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My dad has tried taking care of her but in turn his health has declined. My problem is I cannot get past the guilt of putting her in a home and the thought of failing her. I have always been super close to my mom and this is just killing me. If I could quit my job and take care of her I would in a second but unfortunately this is not an option. How do I accept the fact that this is best of her?

You can still be super close to your Mom, even at a NH. I am an only child, mom was divorced, and it was just the 2 of us for years until I got married, and he loves her too. I visit her daily, I have become her advocate, where she was always mine. She has dementia, is now blind and has some medical issues, and I am not trained in any of this. She is getting much better care than could have given her, and although I miss her when I’m not with her, I have to say I have never been closer to her. You are doing this from love.
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dlpandjep Sep 10, 2018
What a beautiful, compassionate post! Bless you!
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Dear Elizabeth - If only you could read my recent posts and know what it means to care for a person with advanced dementia - you would know that you are doing the right thing. This is a progressive disease and it will rob your LO of her mind and her senses. And if you choose to care for her, it may well do the same to you. Please don't feel guilty. You have made a wise decision. She will have trained caregivers that have the ability to leave, and come back refreshed, to give her the best of care. If she were to stay with you, you would not only lose your freedom, your world would change and the 24/7 responsibility of caring for and watching your Mother deteriorate, would break your heart. This is the voice of experience talking. I love my Mother dearly, but caring for her has aged me and frankly there are days I am absolutely fried. Do your homework and find a reputable place for her. Then you can spend quality time with her knowing she is receiving the best of care. God bless you and comfort you with peace.
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My mom passed away, less than two weeks ago. For the last year she has been in a memory care facility. I can not tell you how much they did for her and my family. It was a rocky road arriving there, as I am sure you are experiencing, now.
Let go of any guilt and shame, and go be JUST her daughter again.
Blessings
Dusty
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Speaking as a parent, child, grandchild, etc., I can say with absolute conviction that sometimes making the right decision is painful - sometimes excruciatingly so. That said, making a tough decision out of a deep and abiding love, with the wellbeing of your loved one at the center of the decision, is about as unselfish and compassionate as it gets. I have no doubt that you will be vigilant in watching over her care in whatever facility you choose for her, as advised by people in this forum. If by "failing" her, you mean you will ensure she is safe, fed, and given the best care she can possibly get, I think that's a failure I hope to be accused of some day, should the need arise.

We don't get to choose whether or not the people we love suffer with dementia. We do get to choose how we respond to it. And making hard decisions that aren't what our hearts wish we could provide is part of that.

Your mom is blessed to have you - a brave child making the best choice possible even when it hurts.
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cwillie Sep 12, 2018
Very well said. Sometimes there are no good choices so we are left doing the best we can with the hand we've been dealt.
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My mother was a severe agoraphobic for my whole life, and suffered from terrible anxiety. No one in my family had ever been in a nursing home, and I was certain that if I placed her, at age 89, she’d be gone in 6 months.
Instead, she led a happier life during her last 5 1/2 years in that nursing home than she’d lived for the almost 3 decades before, and died at 95.
Prior to placement, I’d slept on the floor beside her bed for months, because she’d attempt to get out of bed and was a constant severe fall risk. She’d already broken her hip, and was probably in moderate dementia.
I visited every day at supper hour, and her 2 younger sisters visited at lunchtime. I grew to love her caregivers, and remain in touch with some of them to this day, over 10 years after she died.
As long as you are comfortable with the facility, your observations of her care will gradually allow you to relax with the knowledge that her caregivers there are available 24/7 to give her the care that you know she needs.
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I too felt like a total failure when I realized I couldn't do it anymore, you just need to keep advocating for her and take it one day at a time, and don't allow yourself to get overly focused on any small issues that make you doubt your choice.
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It was very hard for me as well, We ended up putting my late mom to the nursing home because she was falling down a lot and she had broken her arm and leg at home after the ER brought her back from the hospital. Even though Mom had dementia, I felt guilty about it, but in the long run, it was better for both of us. However, I didn’t like the nursing home because it was depressing and Mom was lonely.

With my late dad, I ended up hiring an agency to take care of him until he passed. He kept telling me that he didn’t want to go to the nursing home because he remembered that it was depressing when my mom went. He had a mild dementia and he was somewhat alert, but he ended up dying from an advanced lungs cancer.

Take it one step at it time. You will feel relief for your dad’s sake and your mom will have 24/7 care. Just keep letting your mom know that you love her very much and you will be visiting her every day.
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It is never easy, but it became a safety issue for us. My mom has dementia and is in a wheelchair (stroke 16 years ago), was deemed as needing 24 hour care - thinks she can take care of herself, but unable to handle the day to day hygiene, food prep, getting dressed, etc.... She is in a facility with daily activities & she can go to mass daily, yes, she has outbursts where I am the worst daughter in the world, but tell yourself it is the disease talking, not your mom. It still hurts, but in the long run it is the best for all of us. She is dressed, fed, gets her meds & has social activity. Not an option for me either to stay home & care for her, I did it for a while and she did not like me seeing her like that. Do what you can to make her room comfortable, visit often (unless she gets nasty), and try to keep her busy - coloring, puzzles, cards.... I wish you the best.
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Elizabeth Angela: It's NOT an easy decision! My mom is 100 and has lived in a NH for almost two years (following a fall, hip fracture and surgery). She is still pretty with it, but needs help with ADLs. On days when she's really good, or when she tells me she's leaving and starts packing, I still question whether this is the best place for her. Take a step back at these times. Could you provide 24/7 care for her? This would mean no life for you. If she gets up in the night, you would be up in the night which means no sleep. You will still be her caregiver; people in NHs need family support even more. If you are exhausted and angry due to being the 24/7 support, you will be no help to her. If she's in a NH, you can visit everyday, keep an eye on her care and really get the best out of your relationship with her. After saying all of this, again, I stress it is NOT easy to accept this. Good luck!
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After over a decade of my siblings and I caregiving of my parents, we made a decision to place them in a nursing home. They have been there a little over a year, and I know that there are days that we still cannot accept the reality that they are there. We are there almost daily to visit and advocate for them. There have been problems, but the staff is generally open to correcting them. Like another poster stated earlier, there is a lot of oversight and regulation in these facilities.

I went today to visit and found my mother in her room with my sister and brother-in-law visiting. I asked where my father was, and my mother said, “I don’t know, he never tells me anything!” I finally found out that he had gone fishing! Imagine that! They had taken my wheelchair-bound father who has one leg that can’t bend and sticks way out in front of him, along with five other male residents, put them all on the facility bus, with several aides following, down to the Gulf of Mexico to fish off a pier. How great was that!? All these guys have dementia, but they remembered how to fish!
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