I received a call from a facility that I was really interested in for my mom. She is 88 and dementia. We have live-in care. This has been going on for 4 years. My dad passed 18 months ago. I think in the long run this may lighten my load, half distance on driving in, no groceries, house maintance issues, giving breaks, no disappointment on sibling not showing up. But then the guilt sets in. How can I move mom from her home? Money will be an issue in a year, but this may put off nursing home/long term care for 2 years if I can stretch it. I have a month to decide. Sometimes watch what you pray for cuz you may get it. I am just sick over all of this.
Generally speaking, if a person is going to need long term care eventually then the earlier you get in there the better. The higher functioning your mother is when she's admitted, the better her chances of settling well and developing meaningful interaction with the staff and other residents.
Best of luck, please let us know what happens.
My Dad moved into senior living and was happy as a clam. He said he wished he would have done that years ago, instead of living in his house and having around the clock caregivers. Dad had me sell his house, and the equity would have given him numerous years of living in Assisted Living/Memory Care.
One problem, the downsizing can be very difficult for an elder. For my Dad he just walked away from the house with his 200 books and some furniture, and never looked back, but I realize that isn't the norm. Dad called his room his college dorm room :)
My Dad moved a couple years ago in January, thus he got a really good deal on his senior apartment as Dad didn't mind moving in the snow. And how he loved that discount.
Now, if your Mom can budget this, maybe her caregiver could schedule to be at the Assisted Living mornings until your Mom gets use to the place. Dad did that, gave him a nice routine.
But, of course, in many cases, that does not happen. So, we have to do it. To get her out of her house and into the home, you need to rely on the advice and expertise of professionals. For us this is a one-time event. For them it is a routine.
I had advice from the director of the Area Agency on Aging and the very competent staff of the home. Here is what happened...
We actually "tricked" my mother into going. I invited her for lunch and the lunch was at the home. About six staff members sat with us for lunch, with my husband and I closest to the door--they did this very skillfully. After lunch I told my mother that my husband and I would be leaving and she would not. Needless to say, she fell apart.
We left. And eventually, 5 weeks or so, she adjusted. She had her little dog with her. Since that time, about four years this May, she has slowly but steadily gone down hill and is now in the memory care unit.
Was this easy to do? No! for me doing something like this was UNTHINKABLE!!!!!!!! But that's because I was still in" dutiful child" mode. I needed to "woman up" and get into "dutiful adult" mode. It took all the courage I had and I relied on the words of the director of the AAOA: "She will adjust."
Was it important to do! Absolutely!!!!! My mom could not live alone anymore, couldn't drive, was extremely pig-headed, and I could not take care of her and my husband, who was very sick. Thieves were beginning to circle around her money. She needed care and protection.
Good luck, let us know how it goes.
You may feel guilty at first, yet remember she's not going to get better...
And you will have the extra help to care for her...
All the best to you sister!
all i can add is that my parents never fully acclimated - as rare and LOVELY and UNinstitutional the IL facility was. they were just deeply rooted homebodies and never forgot their home and neighbor.
i regret taking them from their home, but they would have needed much help, which mom vehemently resisted.
well, long story, short - i think my parents were outside the norm - and that senior living is a no-brainer for the majority. it is made hard for us baby-boomers, as our parents' parents did not need to do this, so we feel guilt in doing something that we and they never thought was ever going to happen.
Place her in a nursing home now.
When her funds run out, you can apply to have Medicaid take those payments over. You will worry less and many of your responsibilities will be taken over by the facility. And when you visit her, you can actually spend quality time with her rather than worry about what you need to accomplish while there.
I will tell you from my own experience that if you wait longer to move her into a nursing or memory care facility, it will be harder for her to adjust.
I waited 3-5 years longer than necessary, wanting to have Mom in in a familiar environment and with her family (my husband and I). After being in a great nursing/memory home for now 9 months, Mom is having a hard time adjusting, since in dementia her old habits will always win over the newer environment.
The sooner she can create and adjust to new habits, the better for her.
My mom unwisely clung to her home. 40+ years of deferred maintenance and....
Mom could barely navigate the steps.
Hadn’t used shower/bath for 6 years cuz she was too proud/paranoid/whatever to let someone into her home to adapt the bathroom for elder safety (she certainly had the $).
Used the stove as a filing cabinet and only ate microwave food.
Many, many falls.
Could no longer write legibly, yet had a gazillion bills to pay every month. (Don’t even mention online bill paying. Mom firmly believed that “that internet” was the work of Satan.)
And so much more. All of it heartbreaking and infuriating. Mom had decent assets AND long-term care insurance.
But Mom would not leverage any of these resources when the time was right. The only resource Mom was willing to leverage was ME.
Interspersed with belligerent out bursts of I’M FINE I’M FINE.
She wore me down. She wore me out.
And voila, Mom’s unsafe living environment was her undoing. Her last fall was her LAST fall.
The postal carrier noticed that mail was piling up. Postal carrier called the police to do a welfare check. I’m 35 miles away (where I live) running errands, and my cell phone starts blowing up. A string of unfamiliar & unidentifed numbers. Turned out to be the police, the EMS and the coroner.
Get your mother into care while you have this opening. P*ss her off, risk the hard feelings, whatever it takes.
At this stage of the game, it’s nothing but feel-bad moments for the adult child. Might as well feel bad AND have your Mom be safe.
Big hugs. These years suck.
Keep coming back to AC Forum for support. We understand. We’re here for you.
So, no guilt. As others have noted, sometimes being with peers and/or caregivers who can work magic can draw a person out and get them more involved with activities, which is good. This does not always happen. You say she sleeps all day, except for those activities you provide. This may not change, it may be the stage she is in, however looking at the same 4 walls with nothing really to do or anyone to really "hang" with, maybe she isn't motivated. At least give it a try, and it should be for a few months - just one month may not be enough for transition.
The other benefits are less stress on you, and more time to visit with mom instead of juggling all that other stuff. No guilt, this is not about guilt, it is what is best for everyone involved!
Certainly worth visiting and having a chat - they were wonderful when my friend and I went there. Alison
I see it as making a decision for someone who cannot- as if you are making a choice for a child who cannot understand the situation or ramifications of staying alone.
Some of us are not so fortunate and have found that our parents thrived in care centers that are well run.
Caregiving for elders is NOT a one size fits all endeavor!
My mom most decidedly did not want to leave her home in an isolated suburb, no sidewalks and no public transport. She lived at the top of a hill. During an icy trip to her home on slippery, hilly and twisty roads, I spun out and my vehicle was nearly hit by an oncoming truck. When I got to mom's house (fortunately, she was not home), the automatic lock was broken and a tree had fallen on her house.
I took this as a sign from somewhere that the fact that we had moved her into an Independent Living facility the month before had been a good idea.
Mom made friends, joined the Stock Market Club and went to everyone's religious services. There was a geriatrician onsite several times a week; he gave her his cell phone number so she could discuss her BP (which went up and down with a mind of its own) whenever she needed. There was a geriatric psychiatrist who called in; SHE got my mother's anxiety under control and insisted that mom have cognitive testing done, which showed that she had developed MCI, the result of an old stroke that we knew nothing about. This finally put an end to my POA brother claiming that everything wrong with mom was "what she's doing to herself"--having a pity party. Nope. Not.
I'm glad that having your mom living with you continues to work. If it stops working, be assured that good care facilities exist. Do some research now.
And when you do think it through, for most standard families in our age it isn't going to work for all sorts of practical, financial and sometimes deep-rooted emotional reasons. Still! - that's not the same thing as ruling it out unconsidered.
EmandEm what a brilliant, brilliant response to the "I don't want to be in Assisted Living" argument. Yes indeed, very often the person already is! Love it.