Took her for a visit, she made a huge angry scene.

She has no short term memory, so it's hard to prepare her as it's always new!

Not sure whether to involve her in the moving process over next couple weeks or just bring her there on moving day?

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I think that we often think that we are "respecting" our elders by informing them of plans every step of the way.

I found out with my mother, who had vascular dementia that the very opposite was in fact what was most comforting and therefore most respectful of her fragility.

Let me back up; has your mother been seen by a geriatric psychiatrist and evaluated for meds for depression, anxiety and agitation?

Have you consulted both with that doctor and with the care facility about the best way to handle this difficult transition? You don't need to a shouldn't have to face this alone. This is YOUR first rodeo; believe me, the facility has seen it all!

I'm told that often the best thing to do is to tell your parent that you are taking her to lunch (which you do, at the facility) and while you are both eating, someone else prepares her room with all of her familiar and favorite things. In some cases, it is advised that you not visit for 2 weeks. I would not have been able to do this with my mom; she was not combative. She trusted us and knew that we were doing what was best for her.

But your situation may differ. Your mom may be further down the road and may need time to adjust to the routine of the facility without the distraction of her past life. Only you can decide that.

But get some professional advice about this. And ((((((((hugs))))))). Let us know how it goes. We've been there. And we care.
Helpful Answer (26)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Kathie333 Apr 9, 2019
Nice response 👍
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Having dealt with this, My recommendation and experience is that you have to be strong and do what needs to be done. In many ways dementia patients are like children. They look to you to be strong and sure and firm in your decisions. They take comfort in that. They know they are not any of those things. They thrive on strong routines and find safety in boundaries. Also like children if they think they can sway you with tantrums it makes them feel insecure. Make your decision on the best place, make the arrangements. Take your mom out and let others move and set up her belongings. Then take her to the place and say “Mom, I know that this may not be what any of us would have preferred, but your doctors and the family agree that this is what the best living situation is for you. We need people 24/7 who can see to your safety, health and we’ll being. You may be angry with me and that’s OK. I have prayed and thought about all the ramifications and consulted with the medical professionals and this is what’s best. I love you too much to let you be in an unsafe situation. I know you think you are fine, but you are not safe by yourself due to your memory issues. Now let’s go in and see the place and I’ll help you get settled in. We’ll make a list of anything you think you might need to make it the way you want it and I’ll go get those items for you.
Spin it as positively as you can.
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Reply to DILKimba
Magda1 Apr 9, 2019
Congratulations! That is a beautiful and perfect answer 👏🌹
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My mom and I had the big battle at the kitchen table. She jabbed a finger at my wife and growled, "YOU did this to me!" My marriage had indeed reached the ultimatum stage. Mom was on her second shot at living with us after my aunt's death left her without a home. Constant complaints, daily tension during meals, my mom and my wife pushing each other's buttons. Any time we wanted to go out I got interrogated as to who, what, where, what time, and why can't I come. It finally got to be too much for me to deal with, I wanted nothing more than peace in our home and our lives back.

Her regular doctor visit was right across the parking lot from the AL. I arranged for a tour taking mom in her wheel chair right over after her doctor visit. The tour included a sample room, her room actually. There were greetings and cheery comments from the staff. Mom wasn't buying any of it. She refused to voluntarily go there "to that place."

The next day at breakfast I told her the truth about the "tour" and that she was going to live there by the end of the week. Battle Royal ensued. I offered to move her anywhere she wanted to go except our house and that she would not be able to live alone. Her relatives in NJ (whom she always referred to as "my family") flat told her if she came up there it would be in some kind of AL not in one of their homes. Undoubtedly NJ AL would be much more expensive. She chose to live in our area among "you people" the extended family locally (to this day never refers to us as "my family"). After she vented all the anger she had I broke off the argument and got the final word. On the day of the move she was the perfect victim. As I was driving her to the facility to she me told I was leaving her there to die.

I'm sorry but you are in for the show down. Even if she doesn't remember it the next day you are going to have to tell her. I stayed away for 5 days after the move before starting regular visits. By then she was resigned and began adjusting. Two and half years later we are on good terms but it will occasionally leak out that she resents being there.

Each of us is in different circumstances but in the end you have to keep reminding yourself this is in her best interests and plow through. She may surprise you.
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Reply to Richard41
cheryljane Apr 9, 2019
Please Richard buy some books with tips about how to handle these things. I have learned so much this year. Books by Laurie White are good and DVDs by Teepa Snow are fantastic. Teepa teaching by using the audience and you'll get a kick out of it and learn soooo...... much and it will relieve some of your stress. I wish you the best.

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This probably sounds a little harsh, but you need to make a decision and stick to it. If your mother sees/feels/reads that you are waffling, she's going to guilt you into the next decade. I didn't see my mother for 6 weeks after placement -- the doctor suggested it because my mother was so volatile, and I was relieved she did. Don't second guess yourself -- you see your mother better than anyone. Word of warning: this can be a very trying time, take time for some self care! Best.
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Reply to ArtMom58

This is always a tough call. Because your Mom has no short term memory, she will probably process whatever you tell her as new information each time. When I realized this was happening with my Mom (same situation re: moving to Assisted Living and adamantly opposed to it), I could see it was just going to be torture for her over and over again whenever we talked about it. My brothers and I decided not to bring it up again until moving day. I'm sorry to say It wasn't a smooth transition but I don't think it would've been any better if we had kept bringing it up.

On the bright side though, after several months of hell (and moving again), she is in a place where she seems happy and accepting of her new home. Finding the right fit for her was the key. I feel your pain being where you are now. Going through making the decision and then the move is so hard, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. But, now that we have that past us, the future does have promise. Best to you and your Mom.
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Reply to AvaC42
glasswhisperer Apr 9, 2019
Sounds like a very similar situation!
I very much hope this works, the next move for her would be nowhere near as nice as this place!
Good to know there is light at the end of the tunnel
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I took her on moving day to a nursing home., told her it was a special hotel.  Next day I told her she was staying because I could no longer take care of her, but I am near and will visit. Then I asked her specifics, like where do you eat? (Divert) 

It's like leaving your fist-born at Kindergarten the first day.  Just do it.
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Reply to GrannieAnnie
glasswhisperer Apr 9, 2019
Just take her. If it's a decent place, you have nothing to worry about her. Your job is to make sure she is safe. You've done that with the move. STOP trying to reason with her. You're just trying to "forgive" yourself. For what? Sorry to be harsh, but STOP IT.
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Reply to PattiRaeT123
glasswhisperer Apr 9, 2019
Just bring her there. If she has no short term memory she isn’t safe alone. You come to a point where her safety is the priority, not her feelings. Her judgment isn’t reliable anymore so what she feels unfortunately isn’t based in fact.

My mother had a fit moving to independent living but after a year could no longer stay there since her needs changed. We had her assisted living apartment all put together then took her there from rehab. We had shown her the place initially, she complained the entire visit lol. But once all her stuff was there, she was happy. ( that didn’t last but she’s never happy so expected that lol)
One thing to keep in mind is cut down on clutter. They don’t want them having things like coffee tables since they are tripping hazards. My mother basically forgot what she had so didn’t really complained too much when we had to pare down a lot of extra furniture. They want 3 feet of clearance so they can get a gurney in if needed. They told us only what is absolutely needed. Some of my mother’s decor that was sentimental we put in boxes in her closet so she has it but it’s not out. She’s actually fine with that since it’s her decision if or when she puts it out. Sometimes the control aspect of an item is more important than the actual item , at least to her it is.
As to not visiting, it may depend on if it’s AL or memory care. The AL my mom is at actually has a little dinner party for new residents so the family can help ease the transition. We ate the first few meals with her then they assigned a resident to show her the ropes. But they have never suggested not to visit. I love her facility. It’s expensive but she can afford it. They are all friendly both to the residents and the family, know EVERYONE’s name as well as all their family. They are absolutely fantastic. Tons of activity, including using the residents to supply some ie a resident who worked for parks department and traveled extensively does travelogues . The facility can make them or break them, the rehab she was in was horrendous and not that much cheaper.
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Reply to Jannner
glasswhisperer Apr 9, 2019
Thanks! that is encouraging
I was lucky. Mom had our old family room so it had a back door. While we were moving her stuff out, someone was keeping her occupied in the living room. Once done, we came back for her. My daughter told her she was moving to a nice apartment and would make new friends. Mom was further along in her Dementia so she adjusted pretty well.

I do not believe in leaving them for a few days. They may feel abandoned. I would make the first few days short visits. If she gets angry just tell her you will see her tomorrow when she feels better. I think they need a familiar face among all the new ones. Adjustment may take a while.

I remember when my 2 yr old brother was put in the hospital for 2 days. They asked my Mom not to visit. He must have felt so abandoned. My husband to this day does not like hospitals or nursing facilities. I think that stems from a hospital visit when he was little. Back then they thought it was better the parents weren't there.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to JoAnn29
shb1964 Apr 9, 2019
There may well be good reasons to leave them be for a few days to start the adjustment process. My brother, sister, and I were triggering psychotic breaks in my mother during a hospitalization and a stay in rehab before moving her to a memory care place. She had a very rocky transition but I believe we would have made it worse had we been there - it would have been to make us feel better but ultimately would have been harder on her. As it is, she threw fits, snapping off the antenna to her TV and throwing the remote across the room - those are the only things we've seen evidence of, but I know she lashed out mightily at the staff in the beginning. We were advised - and we listened to the professional advice we got - to stay away. It ended up being almost six weeks. My sister and I need a break, frankly, and were terrified to go back in case we caused another outburst. Which we did. When it came time to leave that first visit, my mom was literally clutching onto our clothes and sobbing, squeezing my hand so hard it hurt. That felt absolutely rotten - just rotten. It has gotten better in subsequent weeks. This all started in late January. This forum is for responses, which include personal opinions, of course. But there may well be good reasons when a facility advises family to stay away. Because most of us are going through this for the first time, we are clinging to the advice we are given from the "pros." If we have done our research on the place we're entrusting to care for our loved ones, I believe we should listen to their advice.
We had my FIL in an adult daycare and he hated it. Then an ad for a local AL with a daycare program came across my feed (article in our local paper). I went and looked and we moved him there for the daytime. Then my BIL decided to get a room so dad “could rest” if he wanted. 2 days later he was there full-time. We were very lucky in our transition. Is it possible to bring her and let her participate in activities during the day?

On the the note of not visiting. I know many people feel like they are abandoning a loved one. We have to remember that we need to do what’s best for THEM. Anytime there’s change my FIL gets very agitated- so when I visit (I’m primary caretaker) he unloads on me, but most of what he says/ complains about is his perception and not reality. For example, he said they were making him sleep fully clothed (not his words because he has trouble with expressive communication). We have a camera in his room and not once did they make him sleep with his clothes on. He kept telling me he couldn’t sleep like that and he was uncomfortable wearing “all of that” at night. His days and nights are becoming mixed up.
Anyway, we found if there is a change, we lay low a few days and then visit. It gives him time to adjust to the change and then we get the better parts of him instead of the agitation.
Understand that, when he’s like that, the moment I hit the door he’ll say “oh, I’m glad you’re here. I have all kinds of problems.” And then proceed to tell me lots of perceived problems that are not in fact problems.

If possible, let her do some activities there. Visit as you see fit. If it’s making her agitated, back off for a bit. Follow her lead, she’ll “show” you so to speak.

Good luck. This certainly isn’t easy.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to mommaruthie
glasswhisperer Apr 9, 2019
Thanks, good advise
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