How much time should we spend with mom during first days at assisted living?

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Yesterday was mom's first day at assisted living. My sister and I were with her all day. We had lunch with her and stayed until 5:00. Her previous care giver came at 5:00 and had dinner with mom and then stayed with her until 8:00 pm. When the caregiver left, mom started to call my sister and I. She screamed at us telling us we were awful people leaving her there. She said no one was helping her to the bathroom (we know this was not true). It was an all night phone fest. Mom called my sister 6 times and me 10 times. I don't answer the phone every time she calls, but my sister does. My poor sister had a sleepless night and expects more of the same tonight. Today, my sister and I were there early, but she did have breakfast with her new table buddies this morning. Breakfast seemed to go smoothly. Sister and I intercepted her after breakfast and sat outside with her until our brother and his wife arrived. They had lunch with her and spent the afternoon going from one activity to another. By 3:00 pm they tried to leave but mom was in the throws of a major panic attack guilting my brother into staying. My sister had to go there so that my brother could leave. My sister planned to see my mother through dinner and drop her with her new caregivers at the facility to watch a movie. We both expect phone calls all night long. I wonder how we should respond to mom's panic calls. Do we not answer the phone, should we call the facility every time we are uneasy? She makes us feel like we are throwing her to the wolves. Any words of comfort or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening.

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Agree with everything. Stay away and turn your phone off at night. No good is coming of continually talking to her. Let the staff handle things but do keep in touch with them to make sure they know what is going on. You can keep in touch with the staff daily if that makes you feel better and strongly suggest an anti anxiety med while she selves at least. If she is still a mess after a couple of weeks it may be she is in the wrong place and you need to consider memory care.
It is never easy to place a loved one in a facility but if that is the best place for her to be stick with your decision.
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aferrino, leaving a parent at a new facility to live isn't always easy. I compare it to sending a child off to college. It all depends on the health and personality of the parent. Usually 2 weeks is good for them to get adjusted, others take longer to get into a routine.

I agree with the other writers above, cut way back on the visits. Give Mom her independence. I think once your Mom makes new girlfriends she will start doing better. Happiness is when you hear "wish I had moved here sooner" :) I know I was happy when my Dad said that.

As for the late afternoon and night panics, I wonder if your Mom is starting "sundowning". I remember when my Dad started that. He would call me, the poor guy was so confused, he would be thinking he was still at work and would be late coming home. Once he moved into Memory Care, those types of calls stopped even though he still had sundowning. There was more Staff interaction in Memory Care.
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Stay away for two weeks. Going there constantly keeps her from getting into the social aspect of assisted living. If she has panic attacks, get the head nurse to call for an Rx. Breakfast is social, then morning activities, then lunch is social, afternoon and dinner is social. Encourage her to make new friends. Saturdays are often a bus trip. So visit after dinner is over and if you see a tantrum coming, excuse yourself and leave.
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Mom is not going to settle in if you keep going. If you trust the facility, and did your research beforehand and know that this is the right level of care for her, I think I'd back off a bit.

Was she panicked and agitated at home as well or is this new? Dind out if there is a geriatric psychiatrist who calls in to the facility. Most dementia patients have an awareness that they can no longer manage any longer and develop panic reaponses. It certainly happened with my mom and mother on law. Low doese of anti anxiety and/or antidepressant meds can help.
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