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.
You have done everything right so never doubt that. There is no shame in doing what is right for a loved one and in your case care was the best plan for both of you.
Our job, as loving adult children, is to make sure our parents have carers, are safe, (mostly dry) and fed. Elders decline on their own schedule. Your mom has dementia, a life-limiting illness. Some forms of dementia come with gradual decline. Vascular dementia (whch my mom had) came with months of plateaus and then a sharp decline into the next "steady state".
(((((hugs))))))) You aren't doing anything wrong. You've gotten your mom into a good, caring situation.
You and your sister have got your mother to a place of safety where she is kept clean and comfortable and has 24/7 attention. Whether she is aware of her surroundings and their not being the home she's used to... who can know? But I am sure that she will have a strong sense of being safe and being cared for; and you haven't "abandoned" her, you're right there to hold her hand.
Don't doubt it: you should be proud of yourself. An incredibly hard decision taken and followed through. Well done.
Smeshque, I was so surprised by your post that I went back through this thread and reread every message. I see nothing criticizing those of us who try to care for their loved ones at home. I see only stories are how very difficult it is, which is the reality. Across all the threads on this site, I've never seen criticism of those who try to care for a LO at home. I do see PLENTY of stories about siblings not helping, and narcissistic parents who are difficult to care for. This, again, is the reality that most of us live with. May I ask what you saw as criticism of those who care for a LO at home? I see only respect and admiration for those who are able to do so, as well as support for those who are struggling.
Although I have only been on this site for a little over a year, my experience so far is that there is much more negative feedback directed at people who choose to move their loved one to a facility. There have been a number of posts where those of us who do choose to utilize a facility are lambasted for not taking care of the person at home, whether it is their own home or the loved one's home - they say things like this person took care of you and loved you when you were growing up, it is your DUTY to now care for them in return. I have not seen anyone get punked for doing the home-care.
As BarbBrooklyn says, the majority of us who choose a facility have expressed respect and kudos to those who can or have to care for the person themselves. The majority of those who suggest or push for moving the person to a facility do so because the person posting is questioning whether they are doing the right thing! They express misgivings and feelings of guilt. We are merely trying to support their decision. Yes, some are maybe overzealous in recommending a facility, others not so much. It IS a personal decision. Can one do it? Can one afford it? Are we guilty for doing this? Would they get better care at home? Would they be abused in a facility? There are many pros and cons to either decision. You said it yourself: "I do not have an opinion for do it or don't. Only that you have to choose what you think is best for your Mom and what you can live with."
I really have not seen any really negative comments directed towards those who choose to care for someone at home. Perhaps I just have not seen enough, or the postings are in older threads that I have not been privvy to. Caring for someone who just needs help, whether because of mobility or some medical complication other than dementia, is certainly more doable than caring for someone with dementia. This is how our grandmother was cared for, but she did not have dementia. Early stages of dementia, or sometimes even later stages can also be doable without severe negative repercussions for the caregiver(s). Some can even be cared for at home to the end, it all depends on how much the caregiver can handle and how severe the manifestations of the dementia are.
Like BarbBrooklyn, I also commend those who can do this on their own. I commend those caregivers who either work in a facility or are hired to assist in the home as well. Just last night I received a call regarding my mother. She was in quite a snit for hours and nothing they did or said would calm her down. She was insistent that she had to get home because she had guests. She kept pushing at the door, tried other doors, refused to listen to anyone. Because she lived at home alone prior to moving to MC, this is not something we had ever dealt with. Her "sun-downing" was more of an OCD issue, checking things over and over and over before retiring for the night. I was not sure exactly what they thought I could do because I had not dealt with any of that. She has had a few episodes over the year+ in the facility, but not like this. They were short-lived episodes and the staff was able to redirect her and calm her down. This was really over the top! I did take care of things at home and go, however by the time I arrived they finally had been able to get her back to her room with some magazines. I chose to let sleeping dogs lie and not stir her up again. I talked with the care-givers to get more information about this episode, and also gave them my utmost respect for what they do. I have been there at various times of the day and see some of what they deal with. For what they get paid, it is a hard demanding job even for them, but they care for the residents with respect and are gentle with both verbal and physical responses to various issues and crises.
While I was there they had to rouse one resident from the couch to put her to bed. It took THREE of them to get her up and into the wheelchair! I could never manage to do this for my mother even if my back wasn't an issue. She had already weighed more than me before the move and has gained another 20 pounds since the move! I had to get some new clothes for her and she just doesn't get it that she is so large. Her focus was on the tags, commenting that these were large and she usually wears medium. No mom, you don't anymore, and you cannot get into many of the clothes you have, but nothing any of us says makes a difference. In her mind she is a medium. So, the current plan is to get another order for medication - she has an appointment Monday for her pneumonia booster shot, so I will get that Rx then, if not before. They did have one back when she first moved in, but we haven't needed anything for a long time.
You ask: "So why if someone chooses to take on the challenging job of keeping a loved one at home, why is there no respect for that?" Can you point us to those disrespectful comments? Again, I really have not seen anyone get down on those who choose home care. If they are out there, take it with a grain of salt. There are other negative Nancys who post here, sometimes ridiculous postings, so we have to choose to ignore them (or take them to task!)
Let me close by saying again: Kudos to those who choose to care for a loved one at home, whether out of necessity or by choice. You certainly have my respect. Kudos to those who have to make that hard decision to seek out alternative accommodations. Aging is hard enough. Dementia can be devastating. Whatever path we choose, we make that personal decision based on what the circumstances demand and/or allow.
One more note - to those who think we who choose to put our loved ones into a facility so we can go party or enjoy life without having to deal with the issues at hand - perhaps there are some who do this so that they can wipe their hands of the responsibility. However they are likely the few. Many of us do this because we know we cannot provide the necessary care. Some elderly, especially those with dementia, can be extremely difficult to care for and our own health and sanity may require moving the person to a safe place, safe for them and us. There is NO party in my life having made this decision (joint decision with brothers.) Managing everything else (and there is a lot!) is like a full-time job. I have two brothers, but currently EVERYTHING is on my plate. Most everything I need to do is on a back-burner. Anything I want to do, forget it. There just is no time. I cannot even imagine how much more stressed I would be if I also had to provide the hands-on care as well!!! Only the bare necessities get done at home, everything else goes to managing everything for our mother (finances, bills, appointments, etc), visiting her, and my own current financial crisis. Enjoying my retirement? HAH! Our grandparents were gone before our parents retired. They enjoyed MANY years of snow-birding, travel, having friends and relatives over and visiting the same. MANY years. What have I done since retirement? Nothing. So to those who dump on us for making the decision to put mom or dad into a facility - BAH! If it could be done it would be, but caring for a large person with dementia is just not something I can do at my age and condition. There is no right or wrong. It is what it is.
During the course of 64 years, I have watched many family members and friends do this. I watched elders who were lonely and bored wither from lock of social contact. I watched kids lose the parenting guidance they needed because mom and dad were busy tending grandma or grandpa. And I've seen medical disasters that could have been avoided had an elder been in a care center where potentially dangerous things like toenail clipping could be done by professionals.
Also, dementia IS a gamechanger. It is hard to be the sole caregiver for someone who isn't thinking straight, who can' reason and who thinks that you'eI trying to kill, poison or rob them of their lifesavings. It's soul suckung.
It's my opinion. Not saying anyone else s wrong.
I am not trying to create discord, I am just wonder why it is that if a person is for choosing to care for their loved ones in their home, why is it so many are so down on those people?
I am not suggesting that everyone could or should. I am merely saying that if you choose to put your loved one in a care facility, then you want others to respect that and believe you did what was best. So why if someone chooses to take on the challenging job of keeping a loved one at home, why is there no respect for that?
This part of life is hard for anyone going through it. There is nothing to prepare us for this part of life's journey. Why not support one another in this difficult thing, and encourage each other through it?
Dear lady, I hope this move is a good thing for both mom and you. Let's us know how it's going, okay?
Although the move might go smoothly and all will be well, usually there will be bumps along the way. Do not lose heart - it sometimes can take months for the adjustment, meanwhile there can be some misgivings on your part when these bumps happen. Keep in mind that most go through this, so no guilt pangs!! It is not because of what you decided. Better that there are a few bumps vs some big emergency at her home.
If/when she asks about going "home", make stuff up - getting some repairs on the house done, repainting, what ever works. You said the place is old and some things are falling apart/down, so this is a plausible "excuse." Then there is always the doctor excuse - doc says you need to get stronger/better/whatever fill in the blank. She can keep her hope to return, just feed that hope!
But you will take the spot, because your mom will be much more "in the swing" when around folks of her age and activities that include lots of cueing, as opposed to her having to figure it "what do I do?".
Make this move for mom.
Even, let's say, just supposing, if there is a breakthrough in diagnostic technology in a few months' time and someone waves a wand and says "lo, we have the answer. Your mother, may she be comforted, will pass away at half past four on the morning on Friday next."
Should that, or anything similar but far likelier, come to pass, you will always have the option of engaging hospice at home IF it still seems like a good idea.
But you already know how long you'll have to wait before a place as good as this comes up again. Try it. If God forbid it's a disaster, your mother won't be held prisoner and if push comes to shove you can always have a rethink.
Get an early night tonight! Hugs.
I am sure my sis thinks I should have been committed somewhere years ago, but I would never appoint her as POA, and in any case, she would never do the work involved. Blood hounds - lovely!
Don't feel guilty because you are the one being released from prison. You have served your time and deserve it.
Golden I hope no one drops me off at MC. iIwould be tying my sheets together and climbing out of the window. Maybe I can "neutralize" a CNA and steal her uniform. Although maybe someone would notice a CNA using a walker. "Oh I was just returning it to Mrs X' Now where is my cell phone? I hope someone plugged it in. I remember the # for the taxi it is ### taxi, that one was easy. The other one is 911 when I want those nice young men to visit.
Another resident just told me if you do manage to escape they hunt you down and bring you back. I wonder if they use Bloodhounds, I love those long silky ears.
Well I guess if I stop peeing in the waste bin and clean the bathroom walls they may think I am fit to be discharged. Mustn't bite the med nurse either or throw my dinner tray out the door. My new years resolution, well next year, will be to only use swear words silently. Be careful the deaf one can read lips. Time for a nap I hear PT in the hall. Why do they have to shout all the time. That old man isn't going to do what they tell him even if he can hear them, he"ll just blow his whistle.
Golden send me a post card when your sister commits you and I can help you escape too.
Love you all.
No it is not "all" about you, but it is about you to some extent, and also about your mum getting the care that she needs. There is nothing wrong with someone else doing some of the things you have been. You have been carrying too heavy a load. Time to lighten it up, and be able to be just a daughter to your mum and not a slave to her needs. It's nobody's fault - just the load becomes too much sometimes.
She passes the mini mental in her yearly checkups..although just barely.