How do I tell my Mom that I'm taking her to a nursing home without her freaking out?

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What should I say so she doesn't get upset?

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Sometimes you simply have allow them to "freak out.": There's an adjustment time for nearly everyone. Many people learn to love their new home since they have company and activities. Some never do.

Often abandonment is the biggest fear. Just carry on and do your best to reassure her that you want her safety above all else and that you are not abandoning her.

Make her new home as personal as possible and then try to detach emotionally from her upsets. Try to remain cheerful but firm.

Some communities have much better facilities than others but even within communities there are differences. If you have choices investigate thoroughly before making the change.

Please update us when you can,
Carol
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Valencom, you make some very good points about the realities of getting old and nursing homes. Many people do have the resources, time, money and ability to care for elder at home but most do not and end up wrecking there lives.

There's an important distinction between raising kids and caring for the elderly. With kids, as time marches on they grow, mature, learn how to reason and it gets easier. (In most cases anyhow) with elders it goes the opposite direction without fail. We should not be made to feel guilty if we can't, or don't choose to be direct caregivers for our elders when they need skilled nursing and memory care. It's a lopsided deal compared to raising kids.
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I would suggest you say it is for a few days or weeks. The unknown is scary, but if they think it is temporary, the adjustment is less traumatic. If they want to leave soon after, tell mom the doc wants her to stay a little longer. This important move is better addressed in small pieces. No need force them to accept it all at once.
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Well said, Windyridge!. I despise the ol' "They took care of you; now it's your turn to take care of them".Taking care of kids who grow out of diapers in a few years and gradually learn to do everything for themselves is so much different than caring for elderly parents who are going in the opposite direction. SO different. And there is none of the joy that comes with caring for children to make the hard parts worth it. Not in my case, at least - we have never been the loving Brady Bunch Family, to say the least And neither of my parents ever had to care for either of their parents in their old age so they have no understanding how difficult it all is for me. Well, my mother does, even though she never went through it personally - she is an empathetic person naturally. My dad, not so much; he just feels and acts entitled. Sigh...
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I know what you are going through as you consider this. My heart goes out to you and your mother. My dad had terrible dementia at age 90. He was at risk at home, and not a candidate for one of us living with him (due to his personality and his refusal to give up his guns!), or him living with one of us. When he started to roam the neighborhood at night looking for his "lost" wife (who had died a year before), we got him in to a memory care AL facility by subterfuge, telling him it was for live-in physical therapy for his legs and some weight gain..not really a lie because we hoped he would do better there, but in reality he was never going home.

If I ever get to this stage, my children or spouse will have my currently-given permission to do what's best for all of us, including a nursing home if necessary. I don't want them to go through what my siblings and I went through with my difficult father. I wish you the best as you work through this for your family.
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Definitely read the that freqflyer suggested but also know that your mom is probably going to freak out no matter what. If you were elderly and your adult child said that you had to go into a NH wouldn't you freak out? I would. There may be no getting around it.
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Just to note, not all nursing homes smell. You tour them before you select one. If it smells, you don't choose that one.

This may sound simplistic, and maybe it's not the norm in the whole country, yet. But my mother resides in a non smelling facility that provides good care and it accepts Medicaid. We toured several homes. One smelled. We did not choose it. Please don't get guilted into not looking at what is available if you can't do this hands on.
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I didn't tell mom she was going to a nursing home. That's too blunt and a really unsophisticated approach. Did you tell your kids they're going to the doctor to get shots? No - not if you wanted them to get in the car.

I talked with mom about her fears, anxieties and problems living alone. There were many. This was a conversation that happened over time.
At one point I asked if she wanted a solution to the problems.
Then I had my husband tell her we were going to make changes to take care of her and keep her safe. She didn't fight it from him, which is why I did it that way.

We didn't give her a choice other than which apartment she wanted - this one or that one. In a nursing home situation, you won't have that kind of choice like you might in a senior apartment unit or assisted living.

If *YOU* stay calm and reasonable, you are helping them. If you go to pieces, they will too. They might anyway and you have to have enough spine and acting ability to get through it while maintaining boundaries and postivitiy. You can break down at home or in the car, but not in front of your loved one. You have to be positive and strong long enough to get through. It's hard.

But when they need 24/7 care, skilled nursing, a secure environment, and all the benefits of residential care you can't do at home, the pros outweigh the cons. It's about safety and wellbeing.

Saying that I need to take care of mom at home because she took care of me at home is a false argument. My mom also put me in daycare so she could work to feed me. She put me in school so I could learn. She was never doing full time hands on care for 18 years, like is possible for dementia. Her time to do my home-care was always limited duration and as I got older, I could help out by taking over some of the work. This is not ever going to be true for people with debilitating conditions & diseases. The guilt argument goes nowhere with me because it's manipulative. I will make decisions based on what keeps her safe, not what seems tit-for-tat based on my childhood care needs.
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You know, when a person sacrifices their adult life to raise and educate their kids, to be supportive of their spouse, and generally do what's for the good of the family, it is rather blind-siding to be told by one of those kids that they've decided a nursing home is the only alternative for that parent. Think about it -- no matter how successful or wealthy you are right now, no matter how well-known and how well-regarded in business or society, you're really just going to end up in a nursing home that smells like god-knows-what, and without regular visitors. Sounds like a lifelong objective, right? I saw first-hand what nursing home life was like for my dad, when I was forced to put him there after he needed a tracheotomy and after we'd cared for him at home for 8 years. He never wanted to end up in a nursing home, and I know why. If there's ANY alternative to caring for your mom outside of this option, please consider that instead.
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You will find an abundance of helpful answers on this site. Browse via the search bar...I dread the day that I am faced with this situation for my dad, but it will become a reality someday. I ask myself, " What if it were me and my kids had to do this for me one day? What would I'd like to hear them tell me? " Nothing is easy. Open your heart and mind and things will fall into place. Good luck
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