How do I know if I'm causing my Mom more harm than good with all my affection and attention?

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My mom has Alzheimers. She lives in assisted living just ten minutes from my house. I bring her to my house a few times a week. She is in heaven when she is there. We put puzzles together, she talks on the phone to her brother and sister, we read, have coffee and hang out together. I always take her back before her dinner time and she goes willingly, thanking me for the day. I have found that if I take her back after dinner, she gets really confused and is not sure she belongs there. I have to convince her that she lives there. She gets really scared. I learned that if she sits with everyone at dinner, she sees that they all know her and she adjusts easier. The caregivers tell me my mom is a different person around me. It is not possible for my mom to live with me full time. Am I doing more harm than good bringing her to my house and loving her up the way I do? Is it keeping her from adjusting to assisted living? I keep asking her care givers and they keep telling me to continue what I'm doing, she loves it so much. She looks for me constantly when I'm not there. My mom has never been on medication and does not believe in conventional medicine. She had an unwitnessed incedent in assisted living that required her to leave the facility and get on a drug regiment. She is currently in a nursing home associated with the assisted living facility. She was a vegetable when I saw her. She went in the facility walking, feeding herself, toileting herself, and dressing herself, and now she can do none of them. I insisted they get her up to go to the bathroom because she would cry if she had to go in the diaper they put her in. I'm horrified, desperate and not sure where to turn. I found an assisted living facility that has a seperate dementia building that I'm hoping to move her into. This one uses redirection and has trained aides to take care of residents wtih dementia. They did an evaluation on her and won't take her unless we can get her to do something on her own. The nursing home told me because my mom has never used medications, she is super sensitive to them. She is showing signs of getting stronger but is still not able to walk or feed herself. She is talking and has shown joy and love when I was there last. The caregiver told me she got upset when I left. Again, I am torn. I feel responsible for her aggression and aggitation. I know she wants to be with me but there is no way I can do that for her. Would she be better off forgetting me? I don't know what to do......

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Medication can give terrible side effects to dementia ALZ people, even if they are on the meds for calming or for dementia itself, ours come through the door and forgets she even went somewhere, we can only enjoy her in the moment and sometimes that just has to be enough.
we had such an awful experience with assisted living, we are afraid to try anything else, but home.
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I wish I could add something that would be of real comfort to you but it sounds like you are doing all you can do and from experience, don't ever blame yourself for anything. This is one of the difficult moments of life that some of us must go through and there is no easy answer to any of it. My mother went through a similar situation and passed from this world last September. I visited her almost every day and my sister and I took her on many outings. We tried to take care of her in our homes as long as we could but then we just couldn't take care of her properly anymore. It was all very heartbreaking because she was a wonderful mother and even as I write this I am in tears - missing her so much. I just wish I could hold her hand one more time and tell her how much I love her. If you still have an opportunity to do that than do it as much as you can!
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I realized that my original response touched more on other aspects of your question. As to the original question, I can't give a good answer because I've questioned that myself. I've enjoyed many outings with my mom....to the museum, zoo, beach, church, family dinners, etc...As she has declined, I would notice more agitation and depression on her part a day or two after our outings. I wondered if the outings showed her what life use to be like and the reality caused an internal struggle she was unable to verbalize. I think I continued our outings in part as a denial to what her situation really was, I wanted my mom to be the same as she always was. I recently had to make the very tough decision to not have my mom at my son's wedding because I was concerned for her emotional well-being. I think I agree with RCW6532 to have meaningful visits where she lives. It will help her feel her new location is home and your her guest.
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It might sound bad but you are not helping your mother by picking her up all the time and taking her with you. She will have a hard time adjusting to her new home. Visit her at her home not yours and she and you will be all the better for it.
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Having your mom in the right facility can make a big difference. My mom started needing more assistance than her AL could give her and it was recommended she try a smaller facility. I moved her to a small personal care home, which was helpful when she was going through her masectomy and follow-up radiation. It was also helpful, when after a hospital stay followed by a 6 week skilled nursing stay, she had lost her ability to walk, stopped eating and lost almost 50 lbs. I insisted the doctor release her to her personal care home so she could get the attention she needed. However, once she recovered from that she started getting aggressive, which was not her nature. I felt it was due to the lack of activities and mental stimulation. The facility referred her to a geriatric psychiatrist who put her on valproic acid and also insisted on having a PRN such as risperdal. The situation became unbearable and I was able to move her to an alzheimer/dementia facility. Problems disappeared and she is off the antipsychotic meds. Having my mom cared for people that understand the disease has made both of our lives so much better.

I would encourage you to work with your mom to get her strength back so she will be a candidate for a dementia facility. All they required of my mom was that she be able to transfer with assistance in order to move in. Now that she is there, if she becomes unable to transfer, she can still stay. Best of luck to you and your mom.
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To sherry1ann,
My mom had a UTI over a year ago and before I moved her to a retirement home.
She accused me of awful things, said I had called and "ripped her heart out". I was in tears. Thankfully my niece recognized the problem. I had to just wait for her to finish the antibiotics to see her get better. She still depends on me for a lot, but thankfully she knows me. Good luck with your efforts. I wish I could make my mom that happy. She forgets family gatherings just hours after getting home. Breaks my heart.
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Don't ever stop going and taking her out, its probably the only thing your mother truly gets enjoyment out of, and its good for her mentally and physically.You'll have memories doing it that you won't ever forget. It sound like to me that the facility shes in now isn't keeping her busy by trying to do things for herself, they're doing the necessities for her, which is easier for them. Then she probably sits there most of the day, not having anything to do. Insist they try to get her back into dressing herself and maybe try to get her to walk a little. If they don't, I would look for a new place, and soon, she'll only continue to get worse mentally. Your the only one that seems to be giving her any stimulation, do not quit.
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Agree w. ALL of the above advice. I had a loved one in a simular situation & was the only one visit, (Albeit not as often as I probably should have), she rarely recognized me, always called me by my Fathers, Brothers, or Cousins names. My last visit w. her was mere happenstance & she did in fact remember me, she passed, less than a week later, I'm so glad that I had continued the visits, despite the heartache of watching & living w. the deteroration..Hang in there!
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And feel good that you have been able to give her so much love in the past. She's lucky, and so are you. This is an awful chapter of the story and it may even turn out to be the last chapter of the story but it doesn't change how much goodness and love there has been in the earlier chapters. Remember that! Not all of us have those chapters to look back on.
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It sounds like your mom is unable to visit you now that they have transferred her to the nursing home side. With the downhill slide since she's been there and on the drugs, I would investigate what she's taking. My mother is extremely sensitive to drugs and while she is not suffering from dementia, she went completely off when taking an antibiotic. Now the meds are out of her system and she's back to normal. She is somewhat senile, but not like she was when taking the meds. She was aggressive and even angry on antibiotics.
Don't give up on her. You deserve to have as much quality time with her as you wish. Love is a powerful force. Your love is important for her.
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