Am I a bad person because my mom with dementia is in rehab, and I don't really want her to come back home?


I just feel like it's better for everyone. She gets the professional care and socialization she needs that 2 "Sandwich Generation" children just can't properly provide. And we get the benefit of know that she's safe and well cared for.

I have a couple of problems with this:

1: I'm worried how my sisters will feel about the situation. My older sister has already accused me of abandoning mom and my little sister keeps telling me, whenever she visits, how much mom is ready to come home now.

2: I know my mother really enjoys living at my home and having all of her grandchildren around everyday and I don't want to deprive her of that. We just can't visit her in the ALF every day.

3: My mom forgets people who don't visit everyday and begins to resent any of her children who are not right there in front of her. She claims that hasn't seen this child in years, even if she's just seen them the day before and gets angry and hateful towards them.

Any suggestions, comments, words of wisdom?

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What Veronica said... I find it amusing that the people that don't do the daily care giving, or don't do anything at all for that matter, are the first ones to jump and pile on the guilt, and have opinions about how things 'should' be they keep their distance... . Oh, the irony! Tell them that if they want mom out of the facility so bad, no problem...she can go to their house and THEY can take care of her, because you no longer can. And lose the guilt. There's nothing to feel guilty about.
Helpful Answer (15)

I am in agreement with what the others said. If your sisters are so sold on the idea that mom needs to be 'at home' then they can bring her to live with them. You've done your part. This is a classic case of who will blink first. Will you finally cave from the guilt and bring your mom back home with you or will your sisters step up? Whatever you do, don't do it out of guilt. How long have you cared for your mom in your home? If your sisters believe so strongly that mom shouldn't stay in a NH one of them can bring mom home to live. No one's forcing you to do anything, you have a choice here. Stand by your choice and if it ends up that mom doesn't come back to your house, be the first person to step up and help get mom adjusted somewhere else. You can be of help, you can pitch in where your sisters never did. Be strong, make your choice, stand by it, and be helpful. In other words, be a better person than your sisters have been. But do it with humility and grace and because it's the right thing to do, not to show anyone up.

While your mom is in rehab you have the perfect opportunity to make changes. You may not have this opportunity again.
Helpful Answer (13)

If your sisters want Mom to come home they know what needs to be done and it is not heaping guilt on your plate. If you don't feel you can adequately care for her and your own family sadly she will be better cared for in a facility. Don't beat yourself up your sisters are already doing a good job with that.
Of course Mom wants to come home everyone does but it is not always possible and with dementia she will eventually forget everyone. The disease plays with the mind and loving people don't just stop loving they just can't show it in an appropriate way. Just do the best you can. take her out if possible but not home. The grandkids school activities are a good place to start.
Helpful Answer (12)

an afterthought: One time when my MIL was in the swing-bed rehab part of the hospital after one of her several surgeries - (and yes, I dreaded her coming back home, too) - my brother in law told me that those 2 and a half weeks were MY VACATION! Yeah, sure. I made numerous trips to see her and clean her entire apt top to bottom, laundering everything that could be washed including window coverings. I sure felt like I had a vacation! NOT. Sorry, but the sibs haven't got a CLUE!! Feel NO GUILT!!!
Helpful Answer (10)

Ditto on all above answers. Flatly tell your sisters you can't do it anymore in YOUR home. She is already in dementia, which means 24/7 care. You are absolutely right that she will receive the constant professional care and supervision in the facility that will allow you ALL to sleep at night, and that she will have the benefit of her generation housemates for friendship and socialization. How can anyone accuse you of 'abandoning' your Mom! They have not stepped up to the plate even 1/10th to the extent that you have(I read your story). You never signed a contract saying you would keep her in your house for life-they have not walked in your shoes, so they have no right to criticize. My Mom was "ready to come home" also, but was in full dementia during re-hab, and we just kept telling her that the doctor said she needs a couple of more weeks. Then we told her they were doing some remodeling in her wing and they had to move her to another wing (NH side) - she still thinks she is coming home "next week" and still thinks she is in "rehab". This was 18 months ago! Your Mom already does not remember who visited yesterday at the rehab - neither does mine. She would not remember who visited at home either, and her attitude about that would not change regardless where she was. If it makes family feel better, agree on a visitation schedule at the NH, take her for lunch, hair dresser, shopping, movie, kids school events, whatever they want. My Mom does not remember who calls her from one day to the next - she also hides her phone in the drawer with a towel over it thinking someone will steal it if she leaves it on the night stand. Friends and relatives can rarely reach her in her room - she socializes all day and goes to bed after 11 pm. I almost always have to call and speak to her at the Nurses station phone for a 5 minute conversation. When I visit every week, she introduces me to the same friends every time. It's basically the same scenario for most of us. So stick to your guns, TX!!
Helpful Answer (10)

It takes a lot to finally convince yourself - and we DO need to convince ourselves - that we cannot be every thing to every one - not even mom. When you know in your heart that either you can't or just DON'T WANT TO be THE care giver anymore - we have that right - just like the others in the family feel they have the right NOT to be the primary care giver.

We still have hopes of placing my hubby's mom in an ALF and his other two siblings have said 'do what needs to be done' - they have NO intention of taking mom and 'saving her' from an ALF or even a nursing home. They just don't bother with their mother much and they are fine with that. Few calls, very few visits (youngest did stop for 2 hours on his way home from vacation during her last hospitalization - so he's good to go for another year or two :0(

Tell the sibs that you've done your best and for every one of us that is different and we should NOT compare ourselves to others. Aberrant behavior due to dementia has got to be the hardest thing in the world to deal with on a daily basis. I applaud anyone dealing with this. I don't think I could. Tell the sibs that you will gladly allow mom to come home with THEM instead of going to ALF or NH. And if they take you up on it - be sure to do more to help them than they have for you. They will need a break from time to time - remember them. Offer to mom-sit. But, the chances of them taking her are slim. They would rather guilt trip you. Don't buy into it.

Guilt is hard to get over. Been there - done that. But, I think finally, I realize that I can only do so much. Even though I am not my MIL's constant companion any more - I still do more for her than any of my other sister-in-laws. They never call, rarely visit (usually only the sons' come) and never send a card when she is sick, etc. They never write a letter. They just, plain do not care. So, why should I feel guilty? THEY should feel plenty of it. If they don't, why should I? And that is how I have dealt with it the last year. We do what we can without killing ourselves. When we start to feel that we could actually DIE (been there - done that) then we have to change things up. All change is not bad. Amen.
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Actually, my sister-in-law did offer to take her mother in. However, she works full-time and babysits her own grandchildren. I asked her if she was prepared to be with mom all day every day. "NO!" she said " I can't do THAT!" So are your sisters going to take her in, stay with her all day and deal with her anger? If they call 911 will the response time be 5 minutes? No, and they want to put it all on you. They are throwing a pity party for themselves, do not accept the invitation.
Helpful Answer (9)

Agree with above posts. Ignore the quarterbacking from your sisters and do what's right for your family and mom in the long term. Dementia doesn't get better and her care needs and skilled care needs will continue to escalate. It would be nice for her to have socialization and activities geared to her age group and needs. You can enjoy my quality time with her.

Use this time to research residential care places, understand finances, visit, etc. then outline a plan, discuss with family members and for those who object, tell them that they will then need to care for mom going forward that you no longer will be able to.

No regrets.

Once you've decided, start talking with mom, enlist help from her care team to reinforce the idea, and don't take her back in your home even for the short time. It's easier for mom if she goes straight from rehab to her new residence.
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As my nephew often has to remind me, "Everyone is where they need to be."
Helpful Answer (5)

Everyone is right about not buying into the guilt so keep doing what is best for your health and the rest will fall in place. My dad is in a nursing home now after living in assisted living for 1 year and then being in the hospital for 4 months. I fought with the idea of taking him from home but the safety concerns won over him being home alone and the cost of 24/7 in-home care. I made every place as homey as possible with favorite flowers and pictures. I made a poster board with pictures and names and put it where he can see it everyday. When I visit and speak of family I get the poster and point at them and tell him what we talked about, etc. I discovered this helps tremendously, in fact, there are times he would tell me which one he saw recently. He used to ask about home but once I redirected the conversation to how good his flowers look and ask how he got them that way his memory would revert to topics of home and give him peace. Just know that your mom is better off being somewhere that has 24/7 care. You or family still have to check on her because it is important for the facility to know she has family that is monitoring her care or else it can become a nightmare. trust me I know. Stay strong and continue to do what you know in your heart is best. I gave it to God and He continues to resolve my issues.
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