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I had to make a rushed decision to move my mom to memory care, she's 66 with Alzheimer's. I feel like I justified why it was time and everyone around me agreed. Now I can't sleep, the guilt is crushing. I constantly call and visit and even though she is fine my brain is filled with guilt. I work remotely and get off at 4, I cook dinner watch and TV and feel guilty, I have the time if she was home? Shouldn't I have just made it work? I miss she's missing this time with us. It's only been a few days and I'm not sure I'm strong enough to keep her there, the stress of caregiving was easier than this anxiety and guilt and sadness.

I think that this move would not have occurred had you not known it needed to.
Please try to change the semantics, because words matter. You aren't suffering from guilt. You aren't god; you can't make everything work. You are a human with human limitations. The G-word you need to use is grief. Both you and your Mom are suffering. Is it not worth grieving? Go ahead and have your feelings; with feelings it matters not at all what is "normal" or not normal on some kind of spectrum of measurement. Your feelings are what they are. Just realize that trying to go back and forth in all of this will give rise to unrealistic hopes and the shattering of those hopes will do more harm. Go ahead and feel all the grief of what it is in our country to get old, to face loss after loss, finally loss of mobility, continence and our own minds. It is worth grieving. You didn't create it; you cannot cure it. I am so sorry. I wish you the best and my heart goes out to you.
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Lifejourney Jan 21, 2022
AlvaDeer’s reply is compassionate and wise.
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From your first post I get the impression Dad was caring for Mom. It became too much "for him" so she needed to be placed, right.

I believe that things fall into place because they are meant to. With my Mom I went to the AL looking for respite care and found they were having 1/2 price sale on room and board. I jumped at it. When her money started running out the transfer from the AL to LTC went pretty smoothly. Another sign I was making the right decision. That room became available because it was time.

Because Mom has early onset Dementia she may decline faster. Having her in MC now may be better than later. She will except it as her home better later than on.

You can visit Mom. Take the kids with you. I used to take my grandson who was 3. The residents loved him. One man played ball with him. Her Dementia will get worse. You are looking at someone who is maybe doing well today but next month may decline drastically. To the point that she won't sleep during the night. She'll try to get out of the house.

She will be OK.
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Katiexo Jan 19, 2022
HI Joanna, I noticed from your previous response where you mentioned it was my Dads decision you thought he was primary caregivers, they both live with me. I am 33 and have been both of their primary caregivers since I was 18, I am my Mom's Gaurdian she was diagnosed at 52 and it's been a very slow decline. My Dads burnout is from the shadowing that she was doing but as far as handling everything else that's been on me on me both of them.
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The feeling of guilt is one emotion that is often expressed by caregivers. Does that mean it's normal? No, I don't think so. You thought placing your mom in MC was necessary and you were supported by others. You say the stress of caregiving at home was easier to take than the guilt you feel for having placed her. “Shouldn't I have just made it work?” No! Making it work suggests an obligation on your part to care for her come hell or high water. In the end, both you and your mom would be worse off. Her need for proper care would eventually outstrip your ability to provide that care. You cared for her at home, and you're caring for her now.

I, too, was on a waiting list and when the call came, I didn't hesitate.
I was already at wits end, and if I had passed on that available room, I don't know how I would have handled it, or when the next call would come. You placed your mom on a waiting list for a reason. That reason still applies. You made the right decision. Your mom will adapt to her new life, and she will be cared for. If your emotions are too hard to overcome, seek counseling.
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I'm going to challenge you to look at this from a different angle: if your mother was sick with appendicitis, would you take her to the hospital? Of course you would. Because you are not a doctor or a surgeon or an expert who's capable of taking care of her illness at home, by yourself, with your limited knowledge. And, you would feel NO guilt for taking her to the hospital & leaving her in capable hands.

Yet you are beating yourself up with 'anxiety, guilt & sadness' for placing your mom who has a brain disease in a Memory Care AL where she will be safe and cared for by a TEAM of capable people 24/7. Where all her needs will be met by a staff instead of one burned out young woman who is working a full time job and trying to care for a sick mother full time as well.

See where the illogical thinking comes into play?

Your mother is admittedly fine in the Memory Care, you visit her and call constantly, yet it's still somehow your 'fault' your not leaving your blood on the floor caring for her at home.

No, you should not have 'just made it work'. My mother lives in a Memory Care AL herself for the past 2.5 years, now with advanced dementia. She's become SO agitated & angry that it's becoming hard to manage her THERE, by a team of caregivers! How 'strong' would I have to be to handle her here, by myself, as one person with no help?

It's okay to feel sadness; and anger at the ALZHEIMER'S, nothing else. I feel sad and angry at the dementia that has ruined my mother's quality of life. To the point where I pray God takes her Home every night to a place of blessed peace, finally. It's not my fault or your fault our mother's were saddled with such a brain disease, but it's our job to ensure they stay safe & well. I can't do that alone at home, and soon, you probably won't be able to either.

In MC, the doctor comes THERE to see our mothers. Meds can be adjusted immediately. And doled out as written. Activities, food, snacks, movies, socialization is offered, vs. none of that at home, really.

Be sad of you want to, but be relieved an opening came up for your mom in MC. Take things one day at a time and allow BOTH of you to adjust to this new norm. I think it's perfectly normal to second-guess your decision and to wonder if it was the right one. As someone who's had both of her parents in AL and now MC since 2014, I can tell you, from firsthand experience and not invented folklore, that it's been a very good experience for them in every way. If I had it to do all over again, I'd do it all the exact same way, no changes at all.

And please ignore guilt-inducing comments by trolls around here with nothing better to do than make us feel worse, when this site is intended to be SUPPORTIVE and uplifting.

Best of luck.
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Katiexo Jan 25, 2022
Thank you ❤
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You ARE taking care of her by placing her where she's getting the care that's best for her.

No offense, out that guilt is more about you than about her, and you need to recognize that and let yourself off the hook for not making an untenable situation work. If you could have made it work, it might have worked for you, but it wouldn't be working for her.

I assume you want the best for her, so that's why you made the tough decision to put her needs first. You're going through a bit of withdrawal, loss, and a load of other feelings, and that's OK. Let yourself have those feelings and you'll eventually shake them out. Just don't try to make them go away by bringing her home to make yourself feel better.
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I had to do the same thing with my dad. I cried and I cry all the time, but you can't help her after so long it's too hard. I have guilt I feel sad all the time and I cry I ask myself did I do something wrong I shake my head when I think of putting him in a nursing home, but I know he's safe the nurses love him he has 3 meals a day they make sure he takes him medicine and they call me if something is wrong. My dad has been in the nursing home for almost a year, and it gets better as time goes on. Hang in there you will make it.
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I read something recently about grief and the fact that we don’t get over it, rather we make “a place for it”. Perhaps this is similar. You will miss her in your home, but you haven’t forgotten her and will be caring for her there as well. It will take awhile for each of you to adjust to your feelings and the reality of the circumstances. Big hugs.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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How long has she been in the memory care?
I think when you have been living with someone and caring for them the change in the routine of your life can be difficult, for years you have been consumed with planning your life around her care needs and suddenly you aren't and that leaves a void. What you feel is normal, but if the anxiety doesn't ease over time then you probably should talk to a counsellor about it.
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Katiexo Jan 19, 2022
It has only been a week tomorrow, it all happened so quick once I got an email that a bed opened up form the wait list.
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Just remember why you felt an urgent need to move your mom to memory care. I think if you were to reverse this decision and move her back home you'd remember immediately why you felt this.

Please don't be so hard on yourself. Feelings of guilt and sadness are normal and it just shows you care.
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Reply to Gershun
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Katiexo: In answer to your question "Shouldn't I have just made it work?." the answer is that you did the best, STELLAR caregiving job that you could, but now your mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's, requires the care from the trained medical professionals at the Memory Care facility. It is perfectly normal to experience the overthinking, guilt and insomnia that you are going through. However, please know that you did the best as humanly possible for your dear mother. Put your mind at ease in knowing that you made an excellent decision for your sweet mother. May I suggest that you add Melatonin for a sleep aid with your physician's approval.
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Katiexo Jan 26, 2022
THank you ❤
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