Tomorrow I'll be bringing Mom to the local nursing/rehab center for permanent care. Over the last few weeks, I've been pretty much consumed with taking care of all of the preparatory details, which has been arduous enough, but now that the day is arriving, I'm left with not a whole lot else to do, and the inevitable sadness is taking over.

I've started crying I don't know how many times, and today was especially bad – it was our CNA's last day, and she brought me a beautiful “thank you” card and a small tabletop fountain for a gift. And we BOTH cried when she left. When she came to work for us, she quickly became a dear friend as well as a very capable aide, and I will miss her twice-weekly visits.

Once we get Mom settled and come back home, I know it's going to be horrible for me. The house is going to feel so empty, and I won't know what to do with myself. I know I should rest and relax, and take care of myself for a change – I have a bad back and a very painful leg that need to heal – but I've always been one to throw myself into household projects as a way of dealing with stress and emotional turmoil, and I know that's not good for me at this point.

If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can deal with this, I'll be extremely grateful.

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Thanks to all of you for your kind thoughts and excellent suggestions.

Update: Well, here it is, Friday, and Mom's still here at home. We were all packed and ready to forge on and face the day on Tuesday, waiting for the little handicapped transport bus to come and pick us up. Wouldn't you know, the Admissions Director phoned 45 minutes before our transport appointment to report that the facility still hadn't received approval from the state's PASRR review. Apparently there was something in the doctor's notes that made them think Mom is suffering from mental illness, and they wanted more information. (She is on Duloxetine for nerve pain, not for major depressive disorder, and that's where the problem is.)

Talk about frustration... I felt as if I'd been punched in the stomach AND kicked in the teeth. I can't fault the doctor – he's pretty new at this business, and probably didn't realize the impact that a simple error in the priority of diagnosis codes would have – but I came to find out that the facility sat on his report and didn't submit the PASRR for a week after they received it. Had everything been done in a timely manner, we may have been able to get it straightened out before her admission date.

To make matters worse, the social worker told me yesterday that the state might make Mom undergo a Level II psych evaluation! Lord only knows when that would happen. They seem to think that we have all the time in the world to get this admission done, and that's not the case. Mom's getting weaker and more unstable on her feet with each day that passes, which puts us both in danger of injury.

So, we're officially in limbo now, and it's not pleasant. I have no idea if or when we will get the PASRR approval. I can't arrange for transportation again until then, and the transport service requires two days' notice when scheduling a ride. And after all of our logistical and emotional preparations, we're going to have to go through it all again when Big Day Redux arrives.

Thanks for listening.
Helpful Answer (1)
How frustrating! It’s so hard when you finally make peace and get yourself to an okay mental place for a huge change and someone throws a curveball! I’m sorry and hope it’s resolved sooner than you think
Pick up new hobbies. Find organizations that you can volunteer at. The activity department at the nursing home might could really use your help helping the residents play bingo & making crafts.
Helpful Answer (0)

I’ve been through and still not sure there are any great ideas for the life change of it. My story is a bit different in that my mother went from feeling fine living her life to a devastating stroke to a nursing home for the rest of her life all quite suddenly. There was no preparing for any of it. All I can say is your mom is blessed to have you caring for her, now being her advocate in her new setting, be kind and forgiving to yourself, you’ll both adjust with time, and I wish you the best as you walk this new path
Helpful Answer (3)

I work in a Memory Care community where husbands and wives have had to place their spouse when they SO didn't want to, for reasons out of their control. Their care became too great, and they simply could not handle the situation at home any longer.

Some of these spouses come by twice a DAY to visit their loved one! They bring the dog(s), they bring magazines, food, snacks, but most of all, they bring love and companionship. Lots of times their spouse is otherwise occupied doing a fun activity and doesn't even want to be bothered with a visit!! True story. But the spouse visits because THEY want to, not for any other reason. It helps THEM come to terms with the emptiness of the house without their loved one inside it any longer.

Go visit your mom a lot! Bring her little gifts and stuffed animals and things you think would make her life there a bit more enjoyable. Encourage her to join in with the activities that are offered, and to eat all the meals together with others in the dining room. Spend quality time with her, that's the best way you can heal from the loss of having her in the house with you. Because remember, you did not lose your mother..........she's just moved into a safer environment where she can get more care.

She will be fine, and you will be fine. One day at a time is the way to approach this change.

Wishing you the best of luck moving forward, dear one.
Helpful Answer (5)

This is just another phase that you plow through. Like all the rest you have dealt with from realizing she needed help in the bathroom, to helping her find lost words and all the rest of the pain, sorrow, joy of helping a loved one.
One of the most difficult is the realization that she needs more..more care, more help, more safety.
The fact that you realize this, acknowledge it and are acting on it shows that you care, that you are responsible.
You can become first a daughter again and a caregiver/advocate second.
Visit and enjoy the visits you have knowing that you don't "have" to do any of the million things that you did before.
Yes the house will seem empty.
You will quickly realize how much of your day revolved around her care, caregivers and million things that we do as caregivers. You can now let someone else handle a lot of that.
Take some time for you.
Get to know who you are again.
Then you can find other things that you can do that will make you fulfilled.
You will be fine
She will be fine
Reassure her that you love her
Reassure yourself that you have done the best job you can and you have made the best decisions possible.
Helpful Answer (2)

hugs also peewee!
I didn't have my dad live with me. But I cried. It was so emotional for me. All I can say is time helps. My dad was taken from hospital to a LTC facility. I see him once a week cause I live 1 1/2 hours away. Dad been there since Nov. 2019. My heart is with you and please keep us posted on how you are doing plus your mom!
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Hugs.  Try to keep occupied.  if you cannot go for a walk, read a new book.   Do as the director tells you, they may tell you not to visit for a few days for mom to get settled.
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