After my mother's five years of cancer and four years living in her home, I decided that she needs to go into a nursing home. I am feeling guilty and worried about family reaction.

My mother has had brain cancer for five years and still doing well enough in that department. Tumor is stable yet the side effects were awful. Right side paralysis and gradually getting more and more difficult to walk/stand/pivot. She was essentially wheelchair bound at home when she fell in December and broke her hip. Hip is healed but she'll never stand again without two person assistance.

Prior to hip break, we had aides at the house during the day, 7 days a week, 8 hours a day, so I could work. I slept there evenings and nights and cooked for her. Wake up very early to go to my home and shower and then to work. These past two years were not easy on me but I wanted to keep doing it. Yet I was burning out, my job was suffering and exhausted all the time.

Now that Mom has been in a rehab facility all this time, we've had time to revaluate our options. We never thought a nursing home would happen to us. Getting 24/7 aides at home is impossible, the cost of hiring privately is costly and no guarantee of coverage. My father is also in failing health and not a good back up option. While I know she is safe in a facility, I feel tremendous guilt about placing her somewhere as a forever home.

And I am cringing, waiting for the negative backlash from my mother' family about this decision. Yet I don't see any of their children putting in the time that I did with my own mother.

Any advice? Thank you.

Dixie, so sorry you are at this point. Please don’t feel guilt. You’ve done a wonderful job keeping your Mom home up until now. You are a Loving daughter with a huge heart. You will still be your Moms caregiver and advocate, just at a different address. She’ll be safe and cared for when you are not there. And when you are there you can spend the time with her without being exhausted. I am sure you can make her new home feel like home with things she cherishes such as pics, a piece of favorite furniture, blankets, etc. Please be kinder to yourself. A home is where loving people meet and spend time together. That can be in a nursing home too. A house is just a house. As far as the family members and comments, tell them how they can help by giving them your Moms new address. Beyond that my friend, you owe them nothing.
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Reply to Sweetstuff

We never thought a nursing home would happen to us either. Yet it did in a blink. And it was gut wrenching. Please keep reminding yourself that you’re doing what’s best, just as you’ve been doing, your caregiving will continue, only in a different way. You’re mom’s advocate now, watch her care in the nursing home. It’s very true that when the workers see that you care, they care more. They see that this is a person who’s valued and loved, and they make more effort. Be kind to the workers, their job is hard and their pay often low, and they will in turn be kind. As for the relatives scorn, do your best to tune it out. You don’t owe anyone explanations or justification, they haven’t been where you are. Don’t expect people to understand, they just don’t and that’s their issue. Your mom is blessed to have you in her corner
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Reply to Daughterof1930

Other posters on this site say you should only feel guilty if you have done something wrong. Putting your mother in a facility at this stage is not wrong. You have done what you can for her for as long as you can. You have been a good and devoted adult child. In a facility, Mom will receive the care and support she needs. She will have three shifts of caregivers around the clock. Will her care be perfect? Probably not. But it will be acceptable enough that she will be able to live out her life clean, fed, medicated and supervised by a trained staff and not a burned out, stressed and exhausted caregiver.

If at any time you are vilified by her family, tell them once, with no hesitation in your voice, that you did what was best for her. Then drop it. Do not entertain their complaints by arguing or defending your decision. Do not accuse them of being of no help with her care. Do not argue with them and for Heaven’s sake, don’t let them guilt you into bringing her back home.

Placing her is not a cruel, thoughtless or careless decision. You are not dumping her and forgetting about her. You are doing this FOR her and not TO her. That was one thing I could never convince my own mother of.

Pat yourself on the back for realizing this is necessary and have nothing but sympathy for her family...who are totally clueless.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

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