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The responsibility of my mom's care is taking over my life.
A few hours away, she is 76 and has dementia. Cannot remember anything from a few minutes ago. Not bathing regularly, not driving, not taking memory meds as directed, etc. Difficult, personality on a good day, very defiant, trying to maintain her independence, and unaware of her memory loss and confusion.
For the past couple of years mom has gotten by in her own home with assistance through an agency, which is extremely expensive, and not great...basically baby sitters. Mom ends up with UTI infection needs to go to ER, or they quit when mom needs more care. Mom is in between stages right now, and it is killing me. I don't know if it's time to place mom in memory care facility now, near me and just let her hate me, and visit once she settles in. She will not be a good resident. Will not go willingly. Or do I move her into a private home nearby and manage with a new agency, the high cost would probably be about the same. Either way mom's quality of life is awful and she is miserable 100% of the time, thinking that no one calls, no one visits, nothing happened that day, because she can't remember...Mom knows who I am, I think, but I'm sure soon she will not very soon. Do I wait? Do it now?
Help please...The guilt and drives to visit mom and deal with her care are draining me, as this has been going on for a couple of years....My family is at the end of their rope with me too, as I struggle with these difficult decisions. All legal matters of DPOA and health care directive are in place, so not looking for legal advice.

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Thank you for all of your helpful responses. I will update how it all turns out.
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You are also making a big assumption when you say mom will hate you for moving her to memory care. Most elders hate change of any sort. People with dementia lack the ability and abstract reasoning to project what a new situation will be like. You have to do that for her.
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There's nothing wrong in letting your mother move into a memory care facility so don't feel guilty about it. Other people are also seeking the help of long term care facilities that specializes in taking care of people with cognitive condition. This is not an act of abandonment but rather a gesture of love and care. You only want the best care for your mom and to safeguard her well-being too and these things are possible inside facilities. You've said it yourself, that it's becoming harder to take care of your mother. Trust your instincts and follow what your heart tells you so that she can finally receive the proper care she needs. Caregivers inside these facilities are skilled and trained to take care of people with cognitive condition so there's nothing to worry.

If you have the money or long term care insurance, it's best to let your aging loved one with Dementia to move inside a facility. This is costly so it's advisable to boost your retirement income or purchase coverage, particularly those with family history. Those who don't have ltc insurance yet can refer to these resources in order to avoid financial problems in the future: www.infolongtermcare.org/long-term-care_information/how-to-pay-for-long-term-care/long-term-care-insurance and www.longtermcare.gov/costs-how-to-pay/what-is-long-term-care-insurance.
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At home care, and caregiving at a distance are not working for you OR for mom. You might consider hiring a geriatric care manager (with her money, of course) to manage her care at a distance. Two of my midwest cousins did this for their parents in Florida when it became clear that everything was going to H#ll in a handbasket. Or, you could move her into AL near you. But when your own family and physical/mental health start to suffer, you must take action. Think about this..1/3 of all caregivers die before their charges. What would mom's life be like if you were dead? What you're proposing is better than that, yes? No, she won't appreciate it. But you'll be doing the right thing.
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You have tried at-home care. It is no longer adequate. The next stop on the journey is a care center. Probably Assisted Living, and possibly in a Memory Care unit. Once you find a good place they can evaluate where they can care for her best.

Not all people with dementia need memory care.

Not all people with dementia stop recognizing their loved ones.

Not everyone who is a miserable curmudgeon at home remains so or gets worse in a care center.

You have a preconceived idea of what the care center experience will be like. (We all do, to start with. How could we not?) Keep an open mind and see what happens. You may, like many of us, be pleasantly surprised.

Feeling guilty is part of the caregiving package. Sorry. The best you can do about that is push it into the background and don't let it get in the way of making good decisions.
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She probably is not really even safe to be on her own at home from what you describe. She needs to go "try" a memory care facility and yes, there is a good chance she will adjust better than you think, or at the very least be less unhappy than she is now. You get the tough job of having to decide what is really best for Mom, even though she may want to blame you and make you feel guilty about her loss of independence; and though she is fighting fiercely to stay where she is and be miserable on her own terms, that is quite possibly not at all what's really best.
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Please don't feel guilty when you need to place your mom in memory care. She would not want you to be miserable. Place her where she will receive good care, visit when you can and go on with your life. Your mother would want you to be happy.
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Your mom not taking her memory meds makes me wonder if she is forgetting to take her other meds?

Has she seen her doctor lately and what do they say about the level of care that she needs?

Is she will not go somewhere for another level of care willingly, then the only way that I know that you can make her go for her own safety and care is to file for guardianship. However, a doctor needs to have evaluated her as incompetent before you even consider that route.

What input are you getting from your family about what to do next? Why are they are the end of their rope with you?
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And her quality of life at home will always be perceived as less than what it should be. Home care can be extremely isolating, unless you proactively get her involved in adult day care or some other socialization program. Many people really are better off in assisted living.
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OK, you've already tried the in-home care route and have already determined its not enough, you just don't realize you've already made that conclusion. You could try the same thing again with a different agency, or with different caregivers from the same agency, but YOU have to be there to evaluate what they are doing. Assisted living really is your next step. Lose the guilt; you're too far away to do anything but that. If the duties of POA from a distance are already this overwhelming for you -- and remember that is not caregiving -- then you aren't well-suited to be handling any of this. Caregiving is the hardest job on the planet; the POA responsibilities should not be seen as that taxing.
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You do what you think would be best for her and best for you. If your Mom can find a space in a memory care unit that would be to her advantage because the personnel is trained to deal all aspects of Alzheimer's/dementia. I wouldn't wait to move her, have her go while she can still make friends with the residents, know the Staff, and find her way around the facility.

Yes, it is a good idea to let your Mom settle into her new environment before you go to visit her. Yes, she probably will dislike you and dislike the place. Once you do visit, don't visit at the same time you go, go at different times during the day.... I have noticed on the forums here that grown children have found their parent actually enjoying themselves with a group activity or dining with others :)
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