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Exhausted caregiver trying to deal with guilt of having to put 85-year-old mother in a nursing home.

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Can really relate to that roller coaster ride, Bree. It's not a picnic, either! Three parent placements later...we learned the hard way on many things. What sounds good in print, isn't always practical for real life situations. And even with advice, things turned out different thank we anticipated. Some things are just out of our hands, especially when it's a battle of will between parent and adult offspring. Talk to ALF personnel for their advice...etc.
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Sometimes putting a picture on their or silk flower or something will help a resident fine their room easier.
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Hi txmaggie, and thank you so much for your advice..
Yes I may have to consider getting some type of sitter...
but once again , she doesnt really want anyone coming to help her...because there is nothing wrong.

You see the biggest thing I am dealing with is my reality ( her alzheimers) and her denial( shes fine)
Its a rollercoaster ride in hell.
mucho thanks!!

Check out my other post: https://www.agingcare.com/137386
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Hi Bree, Have you spoken with your mom's dr about this problem? Perhaps you could enlist his help in getting the NH option going. I know there are often waiting lists if a person is medicaid qualified. My mom got in right away because she was private pay, but it is very expensive. You may need some legal advice re: the home issue. Is she ambulatory? Does she have home health care or need it? Perhaps getting some in-home sitters could buy you a little time away from her while you are trying to work NH placement out. IN any case, it sounds like you are at the end of your rope and when you reach that point you probably aren't the best person to care for your mom.

Wish I could give you some solid suggestions on how to do the physical move, but I think first you need to find a place for her and have everything set up. That won't happen overnight.
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Hello all.
I am a 42 yr old only child, who is trying to do everything for a mom who has alzheimer and is getting worse and worse.
I am being verbally abused ...this afternoon I bawled for hours. I have always been a victim of verbal abuse...now its amplifiede.I have no help , no family....I have depression --i was doing well for 9 years, I fought for my health back, but this has made me fall back ..i am feeling ill and depressed. My emotions are torn up.My momz and I were sooooooooo close, she was a battered wife ( and abused child) who protected me much of my life. We where each others back up...now shes turning into my enemy. She gets so enraged when I tell her shes forgotten something, she calls me a liar, she cusses me, she threatens me...PHYSICALLY...and has attacked me...scratched me in the face....I was a cheerful , positive person in the past year....I had to be to live through all of the tradgedys I have...NOW i am sad and alone.( friends have abannoned me)I have made a new friend here however!( smile) I know I must do something ...and fast...I can barely make it through a day( around her).

I just cant seem to do anything but take the abuse and cry ( and loose my health) over it.
Why cant I just wake up , and put her in a assisted living home?nO ONE CAN HAVE THAT MUCH GUILT?!
I dont want to let myself...sacrafice myself....does that make sense? Even though I know it will be the best for both of us.
Someone here said "you have to go with your mind...not what your heart says"

I know it will be world war 3...shes told me, she will physically fight me like a pit bull. AND SHE WILL.

How do I get someone like that in a home? she will be nice to everyone there however!!!! Shes sooooooooooo kind and considerate to everyone else- NOT ME.

She has accused me of trying to steal her home ( which is also mine-joint ownershp) her money, she seems to hate me for no reason at times. AND I AM THE ONLY IDIOT HERE , WITH HER TRYING TO HELP HER!!

I'LL BE HAPPY FOR ANY ENCOURAGING WORDS OF ADVICE.
Thank you guys!
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I clean my Moms dentures each time I visit.
Maybe if you try telling her that she has denture odor--she'll let you clean them--good luck.
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stick to your "gut feelings" and confer with the head nurse or the adminsistrator or social worker if you don't get anywhere. You are right to ? if it's sores under her dentures. Maybe a little bribery would work too. Tell her you'll give her anything she wants to drink, if she takes her dentures out first....keep us updated.....
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Hi all, I have a new problem with Mom, well I guess not new. Anyway she has always refused to take out her dentures so the home can clean them, we did get them out only a few times. Well Mom like I said has stopped eating altogether now and I am just wondering if maybe she could have sores under her plate. They have not been out of her mouth for some time now. Well tonight the aide and I tried to get them out and she would have no part of it. We are looking into hospice because she has not eaten in weeks, and we thought it was the dementia (which it could be), but then I had this thought that maybe it's her dentures that are giving her problems. AM I FOOLING MYSELF??? I DON'T KNOW. She will take anything to drink but not eat. I am going crazy over this. She is a very bullheaded person and I don't know how to get these darn dentures out. I called the head nurse tonight and left a message to try to get them out tomorrow, that I was not going to sign any papers for hospice until I know there are no sores under her plate. She is 93. Any advise????? Thank you.
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Dear dtntry,

I perfectly understand your conflicting emotions, and hope you find some support to help you through this process. We are dealing with similiar circumstances and difficulties with our loved ones, who we've greatly struggled with over the years. For whatever reason, they weren't always there for us, either. No human being can perfectly meet all our needs, and some circumstances are harder than others. Sometimes our parents made choices that weren't in the best interests of themselves or their children, and everyone suffered for it. Forgiveness is key, though not easy. In our case, alcohol and prescription narcotics were involved, but so was mental illness. We can't change the past, but we can still exercise compassion and forgiveness without demanding restitution for things they cannot change. We can also ask for forgiveness, even when people are failing cognitively. I'm sorry you are struggling so. Will be praying for you, and hope you find the grace and support you need to complete the journey. Ask God to help you with the anger and forgiveness, and he will give you comfort and peace as well.
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I am now watching my Mother slowly leaving me and I feel so helpless. She is in a nursing home but will be going on Hospice care this week. Today was the first day I saw her almost falling over in her chair and her wonderful aide told me that she feels they should lay her down again. She has not eaten in days, she does drink some. She was just so weak today. I am feeling alot of guilt because when she was well I said some things I shouldn't have, I guess I was down right mean to her at times. I was always angry with her because she always put me second to the bars and good times. Then when all her bar friends drifted away then I became good enough for her. she has said and done some bad things to me and my family and I just always found it hard to forgive her. So when she became dependant on me to take her here and there I just flew off the handle and would say things like " fine, I will take you but where were you when I needed you"? One time I tried to tell her how I was feeling and she said "why don't you write a dam book and I will be the first to buy it and burn it. Then when my Son was born she told our neighbor "great, just what we need another kid in the family" It's things like this that I hated her for and I would yell at her and give her the cold shoulder. Now she is dying and I am feeling really bad about some of the things I said. But I have been taking care of her by myself for over 20 years and I have always been there for her. And I will continue to be there for her. I told her I loved her, even tho I have never heard those words from her. I AM JUST FEELING SO BAD FOR ALL THE THINGS I HAVE SAID AND DONE TO HER. I WAS JUST ALWAYS SO ANGRY AT HER FOR NOT SHOWING ME ANY LOVE GROWING UP, AND ALWAYS BEING IN THE BARS WHEN I NEED HER AT HOME TO HELP ME WITH HOMEWORK OR JUST BEING THERE. I WAS ALWAYS LEFT ALONE. THANK YOU FOR HEARING ME OUT.
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Don't know all the circumstances, but sounds like you decided it would be in your mom's best interest to have greater care at a facility. You've probably prolonged her life, and increased the quality of it. For that, you're a hero. She may not understand, but caring for someone's needs, and looking after them is no small thing. Bless you for doing so, and not walking away. God won't punish you for doing something with pure motives. Tell your mom often you love her. At some level, she'll understand. Heart to heart, she'll know you care for her. Don't let false guilt rob you of the satisfaction of knowing you are looking out for her. Hugs and gentle reassurance that she's well cared for will speak louder than the words she can't comprehend, anyway.
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I have always felt guilty about putting Mom in different homes. She fell and broke her hip at 85, went to nursing home for rehab and they told me to keep her at the home, that she needed care. Then the home closed and I moved her into a nice group home for people with dementia, it was a wonderful place that took them places and had people come in to do things with them. She went off the deep end there and we had to put her into hospic because she was failure to thrive. She would not eat at the group home BIG GUILT FOR ME. Then she came around at the hospic and was transfered to their nursing home where she is now for four years. Every day of my life I feel like a rotten daughter for putting her through all this. I ask myself "what right did I have to just put her some place without even talking to her about it. She has dementia. I did what I felt was right, but now I sit and think "my God , can you only think of how scared she was being put in a new place with new people and faces. When I left the first night she tried to grab me and she was yelling and I just kept going. I FEEL LIKE THE WORSE PERSON IN THE WORLD. Now she is at this home (a good One) and in the late stages of the dementia and I still feel like I have robbed her of some of her life by the dicisions I made without even talking to her about it. I feel like I should be punished by God for the rest of my life for this.
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I hear you, but I know I couldn't care for the three of them in my home. I wouldn't be able to give them the emotional support that they need now at three times a week.
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its about that in my town - $7,000.00 To this day I don't get why we can't have that money to use for in-home care?
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Would anyone be willing to tell me what they pay a month for skilled long-term care for their loved ones nursing facility? I pay about $7,000 a month for my aunt and the same for my uncle (her brother). My dad is on Medicaid, so I pay the total amount of his s.s. and pension which is around $l,300/monthly. The amount seems high for my uncle and aunt since I've been reading things online. Thanks :)
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GOOD JOB,Sunshine
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Dear sunshinesouth @ bluewatercreek, good for you!
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Well, the time to tell my Mom was yesterday. I didn't want to do it but was concerned about her health and well being, even with daytime caregiver part time and me. You can not give quality time 24 hours a day. I wrote myself a little script and kept reading my notes until I got there. I came to the subject with a familiar theme. I said...remember when I was little and you would worry about me when I was sick, hurt or in trouble and you were firm with me and saw to it that was taken care and that you did everything possible to correct the situation? She said yes...I said well the situation is reversed now and you can imagine how worried I am about you. She actually took it very well and I stayed with her or awhile and waited for all the what if questions that I also anticipated and was prepared to answer. Now I can get rest and spend quality time with her instead of just doing things to keep up.

Thanks to all of the questions and answers that I have been allowed to see I have gained a lot of strength to do this. I wish you all the same. A BIG THANK YOU!

bluewatercreek
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I have a 78 yr. old m-i-l who lives with us. She has Alzheimer's Disease. I was told don't take it personally, it's just the disease.
That's how I get thru it. ...also my s-i-l takes her o/n usually once a week or every 2 weeks. I hope this helps.
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I knew, absolutely knew I could not care for my loved ones in our home. I thank God for the nursing home that provides for their physical, medical, social and spiritual needs. It has been a sanity saver for us, and a blessing for even family who doesn't live there. The nurses are dedicated, personable, and caring, and meet needs we could not meet on our own. Is it a perfect solution? Is anything perfect? But we recognize our limitations, and choose to dwell on the positive. It has been rewarding, and has enriched our lives. We believe our loved one's lives are the better for making this decision. They have better health than we could have provided, greater stimulation and a variety of activities, great care from a variety of dedicated professionals who share in the Caregiving burden, and a built in social outlet. The benefits outweigh the negatives a thousand fold. (Not all nursing homes are the same.) We are so thankful, because we have been blessed.
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One Last Tip I would like to share: -I personally found a great deal of help, care, and compassion with an organization known as Hospice. They not only are there for the patient, they can offer support to the caretaker and the family involved. This organiztion, from what I have learned, is greatly under used. I encourgage that you see if your loved one does qualify for ther services. Keep in mind that Hospice, No longer means that one has limited time before they pass....Check out this agency in your area for more information, and see of your physician will reccommend you bring them on board.
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Flozeman>>I also put my mom into a facility, as she was no longer able to handle things in her home. This move was very much backed up by her neurologist. She began with entering assisted living, and as her AD progressed, she was then in a dementia unit, and finally a nursing home. Personally I felt more at ease knowing she would receive the type of care she required, and it was also 24/7. I can understand the guilt feeling one would have with this transition, however on the flip side there was much more peace of mind. Have you considered assisted living? There is a lot of freedom that is offered as well as care...this perhaps would be an easier move, and in fact your Mom, if she gives it a chance, may just thrive with this new environment. Some of the addnissions staff may be able to help with the emotional part of this transition as well. It is a win win situatution for everyone involved.
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Yes, I agree with everything everybody has said about placing loved ones in a nursing home. They are so much better off. My sister adjusted beautifully, even though she calls it her apartment. She's been there 1 month tomorrow. Her roommate and her are about at the same point in their dementia, and are really cute. Coming back from lunch, neither one can find their rooms, (staff watches them, and so did we today) as today they were reading everybody's name near the door until they found their room......they watch after each other. My sister at 88 yrs. and unbelievably healthy except for this disease, so may be around for quite some time. Every nurse there said I did the right thing, as they can go home after 8 hours, and I couldn't:) It really wears your health down without you realizing it. I just got over an arthritic flare-up that put me flat out for 5 days....thank God for drugs that got me thru it.
Hang in there, hopefully your guilt will leave when you see how well people really do in nursing homes.
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That is a very good point. When they reach a certain point, you can't always give them the care that they may receive in a nh. When it gets to be 24/7, it does get very exhausting and hard on your back, lifting that dead weight. I pray that God will help us by giving us our answers when we have to make these hard decisions. When we put our worries in His hands, everything works out for the best. I'm so glad that I found this website because it also helps to know that we are not alone in this. There is always someone somewhere whose problems are bigger.
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I had to put my father in a nursing home about two years ago, and recently his brother and sister too. I am the sole relative and I felt very guilty at first, but now am realizing how exhausted I would have been if I would have tried to care for them in my own home. I don't think they would've wanted that either. I am exhausted mentally and physically just going two to three times a week and worry about them when I'm not with them, so imagine how worse off I'd be and also them. My aunt was 81lbs. when she went into the nh and now has gained about l0lbs. and is on an anti-depressant and is much better off. My uncle and dad are also on anti-depressants for the first time in their life and I can tell a difference. Also, two of them are trying the aricept patch and giving that a try for dementia...we'll see. I'm so blessed to still have them in my life and feel happy each time I see them and have a bit more energy than I would have if they were living with me. Also, they seem to feel more independent and have more privacy.
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I think about the same thing all the time. My mom is in late stage AD and I keep telling myself that I know when it will be the right time. She is declining a little faster now. She's become incontinent, can't do anything without help and is beginning to have problems swallowing her medicine. I feel that when she doesn't seem to have any quality of life, that we will have to make the move, but as long as she calls me by name at times, gives me a smile or a little laugh and seems to feel safe and secure, I just can't. I really feel for you and dread that feeling of guilt that I know I'll have, too.
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Flozeman, My Mom has been in a NH for 3 1/2 months and yes it was very hard leaving her there.
She' 93 and all she did at home was sit--now she does several things, looks 90% better, roams the place and has even put on some weight on.
The staff are all super and she has alot of friends her age--or close to it--try not to feel bad.
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Flozeman- please do not feel guilty-you should feel good that you were able to know you when it was time to do it and most pts. adjust very well to a nursing home-there are plenty of activities if they want to do that and lots of people there own age and situation-the wrong thing would have been to go on as you were and run yourself down and not be there for your family. I know how hard it is to decide and hope you got the support I did-I do not feel guility that my husband died about 3 weeks after we had decided on placement but he had been in rehab for 3 months by that time and it was his health that went downhill not because he was there- he practality lived in hospitals and nursing homes for the past 6 yrs and that was no life.
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Flozeman, I put mom in a nursing home about a month ago. It was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make. And it tears your heart up. BUT....if you can separate your head from your heart you will know that it is the right thing to do. You can't do it all, not 24/7, not even 18/7. You have other responsibilities, your child and your husband need you to be there for them. Try to do it all, and nobody will get good care and you will ruin your health. Your mother will get better care from professionals who have walked the path many times and know how to care for her. There are so many of us on this site who have admitted their loved ones to nursing homes, and 99% of them will tell you not to feel guilty and they are 100% right. You are a caring person or you wouldn't be feeling like this. You know deep in your heart what is the right thing to do for everyone. We will be here for you to help you through this.
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