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Hello everyone. My mom is 84, and was diagnosed with vascular dementia a year ago. However, she was at the advanced stage that prompted the diagnosis for a good two years before that.
I actually have two questions:
*1: Can anyone share their suggestions on how to move mom into a Memory Care facility or an AL facility? She’s not likely to go gracefully - she frequently states that “there’s nothing wrong with her” and she doesn’t need to leave her home. She won’t allow me to hire an aide. My husband and I moved into her home to care for her - but my own chronic health issues are making it impossible, and I will be unable to continue living with her. She’s currently in a rehab facility following a brief hospitalization, and will likely be discharged soon. It would be ideal if we could just transition her directly into an AL or MC facility upon discharge - but we don’t have a facility in place yet.
I’d like the transition to be smooth and easy for her, with as little stress or trauma as possible. Any suggestions would be so greatly appreciated!


*And 2: What is a realistic life expectancy for a vascular dementia patient after diagnosis? Knowing she’s been at this advanced stage for almost three years, feelings of panic have begun to settle around my heart. I’ve seen so much varying info - I just want to know how much longer we’ll have with her.


Thank you, village.

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Vascular dementia doesn't kill you, so she could go on forever if all other systems work.

My mom is on Year 7, but infections and other things have led to her being on hospice now. Her dementia is severe now, but her ticker's still banging away and her blood pressure is mostly good, so who knows how long she'll go?
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If she is in rehab now, tell them that you will no longer at her home when she is discharged (and get yourselves moved right now.)

If she isnt safe to live on her own, they will give her the choice between hiring help (with HER funds) or going to an AL. If she refuses to make a choice, they will try to get emergency guardianship.

It is much easier, I've found, to have professionals help stubborn elders with these kind of choices.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Onelove937 Feb 24, 2021
Thank you very much Barb! I think you’re right - having the help of professionals will go a long way. My husband and I have removed our belongings from her house in the past couple of days, so that part is taken care of.
I’m her POA, so I do have the power to pay an aide using her funds, which will also help spend down her excess money. We are submitting her application for community Medicaid, which will pay for an aide at home once it’s approved. It will also cover an AL out MC facility as well.
I thank you for your quick response - this has been so stressful for all of us.
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Yes, it would be ideal to have her go from rehab to facility. You will need to button down what her actual need is: AL or MC, and usually the admin or admissions people at a facility can make that recommendation.

MACinCT provided a good suggestion. Any therapeutic fib or distraction can work and the facility will be happy to be in on it. Please try to work on having no expectation about how it will go, how she'll react. Every person is different. One thing often suggested on this forum from experienced family caregivers is to not orbit over her when she first moves in. Facilities recommend a 1 or 2 week period to allow her to settle in. Surely won't be easy for you, but you're working on what's best for the both of you.

As for life expectancy...no way to know. I have an elderly aunt who will be 99 next month with advanced dementia and still chugging along. Also work on no expectations about this, either. May you regain your health and receive peace in your heart through this transition!
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When my mom was in memory care, I watched a family in her unit with the transition. That resident also had a disposition. Family had a party for her while others discretely moved her furniture out. However, she was just moving to a different ward. Many rooms look similar in an L shaped pattern. Start with a room similar to rehab now. If you can find a similar style, try to arrange her room exactly like the old. The trick is to move her, distract and leave. Do not try talk therapy with her.
As far as age, and life expectancy, the general thing is that they can survive even 20 years after diagnosis. My mom is 98 and was diagnosed 11 years ago. She is still kicking. What kills them is some underlying chronic issue rather than wasting away unless caught up with some serious infection.
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