the nurse you are talking to both want what is good for the patient.

Now that you have Mom's room set up to be homey, back off. Stop cleaning it. There is staff for that. Why are you showering her? Do you intend to do that for the next month? The next year? Ten years? Are you really helping here or getting in the way of the transition?

Some facilities encourage family to stay away or to limit their visits the first few weeks, so the new resident can get settled in without a lot of emotional interference. I don't know if that would be good in this case, but at least it demonstrates the many residents have a rough transition. It does work out.

The absolute biggest issue here that you can control or at least manage is the "guilt". Guilt is a very useful and appropriate feeling when we have done wrong. It helps prevent us from doing it again. Who wants to feel this bad?

But what have you done wrong? Did you cause your mother's MS? Did you cause it to get worse? Did you cause your father to get older, weaker, and have less energy? If you did these things deliberately and willingly, then I hope the guilt keeps you up nights the rest of your life.

But what you have done is realistically assess Mom's options and get her into a feasible care situation. There is absolutely no basis for guilt in this situation. If you can't get rid of the feeling completely, at the very least shove it way to the back of your brain, and don't let it interfere with seeing that Mom gets good care in her new home.

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