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I go through this horrible struggle daily. I think about the fact that it would help my mom to be in a nursing home and that it makes sense and then I feel this shame course through me and I think how awful of me to try to take someone's independence and home away from them and then I go back to the other side. I want to quit agonizing over this. My therapist said the best thing, he said that my mom's aging isn't a tragedy, it is what happens to everyone. I try to remember that. And now I'm taking the steps, seeing a lawyer, etc. but this makes me feel duplicitous, false, and like a liar. How can I make my brain just accept this and not keep going over it again and again in my mind?

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Dear stellakat,

I can appreciate your struggle. You care deeply and you want to do the right thing. I know its not an easy decision. Even if we weight all the pros and cons, we women in general still struggle with the guilt.

Take a step back. Look at your decision as clearly as possible. Please consider your own resources and your own well being. I know you only want your mom to be safe and secure and well looked after. If you can access additional resources to keep her at home then do so. If it becomes too much, look for a good place that fits her. Visit her. Continue to help her, but also know you are doing the best you can.

Taking care of elderly parents is an emotional rollercoaster. For myself, I always said I would keep my dad at home. But I don't think I knew what I was getting myself into. I didn't know how I would feel as the years went on. He did stay home till he died in hospital. But I am angry at myself. Because towards the end I don't know if that was right for him. I feel like I let the anger and resentment affect my care and compassion. My whole life I wanted to do the right thing. But in the end, I don't know if I did. So I hope you can find the right balance.
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As an adult child, we all hope that we can ensure that our senior parents and especially those who have dementia are well cared for and protected. That is my goal and I'll do whatever I have to do to ensure that it happens.

Seniors who have dementia are particularly at risk, because they are subject to so much potential harm. I would no more leave my parent who has dementia in their home alone, than I would a small child. Have you considered how scared, confused and disoriented dementia renders a person? Living in their home may not be the experience you have in your mind any longer. If the parent were thinking clearly, they would thank you and be relieved that you stepped up to the plate to arrange for their care.

Nothing felt so good to me as when I finally had my LO settled into AL for the first day. I couldn't have been prouder, because I did the right thing. I wonder if you would keep seeing your therapist and focus on what's best for mom, you might gain some clarity. I do hope you can find some peace. 
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Relax. This is not a decision with a right and a wrong answer. You're just doing the best you can for your mother.

If you're not sure, on the other hand, that your plan to place your mother in an NH *is* the best option for her, then that's a subtly different issue. But all the same don't agonise over it - do yourself a list of pros and cons, give each side a score, and there's your answer. You just have to remember that sometimes in life none of the options is very attractive.
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When we are young, and not yet capable of understanding the world, our parents gave us and or got us what we needed, not necessarily what we wanted.

I think the same applies if you find yourself caring for your elderly parent.

My mother's infirmities and declining mental and physical health have robbed her of her independence. I didn't do that. I have to work to pay my mortgage, feed my family and contribute what I can to society.

She is well cared for in a nursing home, and none of our family feels any guilt.
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Keep meeting with your therapist. Distract your brain to think of other things than mom.

Why are you seeing a lawyer? Are you trying to become her guardian because she is incompetent? If she needs you to, it is the best thing to become her guardian.

Is she incompetent and her doctors have diagnosed her as such.

What is behind your feeling of being duplicitous, false and like a liar? Did you make some kind of promise to her years ago when both of you were younger and healthier that it not realistic now? You are an adult and on the basis of current evidence about her care needs and what you can do realistically, you can change your mind about that promise!
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