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My mom just turned 82, and has been living by herself for the last 20 years. I have two brothers who want nothing to do with my mom. She has no friends, and doesn’t socialize with anyone. Growing up she wasn’t a very nice person. Narcissist tendencies. I am her only caregiver. She lost her only sister to pancreatic cancer 2 years ago. Since then I have noticed a complete change in her mentally. After she passed it was almost like she had a nervous breakdown. I went over to her house and she had everything unplugged, and said she couldn’t get the tv working. Eventually she snapped out of it and seemed stable, but I started noticing these past couple years strange things. Constant calls that the tv wasn’t working or the remote wasn’t working. She stopped being able to figure out how to work her DVD player. Every radio I would purchase, she said didn’t work. She just couldn’t figure out the buttons and how to operate them. She stopped cleaning out her cupboards, and I’d constantly find moldy bread or food. She stopped making shopping lists for me for the grocery store. I had to constantly guess what she needed. I had to start cooking and bringing homemade dinners for her to reheat. She went from over feeding her dog to forgetting to feed her. Sometimes she would forget to take meds but most of the time was still doing well with it. Constantly said the air conditioning or heat wasn’t working right when it was. Constantly said the toilets were broken when they weren’t. If she calls me and I don’t answer she will keep calling me nonstop until I answer. My mom lives 30 minutes from me, and I’m only able to see her 3-4x a week because of work. On August 25 she called my phone at 2am 3 times. I didn’t answer as my phone was on vibrate and I didn’t hear it. By voicemail number 3 she said she needed to talk to me ASAP and if I didn’t call her back she was calling the sheriff. A deputy called me at 7am saying my mom was very confused and that she said I stole her purse. After I asked him to check the cupboards( usually where she hides things) he found it under the kitchen sink. She had both tv remotes in it along with her glasses and hearing aid. He had her transported to the ER. When I saw her in the ER she told me she didn’t trust me and to get away from her. No infections, blood work perfect. ER doctor said dementia. I’ve known for awhile she’s had it, but she refuses to see a doctor and says nothing is wrong with her. She eventually snapped out of it and doesn’t remember anything other then the police showing up at her house. They couldn’t get her to see a geriatric psychiatrist anywhere for evaluation. They were full at 3 hospitals. So they transferred her to memory care at a nursing home 45 minutes from me. Social worker and dr said she shouldn’t be alone because of her memory issues. I discharged her from memory care and brought her to my house for a week, so I could transition her to an assisted living facility closer to me. That was a mistake. She didn’t sleep at all. She would open the bedroom door and yell all night how our place was a dump and the service was bad. She would slam her cane on the floor and just go off. During the day she was better mentally but when late afternoon would hit her moods would change. It was quite eerie and eye opening. She was delusional and hallucinating. Multiple times asking my husband to fire me as I was a horrible worker. She flat out didn’t know who I was at nighttime??? On day 7 I moved her to an assisted living facility 8 minutes from me. I’ve been saying over and over you have to stay here for awhile and can’t be alone. Today she called me yelling and screaming that I put her away and she wants her attorney etc etc. saying I don’t love her etc etc. That can’t be farther from the truth. I can’t get over the guilt and cry all the time. She can’t live with us I just can’t do it especially with my 11 year old son. I feel I did the right thing, but then why do I feel so guilty.

Guilt is for when you did something wrong.

You are providing care for your mother.

You are keeping her safe.

You are getting her 3 nutritious meals per day.

You are getting her housekeeping services.

You are getting her laundry done.

You are having a doctor come and visit her in her room.

You are providing 24/7 RN services.

You are getting her medicine safely given to her, multiple times per day.

You are getting her activities every day.

You are providing hairstyling services.

You are allowing yourself the ability to keep sane.

You are maintaining your ability to sleep.

You are keeping your family life in tact, and thereby protecting your son.

You are doing so very much.

You did the right thing for your Mom in this devastating condition that has affected you all.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to cxmoody
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You did the right thing.

You feel bad because having to place a parent in a facility is probably the hardest thing most of us will ever have to do.

I bawled like a baby for a month, every single time I saw, spoke with or about my dad. It isn't supposed to be like this, they are the adults, authority, the final word and here we are making the decision that they refused to. Ugh!

Honestly, you will learn to deal with the reality that she is better off where she is. It DOES GET EASIER.

One thing that I found out early in the journey, he was doing better then he wanted me to know. Every conversation was doom and gloom. Yet, he was a happy camper when I observed him from around corners. As soon as he saw me, yep, doom and gloom. So watch from afar and see how she is doing without your audience.

Always keep a happy, upbeat attitude in her presence. Find the things that should make her happy and redirect there. Then cry in the car.

No place is going to be perfect. Learn what is important and choose your battles wisely. Find things to do with her that bring her joy or laughter in the moment and do them every visit. Let the staff do their job and most important, read up on sundowning and showtiming, you have already lived with sundowning, that's why she was so different at night.

As hard as this is, it is far better then finding her dead on the floor at her own home, all alone. I say this because it is important to put the situation into perspective.

She is blessed to have you. Let your emotions run their course and find ways to bring smiles and laughter in the moment.

Great big warm hug!
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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You did the right.for your mom .the reason why I am saying this to you . because I myself have late stage serve dementia going into the assisted living place and I have found out.that I will be going into the end stage of my dementia.so I know .all about it.so far .for me it has been really hard..so you are doing the right thing.for her
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Reply to Dskil57
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Feeling guilty IS part of doing the right thing. You got this. Hang in till the feelings become less and you can see your way clear to the care plan you have put in place.
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Reply to GAinPA
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Guilt is self-imposed. You did what you needed to do for her safety. Its no longer what she wants, its what she needs. I am surprised though that the AL excepted her. Don't be surprised if they tell you she needs Memory care.

Dementia is a horrible desease. Your Moms brain is dying little by little. She has no idea what is going on so she lashes out. Things constantly go thru her mind. She can no longer be reasoned with. She has a hard time processing what is being said to her. She can't remember from day to day, minute to minute. Its very unpredictable. You never know what they will do next. And you will probably always be her target.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I applaud your efforts and your caring and loving attitude towards your mother. You work, have a family and also provide caregiving - that's a lot and more than enough for any one person. It has been a year for me being involved in my direct mom's care (mid 80s, multiple health issues and manipulative/narc.) and I was finally able to place her in a SNF nearby (instead of driving 2 hours one way to visit her at the previous two SNF), and they provide everything for her 24/7. I am still her POA and advocate and am involved on a weekly basis, but she rants and raves about what she doesn't have or like all the time! It is a huge transition for both of you, but as stated in this forum, it does get easier. The guilt is due to you having always been there in the past and now feeling like you abandoned her, but really what you have provided is so valuable and a true act of love. Like me, you can always hear her in your head and dominating your life. It sounds like the dementia may be the main cause, but not taking meds correctly, drug interactions, dehydration, UTIs, and other health issues can make a loved one act incoherently with dementia-like symptoms. All of these affected my mother and she has passed with flying colors all the cognitive tests. I am now taking back my life, and have had to come to terms with her physical and emotional abuse of me as a child AND as an adult. You are not alone...cyber hugs. Stay strong...one day at a time.
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Reply to MissGypsy
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I am so sorry you’re going through this. My psychiatrist dad said “You can’t have a rational discussion with an irrational person.” You can’t fix this so you feel bad for your mom, but please don’t feel like this is your fault & assume guilt.
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Reply to Erikka
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You did the right thing. Might not feel like it, but it was. Do you really think you could have lived like that for several years? It wouldn't get better, only worse. I commend you for dealing with it for a week. She is safe and monitored 24/7. You would not have been able to do that. You did the right thing.
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Reply to lkdrymom
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Feeling guilty can get in the way of making the decisions that are right for you. You are doing a hero's work, and it's OK to let go of the guilt. Wishing you the best!
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Reply to katherinemoody
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Be assured, you did do the right thing. While mom may be very angry, your first responsibility is to keep her safe, especially from herself.

You feel guilty because you can't make everything better. But life is what it is and you can't make mom better or let her have her old life back. You have done nothing wrong. It's going to take time, but give yourself some grace and forgive yourself for not being able to fix mom's world.

Give it some time, hopefully mom will adjust to her new surroundings but even if she doesn't, you know she is where she needs to be. Your job as her primary caregiver is to make sure mom is getting the care she needs. There are trained staff there for her 24/7. There is no way you could have been there for her 24/7 without dropping from exhaustion.

May you be blessed with peace.
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Reply to cweissp
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