Moving Day... tell me your stories, please... the good, the bad, and the ugly:)

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We have 5 days before Armegeddon, lol. Anyone who has moved a difficult Alzheimer’s/ Dementia parent into a memory care or other facility please share your story here. I am having a difficult time finding any “in the trenches” info on this other than the standard “make the room look like home”. My FIL is very likely to be VERY agitated. We are moving MIL first so he doesn’t pollute her experience... and as a carrot. We have about 4 plans we have been working through, understanding of course, that this will not truly go according to anyone’s plan. I think my brain just needs to hear what people who have been there and done that have had success with... or what they would do differently in retrospect. Extra points for humor;) Thanks.

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Thanks everyone. This has been such a roller coaster. It still doesn’t feel real and we are discovering how conditioned we are to every little noise, etc.

Neuro-psych consult coming soon. Fingers crossed... that may be another post, lol.
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((((((hugs)))))) sounds about as good as it gets. Should be more like tweaking from now on. Hope there is meds to settle fil down.
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Thanks for the update Hope. I was wondering how things were going. Sounds like it went pretty well. So good you had a cooperative family doing a team effort. There will still be some rough sledding but the hardest part is over.
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Bless you and your DH, Hope, for your wonderful care of your inlaws.

Does FIL see a geriatric psychiatrist?
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So, I left BIL and FIL to talk and went to check on the other half of our little project. I walked into a room filled with sunshine and one of the most beautiful sights I have even seen:) DH and SIL were kneeling next to MIL’s walker chair. All three of them were crying, but in a happy way. MIL looked at me and said, “this is my baby” talking about DH. I said “yes he is, Mom.” Then, she took my hand, thanked us for taking such good care of her, thanked us for getting her room set up so beautifully, etc. This is AFTER DH had told her this was her new home. She was already looking forward to making new friends.

That is why we separated them to tell them.

He would have polluted an experience with that for her held a kind of bittersweet joy. That was an unbelievable gift to DH and SIL.

After that, I went back to bring FIL and BIL to the room. Then, FIL started in again on how he would have gone anyway and that he should have been part of the decision, etc. I know this sounded very reasonable to the staff, however, our family knew how very not true this all was. Then, he wanted to “talk to Mom about this for 2-3 HOURS” and said the place will “be there tomorrow”. At this point, I realized he didn’t understand that he wasn’t going home - or if he did, he was going to act like he didn’t. So, we told him. Then the director recommended we leave, which we agreed with entirely. I asked them to watch out for MIL because he was about to ramp up into one of his “coaching” sessions, berating her for hours on how she has to be “on his side” and how awful we are to be abandoning them etc.

I think at this point the staff thought I was a little neurotic. The two of them look so sweet and small and old. I zipped my lip at the time and the 4 of us headed out. DH and I just cried and hugged each other in the parking lot. Then, we and the 2 sibs went for margaritas and food because none of us had eaten and we all needed to laugh.

Got a call during that time that FIL had already started in. Got another one in the night. He had already called MIL “stupid” in front of the staff and was being verbally abusive in general (this place is “beneath them”, filled with nut jobs, these “women” are awful and don’t know what they are doing, etc.) he tricked the nurse into getting her to call DH by saying he would go to bed if his son told him to. Nope. He just wanted to yell at DH. He told DH to bring him the car (he doesn’t drive and hasn’t for years) so he could take Mom to Iowa (I don’t even think they know anyone in Iowa, lol). DH finally had to hang up.

The interesting thing was that none of that was new. We have heard all of the same almost verbatim for months. So, it isn’t even the change of scenery. Just the disease. He apparently wouldn’t go to bed til 3a. Then, in the morning, he wouldn’t let the nurse help mom in the bathroom. They finally had him go to breakfast without her so she could get some sleep, poor thing.

If there was any question that I had exaggerated the situation, they were gone after that first night... lol.  The staff has been profoundly helpful since and we are, so far, very happy with our choice of facility.

I suppose I should start a new thread on how it has been so far, but I want to say thanks for the kind words, thoughts and prayers. We are nowhere close to done with this journey, but just being able to sleep through the night and know they are protected (from themselves) and cared for has been so good. The guilt has been very hard. The family stuff, complicated. And we didn’t realize how very conditioned we are to the caregiver role. We almost don’t even know what WE like to do anymore.

But that will hopefully, come in time:)
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It is done. A week ago. This is the first I have had a chance - or maybe had the words - to update, lol.

The actual moving day went ten times better than we ever expected. We got them out of the house with a doctor visit for MIL. Never have you seen two people pack up a house so fast. DH and I were sweating by the time we got to the memory care facility. One hour front to back because that is all the time we had.

The minute I had everything put away and put flowers in a vase on MIL’s dresser, we got word they were driving up. (We had two sibs take them to the doctor.) Dh and his sis whisked MIL out of the car and to the room to tell her. BIL and I had FIL. We were very lucky in that he didn’t realize where they had pulled the car in. I think he thought it was a restaurant. I was walking behind him down the hall and it was obvious the moment he saw the First wheelchair. He stopped walking for just a moment and whatever wheels are left began turning. However, he was still confused. Sitting at a table in the common room while the three of us stared at each other was one of the more awkward moments of my life.

Finally, BIL told him. FIL was not happy, but was having a hard time figuring what to do. He kept saying that he had WANTED to go to a place and why didn’t we just tell him?

Not true at all. Then, he kept saying that it was rotten to not tell Mom and Dad together. (That actually turned out to have been a good decision, which I will get to in a minute.)

(Cont Below)
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Thanks so much for the kind thoughts everyone. They are very much appreciated... I know many of you have been there.
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499,
Do you have an anti-anxiety medication you could take to sleep tonight?
If you choose an alcoholic beverage, one drink is relaxing, but more than that can negatively affect sleep.

Tomorrow will be hard. You'll have a bunch of emotions but try to pace yourself. Keep focused and try to appear relaxed.

Could you all have a calm lunch at the facility together?

I don't know which way to exit is best. You can hug and say "see you later" (hopefully) or you can sneak out while the aides show them around.
I guess it depends on what level of dementia they have.

Please let us know tomorrow how it went.
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(((((hugs))))) you will make it!
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Courage, my sister! Sleep well tonight, knowing that are doing the best for them.
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