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My mom has dementia, likely Lewy Bodies, and is just new at an Assisted Living. She feels out of place because the people seem so old to her. She is 80, but very able. I couldn't manage her at home well because she required so much one on one time and her fixations are difficult to deal with. I thought she needed more interaction and things to do. I knew Memory Care would be too slow for her, but AL seems so too. She has an apartment but feels trapped. While she lived with me her hallucinations stopped and now I'm worried they will return. Her meds will still be managed so that's better than when she lived alone and managed her own meds. She rejected adult day care but it may have been good for her. It's only the first week at AL but I'm concerned. She doesn't seem to fit anywhere. What else is there? Would we be better to hire 24 hour care at her home and see her money go quicker, but give her more of a life now? She wants to go home and spend no money. This is hard.

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I am 90 yrs young and have been in assisted living for 1 year I am still in my right mind I sew and quilt to stay busy I hate it here the management here is terrible The are only here 6 hrs a day 5 days Its a family thing mother and 2 daughters and grandma Med aid on weekend She does not like me! has already balled me out over a joke The food is terrible I have diabetes and control it with diet If I stay away from dining room I can keep it down I want to move to a senior apartment so I can cook I do some here The rent is $3500.00 per month I only have social security and VA aid It makes me sick when I think about the rent I pay It is more then I can afford so I have to use the money from help from my daughter Just thought you would like to hear other side of story I know people here in your moms condition I feel so sorry for them And we have an Activity Director that is as crazier than some of the people her she only gets 8 or 9 people to work with her out of 70 residents Wonder why she is here Management does not care about us They are to busy keeping the hired help happy so they won't quit
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Nobody wants to admit they are also getting OLD....and when an elderly person has to admit it ,and leave their independence behind ......it is almost a mourning process that they go through.be patient she'll adjust any move is stressful sometimes 3 months or longer until she relaxes
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Give it more time at the facility and she may warm up to it when she meets people there that in time could be her friends.
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My perspective is a little different. Over a year ago, I moved to an independent living retirement community at age 72. In this community, most of the residents are literally a lot older than I am, and many are quite disabled, both physically and mentally. I moved here partly because of known impending health challenges, both physical and mental, and I did indeed make a mistake. There are many activities here, in which I participate in several, but they are not enough for me to make up for the general limited pace of things. There is an emphasis on being sure everything is taken care of for you, rather than on your remaining as active as possible.

I still think I belong in a retirement community, but I made the wrong decision on which one to live in. I'm applying to another community where the focus is much more on being independent. I knew I had made the wrong choice here quite quickly, and it could be that you do not have the right place for your mother. Of course, she needs to give her current location more time and involvement, but if she's still unhappy there after several months, you might want to consider whether there is an assisted living community that is better for her. I have also looked at such communities for myself, and they do vary a great deal in their philosophies. I am well aware of how difficult making another move would be, but eventually, that might be the right choice.
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We moved my Mom to AL about 3 months ago. She still is confused about where she is and packs up every week because she is "going home". I feel that we waited too long. Her short-term memory is gone, so she doesn't remember that this is her "forever home", or that she agreed to sell her house. Tell her how lucky she is to find such a nice home where they cook her meals for her, do her laundry and give her reminders!! and you feel she deserves to enjoy the company of others and have activities planned out. I would suggest playing it up, and putting a positive spin on things. Its true, dementia only gets worse; and I am sorry I didn't place my Mom sooner.
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Maybe the facility can provide various little chores that will help your LO keep busy. I remember seeing one woman like this who would help push other residents in wheelchairs to the dining room--good for this resident and actually a useful task (and not just "busywork").
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Thanks again all great points!
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I am sure it is just difficult to admit you need help. My mom is 72 and in assisted living after being in a nursing home for 9 months. Her nursing home roommate was only 62 and had been there for 4 years. She is happy to be there. My mom used to constantly complain that she was the youngest one there... despite her roommate being 10 years younger. Now that she moved to assisted living, she says the same thing. "Maybe if I were 82, but all of these people are so old."

You need to give your mom time to adjust and make some friends that are on her level. Once that happens, she will feel more like she belongs and is at home, instead of at a facility. Good luck!!!
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I agree about giving it more time. Have you actually observed the other residents that she believes are so old? Do you think that is true? In most of the regular AL's that I have visited, there are plenty of residents who are in their 60's. They are there due to disability, both mental and physical.

I'd wonder if she may feel out of place due due to some other reason. I know that my LO didn't fit in too well in a regular AL. She was actually, only 62 years old at the time, but, she seemed to not fit in that well with the younger or older residents, though, she preferred the older ones who didn't talk much. I spoke with the Social Director about involving her in activities. She tried to help. She even asked my LO if she could help with certain games, by handing out cards or something simple that made my LO feel needed. This did help a little, but, then I noticed that what the matter was seemed to be that my LO was not able to follow the conversations of the other residents. She could not remember names, she was not able to carry on a conversation and since the others did, it made her feel like she not part of the group or very social. I might check to see if there are limitations that your mom has that might be the actual cause of her feeling uncomfortable. I believe that is why my LO had isolated herself at home prior to becoming so affected with dementia. I think that she was embarrassed about forgetting what had been said right after saying it and never knowing anyone's name after being introduced many times. 
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It may help to combine some resources. I'd look for ways where she is spending more time outside of the AL community then inside the apartment, which can make her feel trapped and the hallucinations worsen. I'm sure the AL has things to do, but it seems that your mom's chief issue is feeling trapped, which means you may need to add other options to get her out of the AL community she lives in.

What may help is a customizing her care with the resources already available to you; whether it's a van that has other able bodied men and women to go to classes around the area (senior services on the web may provide suggestions and resources you aren't familiar with) that can provide a "get out of jail' card for her during the day and make it easier for her to rest at night (hopefully due to all the activity she engages in during the day).

She may need that over having round the clock care: I'd look into activities you know she enjoys and she if can join the classes she may like. (with the illness, restlessness is a problem).

Then, at night, where the restlessness and confusion can be at its worst, if they don't already have someone that can check on her, then the idea of a nurse to stay with her overnight and keep her confusion at bay may be in order, which may cost you less in the long run over a 24-hr round the clock care. Because she lived with you, you know what time frames are the worst in her mind and may be able to tailor a watch around those time periods during the day when you know you aren't available.

Sometimes, they just want someone they recognize in the house to keep the hallucinations at bay; finding those that she can relax with will go a long way to help you (with your peace of mind and level of worry) and her (for her confusion and wanting a quality of life.)
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Such great encouragement. Thanks all!
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Much more time is needed for your mom to adjust to her new environment. Even if she is not as "old" (disabled) as many of the residents she will eventually discover those who are at her cognitive level, and interact with them.

I suggest that you time your visits so that you can attend activities with her. Bingo, crafts, sing-alongs, live entertainment, tea parties, happy hour -- whatever is available, sample it with your mother. After she settles in and is doing some of these things on her own that will be time enough to take her on outings and spend one-on-one time with her. But to begin with, help her fit in.

(It is too bad you couldn't have given the day care option a try. That is often a great alternative to full-time placement.)

Having her home with full time care might be a preferable option, but the financial price is very high and the responsibility for you (or some family with primary care duty) can be overwhelming. One of my cousins arranged three-shifts a day of carers for her mother. To cover all 21 shifts a week took at least 4 people. She was extremely fortunate to be able to hire women from their small community that were all known to her mother. Mom would never agree to "babysitters," but she never caught on that these women weren't just dropping in on social calls! My cousin lived in another town, worked, and did some traveling. Even with the community women often arranging their own schedules and substitutes, Cousin found that handling last-minute sick calls and schedule mix-ups, and keeping track of hours and payments was at least another part time job. Dementia progresses. Always. Eventually my dear Aunt needed the consistent round-the-clock supervision of the local care center. She played the spoons in the kitchen band!

At-home care can be very comforting to the elder. But it is not always the best option. Even when it is a good option now, it might not be in 6 months.

Give the adjustment period a lot more time, and actively help the adjustment. If six months from now AL still doesn't seem suitable, reconsider the options then.
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Yes, please give it more time. She'll likely find a person or two who she can bond with and find some activities she can enjoy. She'll probably continue to decline, so while right now she may be in a bit better shape than the other residents, that may not last. And she'll be more comfortable and familiar with her environment when she starts to move through different stages. You did the right thing - don't second-guess yourself.
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The AL should have activities. Should be taking residents shopping or out to lunch if ur Mom would like something like that. You haven't given her enough time. Mom's AL had a common area where people congregate. Maybe taking her there and striking up a conversation with someone and including her in the conversation. Your Mom will get worse. Hiring and keeping caregivers is not easy. Give Mom some time.
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