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I am 64, retired, and moved in with my 89 year old Mother one year ago. She has had dementia for about 7 years now. I thought I could add quality to her daily life by including her in more activities, engaging her in loving talks etc. She had a day care giver, but stayed alone at night. Mobile with walker. Life alert if she needed something during night. I was the contact and did make trips in middle of the night due to her confusion.


She still has day caregiver and I am with her every night all night and weekends. 24/7 care. Once I moved in, I became aware of how confused she was compared to how I thought she was just by visiting her. The dementia has gotten much worse over the past year. For all the effort we have applied to keep her in her home of 30+ years, she does not believe it is her home and constantly "wants to go home".


She does not believe I am her daughter, just another caregiver, so intimate mother-daughter talks dont happen.


She is getting weaker so outside activites dont happen (except church when she is able) and she is not interested in indoor activities.


Life with Mom didn't happen the way I wanted. I am considering moving Mom to a very nice Memory Care facility in our hometown as I believe Mom will get the specific professional dementia care she needs, while hopefully enjoying community with other residents. As she doesn't recognize her home anymore, I believe keeping her at home is no longer important and is possibly even detrimental to her health and mine. I and family would be regular visitors and she may even get to know me as her daughter again. I feel tremendous guilt, like I have failed her and given up. I would really appreciate your thoughts please.

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I think you have answered your own question and are wanting validation that you are doing the right thing.
You say.."Torn between getting BETTER care there or keeping her at home"
Sounds to me like there is no real choice.
Just as she wanted the best for you when you were growing up you want what is best for her.
The fact that she does not realize her "home" is her home seems to make this decision easier. (easier might not be the right word as this is never an easy decision)
Moving her at this time is even more fraught with doubts. Isolation, the fact that you may not be able to visit, curtailed activities...BUT she will have professional care in an environment that is safe for her.
Side note to this,,,You are young...you have many options. You are retired, do some of the things that you have been wanting to do but put on the back burner.
Your mom will be fine. I am sure she would want you to do this. If you asked her 20 years ago would she have wanted you to put your life on "hold" to care for her? I bet not, no mom would.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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I feel your disappointment...I worked so hard to get my MIL (on Medicaid!) into a nice, local facility. She is healthy but has severe short term memory loss. When she got there she refused to get out of bed, even to eat in the dining room. So my romanticized notions of her engaging with others and going on field trips dried up almost instantly. Romanticizing caregiving is common and adds to the pain of the reality. You wrote, "... I believe Mom will get the specific professional dementia care she needs, while hopefully enjoying community with other residents... I and family would be regular visitors and she may even get to know me as her daughter again." May I gently point out that you have not learned the hard lesson of having no expectations. You must practice this or you will continue to experience disappointment, sadness and guilt more than you already do. Have no expectations, as hard as that sounds...and is. FYI the "home" she is longing for is the one of her youth, the one she grew up in, not the one you and she shared. Her brain is broken and won't improve in any way. Teepa Snow has some wonderful videos on YouTube about dementia...it may help you through this process to learn more so you can understand this journey with your mom better. May you have peace in your heart and healing for your guilt and sadness.
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Reply to Geaton777
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Your mom's brain is what has failed here, not you.

Please try to back away from the guilt; you've done nothing wrong. The number of missteps that my brothers and I made when trying to get mom the best care.....oy, the stories I could tell you!

Has mom's doctor who is managing her dementia or another professional weighed in and recommended Memory Care? For me, that would be the signal to move her.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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