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My mom has lived with me for 16 years now. She is 76, has dementia, hearing loss and vision problems. She is usually pretty angry and blames me for stealing her things and mistreating her. I am 42 with adult children and a husband. We all care for her and take excellent care of her but I'm tired :( My heart breaks every time she accuses me of these things. Now she has taken to leaving the house and saying that she is walking to the store. When I try to stop her she becomes combative and angry. I am a teacher and I need to return to work now but I can't afford assisted living or in home help. Is 76 too young for a nursing home?

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Dear "areregister1234,"

The short answer is "no." I've seen people in my mom's care facility a lot younger than 76 - it has to do with their health issues. A friend of mine's daughter was diagnosed with Parkinson's at the age of 46 and is in a care facility.

Your mom has a lot of health issues that will only become increasingly more difficult for you to handle on your own even if you do have help from your family.

Please find a reputable place (by doing your due diligence) and place her as soon as you can. Sixteen years is a long time to have her live with you as well as being taken care of by your family. The care facilities, especially if she's put in a memory care unit, are equipped to handle all the behavioral problems that go along with the dementia.

Best wishes to all of you!
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Reply to NobodyGetsIt
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The only thing that determines a change in her care arrangement is whether it is working for the both you. Age is no factor. You are recognizing burnout in yourself which means the caregiving arrangement is no longer working for both of you so, time for a different solution. A good, reputable facility will provide great care and stimulation for her. She is on the young side to have the cognitive decline you are seeing, but it may be early onset ALZ. Before doing anything I would take her in to test for a UTI, which may be driving the new behaviors. If that's not the cause, then you have a green light to research other options for her care. I recently found out a dearly loved cousin of mine was exhibiting dementia-like symptoms and extreme weight loss...all other physical medical issues have been discounted. She is now being assessed for ALZ...at 66. You've done yeoman's work on your mom's behalf all along, so please feel comforted by that fact. Now you need to do what's best for you and your husband.
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Reply to Geaton777
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I had mom live with me for 15 years and it's really hard. I feel your pain. I am going to tell you what I had to tell myself. I did more than my share. So did you! Let go. I thought I was strong for holding on. It actually took more strength to let go. It was the right thing to do and it will be right for you and most likely for your mom too.

Letting go does not mean that you don't care. I told myself this lie. It isn't true. You do not have to convince anyone that you care about your mom. You have already shown for 16 years how much you care for her! Finding the best facility for her is the very best thing that you can do for her. That is caring.

If you are like I was, we feel like no one will take as good care of mom as we do. That isn't true. They survive. We have been conditioned to care for them for so long that we don't know any other life. It takes a bit of deprograming and refocusing on our own lives to succeed in letting go.

Best wishes to you and your family.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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cherokeegrrl54 Oct 31, 2020
Wise words here, NHWM. And you certainly know with all you went through. I'm so glad that this forum feels like “family” ....hows your daughters doing? Liz
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No. It honestly isn't about age, but about condition. You deserve your life and rest now. It is time when you recognize that it is time, and you have done that.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Heavens no, that's not too young. My mother's memory care place has a 47-year-old man there.

As others have said, it's about the condition, not the age. You should look into a memory care facility for your mom (not assisted living), and I think you'll be surprised that she'll do much better there than in your house. The staff at MC is trained on how to handle the anger and the manipulation, while in your house she knows there's a personal connection that makes her behavior hurtful. My mother is doing much better in her MC than she was in her own home and even when she was in a skilled nursing place before MC.
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Reply to MJ1929
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No, it is not too young. To help identify mom's care needs contact the Area Agency on Aging to come in and do an assessment. They can also help you to identify programs that mom may qualify for to take care of the expense. YOU do not pay for it. You have your own late life care to save for.
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Reply to gladimhere
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"I'm exhausted from being mistreated "

Of course you are! Now it's time to make a change. 16 years you've been doing this? How did you come to take her into your home -- were there no other choices at the time?

"Now she has taken to leaving the house and saying that she is walking to the store. When I try to stop her she becomes combative and angry. I am a teacher and I need to return to work now but I can't afford assisted living or in home help. Is 76 too young for a nursing home?"

It was at the wandering point when my mother had to put her mother into a NH years ago. My mother also worked.

YOU do not have to pay for her to live in a facility. What are her finances? Can she become eligible for Medicaid?
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Reply to CTTN55
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Your mom needs to go into a nursing home since she can't care for self. It is not about age. For instance, my sister is only 66 and is in a long term care facility - Why because she is not physically capable of taking care of her self -- and her only child cannot stay with vher
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Reply to MsRandall
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Age is not the problem. Your mother has reached a point in her dementia where she is a risk for getting lost or hurt. Her combativeness makes her too difficult to manage at home. Residential nursing homes came to be because of situations like yours. Please get her into a facility that is close enough to visit and rest knowing she is being well cared for while you work and care for your family.
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Reply to Taarna
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It's not the age, it's the behavior that will land her in a NH.

And it's NOT up to you to pay for mom's care. That's why she has SS. Start checking in to places now. Be aware she'll be in a 2 week quarantine right off the bat and then you'll have to follow the facility's rule afterward. If you are ready to have mom be in that kind of a place--do it now.
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Reply to Midkid58
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