Can I get a few words of encouragement and some advice from people who have been there and done that?

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First tour of a memory care unit. One day I feel it's time to move mom into memory care and then the next I think maybe I can meet her needs better. She is getting harder and harder for me to handle physically. If she ends up on the floor I can not get her up by myself, have to call a neighbor. That doesn't happen often but I have had to call a neighbor on 2 occasions. And the memory care unit I toured was lovely but I'm not sure they can meet her needs. And I'm not sure I'm emotionally ready to let her go. I have several more memory care facilities to tour, I do not want to be rushed but I don't want to be caught in an emergency situation and not have a choice. I'm having trouble letting go and could use some sage advice. Thanks

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Thanks Sendme2 help...I believe you have offered encouragement to me before. She is needing more physical help than I can safely offered...the last time I had to get her back into bed I hurt my back and could not straighten up...mom said I must be very strong! I had tears in my eyes.....The place I have chosen is 15 miles away and I plan to visit often, keep my sitter a few days a week to also visit and home health has assured me they can offer her PT and speech therapy while she is there. I have a beautiful daughter that will also visit her. My sisters agree it's time to place her in memory care and when ever I have doubts about the move something happens that tells me it's time.....I truly believe God works in mysterious ways! (I'm not sure I'm suppose to mention God but I couldn't have gotten thru the first day without Him).
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Dear Oldestof3, Came by to offer a few words of encouragement, then read that you were looking for sage advice. That disqualifies me. Except, that I am absolutely sure you can give better care than the memory care unit. You just don't want to get hurt or risk hurting Mom.
So, remind yourself that you can still be there for her to pick up anything they won't be doing for her, and you will be there, like, loving her, visiting her, comforting her as only you could. Then, you can rest assured at night they will be there too. There is no shame when your loved one requires more care. You will have an entire team of helpers!
Pick a place close to you.
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Paradise76, thank you for your comments. I have read thru them several times and appreciate your input. I have visited several memory care units. I would have like to visit more but I only can do one a week and that doesn't get much progress. The one I have chosen has a smaller resident population and a better staff per resident ratio than any other facility I visited. And I've visited twice and each time the residents seems very happy and talkative. I'm hoping to have mom settled by the 2nd week of Dec. I know some of the posters here have been doing this for decades and so many seem to have relationship problems with either the parent or sibling and I am so lucky I have neither. Mom was not the perfect mother but then I wasn't the perfect daughter and she did her very best. My siblings live on opposite sides of the country but visit as often as they can and offer all the support they can so I do feel some guilt in putting mom somewhere besides my home but to be perfectly honest, I want my house back...I want my life back. I think mom will benefit from being around other people close to her age.. right now it's just her and me. She is in later stages of dementia and is getting very stubborn..if she doesn't want to do something she is NOT going to do it...and that includes a bath. If I get a sponge bath in once a week I feel I've accomplished something. I have rearranged my house, let my yard and garden go, quit going to church and lost my social contacts for taking care of her. I thank God he has sent her to me to love and care for as long as I could but I believe in my heart the time is right to do something else. If this move does not work out I will not hesitate to bring her back home. I can not believe what some of these posters put up with and I am so grateful mom has been pretty cooperative. I love her so but it's time to let go.
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I agree with what is being shared,but let me add some things you might not think about ...I'm a professional caregiver who has worked all shifts combinations of care...first in AL after which I went to private home care. Some Techs "do their job" just that, it's a job..a pay check...esp if the staff is young. I got extremely upset & eventually left the facility because my "ethics" we're so far off those of staff. In Memory Care, the overnight tends to overlook a lot of things that need to be done. Wanderers are watched but staff figures they will wear themselves out & go to sleep. I am making some general observations, because there are good facilities. My caregiving belief is that a loved one should stay at home as long as possible (medically able to stay at home)..it is safe & familiar. If you decide on "in home" care, you have the ability to know who will be providing the care, not just "Mary" works 3-11 today, but not sure what patients she will be with". Private CGs can appear wonderful & not be...if that is the case, you search for another...most times in Al & NH you don't have that luxury. Most everyone thinks home care is so much more expensive. If you work with an individual you have some leeway of price negotiation. You have the control of food..and the $ spent...you know their likes/ dislikes..institutional food (well, we all kno what that's like, plus most food trays are dropped off..not totally concerned whether the person can feed themselves), the kind of incontinence products used (facilities buy bulk in 4 sizes & whatever fits),and may not be changed as often esp. is high. Yes, you can take in what your loved one likes, but you'd do that at home too...still buying it on your own. Schedules for private caregivers can be adjusted to YOUR needs. When I work ...say..9 pm-9am..I don't sleep cuz things happen in an instant. In every situation "supervision for safety" should be the priority of the caregiver.
If you need total care, don't feel you've not done your responsibility...you just absolutely can not survive 24/7 care with other issues besides dementia going on.
Another example...we all are concerned with hydration. At home the caregiver can be 1-1 & makes sure something is drunk even if they fix a milkshake or something yummy. Water is distributed at the beginning of the "tech's" schedule, & not til the next shift change. Another example (I get so upset at times). I had a client (in a facility) with pretty severe Alzheimer's that I was "sitting" with to keep company, watch safety, etc...she was an aspiration risk so her liquids were to be thickened. Shift change...rounds of hydration...tech (GNA), brings in the shift cup of water totally unaware of the need to be thickened, and leaves room. I went to shift supervisor & she stumbled through papers to make sure what I said was right.(not the 1st time either staff member had worked with this lady). By the way..thickening agents can be bought in drug store & easily used at home in any type of liquid..yes including coffee &OJ.
Back to $...if you get a private CG at $15/hr during the day, with a little differential for nights & wkends. do the math & add what you would be paying extra for the things YOU know your loved one wants...it comes pretty close to 24/7 home care being financially close to NH/AL. Also in most cases you have more control on medication administration. You can set up the med boxes, give the instruction to CG to put the med in a little cup & set the cup in front of person...& watch the meds being swallowed...that is not dispensing meds w/o license. The caregiver watches, maybe puts it in hand, but you are filling boxes. This way, you can make sure the meds are not just kept in cheek til they are out of the administration line & spit into the closest plant (seen that happen,too)
Please forgive my soap box stand, I just want to see decisions made for the right reasons. If you have a family of more than one sibling, you can still make the decision together. I have been interviewed by 4-5 people at once AWAY FROM THE LOVED ONE. Once a decision is agreed upon, then take CG to meet your loved one, & you introduce person as a friend that will be spending time with you. I have a client with severe dementia (still mobile) that was told when I started she & I were going to have a dinner date on Wed nights..(while they left for a while)...no problems..no fussing about food, hands on care, or going to bed.
Anyway...if you are looking at facilities, go in with your eyes open, your nose open (you can tell a lot), don't be afraid to ask hard questions & get standard rehearsed answers. They are "selling" their facilities whether it be AL or NH. Ask the private CG (agency, dept of aging, or independent) those same questions. You even have the ability to do background checks, drug testing, professional & personal references. There are goods and bads everywhere. Explore all your options. You are not a bad person...you are providing the best for your loved one. If your loved one does not have or has very little dementia, try to get the decision made while your loved one can have some input, say stroke patient...keeps a little independence to their lives.
Really, I'm only offering tips...been a family caregiver at my house, one in AL & NH, and presently one with several clients with varying needs.
Thanks for listening. We all want the best for those who gave to us. Now it's our turn to give the best back. God bless all and good luck in your searches and decisions.
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You're expected to provide your own furniture?? I've never heard of this. If you live close to a major metropolitan city, you'll have more options for care homes/facilities. Google Agency of Aging or something like this; I forget what it is. And also review the food menu/choices for your mother. Some of the smaller facilities skimp out on the food as one measure to cut costs - for higher profits; "A lovely and filling afternoon snack is provided" is usually just peanut butter on crackers.
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thanks Careisgiving for your input. I hadn't thought to ask about moving mom from one home to another or about a male aide in this last facility I toured. Unfortunately, the only residential place I have visited is run by husband and wife team and he seems to do most of the care giving. Not right for mom.
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Until you decide what to do with your mother, ask her doctor to order a Hoyer Lift to be used in the home. It's covered by Medicare (the manual one and not the electric one, in the year I got it...don't know about now). If she falls again, you use this device to lift her off the floor and into the chair or bed. My mother is immobile so I have to use to Hoyer Lift as I don't have anyone else to help me out. It's not easy to let go but you shouldn't feel guilty, either. It's a difficult decision all around to make. Before you sign-on to a facility, read the fine print on what they require should you decide to move your mother to another facility. I'm not trying to scare you but I've read stories of some facilities giving family members a very hard time when they want to move their loved one to a different place. And find out who does the bathing of female residents and if they have have a man do it, are you okay with a man bathing your mother or at the very least you should be able to request a female to bathe yor mother. Several years ago, my mother temporarily stayed in a small group home while recovering from a hospital stay. After she was there for a few days, I went into the home as usual to see how my mother was doing and I heard her screaming. I rushed to her room, opened her door and found a man bathing her. The man wasn't hurting her but she was terrified of any man touching her. I didn't know at the time that a man would be bathing female residents because all I only saw the female caregivers. I was shocked. I was told he was there only to help the female caregivers bathe the residents; he would lift the naked female patients into the shower, clean them up and carry them back to either their chair or to their bed. If you have the opportunity, look into group homes that specialize in dementia patients. These homes are residential homes, usually, with 6 to 8 residents, sometime a little more or less depending on the size of the home. They're also, usually, much cheaper than a NH and the small family home environment is not so intimidating to your loved one. The group home my mother was in for that short stint had two caregivers to five residents at the time and their illness varied from advanced Parkinson's to Alzheimers. I believe some were Medicaid and some were private-pay. The home was run a registered nurse. If you can find a home run by a nurse, then this will give your mother more options for onsite medical and rehab care.
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Another tour of a facility. With each tour I think of more questions to ask. Was I the only one who didn't know we are expected to supply our own furniture? You'd think as much as this will cost us each month a bed and dresser would be provided. Anyway, it was almost a Ta-da moment. We're getting closer to finding a good place for mom.
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Thanks for the question - it hit a nerve in my mind. The counselor my mom sees says I should get mom on the waiting lists for the next steps...If they call with a placement we can always turn it down...she says mom is concerned about the next steps...and I understand that. Makes me feel that I failed or wasn't up to the task...but I realize that it is a task no one can do by his or herself.
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thanks for comments...mom is getting harder for me to handle...she sat down in the floor last week and I had to call my wonderful neighbor for help. Last night she refused to go to bed and insisted on staying on the couch and there was just no way I could leave her there and go to bed myself. Each day I get another sign it's time to try something different. I feel I've done my best but her disease is taking it out of my hands.
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