A few weeks ago....my sister and I made the difficult decision to move our 92 year old grandmother with dementia into an assisted living facility. Since she has been there, she has called us once to say she had fun. Every other call is she hates it and wants to go to the "other place".
Here is some background information. She lived by herself in CA until 2018; we, her family lived in PA. In summer of 2018, our mother went out to stay with her because of concerns for her safety. It was decided then to sell her home in CA and move her to PA with family. This was attempted many times over the years and she refused, this time she agreed.
The house was sold and she moved in with our mother in January 2019. They bought a one level home that was best for both of them and moved in July 2019.
Fast forward to January 2020, our mother, the sole caregiver for our grandmother, passed away very unexpectedly. The night this happened, my sister and I went on autopilot and had been in damage control mode in regards to our grandmother ever since. My sister and I both work full time and have families, but took turns during our bereavement leave to spend days/nights at our grandmothers home. During this time, our grandmother had to be admitted into the hospital and there the dementia was formally diagnosed. The death of her daughter (our mother) triggered a significant decline in her mental state. She was in the hospital for a week and released to rehab for approximately 3 weeks. It was recommended she have 24 hour care. When she was released home, we hired aides to be with her to make sure she took her medication, ate her meals, etc. Needless to say this didn't sit well with her. We discussed one of us moving our families in with her but we couldn't do it without thinking of long term, not to mention we both had children in different school districts.
She hasn't live in the house long enough to associate it as home
Unfortunately we reached the point that she started wandering at night and she fell and broker her finger. Fortunately it wasn't as bad as it could have been.
COVID of course added another wrinkle into all of this, we couldn't visit her for the first two weeks. When we finally could, she looked horrible, her eyes were red from crying and it broke our hearts.
We know she is safe where she is, which is our priority. But we can't help but feel bad. This isn't the life she signed up for, she should not be spending whatever time she has miserable and unhappy. Our hope is that where she is, she will have a social life at some point. They have meals together and do activities The aides that came to the house, just sat and watched TV with her, that was it.
There is so much more I could share, but I'm running out of characters...lol.
I just hope we are doing the right thing for her.....
She doesn't understand and she doesn't remember our conversations. She remembers that her daughter died, sometimes she remembers that we are her granddaughters.
I appreciate any advice or insight that anyone could give...just listening helps too....