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I've asked questions multiple times in and around this situation so my apologies for apparent overlap.
However....
My mom has expressed how miserable she is in her AL facility. She has been there almost a month. Now, unfortunately the FIRST week there the facility went on quarantine/lock down due to a stomach bug. Lovely. Then, I was VERY sick for 2 weeks and only saw her 2 times during those two weeks. Then, apparently she expressed she was going to "fly the coop" and was wandering down in the lobby with her purse and keys, so they put one of those devices on her ankle to ensure they could track her. I told them I thought this was a horrible idea as she was a scaredy cat, and would NEVER bolt, but they felt they had to do it. I gave in (like I said, I was so sick...didn't put up a fight). Needless to say this REALLY depressed her. They took the device off which I'm so glad about. But she continues to say how this is an "old persons' dormitory".


When I ask if anyone is unkind she says absolutely not and that everyone is VERY good to her. I even met a couple of her friends who seem about her age and one is in fact younger. The problem is, the ones in the wheelchairs and walkers seem to outnumber them so I guess to mom this sees unacceptable.
Part of this is that she is going on the anniversary of my father's death (suicide) and she will NEVER be happy again.


Her memory is very scattered still. So like on one hand she "looks" good, but on the other she's miserable and has some very real memory lapses all the time. This is part of the reason she's there. Either didn't take her meds or took them twice. Caught her robe on fire making bacon at 3 am. Recent hospital stay with BP of 241/108...possible mini strokes, etc. etc. She was in an apt by herself as I wasn't ready to move her in with us full time.
Well, as I said I feel horrible. To look at her she does look healthy and younger. I told her maybe she can come back and live with us in a few months and she said this "lightened her heart" and she keeps bringing this up.


Oops, I probably shouldn't have said it as now I know she'll not let it go. It was just my knee jerk reaction to hating how miserable she was.


When I asked her if she shared any of her misery with her new friends she said no....that this was between her, God...and me (her daughter). That she knows she is making me miserable but can't seem to help herself.


I don't know what I'm asking except maybe guidance. I worry as a Christian that I'm not "honoring" my mother. Technically...YES. She can move in here. Would be on second floor and she'd share a bathroom with my daughter. Was thinking I'd fix up a loft area with her Kcup machine, a mini fridge and her TV so she could have her own space so to speak.


She WILL drive me batty. She has said for YEARS that she only wants to be beside me. With me. Still says it. In the morning when she was staying here she is RIGHT next to me for morning coffee. I have no space. I told her if she did move in that we'd have to talk about boundaries (like not coming in me and my husband's room unannounced). She said she'd be a "good girl".


I'm so torn. I'm a nurse, in NP school and in the middle of raising my 13 year old kiddo. It will be so very hard. But I know this life isn't promised to be easy. We are all responsible for each other on this earth. I wonder what my dad would have done. I wrote a paper a couple of years ago on filial responsibility...I always struggle with what this "looks" like.


Thank you to whoever made it to the end of this rambling. Just looking for some thoughts.

An update or more thoughts of sorts. I just think that the nature of what my dad did has made this SO much more difficult. On one hand I totally understand her need to be near family and this place makes her feel so much more isolated. If dad had died of more "natural" causes, I wonder if this would be different for her. Further, I wonder if it would be more different for me. I'll never know. I'm still struggling with what to do and I had someone come in to look at our basement to possibly get it ready for her. Could install a chair lift and a full bathroom if needed.

I TRULY appreciate everyone and their thoughts and comments. What a kind, thoughtful community you all are! Much love to you all.
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Reply to ebmick1973
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Sounds like she would be more content in AL if she had a gentleman caller.
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Reply to shad250
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Your mother is in the process of settling in to a new home.

The people are very good to her.
She has made at least two friends.
The staff have deftly managed the escape-plotting phase, and that is now done.
She is looking and doing better than before.
All this in *one* *month*.

You visit your mother regularly, you encourage and support her.

You are adjusting, too.

Your young teen is adjusting, too.

I think the best thing you could do right now is agree with yourself that you will let the "trial" continue for a further two months. Then you will write yourself a little progress report/sit. rep. and see where you are.

You struggle with what this "looks" like. Looks like to whom? Anyone with a right to an opinion? And when you wrote that paper... well, if you were to go back and do it again, would it be as a wiser and better-informed person?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Taking care of the people you love is hard, but it is also a part of life. The hardest thing is making decisions based on what is the best thing for them and not what makes you feel better. Every situation is different. Ask questions and keep asking. As your mom declines she will desperately cling to what is familiar. Objects ,places and people alive or dead that she can still remember. It is very frightening and scary to be losing your memory. It can be very lonely and isolating to be constantly losing yourself and everyone you love and inch at a time. The best thing for your situation is to be her daughter and not her caregiver. As her daughter you can keep a close eye on her and make sure there is no abuse happing. You could also look into a privet care home where there are fewer people and more one on one. Join her for meals and bring memories that are happy ones. Join her for activities. If she cries about going home, if she is truly unhappy there tell her you will look for another place, I used tell my Grandmother that we were here for a 2 week visit and then we would go home, I would tell that when ever she insisted on leaving, it worked great. If you become her caregiver, eventfully you will not be able to be her daughter because you will be making every decision for her and doing all her personal care. Not to mention dealing with the dementia or ALst. You will have very little time for anyone else. If your mother loves you and was in her right mind, would she really want you to give up your life to take care of her? Would you want your loved ones to give up their life to take care of you? For me that would be a resounding NO!
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Reply to llmusick
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If you died tomorrow where would she go? As someone else said on another post, is she just a travel agent for a guilt trip? Looks like it’s working. So many complaints it’s a wonder she is still going strong. Why do you care how it looks to others?
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Reply to PandabearAUS
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Oh, EB, I am so sorry you are going through this mess! I can tell you are torn and wondering what is the right thing to do for your Mom. Yes, we are commanded to honor our parents, but we are not told exactly what that looks like. So we have to pray, research, consider the situation and then use our best judgment.
You have a teenager in your home, whose safety, sanity and welfare you must also weigh and consider. Your Mom, while unhappy in her AL situation, is safe - and she is not a danger to your child. By which I mean, she won't be getting up and cooking in the middle of the night and possibly setting herself and/or the house on fire.
In my mind, that fact alone should be enough to convince you to leave her where she is. You can sleep soundly, knowing that all three generations are safe. That, to me, is the best way of honoring your Mom. Because if she were in full control of her faculties, I'd bet that's what she'd want you to do. Get your rest at night so you can fish your degree and take care of her grandchild.
God bless you, sister. And be at peace.
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Reply to DesertGrl53
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My first thoughts are one month is not long enough for your mother to adjust to AL, particularly since you made that little mistake and indicated if she complains enough she can come home to your house. Given your mother's prior accidents, your mother needs near 24/7 supervision (at least for now) which is challenging to provide in a home care environment unless you can afford some hired help. Your mother may not have lots of friends at AL yet, but it appears she is making some; an opportunity she would not have at your home. I recommend leaving your mother in AL at least until you complete your NP training and re-evaluate then. You would have less on your plate then and your mother would have had a longer time to adjust to AL. You would also have had a chance to see what the impact of good medication management has on your mother.
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Reply to TNtechie
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How old is mom? Does she have dementia? Did she have input on the selection of this residence? Was she living alone in her own home before this? Own apartment? How long ago was dad's suicide? Did mom seek out assistance in the form of counseling then? The stress of losing a loved one is very high on th stressors list, losing spouse to suicide, nothing tougher. Lost my dad to suicide years ago, I know. My mom was off the deep end, but kept herself busy raising her daughters and went back to school. Are these symptoms with your mom new, since dad's death?

You have a 13 year old daughter, I am guessing mom is around 60? That is very young for assisted living. I too would consider it an old folks dormitory.

Do not invite mom to live with you. The most difficult years with daughter maturing are on top of you. Your daughter and husband must be your first priority.
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Reply to gladimhere
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ebmick1973 Mar 17, 2019
Mom will be 81 in June (had us later ;-) And I keep saying to family and friends that I think dad was covering for her cognitive decline. She had avoided her BP meds for years and when dad was still alive she had a scary episode where I thought she was having a stroke. Turns out she did. She was starting to do some "dementia" like things while he was still alive. Was getting very negative. He would text me things like "sundowners, don't call". Which I never quite knew why he didn't want me to call? Still baffled by that...Looking back my sweet dad was probably so worried about her more than I knew and was hiding it for her some? Maybe? Who knows?
So, actually some of the people are younger than mom, some older. Its just that mom "looks" good. Walks a lot (but side not she shuffled and acts much older around me sometimes...my husband says at times she looks 100). But yes to the dementia. Asked me a week ago if she had stayed at my house or her mom's house? Her mom has been gone almost 14 years. And she's been at AL, not my house.

Stage 4 kidney disease as well I may add.

She visited this facility with me and seemed to like it. But she has 100% deferred to me since dad died. I have taken my dad's role as he did EVERYTHING for her. She says it all the time...he babied her. (which she follows up with...then he abandoned me).

After he died she came with us, then went to my brothers then back to me then back to brothers then agreed to move into an apt. 5 minutes from my house. I thought it a good idea that shed be down the street, try to have some independence, and no stairs for her AWFUL knees). Well thats where she wasn't taking meds and lit her robe on fire. I thought OH NO..she needs more help. Got her life alert and started looking for AL. Which is where we are now.

She has been to a couple of counselors. She'll say on one hand she "needs a psychiatrist'" but then once she talks to someone, she says they don't tell her anything she doesn't know. Director of nursing at this facility is getting her set up with a psychologist or counselor (not sure which?) in the next week, so we are going to give it a go again.

So, hopefully that answered your questions....Actually fairly up in years. Yes on the dementia. And the counseling is up and down.

Thank you for sharing your story. I am so so sorry you went through this as well. This kind of loss is a unique kind of hell isn't it? And GREAT questions!
Ask anymore that you can think of. ;-)
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I'm just curious as to how a lady who has multiple strokes, mistakes meds, caught her robe on fire trying to cook at 3:00 a.m. in morning, has terrible memory to the point that the facility has to put an ankle alarm on her for her own protection, would possibly be able to remember and respect boundaries in your household. Plus you say that she drives you batty. I'd likely discuss her needs with professional care givers to see exactly what is needed for the care and protection with someone with her condition. IMO, honoring a parent consist of placing them in a place where they are well cared for and protected. I might discuss her not being happy with her doctor, in case she may need medication for depression.

There's a book entitled The 36 Hour Day that addresses the needs of a person with dementia. I hope you are able to find some answers that will help you.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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