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My mom lived with me until I couldn't afford the care it took to help me care for her anymore as she needed skilled care. She made the decision to stay permanently after 120 days of rehabilitation care though she doesn't like it much. I find I am actually putting more hours into caring for her than when she was in my home and I could check on her while I did other things. I do all of her laundry because that was something she insisted as she didn't like the idea of nursing home bedding and was paranoid her things would be lost. I like that it makes her happy to see the coordinated bedding sets I've put together for her when they open a set (they do change her bed for her now, she didn't want them to do even that before). However, her type of dementia affects motor coordination and not memory as much so she spills or has an accident frequently and so it's about 3-4 bedding sets a week- I have to wash all of that on top of her regular clothing and do it separately because she has frequent infections and I use Lysol with her laundry. Then I put the sets together in bags- sheet set, 5 pillow cases, comforter and blanket. I have bought twelve sets now because I couldn't keep them washed fast enough- I'm raising twin 16 year old boys and I work about 55 hours a week and oh yeah, I'm a wife. I'm dealing with overcoming the guilt of having to promise since I was 5 that I'd never put her in a nursing home. My dad passed 3 years ago and he did so at home and wasn't sick for very long, so the process was vastly different. She also needs snacks, hearing aid batteries, something she thought of that's at home, things mailed, and calls me anytime her medicine isn't on the dot. The nursing home is less than a mile from my house or work, so it's not the drive. Walmart is 5 miles round trip, but it is time consuming on a daily basis, and it is nearly a daily basis and the needs are legitimate- Kleenex, hearing aid batteries, lotion, whatever- but it's a lot. I also handle all of her affairs which has been paying her bills and getting her qualified for Medicaid which seems like a full time fight and we now have her dog- that used to stay in the apartment we built on for her- and she has tons of grooming needs and health issues, but she is aging herself so I cannot just find a new home for her. Of course none of this includes the time I try to spend with her, and she often lets me know it's not enough. She hasn't socialized there at all, and she thinks everyone there is old although she is nearly 80, so she doesn't want to socialize. Plus, she totally has her wits about her so she craves companionship that equals her level of mental functioning which I do understand. I have put my parents and especially my mom in front of my family for 6 years now and I can't get any of that time back with my kids or my husband and I am trying to spend time with my boys before they are grown and gone, and again, they are 16 now. Anyone else find that this is their situation? How do I get this under control? How do I tell her no when it makes her so happy when I do all of these things?

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This was a very interesting question for me. I am dreading my mother's eventual decline (she's getting here) to the point where she needs daily assistance with tasks (other than with transportation, which is where she is now). I do NOT want to be her personal care attendant. I do not want to go to her condo 3x/day to administer her meds, even (when it gets to that point).

She would be very angry to be placed in a facility. I could see her demanding things like the mother in the first post. I would really like it to only have to visit her once a week.
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I did find that having my husband in rehab was harder on me than caring for him at home, so I understand that stress.

But once a loved one is in a long-term care facility I think that situation is different. You simply have to relinquish most of the care to the staff, and become a loving visitor.

My mom was in a nursing home for two and a half years. I noticed that many of the residents had very infrequent visitors or no visitors. And yet they all had batteries in their hearing aids, facial tissue, lotions, nice snacks -- all the things they need, provided by the NH. They all had clean sheets to sleep on. My mom was lucky to have 4 daughters who visited her every week and 3 sons who came less regularly. But none of us tried to take on the tasks the staff could do. Instead we played cards with her, colored, took her for outside walks in her wheelchair, looked through magazines and giggled over the cute men in the pictures, looked at photo albums. When we were with her we were totally with her, but we didn't stress about her care when we weren't with her.

There is a certain amount of stress, of course, in knowing that your loved one is declining and is in the last period of her life. That is true where ever the loved one resides. But the stress that comes with hands-on day-to-day care should be greatly diminished or even eliminated when the loved one is in a good long-term care facility.

Figure out what tasks are reasonable for you to do, keeping in mind your first priority should be to your sons and your own household. Do them, as joyfully as you can. Then drop the other things that are stressing you out.
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My mom broke her hip and has dementia so if I wasn't there when she woke up (and the rest of the day) she freaked so I get your stress. Amazon will set up a regular shipment to your office weekly. Preorder so your car's trunk is full of stuff you might need and make due with the closest drug store for other things.
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To answer first response, the nursing home she is in is wonderful. We live in a very small town so I know a lot of the staff there. She is the type of person that can somehow get people to do most anything for her if that makes sense, so she is spoiled rotten by the staff. They do things for her wayyyyyy beyond the call of duty. There is almost always someone in her room when I come in tending to something like grabbing something off of a shelf or braiding her hair, etc. She does not have a roommate, they tried twice but it's not something that has worked out because my mom has COPD and requires the room to be much colder than most can stand, and she would rather not share her space. She hasn't had anything stolen. I know I have to take back some of my life at some point, but I don't know how because I can't stand for her to feel lonely and I've been her companionship for so long. Even when my dad was alive they had gone to separate bedrooms for about the last 10 years he was alive and she pretty much liked to live in there so she could have things the way she wanted them and come out when she felt like it. They went out and did things but she did not hang out in the main part of the house when they were home except for meals. So I'm not surprised she wants things just "so" but I'm just torn as to how to draw lines. I don't much feel like visiting long when I'm there because I am exhausted from working, kids, my own house and doing all of the things she needs done. I've talked with her about wanting to just be a daughter like the rest of my siblings (there are 7 of us), whom she is content to see once in a while and never pressures them for more. I've even asked nursing home for advice but they just don't know either, they see the pattern and they tell me there is always the "one" who carries all the pressure and gets yelled at for not being perfect. But they don't know how to advise me on untangling it, and they are in the same pattern now, too! She's funny and easy to chat with so they all want to please her, too.
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It was more work to have Dad in our home, but having him in independent living is no free ride. He depends on us for everything that isn't directly supplied by the senior residence: prescription refills and renewals, delivery of his medication, transportation to all of his medical appointments and for recreational shopping, delivery of his toiletry items and his few grocery items (he does reimburse us), occasionally shopping for and delivering clothing to him, and so on. Right now, he's waiting for me to set up a time to take him to pick up his new glasses.
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I felt it was more work when my mom was in AL. She would call me when she put on her last Depends, she was out of deodorant etc. I did her laundry, sometimes I would bring it home to to if the washer/dryer there was in use. I was always stressed. Now that she is on the Skilled Nursing ,they do the laundry, have the Depends, Poligrip etc. I do buy her tissues,she likes the larger box. My mom is 89 and calls the other residents old people. i tell her she's old too, she smacks my hand and and laughs. If I'm there during an activity I'll join in. My mom chases me away at meal time..she is more active with activities now then when she was in AL.
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Wow
You have a lot on your plate and your mom is only 80

Of everything you mention you did not say if the NH provides good care ? Is she attended to regularly - is it clean and safe - does she have a roommate - are her things stolen etc

My mom has done 6 week stints in rehab a couple of times and both were absolute nightmares - I too work long hours and was running back and forth with laundry and replacing everything else being stolen but she had a broken back and was in extreme pain and vulnerable - she yelled for me so much the ladies across the hall would shout my name when I arrived - I was able to hire a private caregiver for 4 hours a day to help during dinner and get ready for bed

She is 93 now and has been in memory care for 7 months and while it is only 3 miles from home it is still a lot of work for a host of reasons

It does sound like you might be able to cut down on your shopping trips through some xtra planning - stockpile some items she needs on a regular basis - is there a student college or nursing you could get for a couple of hours a few days a week to provide your mom with some company ? No one can replace you but no one is too old to have a new friend especially if that person is there just to dote on her and bring her a treat
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It's only more work if you make it so. She will never socialize because you have become her home entertainment center. I suggest you stop doing the laundry and bedding. Do not visit her during activity times, which will encourage her to socialize. Same with meals--let her eat with fellow residents. You need your time with your family.
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