I had tried to prepare her but of course she didn’t remember. She was so angry at me, looked me in the eye and said “ I can’t believe you did this to me”
I just couldn’t alone anymore. My siblings are mostly in California, as are her grandchildren so I chose a place near to them so they can visit.
Its 2 weeks now and she’s still having crying days, some good, but mostly bad. On phone calls she says she’s waiting to get picked up to go home.
Im sad but it was for the best, professionals there who know how to take care of her as a team, not just her daughter by herself.
I just need to know how others handled this.
Thank you

How do you handle it?
Welcome to the Forum. When you are here a few weeks you will understand that this is the NORM, and will understand it even more quickly if you speak to the administration there.

I cannot know how happy a camper your mom has been throughout her life, but there is little of "happiness" in old age, and I can assure you of that as I am 81. It is more an endurance marathon.

Look at it this way, your mother's life now is all about loss. Start at the head and go to the toes that can't feel much of anything anymore. Thinning hair, hearing loss, balance loss, eyesight failing, skin a mess, hairs growing our of the chin instead of other places where you need it. The cervical spine is compressing and the neck muscles hurt and nerve pain shoot down the arms into the fingers. You cannot multitask. Your appetite is waning and you're sleep more of the time.

I can go down through the systems. But I will spare you as I think you have been a first hand observer.

Your mother is in care now which is where she should be lest she take down the survivors with her. However, every time she sees you she thinks you can/will/should/must save her. So you are the target for every bit of ill will she can muster, and for her right now anger is easier than weeping.

Here's the thing.
You didn't cause all this.
You can't fix this.
You are not and cannot hold yourself responsible for this.
You need to understand that this is GRIEF for you both. Not guilt, but GRIEF pure and simple. Your mom has had her life. I hope it was a good one because it was her one and only chance.
I always caution grown children not to sacrifice their lives on the burning funeral pyre of their loved one. I am 81. My daughter is 62. This is the most free time of her life when she will not have to work, when her own son is grown, educated, and flown the nest. When it is time for HER and her husband to do their hobbies, to travel. Are they then to give that up and come this awful journey of death and dying with me? Why? So that an application for Sainthood would look good? Because Sainthood is one very bad job description.

You and Mom will have to endure this tough change as best you can.
I welcome you to the Forum. You can help others and perhaps get some few pointers from those of us who were there, are there, will be there.
Good luck.

PS, you can be a daughter or a caregiver. You can't be both. Assuming the mantle of caregiver makes you the decider, the limit setter, the boss who wants someone to get up, get exercise. Caregivers are not your loving daughter. Don't let that happen. Remain the loving daughter who visits, sympathizes, does her best to comfort, and weeps with her loved one.
Helpful Answer (30)
Reply to AlvaDeer
ElizabethAR37 May 28, 2024
I love this response, especially the 3rd paragraph about all the oh-so-FUN things that happen to (most of) us as we reach our 80s. Frankly, 87 (and experiencing most of the items mentioned) is a point I'd rather not have reached--but here I am. Your list is spot-on, as is your exhortation to OP to remain free of hands-on caregiving. It sounds like she's taken a huge 1st step by finding a good care facility for her mom. I hope she heeds your wise counsel and does not even entertain a fleeting thought about reversing course.
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By my count today is 21 days right? She lived with you for almost a year - how long did it take for her to adjust to living with you after she lived on her own?

The reality is that moving is a big adjustment for ANYONE. When people are asked if they have had any major life changes recently - a move is usually one of the options on that list. Even moving from one house to another house in the same town (not changing schools, just houses) was a big change for my daughters when we moved 5 years ago. It took them a lot longer than 21 days to adjust and they were 17 and 19.

What does "not adjusting" look like? Is she trying to escape daily? Or is she just not "happy" and making her feelings known? Because I'm going to be really honest with you - almost no one adjusts to living in senior living to the point of being so content that they never complain and stop talking about going home.

With dementia - she may never fully adjust because from one day to the next she may not remember why she is there.

But here is the key - YOU know. And you said it in your post. "I just couldn't do it alone anymore.". When someone has dementia, and they get to a certain point, it is really beyond your control to be able to take care of them 24 hours a day. You have to focus more on what keeps them safe and less on what keeps them happy.

Because what keeps them happy can change from day to day, but what keeps them safe is going to stay pretty much the same. And you have to focus on what they need over what they want.
Helpful Answer (20)
Reply to BlueEyedGirl94
fluffy1966 Jun 3, 2024
Well-said, BlueEyedGirl!
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She's "not adjusting" when on the phone to YOU. How mom is doing, in general, is likely fine. Trust me when I tell you they save all their angst for US, when most often, they're doing fine! I'd often arrive to see my mother in Memory Care Assisted Living and find her yucking it up with the other residents, having an enjoyable time. The moment she saw me, her face drooped, the frown set in, and the complaining started. Such is the nature of dementia combined with self pity, unfortunately.

Your best bet is to call the nurse to find out how mom is doing. Keep your calls to a minimum for awhile because all you'll hear is accusations instead of anything else. My husband once asked my mother to tell him ONE thing she was grateful for, and for the life of her, she couldn't think of one! She was always a glass half empty type of person, unless she had an audience to play to.

Mom will adjust in time. She's well cared for, fed, safe, has activities and peers to talk to. That's all she needs. Some folks in Memory Care Assisted Living are happy as clams and others are miserable as the day is long. Especially when visitors come by. Don't internalize her words.

Best of luck to you.
Helpful Answer (19)
Reply to lealonnie1

With our mothers, some of us can think that their happiness is OUR responsibility. So, we worry and fret and lose sleep over them - unnecessarily.

Think about a new situation you've been in - A job, a new neighborhood, a cross-country move. Were you happy for the first few months? Even a year?

When we moved from Buffalo to Florida, I couldn't find my way around without GPS.

My "stuff" wasn't in the same place it was, back home.

My workplace was different.

My friends were hundreds of miles away.

I wasn't happy.

Now, I have a wonderful church family, an ADORABLE grandson, and satisfying volunteer work. I can find my way around, and I know where my stuff is. I found my way.

My 25 year old daughter moved here with us - voluntarily. Two weeks after we moved, she sobbed, just missing her old life and old job.

I pushed her to go to Sunday School and to join the worship team at our new church. She finally gave in, and she met the team's drummer, and a year later, married him. She had the above ADORABLE grandson, who is five years old. She has a gaggle of wonderful friends. She found her way.

So? Normal. Transition takes AWHILE.

With our mothers living with dementia, again, their unhappiness becomes OUR unhappiness - cause we let it.

In any normal life transition, we would KNOW that it's hard, and it's normal. NORMAL.

Try the best you can to remember this fact, and let your mom find her way. She will. ◡̈

Best wishes, and we're cheering for you!
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to cxmoody
lealonnie1 May 28, 2024
Great analogy ! 😊
Its normal. My daddy wanted to come home too. I could not take care of him. He was 6.2 and 245 lbs. and most of all willful! I just hope the family is visiting but remember she may still want to go home. I just let my daddy know that as soon as the doctor released him he could come home. Always blame it on someone they don't see or don't know. Don't use names just say doctor. Know that as your problem was read a prayer was said for you and your family.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Ohwow323

Thank you everyone. Such good advice from all of you. I will give it more time. I know she can make it there and be happy, she just needs more time to accept the move.
thank you
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Klopes

2 weeks is way too early. Expect at least 2-3 months.

You did not place her as punishment, you were burdened and stressed by caregiving you expected would be easy. You tried a full year, and realized it was a significant burden for you, having no medical experience.

Ask yourself, did your Mom take care of her elderly mother? Move her in with her?

Most elders have the concept "being put in a home" is the worst thing that could happen to them. Having 24/7 care, meals, housekeeping, a safe place and activities is not prison. She is taken care of by professionals who are trained to handle dementia.

You did not cause her to get old and have dementia. At her age, she is aware her life will be ending soon. Of course it is frightening and depressing. She isn't going to be happy. But she is safe and not alone.

I will never expect anyone to caregive me when I reach the end of my life. I will find and move into Assisted Living and enjoy not having to cook, clean and struggle.

You did the right thing, so cry it out and stay strong.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Dawn88
Kpel1221 Jun 4, 2024
Your answer is really good , especially the comment, “ Did your Mom take care of her elderly Mother ?” In my Mom’s case, she was a daughter of a family of 6 . One son died at a young age . That left 5 others . But what happened and happens often , one daughter never married and stayed to take care of both of my Mom’s parents . That sister never really had a life . She loved her parents but I know it was hard for her watching the other siblings enjoy their families. She never complained . Also, she never learned to drive and that made it even worse . She had to depend on others including all the siblings .
My husband and I moved in with my parents in 2018 . My Dad had Altzheimer’s and Multiple Myeloma and died in 2019 . We didn’t want to leave my Mom and luckily , my husband was ok with that and treats my Mom, who now has Vascular Dimentia and Parkinson’s, so we’ll . The first 3 years were fun . We took her with us on trips - never left her home . But now , it’s more difficult . She is 93. I’m 71 and my husband is 79 . My Mom is very dependent on me . She never wants me out of her sight . I lost my only sibling in 2003 . We ended up selling our home because she couldn’t do stairs and didn’t have a MLM. It is so hard . I’m the bad parent now and my husband is the good one . But , we do not have a life . I love my Mom so much . We were very close - best friends , but being a caregiver and daughter is not good . When I was younger , I stayed in the area where they lived . My sister moved . She loved my parents and it would have been such a comfort to have her here now to help me .But God saw differently . It is difficult finding someone who has a nursing degree to come in and help , to give us a break . I feel guilty leaving her . I have no children to help out either . I’m in a bind 😥
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My mom lived with me and hubby for 7 years, slowly declining with worsening cognitive issues to dementia. It became way too much for me, even with paid helpers, and I placed her in AL. She was PISSED!!!! I felt horrible, but it was definitely the right decision and I stood strong knowing that I just could NOT do it any longer. She has adjusted to AL but will never love it. At 81, sadly I'd say her good times and happiness are pretty much behind her. Sure, she has moments of happiness, especially when the great grand kids are around, but mostly she's just not thrilled with anything. So, it's probably something you have to just come to terms with. Not easy, but we also have to be practical and kind to ourselves.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to againx100

I think you will get a lot of support here. I had to place both my parents last year. Dad is blind, mom has vascular dementia. Dad is fine. He is happy and never complains. Mom is miserable but part of that is the dementia. I'm not sure what type of dementia your mom has but vascular dementia can cause excessive emotion in some patients. You might want to talk with the staff at her community and see what they suggest. Perhaps a mild anti-depressent might help?

In my humble opinion, you did what you need to do. I completely support your decision. You cannot fix her. She is safe and that is really important. Sometimes we have to accept that we cannot be the answer but we can be part of the solution (I don't mean to be trite). Sometimes we have to make hard decisions. I would not change the decisions I made and I know my parents are safer today then they were living in their home.

Sending you good thoughts.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Sadkid22

Being older makes it harder to adjust to change. Being older with dementia makes it a LOT harder. It's not possible for her brain to understand why she needs to be there, much like a small child who can't understand why she must go to school.

I am glad you realize this was for the best. You did not "do this to her", her disease did.

You have insured she is in a safe place that meets her needs and is close to family so she can have visitors.

It is not your responsibility to make your mom happy. No one can make someone else happy. When someone is old, sick, and nearing the end of life, there is not much to even BE happy about.

You let her know she is loved and cared for - that is your responsibility, and you are doing it.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Dogwood63

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