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My 78 year old mom has dementia as a result of having had Parkinson's disease for the past 16 years. My dad is 81 and was not able to continue to care for her at home, so together we found an excellent memory care facility and moved her in 3 weeks ago. My parents moved 4 hours away from me when they retired 25 years ago. I suggested that my dad move back here to NJ and have mom live at home with him, with full-time in-home care. Then I could come over every day or two and give him a break. He refuses. I call my dad every day to check in, and the calls are heartbreaking. He shares his grief over watching my mom fade away, and he recounts the daily misery of going to visit my mom. My mom is not adjusting well to the facility- she cries, becomes agitated when my dad has to leave, and doesn't let the staff take care of her in terms of bathing, brushing her teeth, or dressing. She constantly asks, "Why did you leave me here? When am I going home?" However, when she lived at home, she did the same thing. She didn't always know where she was, and would often demand to be taken home and has even hit my father several times. I could tell my dad was losing patience with her and was not the best person to provide her care. I try to drive down to visit about once a month, but it's an 8-hour round trip and I have a demanding full-time job for which I commute 2+ hours per day, five days per week. So I can't make the trip more often. The problem is my intense guilt- I can't stand it that she is in a strange place, feeling abandoned, but what can I do?? I cry every day. I'm exhausted, worried, and so so sad. Yesterday I lost it and was sobbing in the lunch room at work. Should I try harder to get my dad to move closer to me, or is that just going to make him feel worse? I know putting her in the home was an agonizing decision for him, and for me too. But I wonder if it was the right decision.

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I have been there, My dad took care of my mom I lived further from them. I tried to help as much as I could mom had dementia and diabetes and she became combative to dad he lost weight and I finally told him he couldn’t do this anymore the doctors agreed. My mom passed away that was 3 years ago my dad was so grief stricken with guilt but dads health was failing and I moved him here with me we had a little house on our property we total restored it for him he wanted his own place he is 74 while he was living with us I noticed things didn’t seem right took him to doctors they recommend neurologist we went few times found out he has Parkinson’s and has had it several years. It came on fast and now my sweet sweet little dad is in behavioral health for his aggressive outburst at nursing facility which was so hard to send him there but I was lucky because he knew he needed to go because of he couldn’t be by himself anymore and his sundowners became server and he would fall so easily.So I haves cryed rivers got mad, my life is upside down.So what I can tell you is I wish for my dads sake I had put my foot down got mom in nursing facility earlier and spent a lot more time helping dad cope and not have had the worse of the daily grief he got from visiting with mom everyday. We as children got to go home but there worrying about it 24 /7
I would check on it where you live and see and just move your mom to a facility’s closer to you and your dad with you . It won’t be easy but you will know you have done everything you could. And that will help you so much trust me all this isn’t easy. I have my moments everyday. I would have never thought a year ago that I would be going threw this with my dad.
I will be thinking of you and your family MarieSom
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Reply to Daddygirl2
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Are your mom's mental anguish and behavioral symptoms being treated by a geriatric psychiatrist? It sounds as though meds for he agitation are needed . Please find out how to go about getting her seen.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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You need to be aware that Mom may not qualify for Medicaid if needed. It doesn't go over state lines. She would need to get residency. Not sure if being originally from NJ would count.

I think the others are right, it will take a while for Mom to get used to her surroundings.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Change is hard. That’s a given. And unfortunately, our elders take it out in and blame us for the changes in their lives and want us to “fix” them. My mom wanted me to take her back to her home of the 1920’s.

This sounds odd, but perhaps there is too much contact between Mom and Dad. Must he really go see her every day? It sounds like it’s making them both miserable. With a possible adjustment of meds and less contact with Dad, who undoubtedly reminds her that she wants to be where she’s not, maybe things will settle down.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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If your Mom was asking to be taken home and hit your Dad when she and your Dad lived together, how can you be sure that your Mom is not adjusting to life in her memory care facility. 

My Mom behaves the same way the first 4 months she was in the nursing home.  Mom would cry while I was visiting or after I left OR Mom would cry during or after phone conversations with me even though the visits or the phone conversations were very positive and enjoyable.  Mom also didn't want the nursing staff to do anything for her.  She stated that she "just wanted to die" and would fight with the staff whenever they helped Mom with toileting, dressing, hygiene, meals, etc.  Once Mom's medications were adjusted a few times, she calmed down and was more cooperative, but that took 3-4 months.

Three weeks is not enough time for determining whether someone has adjusted to the memory care unit or nursing home.  You need to give your Mom at least 3-4 months before you make that decisions, especially if she is acting just like she did at home.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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MarieSom Oct 27, 2018
Thank you DeeAnna. Your response gave me confidence and comfort.
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Why did your father refuse? Was it just about refusing the suggestion to take care of your mother at home, or was it about moving back to NJ to be closer to you? If your father is crying every day, then he doesn’t sound as though he wants to stay in the retirement place because he has many friends and activities there. Perhaps the best option might be to move both of them back ‘home’ closer to you, but with your father in Assisted Living and your mother in Memory Care. This is at least something to think about. It would take time to set up, but might help both of them for longer.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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