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What do people do? I mean SPECIFICALLY. Just wave, blow a kiss, and leave? the facility is only a few miles from here and since i have no car and would be using my bicycle to visit that wouldn't be too hard to go however often. I suppose some would say 'don't go to visit every day' ~ well, ok, maybe, but yesterday my older friend's advice was "once she's there, don't visit her for two weeks so she can get used to it." Frankly I was a little horrified ~ there's no way I can imagine myself doing that to my mom ~ she's still somewhat lucid a fair amount of the time. I know she may actually do better there, but how can i explain that to her?

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One way I've learned to get my mom to calm down more when it comes to hard decisions that have to be made, especially a couple years ago, when she was a lot more herself, could speak, knew what was going on... She still does know, on some level what's going on around her, even if it's only for a second or two, she knows who she is, who we are...but yeah, her mental state is beyond me to deal with at the moment...so I blame everything I do, every decision I make, on the doctor. That way she's mad at him, not me. If something has to be done that she doesn't like, well, the doctor said she had to. It was for her own good. He decided, because HE'S the DOCTOR and he's doing what's best for her health. All of a sudden the fight would go out of her, because well, she couldn't be pissed at me if the DOCTOR said so... and then she just accepted it and was quiet about it. My mom liked the facility atmosphere. She was calm in it. It's better for her mental state, and mine, for her to be in a place that literally can take care of her around the clock. Once an elderly parents health has declined past a certain point it takes a TEAM to look after their needs. One person, at least I don't think so, can't do this alone after awhile...it's just too much. Your mom sounds like she needs that team....She will get all the help she needs in a facility, no matter what that may be, and she'll be looked after much better than one poor exhausted zombie can do alone all day and night...the hours I spend dealing with my mom right now at home are brutal... I'm waiting for yet another load of laundry to finish right now... The work never ends. I personally, at this point, want someone who can do that work, and know how to handle my mom's crazy moods...

Your mom will adapt to other people, they'll have her on a routine. She might not love it at first, but she will get used to it all... My mom didn't like it at first either, the respite center, but then I think she loved it... I'm trying to get her back in there as we speak... I wouldn't deal with a facility that didn't let me come and go at all hours of the day and night. That would send up a red flag, and I'd steer clear of the place. You can find something that will meet everyone's needs... I'm in that process now... You visit whenever you please, and ease your mind about her care. Taking time off now and then, especially when you know a loved one is well in hand with the pro's, isn't a crime. It doesn't make someone a bad person because they want to relax and rest and have time for themselves... we're care takers, not machines... It can become too much to handle, whether the person is lucid or not... Best of luck!

Good luck, I'm wishing you the best...
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One more thing I think i forgot to mention, Mom also has advanced macular degeneration so is more than legally blind. She would not be able to function, unfortunately, in any facility "where you can come and go". She can't cook, clean, etc. When her dementia 'phases' take over she's totally confused and becomes delusional. I appreciate all the support and answers, maybe one will help. The answer regarding putting her into a rehab right after hospitalization is great ~ but she has to (well, would have to) be hospitalized first! Blessings to all, Melanie
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Oh, and one more thing - No, we didn't kiss, wave and say goodbye. For the
first couple of weeks we went to activities with her to help her get used to the facility (and also make sure she would be able to find her way around it). Now, we try to visit her at least once a week (there are four of us that visit regularly), still going to some activities or church, take her on outings,and call her.
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Also, for your mom - I would recommend reading the book "Still Alice" by Lisa Genova. It is about a female professor at Harvard and her diagnosis of Alzheimer's. The book follows her journey from "memory lapses" to full blown disease and her
reaction to the disease. Seems to be a similar story of your mom's.
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I don't consider Assisted Living as "one of those places". The one my mom is in has most physically active people. They are free to go on outings as they want. Basically, it is a senior citizen apartment complex with assistance as needed (we get assistance with meds and bathing). We took mom there and did a tour. We discussed items she wanted to bring from home for her room. It was explained that, because her night-time caregiver was leaving, we needed to find her a safe place to stay. Fortunately, she was very agreeable and, after two months, seems to enjoy being there.
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Thanks for your answers. Mom has a dual psychiatric diagnosis on top of the dementia. She's 81, and used to (used to?) have a phD in clinical psychology, so she's extremely (was) high-level verbal, articulate, & extremely intelligent. But she flips back and forth between being totally lucid~seeming, and totally confused. When she gets into one of her provocatively hostile stages look out! You'll never get a word in edgewise. She also is cognizent (spelling?) of her condition. Last week one of the facilities I was considering invited us for a tour and lunch, & while walking in he she said to me "what do I do about my handicap? I'm not gonna know what to say or how to act." I was actually floored by that (she's never mentioned it that way before) but I tried to be calm and reassuring and said don't worry about anything, it's all gonna be all right. Then when we got home she said "you promised me you wouldn't put me in one of those places!"
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have you ever been in the facility that you intend to place her? If not, call and make an appointment to tour the place. Also, make sure that they actually have a bed for your mother. Keep in mind that this can change from day to day. Also, have you looked into how she is going to pay for her care? The nursing home will go over this with you and provide information on getting her accepted by Medicaid if her income/assets are low enough. As for visiting... I visited everyday in the beginning but it slowly dwindled down to every 3 days or so. (In my case, its been going on for 4 yrs) You can contact Elder Affairs in your area to ask about a Social Worker coming to your home for a visit with you and your mom to discuss going into a facility in the near future. Let your mom talk to the social Worker by herself after all of you have discussed the BIG MOVE.. (my words for it) maybe she can help calm her fears and anxiety and take some of the stress off of you. It is hard to get a facility to admit a patient straight from their home. It is much easier if she has a hospitalization first. You can also take her things that she'll need to the nh while she's in the hospital (or a day ahead of time if she goes straight from home) and place them in her room. You can also be there to meet her when she arrives from the hospital. Its usually by a ambulance company that the nh uses to transport their residents when needed. When my dad was first admitted to the nursing home I felt like I was leaving one of my children behind as I got in my car. But the relief I felt at knowing I had done what was best for her and myself far out weighed the sadness of having left my dad behind.
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The easiest time to do it is after a hospitalization, if one should conveniently occur. Place her there for rehab, and try to tell her she needs to stay for another month. Keep telling her that it's just for another month every time she asks.

Or you could have a "medical emergency" that requires her to be somewhere until you recover. I'm assuming that she has progressed to the point that her reason and memory are quite impaired. Good luck.
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she's 81 w medium to severe dementia. She was living w my brother until her health started failing & the dementia got worse (post hip replacement surgery) so she moved in with me & we've been living together for 5 months, during one month of which I had 25 hrs a week of help from a (privately hired) CNA who I had to let go after some problem developed. If I try to discuss it (the facility) with her it will probably be the beginning of WWIII! But i know she's gonna be FURIOUS at me because i know her too well.
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My dad was hospitalized and then sent to a NH with a rehab facility. While in rehab his health deteriorated and it was recommended to us that he stay there. My brother and I discussed this with him. Previously he had been living with me and I told him that the NH could give him the kind of care that I was unable to give anymore. We spent a lot of time with him discussing it, for his sake, although the decision had already been made. We promised to decorate his room (which we did) and visit all the time (also which we did). The social worker supported us and was in on much of the discussions (discussions that took place over a couple of days). We empathized with dad, told him that we knew this was not his first choice. We talked up the facility, reminded him how he had told us that he enjoyed the gentleman he ate with each day and how he enjoyed sitting in their library and reading. And then yes, at the end of the discussions and the visits we kissed him goodbye and told him we'd see him tomorrow. It was very difficult. That he put up very little fight was sad because I wondered if he was agreeing to live there for our sake or for his own. I never asked him.

Don't let anyone tell you not to go see your loved one for 2 weeks for the sake of 'adjustment'. That's crap. Go as often as you can, as often as your schedule allows, and as often as you'd like. While I visited my dad almost everyday in the beginning I began a new job and was only able to visit 3-4 times a week. I could have gone more, they had no set visiting hours, but after working a 12 hour shift I wanted to go home and that was ok.

It's a very difficult process and it IS a process. There have to be discussions and your loved one, depending upon his/her state of mind, should be included in the discussions even if the decision has already been made. We can't come across as if we've yanked all the control out of our loved ones lives. They deserve our respect and should be included in all the decisions, even if you have to spend time convincing them that this is what's best for them. It's not fun, it's sad, and it broke my heart when we went through this with my dad but sometimes it has to be done.

Good luck to you and whatever happens, don't be hard on yourself.
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Rosebud, can you include your mom's age and situation? It would help us get a better picture. I brought my Mom to an ALF from rehab. I told her the M.D. wanted her to get more help with walking (post surgery). She already had dementia and it was never an issue. When I visited 2 days in a row, the activity person took me aside and suggested I not visit for a while. I thanked her for the great idea - - - and continued to visit every day. I was able to do that as the ALF was nearby and I was not working. I never regretted it. My Mom knew who I was longer than other residents knew their families. I did ask if there were any problems after I ended my visits and I was told no. I tried to visit during planned activities that I felt would not interest my Mom. In my opinion, I was supplementing things not duplicating. There is still plenty you ca do for her at the facility, trust me, they just aren't staffed to do all the things you might do. I did 'beauty' day and put cream on her face, legs and arms. We took walks outside, I took her for ice cream sundaes, etc. . Make it fun for her AND you. Try to visit at different time sof the day to keep the staff on their toes! Good luck
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