My mother has steadily gone downhill, she was in assisted care and we moved her back home to save money while she was doing well. Now she is declining and requires 24 hour sitting although she refuses to believe she needs anyone for any period of time. She continually thanks and crys to us saying how much she appreciates not being sent to living facility, but for our mental health and our marriage cant keep her at the house any more. How do we explain the need for her to move back to a home. I know we never should have moved her back but she was almost out of money. We saved 4 years but now no one in our family can emotionally handle it and we feel absolutely awful discussing it and how to tell her she is going back somewhere. Please help. She will cry for weeks not understanding why we don't want her anymore. She always offers to help cook or clean to stay. ughhhhhh.

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Not everything can be fixed, and sadly a broken brain is one of those things.
You approach this with honesty that you are sorry but can no longer provide safe enough care.
My fear is here that placement is going to be very difficult for someone requiring a sitter, even in a nursing home, and that medications are going to be needed, so the doctor and medical team has to be a part of this move.

Yes, she will cry. Is this loss not worth mourning? Could you ever conceive of her accepting and being happy about this move. There is nothing happy in any of this. You will have to be honest. Your honesty (or dishonesty) really won't matter anymore in this.

I cannot imagine a way out of heartbreak in all this. We live too long and that's a fact you will be confronted with every day if you choose to stay on this forum. I don't read here any "good stories". There is little of "happiness" to be found here. There is for the most part a wish for the peace of an ending for most. I am so very sorry. Do try to seek some help for your OWN grief in his. A few sessions with a licensed social worker in private practice who specializes in working with people dealing with life transitions may help a bit. Again, so sorry.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to AlvaDeer

Before you even talk to her about it, please consult with her primary doctor about meds to treat her depression and anxiety. My 95-yr old Mom recently started taking the lowest dose of Lexipro and it has helped her a lot.

Then, once she seems less anxious and depressed, then you tell her a "therpeutic fib": we will be having some repairs on the plumbing in our house and the water will need to be shut off for quite a while so you're going to a temporary apartment until it's over..." etc. or whatever story you think she'll accept. This is not immoral or unethical, but to help keep her calm during the transition period. The facility staff should also be told since this won't be their first rodeo and will gladly play along to make it easier on everyone.

It is perfectly normal to feel grief over this but not guilt. You and family have done yeoman's work for 4 years, making a huge sacrifice on her behalf. Be proud of this rather than wrecked over this new phase of her care. May you receive peace in your hearts at this decision.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Geaton777

Any move will be difficult.
You can do a few things but she will not "get it" or retain the why's of the move.

You can start talking about doing some redecorating and the need to paint the house. Because of this she needs to move back to where she was before. (If it is the same place you can tell her that "Betty, her nurse is excited to have her come back" )
"Mom, "Bill" and I are going to go to his college reunion and we are going to bring you back to the "Sunshine Home". They are glad you are going to come back"
"Mom, it is getting so that I am worried that it is not safe for me to take care of you any more. I don't want to hurt you while helping you and I don't want to get hurt. I called and "Sunshine Home" has a room for you"

Like I said she will hear you..she will not retain any of these great reasons.
Just buckle up, Be prepared for her to be upset. Be prepared for her to cry. Be prepared for her to decline.

Please make the move to Memory Care not Assisted Living.
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Reply to Grandma1954
Beatty Jun 29, 2024
You make ME want to move to "Sunshine Home" 😁🌞

Add happy hour & an 80s party night & I am there! (In my fake beads & glittery top✨️)
Your profile mentions dementia, meaning your mother no longer can reason out why this change is needed. These conversations aren’t getting anyone anywhere, merely frustrating you both. Find a place that will eventually take Medicaid for the time when her funds are depleted since you know this will likely happen. Look into a med for anxiety, it will be a gift to her. My dad had no dementia but a daily dose of Zoloft was definitely a huge help in calming his anxiety and sadness. Make this move happen with the guidance of the staff where she’s going, they are used to these transitions. This is called making the best of the situation, do so without argument or more discussion. I wish you both peace
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Reply to Daughterof1930
asfastas1can Jun 28, 2024
I agree with Daughterof1930, too. We, ourselves, are guilty of trying to reason with my mother, as I always feel like we should still include her in our decisions, but I know that this is not helpful and she is not capable of making decisions. She will never be happy with any situation, so the best we can do is support her as much as possible, but do what needs to be done. It is very hard, and sometimes overwhelming, but we cannot go back (she will not get younger or "better", we can only move forward and deal with what we have.
I've just (literally, this morning) told my stepdad to call an ambulance to take Mum into hospital, without discussing it with her first. She has dementia and isn't capable of making decisions for her own health, so it won't help to involve her, especially if (as is likely) she says that she's okay and doesn't want to go into hospital.

Someone with dementia can't reason and make good decisions for themselves, let alone anyone else. They seem selfish, but it's just that they can't think of anyone else's perspective, which is needed for empathy. It's not their fault how their brains work (or don't work).

So, don't make this a discussion, or even a conversation. You just tell your mother that this is happening for her own wellbeing as well as for yours. You let her know you love her and that you look forward to visiting her regularly.

When you tell your mum will depend on how she deals with information. For example, I kept telling Mum that she was moving, in the weeks leading up to her and her husband's move, so that she got used to the idea. However, if she felt anxious about it, I probably would have told her just before she moved.

In your situation, I would probably use the therapeutic fib; I'd tell Mum that she will be going into a home while I move house, as there will be too much movement and things going on for her to be safe or me to look after her. Then, I'd say that things aren't sorted, so she needs to stay where she's being looked after. If I were going to take Mum to my house at Christmas, or similar, I'd say that the sale got held up and we're waiting for it to go ahead. However, I probably would keep Mum in the care home because of the difficulty with transitioning.

My stepdad wanted me to go into hospital with Mum, as I did the last 2 times. I stayed with her for hours, through the night and into the next day, while she was on an A&E ward and until settled on a high dependency ward. I sat on a hard chair, having no meals (kind nurses kept me supplied with tea and biscuits) and no sleep. I missed work and had joint and muscle pain (I have nerve and mobility issues) for no reason - me being there didn't help my mum. In fact, I became a focus for her anxious need to go home, as she kept trying to get me to take her out of there.
My stepdad thought I was being selfish, but I've just explained that Mum is likely to settle better without me being there. My needs - the things I have to do, myself, or just being able to sit in a suitable chair or have a meal - don't figure into it. But I've learned that I have to take care of me, otherwise I'll make myself ill again. I can't keep doing that - neither can you.

Don't feel guilty for doing what's needed, or not doing what others think is needed, but you know better.
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Reply to MiaMoor

I'd recommend / encourage you to not over-state / over-explain it - for several reasons, mainly:
1) Depending on her cognitive functioning, she won't understand the 'why' nor her decline. Over-talking encourages emotional upset - for her and you.
2) The goal to her on-going care is to 'keep her as calm as possible.' This means doing whatever you need to do - and how.

I would recommend you tell her it is a temporary move - for whatever reason you want to tell her, i.e., the / her room is being painted, the house needs to be fumigated for bed bugs. It doesn't matter what you tell her. She will still be update although it she hears the word "TEMPORARY' - it may calm her down in the moment / present time.

Expect she will be upset, cry, be emotional. If you expect this, you can better manage your response, i.e.,
- Comfort her with gentle touch while saying "I understand how you feel." It is important to acknowledge her feelings / that she feels heard (it is validating to her - as a person, it shows respect.
- Don't prolong discussion as it will keep her in an emotional state of despair, alert, sadness. Change the subject.
- Do not tell her when she will actually be moving. It will give her 'more time' to feel scared / angry / sad. Tell her the day the 'exterminators or painters' as coming - on the day she is to be moved. Not before.
- If she tries to continue a discussion or keeps crying (to keep you engaged perhaps), leave the room "I have to prepare ... in the kitchen now." Then walk out. This may seem cruel or rude although you want to 'shift' the energy and focus FROM her going into AL - to something present time (i.e., lunch time ... did you know that xxx is getting married (a grand child) ...
- Remember, you are doing this for her ... and that you are in transition TOO. It is sad for all in the family. Give yourself space and time to grieve. And, know that you / your quality of life (w a husband) is important, too. Affirm that you deserve a full life - and acknowledge all that you've done ... and continue to do for your mom.

Gena / Touch Matters
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Reply to TouchMatters

mindywardlaw: As your mother unfortunately suffers from dementia, she requires residence in a memory care facility.
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Reply to Llamalover47

Look for a small group home rather than a large facility. She might be one of those who thrives in a place where it's more like a real home - gathering around the dining room table for meals, an aide to give her a manicure, walks with others around the yard. The residents are encouraged to bake cookies on cookie day, or put out decorations for Fourth of July.

I know people who live in places like these. You can take her to visit for lunch a few times without saying she's going to be living there. Then when you do take her there to live, she knows the people, has already said it's a nice back yard, or whatever.
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Reply to Fawnby

We emphasized Safety. Extra safety needed by full time staff.
And we discussed medical needs, but not in an insulting manner.
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Reply to Scooter2023

This has brought me to tears . I'm sorry you're going through this. We placed my 92 year old mom 4 months ago to memory care. My visit yesterday was the worst one in awhile . She was sobbing asking why she couldn't live with me. ( or her mother who passedawayin 1978) .I know she's where she needs to be but found myself questioning if I should bring her home. I feel horrible knowing she's so sad and feels like we abandoned her.. I tried taking care of her at home for 3 years and couldn't do it anymore. Find the strength to do what is best for your loved ones as heartbreaking it is...
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to MDR317
MiaMoor Jul 8, 2024
I am so sorry that you are going through such a difficult transition period with your mum. I'm glad you realise she's in the best place, as you can't keep taking care of her.

Have you reduced your visits, to give your mum a chance to adjust without you? It's sad, but you're a reminder of a past life that is gone and cannot be regained. Perhaps with fewer reminders, your mum might feel content in the here and now.

Ask the people at the care home if your mum is okay when you're not there. (I asked the ward sister, last week, and she told me that Mum is generally quite content and without any distress. There were moments, last week, but they were transitory.)

If that's so, you can stop visiting for a few weeks while your mum adjusts, or reduce visits until she adjusts. Also, keep visits short, concentrate on doing something for your mum - brushing her hair, moisturising and massaging her hands - and try not to visit in the evenings when she's sundowning.
Try and avoid phrases like, "do you remember...?" This can be quite difficult for a person who's vaguely aware that they aren't remembering properly, or for whom thoughts are all tangled up.

I do hope that both you and your mum find peace and contentment in this new phase of your lives.
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