My 87-year-old mother is unhappy in her Adult Foster Care Home. What should I do?

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My mom was recently diagnosed with dementia and delirium...after a 10 day stay in the hospital she was discharged to Adult Foster Care. After meeting with SW they advised that she is not medically suited to a Nursing Home nor would she be able to live in an Independent Living facility; nor Assisted Living. So they advised AFC - since it's smaller, more family like setting would be easier for her to adjust to...


Well, that was August 1...and the complaints LIKE ALL OF THE OTHER LIVING SITUATIONS - has been non-stop. She was sick in 2011 and I moved her to AL - she HATED that...didn't like the food, her roommate, her nurses, all the rules; so I moved her to my state; another AL - HATED that; the food, her nurses, all the rules; so I let her talk me into moving into her own apartment; under the condition that she would allow help to come in 'when needed'. It started with getting a housekeeper - that took forever and by the time she agreed to let someone come in the place was out of control; fast forward -she fired 5 (or more) housekeepers/helpers - everyone we'd agree on to help were dismissed shortly thereafter.


Now AFC - she hates the food, the manager, the roommate and all the rules...sound familiar? She's once again asking why she can't live with me (in my tri-level home with all the stairs) when I work all day - who's supposed to take care of her? My retired husband? He's already said under no circumstances will she be moving in with us - she's very difficult to get along with on a variety of platforms (housekeeping, hygiene and talks non-stop)...


So here I am...thinking once again that I've gotten her into a better situation and she HATES it. What am I supposed to do?


Then there's the other issue - she cannot afford to live in AL or a NH...as far as I know at this point; most of them are out of her price range - so then we'd have to go Medicaid - which would take several months to sort out - and I'd bet my life she'd hate that too...


Advice? How do I tell her she's in a better situation now than she would be in a larger facility? Plus the cost factor...this AFC she's in seems perfectly fine to me; there are four other ladies there and they're pleasant - although mentally challenged - but not terribly so. This AFC has had some of those ladies there since 1980 - so it's a well established place - the owner has been nothing but kind - however my mother says she 'yells and screams' I've not witnessed any of this...my mother refers to her now as 'that hellion'...unbelievable.

Answers 1 to 6 of 6
You do nothing. The place you describe sounds very decent. Your mom will not be happy anywhere.
Agree with Windyridge. And get Mom on Medicaid regardless.

It’s gonna be a long journey.....and her grousing might get her kicked out of her current spot.

Hope not, of course! But don’t rule it out. That home-like environment is awesome, but it also means there’s a limit to how much belligerance/disrespect/distraction they can tolerate.

(((hugs!)))

Part of dementia includes all of the complaints because what she really wants is her old home. I find that just like my mother is a broken record of the same statements, I just agree that she has a complaint and a simple broken record response that the doctor "said so". You can also mention that when she gets better then maybe home, which we all know will not happen. Don't let her convince you otherwise because it just gets worse
There's several ( If not hundreds) of other threads here past and present of miserable mommys and daddies dearest. You get old, bitter and miserable so ya gotta take the kids down with you. Why do they do that? I guess because the kids are the easiest target and mom and dad know where all the buttons are.

And BH makes an excellent point about getting kicked out of a good place. Something to consider.
Top Answer
Sue, looking back over the years, can you recall *any* setting which your mother did like? Any time when she didn't find fault with places or people or indeed everyday life?

You say your mother is unhappy, what should you do. You're missing the point. The real question is what can you do? - and the realistic answer, sadly, is not a dam' thing. It's not your fault. Work with the foster home to support their management of your mother, and cross your fingers that she's a different person when she's talking to them.
You are all correct! She does know how to push my buttons! And just won't stop with 'I want to come and live with you'....she and I haven't lived together since I was 18 - and I had to move out then to get away from her. Countrymouse hit the nail on the head - she has never been happy in any living situation - always complaining about some issue or another - her homes have always been a mess - my entire life - brings up unpleasant memories just thinking about it.

I reminded her today at lunch of her unhappy experiences in larger assisted living facilities - she didn't like her roommates, the food, the regimentation - now she complains about the lack of regimentation 'meals are sometimes early, sometimes late' (it's a HOME for goodness sake)...just like my house - where meals aren't served on an exact schedule - I do my best, but like everyone I get busy, delayed, tired, etc...sometimes it just doesn't all go according to plan. I don't have a crew in the kitchen getting paid to plan, shop, prepare meals - and neither does this AFC...She's very unforgiving...

Brings to mind the times I've invited her to my home for meals - and she says things like 'you should chop the onions more finely' the chunks are too large...or there's not enough salt in this...That list goes on and on...but you're 100% right...she's not going to be happy anywhere - the social workers warned me about that...I just get so tired of hearing it.

She loves to tell me everytime we talk or we visit - well you know, I'm not going to live much longer - then you won't have a mother! Oh boy, if I had a nickel for every time she's told me that...

I know it sounds mean, but I've been hearing that one for the last 20-30 years - as her health has never been very good (however, she's never had cancer, I have; she doesn't have diabetes or any other major illness except obesity - she had to overeat to comfort herself - and couldn't exercise because she was 'taking care of two crazy people'...always someone else's fault that she was miserable...

Anyway...she's got a great situation - just doesn't have sense enough to appreciate any of it. I know it's not perfect, but I don't think a room at the Ritz would satisfy her either...

Thanks for your words of encouragement and support...I do believe the manager there is doing her best to try to give my mom space, yet provide a home and safe space for her. Just wish she'd try to look at the bright side of things - for once in her life...

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