Follow
Share

My mom is FINALLY in assisted living, as of 11 AM today! She is telling me that, at 79, she is like the youngest one around. I wasn't with her when she went to her meals or to the monthly birthday party so I don't know firsthand, but I was surprised to hear that. I do know that her neighbor is 89 and the lady across the hall is 99. But I didn't think 79 would be young for assisted living?



I told her Sunday, set up the apartment on Monday (while she was home with caregivers) and brought her over this morning. Sunday was bad but not a complete disaster. Monday morning was bad but the caregivers worked their magic and by the end of the day she was picking out things she wanted to bring with her and hugging my husband and saying thank you for all his work in setting up her new apartment. Wow!



I've had 3 calls this evening but not too bad. Of course the obligatory "I can't make the TV work call"!

Yay you!!

My mom started out calling us all the time.

We told her, "Mom, you have staff now. Ask them".

She said "oh, I couldn't bother them".

My SIL said "Mom, for what you're paying each month, you HAVE to bother them!".
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report
againx100 Nov 30, 2022
Thanks Barb! I will be using the same type of line if the calls persist. She is very close to the nurses station so she can go right over there to ask her 101 questions.
(2)
Report
My mother was THE QUEEN of being 'too young' or 'too with it' or too whatever to 'belong' in AL. Everyone else was 'worse off' than SHE was, which enabled her to feel 'better than', which was her whole goal in life ANYWAY. So I went along with her on that distorted thinking, and it made her happy to feel that she was in MUCH better condition than the rest of the elders in AL or MC.

When I first got mom & dad into the AL that they wound up living in for years, Linda, their neighbor across the hall, was around 68 years old. She voluntarily moved into AL (can you even FATHOM such a thing??) with her little dog b/c she was tired of trying to manage her life and her migraine headaches alone. She loved being waited on, having a staff to look after her and her dog, and being served 3 meals a day in a beautiful dining room overlooking lush gardens. On the other end of the spectrum, other elders living there were 100 years old. It ran the gamut.

Your mother WILL look for every conceivable reason under the sun to complain and for why she 'doesn't belong there'. Just agree with her and change the subject, that's my advice. I'm glad to hear she's hugging your DH and thanking him for all his hard work in getting her set up. In time, she'll likely grow to love her autonomy and wonder why she fought it off for so long. Watch and see.

But don't expect the complaints to ease up........it's what they DO! And it runs the gamut from everything from the food (especially) to the behavior of the other residents.

Keep reminding mom to PUSH THE BUTTON or PULL THE STRING or whatever she needs to do to get the caregivers attention so THEY can help her instead of you. She's so used to calling YOU for everything, that she's still in that mode now that she's paying OTHERS to do for her! :)
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to lealonnie1
Report
againx100 Nov 30, 2022
Thanks Lea. You're the best!

I'll have to work on reframing this somehow so she doesn't believe the crazy notion that she's too young to be there! Um, yup, you NEED to be there. It's not about age.

Oh boy, my mom is an expert at complaining! Her favorite is to complain about every little ache and pain. Even though they're the same ones she's had for a loooooong time. We've tried meds, PT, etc. but some pain is just there. I really DON'T need to hear about it every day!

OK good idea to agree and change the subject when she trots 101 reasons why she doesn't belong there. Hmmm, interesting, mom.

She hasn't asked me for much. She gets 3 med deliveries a day and other assistance so hopefully she'll get most of her questions answered then. Though the likelihood of her remembering them at the right time is slim. But I will start saying "umm, I don't really know mom. You'll have to go out to the nurse's station and ask". Like the TV - I walked her through it last night but next time I'll tell her to ask the staff.
(2)
Report
See 1 more reply
This is wonderful news! I am so happy that your mom is settling into her new home.

Since she has just arrived she doesn’t know everyone yet. Has anyone on staff welcomed her and informed her of upcoming activities? She will have a chance to meet others at various times.

She was probably looking forward to seeing people closer to her age nearby her unit.

Is she interested in being social with other residents? Or participating in activities?

Suggest to her to speak to the staff about any of her concerns.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Report
againx100 Nov 30, 2022
Thank you! She has met some staff and her neighbor is her "buddy", meaning she agreed to walk mom down to meals and sit together. She's training mom on learning how to do it herself. We'll see how that goes. It's not so hard but her short term memory is akin to swiss cheese.

I think she will do social things. She already went to the monthly birthday party yesterday and had birthday cake.
(8)
Report
Age is just a number.
I know a very young 90 year old and I know many young 80+
I also know a few OLD 60 and 70 year old's.
It sounds like your mom might be one of the young 70-80 year old's.
As difficult as it is she should get involved in activities as soon as she can. When you next visit, or even go on line I am sure there is an activity calendar and a calendar of outings. Get her to join in.
Quite often a facility will have "ambassadors" that will help new residents get acclimated to the activities, introduce a new resident to other residents.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report
againx100 Nov 30, 2022
Thanks for replying. Oh, my mom is not young for her age.

She went to a birthday party at the facility yesterday. One of our home caregivers might be taking her down to exercise class when she takes her client down. So I'd say she's off to a pretty good start. I'll try to push her to do more. Oh, they have bingo which she used to play a lot until she started being physically unable to access the facility.
(4)
Report
My mom would say see that old woman who had white hair and my mom had very little gray hair. I told her “you’re old too, you’re 92”. She would laugh and agreed.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to LisaNJ
Report
MJ1929 Nov 30, 2022
That was 100% my mom. She never went completely gray, so she didn't think she qualified as old.

The only good part of dementia, too, was that she kept getting younger in her head. By the time she died at 92, she thought she was 16 and in the peak of health, bless her heart.
(8)
Report
See 6 more replies
You did it! Yayayay! Proud of you for making it happen! 🎉🥳🎈

My mother went into Assisted Living Memory Care at 78. There were a few younger, and a few older than her. 😎
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to cxmoody
Report
againx100 Nov 30, 2022
Thank you! I'm proud of me too. But other family, excluding my sister and daughters, don't think it was necessary etc. Ugh.

MC at 78? OK, I feel better about regular AL at 79. I just remembered that my first FIL went into a nursing home for his early onset dementia back in the early 90s, before I'd every heard of MC, when he was still in his 60s. I guess it really is just dependent on their capabilities, or lack thereof, not their age.
(3)
Report
It looks like others have suggested that the average age may be a bit older than your Mom, but I think that she would think so, anyway. We mostly age a lot faster on the outside than we do on the inside. I am "only" 71 (a few days from 72) but I find myself constantly seeing other older people that look so "old" to me, but I do not see myself or my sisters or husband as being so very old. It is only when I look at photographs taken 30 or 40 years ago and mentally compare them to what I saw in the mirror that morning that it really hits me that I HAVE aged, after all.

Those little changes come so gradually and the lighting in my bathroom is not too bright. I am sure that the "old" lady in the store 10 feet away looks at me and thinks "at least I don't look like THAT. In a room full of 70 year olds, I am likely to have the first reaction that these people are so OLD, but then I have to reconsider and think that I am TOO.

Getting old is tough work. It takes some getting used to.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to LittleOrchid
Report
againx100 Dec 7, 2022
LOL I know all about that lady in the mirror. Ugh. I try not to look too long or too hard. I often compare how I look to some else, some younger, that have not aged well at all and that makes me feel better. And activity wise and strength, etc. I know I am doing VERY good for my age so that helps the self esteem a bit.

Mom seems to be adjusting to everything, including being the young one.
(4)
Report
Again
The average age is a little older than your mom according to some of the links on google. Consumer Affairs listed 84.
Your moms ALF is the one you want to know about if it would make her feel better to know. She probably has it figured out already just in looking around for someone she can relate to by appearances. My DH aunt will generally say she is 85 when in fact she is 96. Her roommate is 70. They get along great. As she gets to know them she may find it matters less to her that she is younger.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report
againx100 Nov 30, 2022
Thanks 97! Aah so the average age is a bit older than mom so what she's seeing may be kind of true. It's probably what the older women are saying to her. She should ask them how long they've been there. Maybe they moved in around her age!

Sure any ages can get along just fine. I have friends all over the place, agewise.

Because my mom needs so much help and has mobility and incontinence issues, I've always felt that she was old for her age. So she'll probably fit in just fine. Once the catty ladies get over commenting on her age. Get over it girls! LOL
(2)
Report
I found in Moms AL there was a mixture of ages. Like said, age is irrelevant. 79 is not too young for AL. She just needs to socialize and find people with like minds and interests.

It will be an adjustment but she needs to see she is getting her independence again. The staff are just helpers when she needs them. Your relationship will be better because you are no longer responsible for her total care. You can enjoy her as a daughter.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report
againx100 Nov 30, 2022
Thanks JoAnn. I am looking forward to just being her daughter again.
(1)
Report
I am so happy for you! I did laugh at the "can't make the TV work." The many, many calls my LO made to me and my DH about the dang TV, the remote not being hers (???), and her expectation that the cable channels in the nursing home would be the same as the cable channels at her former home so why can't she find her favorite shows? Sigh....

Anyway, to your question, I'd say 79 is not too young for AL. My LO needed full-on 24/7 nursing home care at only 75. Sad. She was so bad off that she was not a candidate for AL at that time and her condition never improved significantly to where she would ever, ever go to AL.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Mysteryshopper
Report
againx100 Nov 30, 2022
Thanks for responding Mystery. I can't tell you how many times my hubby and I have had to go down and "fix" her TV. Somehow she was constantly getting stuck on nextflix when she never wanted to be there in the first place. Of course she had NO idea how that happened. She didn't do it, that's for sure. She's brought me 2 TV remotes and asked me where to hang these phones up. Oh boy.

Sorry your LO needed so much care so early. But she's certainly not the first or the last.
(2)
Report
See 1 more reply
See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter