I have been taking care of my mom who was only 62 when she got this terrible monster of a disease. I have been with her going on 7 years with my brother making sure that she could stay at home. Being locked up in the house because of Covid-19, due to the fact we could not keep a mask on her, has made her decline so rapidly, we are having to put her into a memory care facility. In February, she was a vibrant, somewhat functional (with a little help), happy person. Now she is a sad, anxious, withering soul who just paces and talks to lamps. There are moments in the past 6 weeks that I have caught a moment of my mom, but mostly we just watch and hope she doesn't hurt herself. In my mind, I know that the memory care facility will provide her with the stimulation and safety that I have tried to give her, but my heart feels like I have given up, and I cry all of the time. Will it every stop feeling this way?

Find Care & Housing
Covid isolation took my mom from a functioning Mild Dementia state {was in a retirement apartment} to full blown psychosis and Inability to function. She even stopped walking. She lost 22#. We placed her in an assisted memory care straight from the hospital..Within 3 weeks she was walking again, eating again and having some lucid hours..Fast forward 3 months and she is happy, Smiling, laughing, clear headed a lot and well adjusted to the assisted living situation!! Now me...being locked out is depressing but the staff has stepped up to fill in for family. They adore her and call me whenever she needs something..we do video calls and door visits.. this was the best I could do for her...she is safe, busy and healthy again!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Sadinroanokeva

Sometimes the best way you can help your loved one is to transition them into memory care alilove. I always try to say transition cause saying putting my mom/dad into a home sounds so much harsher. It's what needs to be done. It's not like you have a choice.

You are taking the next best step. Feeling the way you do right now is only natural and you will stop feeling this way. Don't be so hard on yourself.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Gershun

Dear alilove,
Yes, at some point you will feel better. Your mom is where she needs to be both for your good and hers. Those of us who have had to place their LO in MC can emphathize with you. It's not unusual for us as caregivers to experience both depression and grief over the situation. I don't know if you're depressed. Maybe a dr visit could help. It does sound, though, that you're grieving your mom's disease and the fact that you will lose her. "Anticipatory" grief is the expectation of losing a LO, while "ambiguous" grief is realizing she's here in body but not in mind. Those are difficult feeling to deal with. And, yes, grief this strong can result in depression. I speak from experience.

But you will eventually do much better. But time alone won't do it. You have to work thru grief by taking action. Do you attend a support group? During the pandemic, groups are meeting virtually. Call the ALZ Assn hotline to see if one is near you (800-272-3900). Take time to do things you enjoy. Become educated about mom's disease. Books like "Learning to Speak Alheimer's" and the "36 Hour Day" can help. Do things that will distract your thoughts of sadness.

You have given your mom the opportunity to live a good life. She is being taken care of. Now give yourself that same opportunity.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to sjplegacy

Seven years is a long time to suffer from a Dementia. I read that those suffering from ALZ can live longer than those suffering from a Dementia. The average for Dementia is 5 to 7 years. My Mom was showing signs before her head injury but from the year she fell to the year she passed was almost 6 yrs. Your Mom was with you, correct. Being in a house all day for a person suffering from Dementia is usually OK for them. They like familiarity. My Mom never wanted to stay more than an hour away from home. You could take her outside, right. She was with family. So, I don't think COVID was the problem. My opinion Mom is coming into her last stage. My Mom, too, started to look so old and frail. She was 89. Its just the progression of the desease.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29

Your mother is so young. And you have so done your best to make it as good as you can. You now have hit the wall where this cannot be fixed, cannot be made good even temporarily, and that has to be so very depressing. Covid-19 which now has almost everyone sunk into a depression has given you more reason than anyone to loathe what it is doing to any interactions we can have. I am so sorry for the grief, and I think that there is nothing but time to heal it. Try to at least have some time when you celebrate good times long past, when you recognize yourself for all you have done. This is one of those awful times when there is no answer. I am so sorry.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Isthisrealyreal Aug 19, 2020
Now has almost everyone sunk in to depression? Not hardly.

This is the news trying to run people into the ground. I haven't met 1 person that is depressed because of the changes, maybe sad, frustrated and bored, but not depressed.
See 2 more replies
It's not your fault that this pandemic happened. It's hard on EVERYONE'S mental health. Especially so for those with cognitive decline. Don't blame yourself for your mom's inevitable and natural decline. I've heard it can happen in dramatic steps sometimes, maybe she had a TIA (mini stroke) recently that accelerated her decline.

Celebrate all the years you have given her, good years in her home that she would tell you she is grateful for, if she had the ability to understand and express perspective (seems to be one of the first abilities to go with dementia). Play back a movie in your mind of some of those happier times and let that energy guide you. You both are shifting in your lives and can't go on the same way forever. The only certainty in life is change.

Agree with Isthisrealyreal above, as cognitive decline happens it will be small tactile experiences that can still bring joy. Big hugs to you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Hilde36

You haven't given up on her, you have just changed rolls. You may find that the facility atmosphere will help her with her anxiety. Having others around and activities could very well be a good thing for her.

You are grieving because you have essentially lost your mom even though her body is still alive. It is okay to cry for your loss. Be kind and patient with yourself and learn to love her as is, in the here and now. Small things will make a lot of difference for getting through this, like finding silly, simple things that bring a smile to her face and make her feel loved in the moment.

Great big warm hug! This is one of the most difficult decisions we ever have to make, placing a parent in care shreds our hearts, but my experience has been that it does get easier with time.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter