My Mom (86) is in an Assisted Living. She was happy to go there 3 months ago, but now she complains all the time. Advice? - AgingCare.com

My Mom (86) is in an Assisted Living. She was happy to go there 3 months ago, but now she complains all the time. Advice?

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She says she wants to die, kill herself, she hates it there, hates the food, the other people are not friendly with her. She is a very outgoing person, but has been quiet lately. Either my brother or I (and husband) go visit her every day, each of us have full time jobs which makes it hard on us. My brother wants to take her out and move her with him and his wife. Can someone please advise me on what I should do to get her out. Do I write a letter and what should I say or meet with someone at the Assisted Living to discuss?

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H Cruz, listen to everyone on this forum. They are wise. Do not take your mom out of the assisted living venue or you and or your brother will be very unhappy soon. I blew an opportunity for my mom to become accumulated in a facility by caving into her guilt trip after only 3 weeks. 6 months later, her dementia has worsened. She's delusional, paranoid and angry every other day. If only I could go back in time, I would never have fallen into the guilt trip especially since I was recovering from major surgery at the time.
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I would think your mom would do better if you and your brother weren't visiting her every day. Just think about when a child starts kindergarten. They cry and are miserable when their parent goes to leave. Just imagine if their parent stayed in class with them every day for a while. They'd never adjust to the change! Set some times you'll visit your mom (3X a week is good, in my humble opinion) and let her take some time to adjust.

Also there are countless threads on here about parents with Alzheimers making their caregivers lives miserable. Read through some of the threads. They obviously can't help it. Have your brother watch the Teepa Snow videos on Youtube. She explains how dementia affects behavior and it would be a good wake-up call for him.

You've taken the most important step to get your mom into a facility where she can get round-the-clock care from three shifts of people. Taking her back out again would only add more misery to everyone's life in my opinion.
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Who is managing your mom's depression meds? Is she being seen by a geriatric psychiatrist? Who deemed that she need assisted living as a level of care? We admitted mom to a nice al where other family members resided. She did nt need that level of care at that time. Talk to the director of social work about what efforts are being made to ease her adjustment.
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I agree 100% with Sunnygirl, and with Pam. In fact, try this, visit Mom not at your usual times when she is expecting you to visit, but go when she thinks you are at work.... wouldn't it be something if you saw her enjoying herself with the other residents.... oops, she got caught smiling :)

HCruz13, your brother needs to come on these forums to read all the different situations regarding caring for a love one at home.... maybe it will open his and his wife's eyes to what all is involved. Then and only then can the decide if this is the right move for them.
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Ref. to your brother taking her to live with him. Most people do not understand how a dementia patient can behave. It's not just someone forgetting things. It's much more. It may include constant talking and repeating the same thing throughout the day and night, constant questions, constant roaming around the house and never settling down. Taking things apart, eating non food items, etc.

The person may have sleep difficulty and stay up most of the night. They may refuse to take medication or to get out of bed, leaving you with the task of changing diapers, linens, etc. all through the night. They may be combative and hit and curse you. They will often lose the ability to chew, swallow or walk. Handling things like this full time for a long period of time can really be stressful and most people aren't prepared for it.

I would have brother and his wife spend a couple of hours at a place who has people like that to see their tolerance level. Normally, things don't improve with dementia. The depression may improve, but that goes along with the dementia too. Good luck.
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Thank you. I will try this for sure.
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You get her a slight increase in her meds for depression. You meet with the Head Nurse and ask if she is taking the meds properly. You keep visits short, about an hour, because after an hour the complaints blossom.
If discontent rears its ugly head as soon as you arrive, tell her you'll be back when she is feeling better. Then leave. She will catch on quickly, she will see she can neither manipulate you nor play the guilt card. You do this and she will improve, you don't do this and the misery will continue.
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Yes she has dementia and takes an antidepressant among other meds for high blood pressure and diabetes. I don't think my brother truly understands how much work it is to take care of my mom. I know I'll have to pitch in on the weekends (which I don't mind). And I've already told him taking her out just because she wants it doesn't mean its the right thing to do. At least there someone is watching her 24/7 and getting fed. I don't know what to tell the Assisted Living facility. Thank you for your answer!
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Your profile says your mom's primary issue is depression. Does she have dementia too? Is her depression being treated? If she's that miserable, medication may be in order. I know that my cousin saw a huge improvement in her mood and attitude when antidepressants were introduced. I would certainly speak with the staff at the assisted living facility. They may have input that could help you figure it out.

It may be that a medication adjustment could make a big difference. Still, with some conditions, such as dementia, you may have a person who isn't going to be pleasant and happy any more. It's sad, but true. The condition gets worse over time.

If your brother wants to move her in with him, I would just make sure he understands the work involved in care giving. It can be extremely time consuming, stressful and indefinite. It's a huge commitment. I wouldn't take it lightly. She may move in with him and still be miserable and by that time your mom may have lost her space at the assisted living facility.
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