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.

((((((hugs)))))) sounds about as good as it gets. Should be more like tweaking from now on. Hope there is meds to settle fil down.

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.

Bless you and your DH, Hope, for your wonderful care of your inlaws.

Does FIL see a geriatric psychiatrist?

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:)

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)

Thanks so much for the kind thoughts everyone. They are very much appreciated... I know many of you have been there.

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.

(((((hugs))))) you will make it!

Courage, my sister! Sleep well tonight, knowing that are doing the best for them.

You’ll be fine. Keep us updated..

Windy, yep, tomorrow. I feel like I am going to puke, lol.

Plus, FIL picked this morning to have a lucid moment! It was a gift in that he said he was sorry, he doesn’t understand what is happening to him but he knows we take care of them so well and that we love him. He said God “knocked him in the head” in the night:). We have not seen the real “him” in over three months, maybe more. It was nice to hear, and felt like a mercy and gift, especially knowing that, after tomorrow, we may never hear those things again. Because if he doesn’t remember that we are the devil today, he surely will when we take him to the memory care facility tomorrow:(

But, it has almost made it harder on my poor husband. He has been stealing himself to this and FIL’s jerkiness and constant volatility was almost helping him to do what has to be done. I feel so badly for him right now.

I spent a few hours there again today, setting up their beds and labeling the crap out of everything, Hee hee. I talked to the charge nurse, some more of the staff, and the maintenance guy - who was awesome. I made their beds look nice and welcoming and added some little touches from home. Most of that will have to come tomorrow because we can’t get much out of the house without them noticing.

I may have a cocktail tonight, or 12;). Last night, I woke up at 3am thinking I was going to have a heart attack. I was so nerve-wracked. The good thing is that I usually go flat on the day of something like this. So hopefully, we can all work together and get through the day.

Thanks for your kind thoughts. I will post on how it goes...

Hope, it’s good that your spending some time there and getting to know staff. One thing the AL director told me , very people check themselves into care voluntarily. There are about 75 residents where my folks are. She said she could think of maybe five people who voluntarily moved in. The rest were like your folks and mine.....Dementia, confused, stubborn.

I hung around for about 2 weeks before I went home but each day I drew back more. I’d get them settled at lunch and slip out and watch them from the lobby. They had to figure this stuff out, start getting used to the routine. After a few days my presence hurt more than it helped. I became the complaint department for them. The reminder of all things HOME.

Is your move tomorrow? Best of luck. Hang tough. Don’t let the tears and tantrums get to you.

Windy, wine is a good idea, lol.

Greshun, oh my word! Pissy pants... I was rolling when I read that. You poor thing. That must have been so uncomfortable! I bet it was a great stress relief though. I am going to tell my dh that and we will use “pants” as our secret code for helping each other chill:)

We have been working on stories. Getting two of them there is going to be like herding cats. I am point at the facility to be there when dh and sis in law bring her and then bro in law brings him. It is very hard to know how much they are going to hate us.

I spent today getting furniture unboxed and set up at the facility. They would do it, but honestly I just needed something physical to do that didn’t involve all of the feelings of all of the people, lol. So I got time alone in the room, then had little chats with various staffers here and there. It was very relaxed. I was there for over three hours, and it was nice to wander around and see the one on one time the caregivers were taking with the residents, as well as the comraderie between all levels of the staff, down to the janitorial folks.

I feel like I need to feel comfortable there so I can, hopefully, help everyone else feel comfortable.

Then, I hit Target and got some special, small pretties for mil. Since she gets her own “side” of the room, I bought her some little lady touches, like a pretty melamine plate for her hearing aids and a flowery throw pillow. I think I am going to have yellow roses on her dresser for her arrival as well.

For fil, I set up his “office” in the room.

Dh was feeling bad last night, until he came home. I had to greet him at the door with the fact that Dad berated Mom for a long time yesterday, once again, not letting the nurses help, they are telling the nurses that we do not “allow” them to see their grandchildren... any of them, implying that we are mean to our children (my taller-than-I-am teenager boys rolled their eyes and said, “Mom, we know that’s not Grandpa”, which made me very proud of them) and call us both b-stards (my dh has never in his lifetime of over half a century heard his father say that word.) As hard as all of that was, it did validate that we are doing the right thing.

And so we move forward. Y’all are nice to walk with me through this time. And any other stories are still welcome:)

Thinking about it, I got more and more anxious (probably like you are now), the closer it got to "moving day". On the actual day I swore my heart was going to pound right out of my chest. I'm surprised that I didn't faint from holding my breath, hoping I wasn't "messing up" and she'd "catch on" then refuse to go.

I felt like I was walking on thin ice, egg shells or walking a tight rope, one false move and.......

Thinking back, *I* could have used an Ativan too!!! It's normal to be on "high alert", be antsy, jumpy and even somewhat paranoid. Expect that. But keep your eye on the end. It will all work out.

Envision sitting in your home, in silence, no one needing anything, inhaling with the longest exhale you've ever had, relaxing your shoulder muscles, raising a glass of wine to your hubby and toasting to a job well done and getting your life back.

It should be mentioned that in the days ahead you'll experience some other emotions too. When you pass their room you might have a twinge of sadness. Don't be surprised, when you wake up at 3 am, you're wondering how they are. You may second guess your decision (yes, you did the right thing.) Go with it but don't dwell on any one emotion.
Get your life going and make plans for your new future!

Good luck on Thursday.

I'll make my comment short and sweet cause it would take me all day to type up the whole story leading up to my Mom's transition.

I do recall myself and my Hubs spending the whole day before the move doing everything we could to make Mom's room cheery and feeling like home. I picked out specific pieces from Mom's old many as I could fit. Hung pictures of the family and her grandchildren all over. Bought her a nice little t.v. Hooked up her phone with her same number from home. Put her bible on her bedside table.

The funny part? My one nice sister and I were so tired and stressed out about the whole thing that we both had a laughing fit just before it was time to pick Mom up and take her there and both of us ended up peeing our pants. I had to spend the whole day with pissy pants.

The great thing? Mom was so pleased and relieved when she saw her room and how I'd set it up. Couldn't wipe the smile off her face. I had a small cry when I left her there. I was so tired but relieved.

The thing that makes me the angriest? How my unhelpful siblings waited until all the hard work was done before they visited Mom and I believe even took some credit for it even though they had done nothing.

Two thoughts Hope....

Calming meds FOR BOTH PARENTS starting now.

Get you fibs/stories coordinated and stick to the script. Make sure staff is on the same page. These folks have seen it all.

They started my dad on Ativan immediately and he still took a swing at a staffer on day 5. Some of this was UTI.

It is absolutely nerve racking wondering how’s it’s going to go, imagining the worst. The director at our facility got me down off the ceiling several times. She kept assuring me this was all typical, calm down.....Actually gave me a glass of wine! And she was right. We all survived and so will you.

Thanks for the links as well. I will be reading through these this afternoon... because I am so spent from last night I don’t want to get off the couch anyway:)

Windy and Sue, thanks for your stories. This is exactly what I need. It helps so much to see details, even though that probably seems weird.

I had never thought to increase the anti-anxiety for a day. That is a good idea.

Right now, I am just hoping we make it until Thursday, lol. We were up half the night with them again and this is WITH the nurse. Dad is getting more aggressive every few days. We were about 15 minutes away from calling the EMTs to take him to the hospital.

I have been working with the care facility and keeping them informed. They don’t seem daunted, which is good because the last thing we need right now is to hear, “we can’t take him” like the last place. He has escalated, now Alz around stage 5-6. She has vascular dementia. Every medical professional we talk to lately is shocked that we still have them at home. I guess we didn’t know what we didn’t know, lol.

I cannot express how much I just want to get to Thursday. I know it will be awful and like some of you, DH and I have prepared ourselves that, after 8 years of loving care, we will probably be hated forever and a day. But, it must be.

I also cannot express how good it feels to see that light at the end of the tunnel. For years, we have been feeling like we just cannot take Head down, move forward was all we could do with the Groundhog Day existence that we have been living. The very idea of having no one else in our house... no elders, no wound up family members, no nurses... I almost can’t let myself hope. Stupid little things like leaving when we feel like it, being able to talk freely, having parties again, traveling, sleeping without interruption, talking to my DH about something OTHER than oldness and dementia and THEM. I can’t wait to go for a blessed walk without keeping my ear out for a phone call en route.

I have furniture coming and will be setting up over the next few days. I am ordering some clothing duplicates so there is as little change as possible. Paperwork is almost done. We have a basic plan down and it has been communicated to the involved family members. The facility did their assessment on Friday, we are going to start them out in the same room (it’s really a double, one bed on each side of a wall) and then the facility is willing to be the bad guys that separate them if need be, which is terrific.

Keep the stories coming if you don’t mind sharing:) I am certainly “listening”.

Sorry for those who have read this before.

I moved mother from her apt. in S.F. to a semi-assisted senior apt. building near me when she tested positive for dementia. She had lived in SF (same apt) for 50 years. I did the whole move myself and she took it pretty well. Only one tear. Alzheimer's stage 3.

Over 1-1/2 years at the senior building, her Alzheimer's progressed fairly rapidly 4-5. She was doing unusual things and I had to take the medications away, then the checkbook and credit card. I was told she was going to the dining room for breakfast at 3:30 am.

She started getting more and more paranoid, saying, "You'll never put me in one of "those" places." But, I couldn't take her home with us at the time and she had to be watched.

She had a prescription for an anti-anxiety drug (Ativan) and I decided she needed 1 and a half the day we were "moving".

Mother loved going to the doctor and so that's where I told her we were doing. With this plan, I couldn't take anything from her apt. ahead of time because it would "blow my cover".

I gave her the morning meds-she didn't notice anything different-and off we went. She didn't even realize we crossed into Mexico! (I live in Tijuana, the facility was in Rosarito.)

(She had been disqualified from Medi-Cal/Medicaid to pay for her care and it's much cheaper in Mexico.) 

She was nice and calm by the time we got there. She even said she'd been there before and it was a good restaurant!

I prearranged to spend the night and, when the medication wore off, we were awake all night!

I ate breakfast with her then slipped away. The staff encouraged me to stay away for a couple of weeks so she could acclimate.

We came back 2 weeks later and she physically attacked me when I went in her room. The nurse had to pull her off me.

She remembered that I left her there but, as time (1-1/2 years) wore on, it became her home.

Unfortunately, the cost went up $500. over that time and she couldn't afford it. We took her home with us. Long story short, we all lasted 3 months together. She became much more confused and would scream at the top of her lungs at 2am. On to a new facility that I liked even better, good care and half the cost.

The main thing is that she seems happy. She's at the end of Alzheimer's stage 6, but, at 95, is still walking with help and a walker.

I, like Windyridge, can finally sleep and not lay awake all night worrying. A huge burden is immediately lifted when you know they'll be taken care of.

Oh gosh, so feel for ya'.
Good luck. In our case, drugs were the way to go.

Hope , here’s my story.....

Our move was due to a bad fall mom had. I’m long distance but my nurse/ cousin found her bleeding from a head wound in her bed. Dad, with dementia wiped up some blood, smeared it around actually , and was napping in his chair. I had just talked to mom...oh just a little bump on the head........

Cousin called 911, off to hospital. I make 12 hour drive, nobody to stay with Dad who is very confused and can’t remember what’s happened. Turns out he also had UTI going on.

Luckily I had visited some of the care facilities in the area and had one picked out. Called them, they had no openings but tore apart a display/sales apartment and signed me up over the phone. Amazing.....

Then, hospital had checked mom out and was going to release her to come home! Her room at the AL,is not ready, no bed no nothing. Again, AL staff to the rescue. They found some old furniture and a hospital bed, stuck it in the room, and called hospital and dared them to release mom until room was ready.

Later that day, housekeeping is running vac, making bed, I’m hooking up tv when mom’s feet appear through the door on the gurney with the ems boys. By this time I’m a wreck. I had to hire a caregiver to wrangle Dad while I’m running around getting mom installed.

My story to mom was that she was here for rehab. You get better you can go home.......That worked for a little while. She was a mess, face black and blue, big gashes on her head. Was a 2 person assist for any mobility.

Now for Dad......Dads dementia has been progressing slowly for 6 years but accelerated mightily with mom gone. I stayed at home with him at night for the first three nights mom was in AL. It was all I could do to keep him settled. He just could not remember the chain of events...WHERES your mom!?

I took him to the “rehab” center for lunch with mom the first day. Lunch and dinner the second day. Lunch time the third day, left him there to “help mom”. That worked for a little while.

This was this past December. Since then we’ve gone through all the difficult adjustments that are common. Mom has kept having falls, now has a broken collar bone and finger. Dad spent the first 2 weeks breaking out, trying to find his car.

I kept expecting staff to call me any minute and say we can’t deal with these guys. But they’re like, Oh..We’re used to all this. No prob...

So this is the CRISIS JUMP START METHOD. It took lots of fibbing and finesse. They’re still mad, and I’ll forever be the bad guy, but they’re finally starting to accept the new reality.

For me, I’m still haunted a bit by it all, but sleeping better now. However, the relief is just huge, knowing they are out of a dangerous house, getting care, food, all needs taken care of, and no longer isolated. Five years of madness is over.

I recall many discussions on this subject, and did find a few.

I did have trouble getting back to the search results though. Try this: living move made easier.

Add the entire URL to your address bar; otherwise you'll get other hits.

I came across this thread that is a bit old, but has the same issues, and a lot of comments.

And here is an article written by Aging Care about moving to Assisted Living with a lot of comments.

I thought that this has to have been discussed, but I can’t find them either, lol. We are working on a couple of stories. Unfortunately, I know that is going to be harder on some of the siblings. DH and I have had time to come to some peace with therapeutic fibs, not so with the siblings. I am looking forward to hearing the stories of others. They may help all of us through this:)

I KNOW this topic has come up before but I can't find those threads either no matter how I change my search question. It seems to me that a lot of trickery has been advised, like taking them out for dinner or a doctors appointment or something like that and then just "dropping by" the facility for a visit and making a fast get away.

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