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My mother has been diagnosed w/early Alzheimers. Sometimes she seems fine mentally, then a day later will become confused, frightened, and cry. My sis and I have been helping her to stay at home; but we are worried constantly. Sometimes I spend the nights w/her. She doesn't want to move in w/me. I am married and don't want to move in w/her. That makes me so sad and guilty. Here it is almost 4 a.m. and I can not shut my eyes.


She has always said that when it was time to go to Assisted Living, she would know. Now she says it's time. We are looking at places; but I'm having a very hard time. Very hard. Unfortunately, I already suffer from depression and anxiety, have for 30 yrs. I feel no good to her or anyone else. But I sit here now crying because I don't want to put her somewhere where she knows no one or even the stuff, furniture, etc.

Nanny
thanks for coming back and letting us know how things are going. I hope you are taking care of yourself. Sometimes depression can be eased with a little therapy. I hope your mom has adjusted to her new home.
Hugs for you and mom
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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H'm. If I may say so gently, it sounds as if it is your depression and anxiety that are making the decision about your mother more painful, rather than the decision making you more anxious and depressed. That way round.

On the face of it, you are blessed to have a mother who looked ahead, clarified her own ideas about her later life, and is consistently following through. I could hug her, reaching through the screen! What a sensible, positive and level-headed lady she must be.

And how is your sister managing, during this research phase?

The thing is, there is potentially a sad side to the transition itself, and certainly an Alzheimer's diagnosis takes a lot of coming to terms with. But with so many positives to dwell on, most especially your mother's attitude, you have to wonder: why are you focusing on the fearful negatives?

If it's a lifelong tendency then it is no use offering platitudes; but at the same time it really isn't any good to your mother for you to be dissolving into a soggy mess every time you think about her sitting in her room at an ALF. What would be good is if you can talk about the community she'll be joining, look at the activities on offer, come up with a check list of Must Haves and Nice-To-Haves, that kind of thing. There is actual work to be done, and you are very much the right person to help with it.

To make yourself able, though, you need help too. What approaches have you been using recently to overcome your depression and anxiety?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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My mom didn't have dementia until late in life but after my father died we helped her to remain in her familiar home despite the fact she could no longer go anywhere without help, so she spent the majority of her days alone. Near the end of her life she agreed that the fear of change that held her back resulted in a life that was ultimately worse than the adjustment to a different lifestyle would have been, change is hard but sometimes it is inevitable and attempting to keep things the same is the worst option. Your mom is wise and brave, you are not "putting" her somewhere, you are supporting her decision. And she can certainly take some of her things to make her new place feel more like home.
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Reply to cwillie
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You are grieving the loss of a huge part of your life - when your mother didn’t have Alzheimer’s disease, when life was stable,
reminiscing about your childhood and young adult years growing up when you and your mother’s relationship were what shaped you into the woman you are today.
And then this awful disease came and forced a change on you that you never expected.

Hopefully soon you can get your mother into an ALF near you where she will receive the monitoring she now needs. Realize those needs of hers will increase as the disease progresses.

None of this is your fault. It’s out of your hands & you can’t control her illness. All you can do is provide her with a safe environment & continued support now and as things get worse.

Most of us caregivers are familiar with the depression you are going through, so you’re not alone.

You have to sort of compartmentalize your feelings of depression and anxiety in getting her squared away somewhere. If you can’t do it alone, seek therapy for yourself where your therapist can help you to find tools to acknowledge your feelings while not letting them paralyze you into stagnation.
Work with your sister too and use each other for support.

Don’t feel guilty. Guilt stems from something you feel you’ve done that you should not have done & then feel your questionable decision adversely affects others.
That’s not the case here.

You will get through this. Yes it’s emotionally draining and you may shed many tears and lose sleep over this very sad situation. It’s especially sad when roles appear to get reversed and parents become like children and you are the adult in the room.
Keep moving but seek therapy to support yourself.
Good luck!
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Reply to Shane1124
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nannybrister Apr 23, 2019
Just wanted to tell you that I read your post to me again tonight. You are helping me so much, over and over. Mama has now been in the Memory Care facility for almost 3 months.

I'm still feeling guilty, especially now that we are selling the house.

This too shall pass?

Hope you are well.
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The best way to combat these feelings is to actually take action. Start looking at assisted living places, take your mother, talk to her about each of them. Get a feel for how the facilities work and who the people are, etc. The anxiety comes from not knowing but letting your mind create scenarios -- we all do it. Time is important because elderly mental health (and physical health) can change suddenly. Do your homework NOW so you can make good decisions and not last minute ones. Good luck! You are not alone :)
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Reply to ArtMom58
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You have done nothing wrong to feel guilty for. Is your depression and anxiety being treated by a doctor and are you going to therapy?

Your mom recognizes that it is time for her to go to Assisted Living. She wisely made that choice in advance because she knew that you were married and did not want to burden that. Find her a place and let her meet new people. Who knows, that may perk her up?

You have a tough choice to make, but you mom has made it easier by telling you what she wants.
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Reply to cmagnum
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