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I am looking into assisted living for my mom. This year alone she has spent 4 months in hospital and rehab in the last 6 months. She has tested positive for C.diff again ( her 3rd round this year). She now has a catheter which I have a feeling will be a permanent fixture. The heart doctor wants to do a procedure to see if fluid is gathering around her heart or lungs so they can treat condition properly. Should I allow them to do it? Mom just wants to sit in her room and play games on her phone. I’m 4 years into her living with me. And I’m just exhausted. I have to manage her meds, clean, cook, doctor appts, pay her bills, try and be her physical therapist, I do it all. She is pouting now that my husband and I told her we were looking at assisted living as her care is getting more than I can or want to continue to do. I know that sounds mean and uncaring. She says that she knows that we have been wanting to get out from under her for quite some time. Said that she’s already lost one home and now she’s losing this one, that no one wants her and she has nowhere to go. The guilt is laid on thick. I get that she is scared and I’m sure disappointed that she would have to live else where. She seems all consumed with only her plight, not what I and my family have sacrificed to have her live here with us. I had to quit my job to care for her. I feel she needs more care and stimulation than I can give her. I signed on to take care of her as long as she could care for herself. I can’t even get her to wash her hands as she should ESPECIALLY since she has cdiff. My husband has been more than amazing and supportive until this last bout of ER visit and admittance to hospital and again rehab. He wants his wife back. I will be a 1st time grandmother this year and I’m finding it hard to arrange someone to come stay with her so I can be there for my daughter. Plus my son is getting married, we’re throwing them an engagement party next month and I’m freaking out on how I’m going to get it all done and care for her on top of it.


Am I doing the right thing by making her go into assisted living? Or am I being a selfish daughter?

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You should agree to the investigations the cardiologist wants done. If he's right, the symptoms can be alleviated and your mother's quality of life will improve.

You should press ahead with the assisted living option. The time you can then give to your mother will be all productive and all voluntary; whereas at the moment it is divided among chores, anxiety and conflict.

Both of these actions - to me, an outsider, going just by your account - are in your mother's best interests. They are the choices which will result in optimum support for your mother.

That they will also restore your life, your presence as a wife, mother and grandmother as well as daughter, and some of your peace of mind... wanting these things is not wrong, you know. It is not selfish to enjoy these side effects of finding the best care for your mother!

Don't fall into that trap of thinking that if something suits you, it must be somehow morally questionable. Not this time. Good for your mother is also what is good for you and the whole family.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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The answer is yes, you are doing the right thing. Don't let her guilt you into making a bad decision...for her. It is time for her to be placed. You and your husband are entitled to a life, you have sacrificed enough.
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Reply to DollyMe
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Absolutely you are doing the right thing.

You are burnt out.

She has C Diff and the risk to your new grandbaby due to her poor hygiene is to great.

She needs the 'village' to care for her and you are only one person.

She will not be losing a home, she is gaining a new one.

I have no patience for those who try to lay down a guilt trip. I do not accept the guilt, as I know I am doing the best thing I can with the resources I have and based on the other things I need to do.
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Reply to Tothill
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I also believe that, yes, you are doing the right thing to find assisted living. It sounds as though your mothers needs can no longer be met with the current arrangement. Her needs will continue to place more demands on you, and you have already quit your job. Four years is a long time, and you have done well by her. At this point, you are allowed to have your own life. Enjoy being a wife again to your husband. Enjoy being a grandmother. You do not get to have these years back again. Your life is important too. Once placed, you can still monitor your mom's care, and still be her daughter. As for the "test" to see if there is fluid around the heart and lungs, I would seriously question putting her through that when she already has a catheter to deal with and seems otherwise comfortable.
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Reply to GingerMay
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Yes it’s time to look into some form of assisted living. Are the cdiff infections UTIs? If so, something is not correct about her toileting hygiene. Is she in charge of her own toileting? Or does she have a medical condition which causes them and the need for a catheter? Have you checked into the requirements for your local assisted living facilities? In my area they don’t deal with catheter or colostomy bags, so I would want to get some facts about that before advocating for a catheter, so you can make informed decisions. I would suggest visiting the local assisted living places on your own without sharing any info with your Mom until you have gathered all your data, and have chosen your top 2. Then assuming she qualifies, let her chose between the 2. You can use the argument that the frequent trips to the ER are not normal, and are an indication that she needs more hands on care than she can get at home.
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Reply to rocketjcat
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caroli1 Jul 15, 2019
C. difficile infections are not UTIs. They are gastrointestinal, and are common in immunocompromised people in hospital settings. They are extremely difficult to treat except by fecal transplantation.
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You are doing the right thing to find alternate arrangements for her. But the catheter may be a deal breaker in that type of facility; she may be required to move to a nursing home/skilled nursing facility. You will need to check the places you like to see what their admission criteria is.

You should not feel guilty; that does not stop us from feeling that way but this is your time to enjoy your daughter, and grandchild and your husband. Sorry that your mother is unhappy but we do see that elderly people lose their empathy for others, especially their family members who are their caregivers. This generation did not really care for their own elderly, at least not for years and years. There were fewer options and also, less people lived into their 90's.

Just keep moving ahead with this; find a place with multiple levels of care if possible. Private pay facilities that also take Medicaid are a good choice because in the event that she runs out of money, she could move to a Medicaid bed.
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Reply to dogparkmomma
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Having been in your shoes, I also say yes. Look into assisted living. What your mother doesn't realize - or doesn't WANT to realize - is that you are a person too. You are entitled to have a life, you are getting older and will be less able to do for her as well as your husband and yourself, and you are going to be a grandmother. Of course you want to take an active part in the important events going on in your children's lives right now, and caring for her limits your availability. Don't expect her to understand; it seems that when we get older and more disabled, we tend to think of ourselves first and only. I know my mom does. She's pulled the "nobody wants me" card on me too. The dementia requires her to have 24/7 care and I can't provide it. I have continually had to remind her that I am supporting my autistic son and college student daughter alone, providing a home, health insurance and transportation as well as tuition. Find her a good facility, encourage her to participate in their activities and make new friends, and visit her when you can. Keep her in the loop on the goings-on of your children. Bring her home for weekend visits sometimes. I know it's easy to say "don't feel guilty," but truly, you do deserve your own life and her needs will be met.
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Reply to lablover64
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My grandmother also resisted going to assisted living. She was living with her grandson and his wife, and when the wife got pregnant, my aunt decided that it would be too much for her to deal with Grandma plus a new baby, plus continuing to work. And when my grandmother actually got to the assisted living community, she loved it. Like your mom, my grandmother had become socially isolated. In assisted living, there were other people around for her to play cards and watch TV with. She volunteered to visit people in the skilled nursing area and taught Girl Scouts to knit. Grandma told us that she should have moved to the community years earlier (she was in her mid-90s when she got there). Being cared for by family is not always the best thing for people. You're doing the right thing and it may be better for your mom in the long run.
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Reply to cat8person
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As the others have said, yes, you are doing the right thing. I just wanted to point out that the Assisted Living Facilities here in Colorado do not take residents in who are catheterized. I was finally able to find ONE facility for my dad, but they would NOT administer at ALL to his catheter (which was temporary). I had to take him to the ER by ambulance every single time he had an issue or needed help, and there were many issues to deal with. A skilled nursing facility WILL assist with catheters. You may want to check the ALs in your area to see what the deal is with their rules regarding catheters. Also, I seriously doubt an AL would take her in with a case of C-diff. In short, an AL only wants to take in residents that are pretty easy to deal with. It's ok for them to have incontinence issues and require a wheelchair or assistance with dressing/bathing, etc., but when it comes to real medical issues, they tend to shy away. The ratio of caregiver to resident in an AL is approx. 20:1, so that's one reason for all the rules. You can hire a broker, for a fee, who will search out all the ALs in your area FOR you to find out if there's any that will take your mom with all of her special needs. Here in Colorado, Morningstar is an AL facility that takes residents with lots of special needs that others refuse, ie: being a 2 person transfer, special dietary needs, etc. The costs are very high, however, and get pretty close to skilled nursing costs.
Good luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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TaylorUK Jul 16, 2019
Worries me that the hospital keep sending her out without apparently being 100% clear of the cdiff. Could well now be endemic to her system and just very easy to trigger with poor hygiene but they should be making sure she is clear before sending her out it is so easy to pass on especially to others with compromised immune systems.
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Yes, you are not only doing the right thing but you are doing the only thing you can. I think it may be difficult now with the C-Diff to get her placed. If this is the third go around with it, then it has never left, and treatment likely making it only worse. Fecal Transplant needs now to be considered as it is an instant cure. I think you should also stop the medical procedures and move to palliative care. The heart is a pump and it gives out with age, allowing all sorts of fluid buildup. There are only medications to remove fluid to help and they cause losses of potassium and yet more medication. I honestly think that you cannot go on. This will be an unhappy time for both you and for your Mother. Don't expect it to be nice, to go well, to go without tears and anger. They are part of life, and not everything in life can be fixed so that it is "happy". I think you know you have reached your limitations and I think you are right to proceed; I only worry that you may have difficulty placing a woman this ill in Assisted Living. Do consider move now to palliative care consult.
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