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Mom has no idea how much her mental state has declined and we're afraid she will be very upset when we first take her to the memory care unit of the nursing home. We all hope that she will adjust in time but we want the initial days to go as smoothly as possible. We all love her very much but her primary caregiver, her daughter, is in failing health herself now and no one else is in a position to take her in because of the severity of her mental impairment. She needs constant supervision.

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There are wonderful tips here. I love the idea of taking the person out for lunch and then "returning" to the new room at the facility which others have made homey with the person's own belongings. This can't be carried off by everyone, but it's a good way to do it.

The main thing to remember is that everyone is different. Your mother may transition easily and then start wanting to go home a month into it. This would only mean that she is likely thinking of a childhood home or a place where she felt emotionally safe in a way that her disease no longer allows. Or, she may resist being left. Or she may love it from the start.

Naturally, the staff makes a difference but so does the particular day that your mother is having. The idea is to be firm in your own resolve that this is the best for your mom. That will help you to appear calm and happy (even if you are nervous and scared). Don't show sadness - she needs to know that this move is a good thing.

Some homes don't want visitors for two weeks (I hear) but in my community family is encouraged at anytime. Likely, there is an argument for both sides so if you like the home work with the staff to determine how they generally do this. They are experienced and if well trained should be able to help you.

Take care of yourself. This is a hard move but in many situations it's for the best.
Carol
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For initial smoothness, we sent mom to the AL at lunch time. While she was dining, the movers quickly set up her room with her bed, her linens, her favorite chair, with table and lamp and some pictures. Familiarity works well.
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A lot depends on the experience and professional skills of the unit's staff. If you as a family have done your research and picked the best available, then now it's time to trust them to do their job. Reassure your mother that you love her and that all will be well. Don't tell her any lies - if you can't tell her the truth, change the subject - and don't get in the way.

I'm afraid that no matter how well everyone performs, it may still be a harrowing experience. This isn't because you're doing anything wrong: you can lay the blame squarely on Dementia and All Its Works, may God rot it.

So comfort yourselves that a) there is no responsible alternative and b) your mother is in a safe place where she will, in time, settle. May the move go as well as it possibly can and may she become happy in her new home very soon.

How is your caregiving sister adjusting to the idea, by the way?
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gladimhere.... I would not be happy with that facility. The people at the facility should be able to help you. For my mom, it was a transition from the hospital to the nursing home to assisted living. It went naturally, the stress was all on me for the move, not her. I visited all the time in the beginning, didn't stay long, but was there. Had her things moved in. Made sure her TV was hooked up with cable. She was not drugged at all (bad solution, IMO). I worked at meeting the other residents and involving her in conversations... and I got to know the people that worked there and likewise became friends. I popped in at various times of the day, ate some meals with her, got her things she wanted like face cream, yogurt. Good luck, it isn't easy.
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Once you take her into the memory care unit, most facilities request family not visit for about 2 wks. to allow for adjustment. You are feeling what a "normal" person would feel. People with dementia won't recognize anything new and therefore this new place might remind her of some place in her past or some of the people may seem familiar to her. Let her adjust on her own time, and thank you for putting her some place safe!
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My mom went into memory care in assisted living a year and a half ago. We did everything possible to ease the transition. Her room was setup abead of fime with many of her favorite things and visited daily for the first week. It did not help. I had been her caregiver for the four years prior. If it had been possible go maintain ber daily routine maybe things would have gone better. The facility had a very hard time with mom's behavior, she was taken to the ER with suspected UTI which was not the problem. This led to a geriatric psych hospitailization where they worked with her meds to find the combination that would work for her. A few days later when released from the hospital she required a 24/7 caregiver for them to accept her back. That caregiver, actually a rotation of three of them were with mom for about seven weeks. My mom still has not adjusted she is heavily medicated to control behaviors and now at least is comfortable the majority of the time. However, she is not permitted afternoon or evening visitors because of the behaviors. She still wants to go home. Best wishes to you and family as you all go through this transition.
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When my Mom was taken to the Long Term Care Center at the Panguitch Hospital she expressed that she wanted to be at home but was fine after I explained to her that Dad wanted her to have proper care and was afraid that at home she would fall in the shower and get hurt. Also in the hospital there would be nurses there to help her with a shower and she would eat in the cafeteria with everyone else and get her meals on time. She wouldn't have to do laundry or clean a house anymore and that delighted her a lot. Not that she was doing any of that in the last year as her Alzheimer's has gotten worse but just the thought that she didn't have household chores anymore was delightful. The only thing at the long term care is boredom. I take her a lot of magazines and tell her to go for walks into the large livingroom area and talk to other people. The only thing is she gets lost very easily and within 5 minutes she has forgotten who she just talked to. I'm just released that she is in a very safe place and my Dad is now trying to get a bed there as he is about to be 90 years old and feels he may as well before someone tries to commit him. He made a list of all of his ailements and thought oh crap that's a lot of issues I better get into the hospital and now he is trying to tie up all the loose ends as he says. So he is trying to get all of his projects finished out in his homemade garage in my brother's yard. We do have a great grandfather that lived to be 109 years old and my Dad is delighted that he has outlived his father/grandfather & great grandfather, it's the 2nd great grandfather that will give him a run for the money! LOL
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Fredo
A lot will depend upon your mom's behavior now too

My mom was moved to memory care 9 months ago straight from hospital after running outside at home and falling in the neighbors driveway
From the evening I left her there I've never felt good about it and I suspect I never will - she is 93 and like glad's mom has had severe anxiety while there and has eloped twice despite her limited mobility

I've fight hard to maintain her quality of life and we are on her second try of antipsychotic meds
Yes the facility will choose if allowed to use a sedating drug - many folks are slumped over with the heads on dining tables
My advice is to visit when others don't so you can really observe how residents behave and how staff responds - say 6 - 8 pm one day and 10 - noon another or 3-5 pm another

Memory care is not for the faint of heart - some facilities are mellow but then they only admit little old ladies in wheelchairs who can't really communicate

hope your mom adjusts well and let us know how the transition goes
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When it was time to move my friends into a memory care apartment due to the wife's frontal temporal dementia and the husband's failing memory, we arranged for a friend to take them out for breakfast in a town about 20 minutes away, then to the mall to have their nails done. While this was happening, a man skilled in these moves help us get their new apartment set up in the memory care facility and we made it look just like their bedroom and den where they had been spending the majority of their time. When my friends arrived there around 2:30 in the afternoon, the husband saw his recliner, the same couch and end tables, the same TV, the same pictures on the wall and sat in the recliner with a sigh of relief. He has never wanted to leave. This particular facility was the only AL-Memory care place I could find with apartments large enough for two people. They had two bedroom, one bedroom and efficiency apartments to choose from. And the care has been superb. Just a short walk down the hall to the dining area. And while the wife was alive, they participated in Bingo and other activities and never talked about going back to their condo. It was about as a good a transition as we could hope for. We did have to take the wife to a geri-psych ward in a hospital to find a calming medication so she would let the staff clean her up due to her incontinence. That took 3 1/2 weeks there but they found the medication and dosage that calmed her without doping her up. The husband now lives alone and is completely satisfied there and enjoys his new friends at meal time. So, it can work.
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When it was time for my grandmother, who had dementia, to go into long term care, my mom and I were worried as to what to tell her. Since my grandmother's cognition was greatly impaired, we knew the most important thing was to make the transition in a way that would cause her the least anxiety and fear. So, we told her that the doctor needed her to go to the hospital for a time to do some tests. She accepted that easily and then forgot completely about it later. She was admitted to the skilled nursing facility without any upset on her part. ( My mom and I were another matter, though!) It was rough for us but we knew we were doing the right thing for my grandmother. She needed more care than we could provide for her. Anyway, we were very involved in grandma's care and visited the facility most everyday. We even volunteered there and, eventually, I began working there. I think the best thing you can do for your loved one is to stay involved, be their advocate at all times and don't skimp on the outward signs of affection. Hugs and touch are very underrated! Also, I agree that every person is going to respond differently. Follow your heart and your instincts. I have always found that if I just think about how I would like someone I loved to be treated or how I would like to be treated, and follow those guidelines, I always found the most caring and genuine response to any situation. You know your mom the best, follow your heart.
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