My mother is 98 years old and I cared for her in my home for the past 5 years. She has gone downhill very fast this past year. Her memory is gone and she has no balance at all. I had to try to lift her in and out of the tub, lift her up off the toilet, etc. I wouldn't have minded doing those things, but I am 77 years old with a bad back, and I just couldn't do it any more. She has fallen multiple times and I had to call an ambulance multiple times because I wasn't able to get her up. My daughter finally convinced me to put mom in a nursing home last month. I feel extremely guilty for doing this to her. The nursing home is not bad at all and I go to visit her almost everyday but I know it isn't familiar to her. I love my mother very much I feel so guilty over this!

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Our society still expects the children (even if they are seniors themselves with health issues!) to take care of the elders. And especially it is expected of the daughters.

It is clearly the supposition that only in-home care by a relative is what the elder deserves. And that is SO WRONG. I read and hear about people being high and mighty martyrs for continuing to be the sole caregiver, even though it's killing them. They refer to it as being the "right" thing to do.

I don't think it is the "right" thing to do. And there is often the smug satisfaction that the do-nothing siblings will someday "regret" their lack of involvement. Well, I think *that* rarely happens.

Don't fall into the trap of believing the people who proclaim and write these things.

You did an extraordinary job of taking care of your mother for all those years. Don't have any guilt about finally placing her in a facility!
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My mom was a severe fall risk, and I spent several months sleeping on the floor beside her bed.
I finally realized that for her safety, I’d have to place her in a very good local nursing home.
She was 89, recovering from a shattered hip, and at an early stage of dementia, and my guilt convinced me that she’d be dead in 6 months of a broken heart.

Overwhelmed with tears, I left her and promised the staff I’d stay away for the recommended 4-5 days of adjustment. I only made it to day 3.

When I arrived at her room, it was empty, and as I walked toward the day room, I was shocked to hear a laugh that I thought I recognized, and yes, it was her.

She lived there for 5 1/2 years, her best years since my dad had died long before.
The staff loved her, and she loved them. She went to parties and picnics on the grounds, gained weight, made friends, and generally took over the place. THIS from a woman who was so anxiety ridden at home that she was diagnosed with agoraphobia!

If your mom is safe, you find her content and peaceful when you visit, and staff reports are affirming, you have no reason, NONE, to feel guilty.

Guilt is a useless emotion when you know that you’ve done EVERYTHING out of the love you feel for her. Start looking for the good things about her new surroundings. I bet you’ll find plenty of them!
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Msbeverly, you did not do this to your mom. Age and illness did.

Time to let go of beating yourself up over something that nobody could help.
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Can you do a little introspection as to your feelings?

Guilt, to me, implies that YOU have done something wrong.

I don't think that getting your loved one the professional care she needs is something to feel guilty about. Do you?

Dementia is a game changer. There are no "fixes" and very few good choices, just "the least worst choice".

I think you need to be gentle with yourself and acknowledge that you feel regret that mom's need for care is too great for in home care and for an elderly caregiver like yourself to provide. The fact that she needs 3 shifts of young, strong, trained caregivers is nothing to feel guilty about.
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I am 10 years younger than you are.
I cared for my Husband and I would not have been able to do it if I did not have the use of equipment that helped me. I can not imagine trying to lift someone from the toilet, from a bed or bath.
The fact that you have a bad back makes you ripe for injury yourself. Who would have cared for both of you if you had been hurt.
And one last question for you...and this is a biggie.....

Would you want your daughter doing for you what you did for your mom knowing the toll it took on you? I bet the answer is a resounding NO!!!
(if that is true have you made plans for yourself when you need help? would you resist placement in Assisted Living, Memory Care or Skilled Nursing?)
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Grief and remorse are natural emotions, any guilt you feel is false because it is based on a failure to live up to an impossible ideal, none of us is superwoman after all. It took me quite a while to get over feeling like a failure for my inability to "see it through to the end" and accept that in many ways my mom was actually much better cared for in the NH than she ever could have been at home. Yes, there were care issues that drove me batty but realistically there would have been some kinds of problems no matter where she was. It always set my teeth on edge when people advised me to "stop being her caregiver and return to being her daughter", but there is some truth to that advice.
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I absolutely hated that my mom had to be in a nursing home, but I also knew it was what was needed for her care. And you’ve done a great job with your mom. You didn’t do the nursing home “to” her, you did it for her. Imagine if you’d injured yourself lifting her or God forbid, dropped her, you’d have been no good as a caregiver. This way you’re still her caregiver and daughter, just a more rested and physically well one, and she’s safe and cared for, it’s all anyone could ask. I hope you’ll spend your time finding a new normal in your own life, holding your mom’s hand and being her advocate, and come to peace knowing you’ve done well
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Ah yes, the guilt. In my experience you have to actively remind yourself that there was no better solution in this situation. As a mother myself, I wouldn't want my sons to be anguishing over something that they didn't want to do but had to. You did a valiant job of caring for her. For many end-of-life issues there are no perfect, or even good, solutions. But I think you can have peace in your heart that you did the best, the most for your mom. Your mom has a loving daughter who visits her very often, and she's in a nice, clean, safe place getting high-quality care 24/7. If you read around this forum, that's more than what many elderly are getting. Accept this blessing so that it doesn't overshadow your visits with your mom. May you gain peace in your heart that she'll be ok and your decision is nothing to feel guilty about.
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It's is very difficult indeed. But like you said, you are not able to do it anymore. You are very caring for visiting almost every day.
Hopefully, with time, your mom will adjust.
Sending hugs , wish you all the best
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