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It is killing me to send her away but my brother will be only 5 minutes from her. I have MS and two hip replacements and have been taking care of her for 3 years now but its taking its toll on me and my husband. I am the only one doing everything for her. The guilt is killing.

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It's hard enough to caretake a loved one when we're 100%. Well, 100% yes. But older. Darned near impossible many days. To mention a practical fact, people are living longer and longer. And the people taking CARE of these people are getting older and older. There's a breaking point.

And the alternative? A safe place to live...surrounded by peers...organized social programs...three healthy meals a day...young, strong and trained staff to help as needed...routine medical care on premise...smiling faces...accommodations designed to facilitate mom's physical limitations...

Will it take time for mom to adjust? Undoubtedly. But there comes a time in our lives when we have to do "the next right thing" even when our heart aches. This is your moment.

We love our parents with all of our hearts. And when we know we've done the best we can? Well, we simply must be content with that.

Call mom often...send her little inexpensive surprise packages once in a while...mail her cards and letters...visit when you can. She'll be okay. And your heart will heal.
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Guilt is not an appropriate emotion as it applies to when you've done something wrong or committed an offense. Objectively you made a decision that is in you and your husband's best interest as well as your mother's. She will be near your brother, getting proper medical care, meals and social interaction. Sometimes we have this vision in our minds of how things "should be". And when they aren't, then we have trouble accepting reality. I hope you will step back and look at things and take the emotional aspect out of it so you can see the positive. You've have been a caring daughter and now what's best for her and you is the next right course of action. Guilt has no place. You may be sad, feeling unnecessary, or even abandoned. But guilt, no. Take care of yourself. Stress is the big killer of an immune system and exacerbates many diseases and symptoms. You deserve a good life...your mother would tell you so too. Hugs
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You've had a couple of helpful answers SheMay1, so I'll just add my experience (16years as a Carer/Diversional Therapist, in an Age Care Facility). I always say to the Family members of our Residents, "It will take 4 weeks before Mum will start to settle...sometimes a little longer for the fiesty little ones!... But she WILL settle. When she gets to know staff and other residents, she will feel more relaxed. It is HARD and she needs time to grieve.... it is all part of the process of letting go." I won't lie and say she will be happy there but you have done your part. Love cuts BOTH ways. You have been a loving daughter and given as much as you can....now it's Mum's turn to return that love and be grateful for the sacrifice you have made for HER. It is her turn to make a sacrifice and GIVE BACK.. and sacrifice is never easy. You didn't say if Mum has Dementia or is just struggling with old age, either way, it is not going to be easy for you BUT you are making the RIGHT decision. Try to pour a little of the love that you have so graciously poured on your Mum.... back on to yourself. Give yourself the same Grace and pull back.
It is YOUR turn Love..... care for YOU now! Big Hug!!
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I know how you feel. i had no option but to put my mum into a care home in jan, the night before she entered i went along with pictures, photo albums, cd player and the ornaments that meant so much to her, i put all her clothes in the wardrobe & drawers to make it look like home. at first she loved it, then hated it , then loved it again, this continues even now. i take out the albums regularly and try to see if she can remember any events, wedding photos etc. i visit almost daily and yes her health has declined, i torture myself thinking is it because i put her there? or is her dementia, a ct.scan was done recently due to another stroke i was told her her brain is more damaged, her short term memory completely gone, would my health improved if i kept her at home, NO. could i have prevented a stroke? NO. talk to her as you normally would, take in treats, look through albums, do youre best that is all you can do, i hope once you have some time with youre husband, less stressed about mum that youre health can improve, i hope so. all the best.
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SheMay, i don't know what you mom's impairments are, but YOU have MS. In addition, you have been caring for her for 3 years. Isn't it fair that your brother takes a turn?
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SheMay1, you are making sure that your mom gets the care she needs and you are taking care of your husband and yourself. You are doing the right thing. Give your mother time to adjust. My mother went through ups and downs but she seems to have found some kind of balance now. She knows everyone and she has a couple of good friends.
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I agree with everyone above. Bring as many of her special things as you can, and lots of pictures. Stay in touch.

Time is the great healer. And it works faster than you might imagine.

If your mom has memory loss, she will adjust quickly. My mom forgot about her home very quickly, her beloved little dog (that she had had with her in AL died) and she forgot all about him in a week.

If your mom is mentally fit and rational, then I would just have a good, honest talk with her. She knows what your challenges are. She will understand.
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LisaInJersey is right... when my mom moved into assisted living, our relationship was mostly able to return to pleasant social visits, rather than her needing help, and me jumping through hoops to try to do more than I could safely handle. Yes, there are still little fires that need putting out from time to time as far as speaking to staff on her behalf, etc, but for the most part the stress in my life has greatly reduced. As my husband so wisely put it "Yes, your mother is a patient, but I don't need TWO patients if you make yourself sick trying to care for her!" It will work out... give it time.
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My mother went into AL in July. She had been with us since October 2014 after a second fall in her home. She is able to do her ADL's except for taking a shower in our home as we were not set up with safety bars, but she did have a shower chair. She was trying to help around the house, sweep the floors and leaving her walker some where else. I told her 100 times that is not safe. I work six days a week for my husband. Dealing with customers on the phone all day plus my other duties, coming home and having mom to deal with. One day my husband was cleaning the kitchen, he moved the stove and we had roaches. I about lost my mind. She had been sweeping the dog food under the stove. Then I found dog food thrown about in her room, behind the recliner, tv. That was my breaking point. I told her that she needed more care than I could give her. She understood. I've been on this forum for a while. I am lucky I don't have it as bad as some of the stories I have read here, but I didn't want to get to that point. My mom has settled in her AL. It took a few weeks. Now when I go to visit, I'm a daughter visiting her mom, not a daughter who was yelling all the time. When I visit and the the time is coming for her to downstairs for her meal, she basically tells me to leave. She is eating much better as I am not much of a cook. Give your mom some time to adjust. You are doing this for her best interest and yours.
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SheMay1, I truly understand the struggle you are facing. We are facing the same issue right now, but i can tell you this, if you pick a nice place for mom this may actually be a good thing for her. My mom tells me all the time "this is to much for you girls" we have been watching over her for 14 years. I think she wants us to make a change to ease the burden. When she was in rehab she really enjoyed it and our visits focused on things other than care so they were relaxed and everyone enjoyed them. We are hoping a move now will produce the same results. I hope the best for you and mom. Ruth Anne
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