My Mother in law came to live with us last November due to her calling us saying she is scared and doesn't know why, plus she would leave the gas stove on or leave the iron on or leave the water running. She calls them spells. Since living with us she has been kept safe and loved very much. She has wandered in the night time many times. She has fallen once and so she has a walker now for balance issues. She has had some tremoring and asks frequently to go home to her childhood and her house were she was living before coming to live with us. Home health care was immediately implemented since she fell at home. She has a neurologist and had an MRI plus a neurophyche testing. She has been diagnosed with Severe Neurocongtative Impairment and Severe Depression. She is on memory meds, sleep aid, BP med anxiety med and an antipysochtic meds. She has hallucinations some and she has become a little paranoid. She recently with the past 6 days is very aggressive very agitated and combative. I have done all I can to care for her and so has my husband. She packs random things and tries to leave the house we had to put deadbolts uptop the doors for the front back and garage. We want her here and safe always, but the sleepless night for us all is becoming more than we can handle. I watched as my husband, her son, talk with her yesterday about how we want her safe and love her dearly (and with tears in his eyes) he expressed the concern that she needs more professional help than we can give. And that we will find her a very good Memory care facility. She said so get rid of me, put me away, just throw me in a ditch, he cried and I cried and she stared out into nothing while he continued to talk with her, she hasn't talked since. Is it time to move her to a memory care facility?

It is not throwing someone OUT of home. It is moving them INTO a different home.
It is not withdrawing your care. It is adding more care.
More carers. A safer environment.

Wandering is a huge safety concern. Many sad stories. My neighbour's Mother is one. Hit by car at night when wandered into main road.

Expect MIL to be sad. It IS sad to leave your home. Expect anger. It IS something to be angry about - these health problems.

Comfort her sadness. Rage with her at the unfairness of old age. But move her into MC. Tell her it's a hotel if you like/if it helps. Visit & bring a hug & a smile, warmth & love.

(((Hugs))) for you too.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to Beatty

No, you're not! It's emotionally exhausting constantly wondering if you are doing the right thing. I just put my Mom in AL on Sunday, and I have been a wreck since. I feel guilty, even though I know she will receive better care. She is mad at me, and as an only child, that is hard. I've spent my whole life trying to keep her NOT mad at me. Ugh. I just wish I could make her understand that this is better for her, but the logic is gone. I need to get over that. I wish you all the best with your decision, and please know you are not alone in your feelings
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to bbooks5720
cweissp Apr 14, 2021
Bless you, may you be filled with peace knowing your mother is in a place capable of giving her the care she needs.
I hope you won’t discuss moving with her again. Sadly, she’s no longer capable of understanding the logic and concern. When my dear aunt was deteriorating with Alzheimer’s she began the wandering. Every possible lock was put on the house, doors and windows. She still managed to get out during the wee hours, once taking all her jewelry and depositing it all over the neighborhood. Wandering is beyond scary, I hope you’ll use memory care to prevent both it and the exhaustion you’re feeling. You’ll still be caregivers, overseeing her care, advocating for her. I wish you all peace
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Daughterof1930

Remember why you and your family started caring for her because you all love her with all your heart.
It does not end here you will just be in your second stage where you will visit and support the staff at the facility. The peace of mind is worth it and your family needs a break from all the stress. This will be good for all of you. Hope you can find peace in your own heart.🌻🌻🌻
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Bubba12345

Perhaps start looking at some memory care facilities to learn more about them and talk to the people that work there. I started slowly like this because I was not certain about my decision to place my father either. I am an only child and my father has lived on his own his entire adult life (with the exception of the Marine Corp). He started wandering about eight months ago and started getting lost.
For years I could not get him to leave his home. Finally, a state trooper called me and told me ‘he was sending him to the hospital.’ One of his neighbors called me, then called the trooper and we were all in agreement to send him to the hospital. He would not go inside his house and wanted to stay outside shoveling snow at nine thirty at night.
After he was discharged from the hospital, I moved him in with me. He still wants to wander and does not know where he is. He also needs some mental stimulation and better care. I have done everything that I can do to help him (it is getting harder to keep up with his bathroom schedule or lack there of). I searched and searched and found a memory care facility that will fit his budget.
Trust me, if he knew where he was going he would probably murder me —-as he used to be one of these healthy, cocky young guys who said, ‘never put me in a home....if I lose my mind I’ll blow my brains out....’.
Well here we are. He’s now 81 and after me grieving about putting him in memory care for months, I am finally relieved and grateful. He will be safe, he will be clean. He has a wonderful group of trained carers that help him and are patient with him. I can see him three or four times a week to check in and make sure he is ‘ok’. It is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make but he made me POA 15 about years ago and I have to do what is best for him. If she is wandering, then I would at least start off by visiting some facilities and trying to get used to the idea.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Denmark1043
cweissp Apr 14, 2021
You did such a wonderful thing for your father, even if it was not what he wanted, it is what he needed. Your love for your father shines though in your post.
Yes it is very much time for MIL to move to Memory Care now. My mother is 94 now and lives in Memory Care Assisted Living since June of 2019 and regular Assisted Living since 2014. For the past 10 years she's been telling me to " just throw me out in the street somewhere to rot" in spite of the fact that my entire life has been upheaved in an effort to keep the woman happy and safe. I'm an only child and my mother is chronically miserable, and now suffering from moderately advanced dementia, so it's a no win situation. She's fallen 70x so far while in AL, meaning I'd have had to call 911 70x to lift her 200 lbs up each time, plus she's wheelchair bound. Her care is way out of the realm of my experience or ability, as your Mils care is now out of yours. My mother does fine in Memory Care and the staff treat her beautifully. She is getting PT again, the doc comes in weekly, she gets lots of activities and 3 hot meals a day, the podiatrist comes in to clip her nails and the hairdresser to do her hair. I call her nightly and visit weekly bringing snacks and gifts. We should all be so fortunate to have the funds to be cared for in safe havens like this with 24/7 caregivers available when we get old, yet here we are, feeling guilty and crying over doing such a 'horrible thing' for our loved one who are laying it on thick for our benefit. My mother threatens to jump out the window on a regular basis. I remind her she lives on the first floor.

You're a wonderful DIL and your husband is a wonderful son. Your MIL is a very sick woman who's care has now gone beyond the scope of your ability. Find a lovely Memory Care for her and take your lives back so you don't wind up dying before she does. It happens quite a bit. Don't let misguided guilt prevent you from keeping her safe in a place that's devoted to elders just like her.

Best of luck.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to lealonnie1
Llamalover47 Apr 15, 2021
Lea: Your statement of your mother saying "just throw me out on the street somewhere to rot" is very illogical thinking, isn't it? Wow.
See 2 more replies
It’s so frightening if a parent starts wandering. Our mom started wandering in my brother’s home, walking towards the front door.

My brother thought if he barricaded the area with chairs that it would stop her from making it to the front door. Nope, somehow she made it to the front door and was trying to open it.

My brother was so disturbed with her wandering around that he put bells on her walker to be able to hear her when she started moving.

It’s scary. Mom being 95, with severe mobility issues due to Parkinson’s disease but was still doing this. It’s so bizarre!

Mom’s Parkinson’s disease has progressed to where she can’t even turn over in bed. She’s completely bed bound now in a hospice house. We are very grateful to the staff for their wonderful care.

Please move your mother in law to a facility because it is the safest place for her to be. They have a staff 24/7 that can monitor her care.

Best wishes to you and your family.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom


How fortunate for her that you love her dearly, and at the same time, realize that she has well documented and diagnosed needs that can be met by specialists who are trained to care for her.

Before Covid, I LOVED visiting my dear relative’s beautiful MC unit, and even since, I know that she has been faithfully cared for. I am hoping that Covid circumstances may have lessened where you are. My relative has been fully vaccinated aged, and I have as well, so I am able to visit with a number of restrictions, once again.

She is already unable to understand or interpret the fact that you are motivated by your love, care, and concern for her, and you all MUST learn to let unkind things that she says pass by.

Almost EVERYONE who NEEDS residential care speaks the same way and says basically the same things. In your family, you are ALREADY aware of the fact that “going home” is part of her difficulty already. She doesn’t REALLY KNOW what this IS, but longs to be wherever she remembers past happiness being.

It is part of the tragedy of her current condition that she is not talking now, but this kind of behavior should not cause you to change your course.

It may take a period of adjustment before she begins to react positively to her new surroundings, but follow the lead of the staff, commit to allowing her the time she needs (it was actually a few months for my most recent family placement), and know with certainty that what you have decided for her future, done with love and respect, will NOT be a mistake.

Hopes and good thoughts to you and your husband as you move forward.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to AnnReid
Amyjane Apr 11, 2021
Thank you so much for your response and explaining some things.
In addition to all the wise advice above, please remember that a SUDDEN change in mental status might be due to UTI: this should be discussed with her doctor right away. UTIs can turn septic.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Amyjane Apr 11, 2021
She is on an antibiotic as a precautionary measure, urine test came back negative for UTI. And the Nurse came by and has told us this is another decline , and remember to not take what she says to heart. It's the disease talking and acting not the MIL.
The caregiving arrangement only works if it works for both parties. It is not working for you and your husband. It won't get any better keeping her in your home. Unless she has the funds to pay for a 24/7 agency caregiver, I would transition her to MC, if I were in your shoes. I'm assuming your husband is her PoA? I sure hope so.

If money is an issue, get her into a care facility on private pay and just make sure the facility also has LTC (in case she needs it so that she never has to leave for a new place) AND make sure the facility accepts Medicaid. When her funds run out her financial PoA can apply for Medicaid for her and the facility cannot kick her out, even if they don't have a Medicaid bed available at the moment. If she is wandering from your home, this is an extra stressful situation and not safe, obviously, so yes, MC is the next step.

Do not allow any guilt to eat at you or let anyone else guilt or criticize your decision. Any relative who does should be told to come and get her and care for her yourself and see what we're up against. FYI if she does require Medicaid, they will put a lien against her house which will need to be satisfied when it is sold.

In preparation for your next steps it would be a wise investment to consult an elder law attorney/estate planner who has experience with Medicaid for your state. The Medicaid app has a "look-back" period that can be up to 5 years. You don't want anything to delay or disqualify your MIL from getting this financial support when needed, so please consider talking to an attorney before you do anything. I wish you all the best and peace in your hearts!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Geaton777
Amyjane Apr 11, 2021
We tried to get her one Medicaid but with her SS she males too much to qualify. She does has Medicare with a supplemental. She doesn't have her house anymore it was sold. Some days which are few and between, she will let us take her for a ride to get out. While out on the ride or when we can get her to go for a walk she will say im a prisoner and can't go anywhere by myself. She reminds that she does still have her license (which she does) but she isn't allowed to drive due to getting lost the last time she drove. She ended up almost 400 miles away when we received a call from a store owner that my MIL asked for the store owner to call her son. It just so emotionally tiring and me personally at the full-time caregiver am becoming hypersensitive to just about everything now. And I get so testy with the disease. If I could smoke the marijuana I believe I I the only one in the boat?
See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter