Mom lives alone and has moderate dementia. I live one street over. I work full time and have someone to come three hours a day for companionship, to feed her lunch and do some light cleaning. I am there three to four times a day. She is able to use her walker to get around and her house ect. I take care of meals, showers, bills and everything else she may need. She also has a cat that she loves. Whenever I talk about assisted living she gets upset. I feel guilty when she is left alone and worry We do have a nanny cam also. Should I make her go to assisted living ? I do admit that I don’t stay long on my visits because I’m tired when I get home from work. I also took care of my dad for 4 years before he died. He had Parkinson’s. I am somewhat burned out but manage to keep going on. Is it ok what I’m doing?

If all she wants to do is sit in her own house with her four-legged companion, why on Earth should anyone insist that she move somewhere else? Why would we want to drag her, possible whimpering or otherwise expressing that she doesn't want to go, to anything -- day program, physical therapy, whatever?

We drag kids to things they don't want because we know that, developmentally, they're going to need the skills they can develop there. But aged humans are not generally developing new skills.

It makes sense to have her evaluated for depression vs dementia (and don't forget bloodwork to check for vitamin deficiencies, which can mimic dementia). But if dementia is her diagnosis, why would anyone want her to spend her days being miserable doing things she doesn't want to do with people she doesn't want to see?

I often wonder whether we, as a culture, are forcing people into ALs because that's the best treatment for the next generation's feeling of guilt and futility (and because marketing works). The best treatment for your sense of guilt might be self-forgiveness (because you can't fix this) and acceptance (of her condition and desires), rather than forcing her to make a move she doesn't want.

What about letting her enjoy her remaining time doing what she wants to do in her own house?
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to maggiebea
dogparkmomma Nov 10, 2019
It is sad that the elderly can’t be left alone to sit in their homes. Problem is that cannot happen without people to shop and prepare food for them, clean up their homes, do yard work, laundry etc. yes, it all can be hired but still someone has to coordinate it all for them. And they get worse and worse so then managing medical treatment is difficult when the GP now tends to refer out for all the issues and you are left taking them to multiple doctors. While sitting, they need supervision and relatives who are constantly vigilant while being stressed with the details of their own life and work.
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Mild dementia is not the end of the world. I wouldn't force her to move into assisted living. I didn't "force" my dad to move until the day I found him staring at the TV (off) in the dark livingroom. I asked him what he ate that day and he said nothing because he couldn't decide what to eat. It only took a few questions and we went out and bought him a mobile home and parked it in my front yard - yes, I had to get permission from the county supervisor and promised to remove it after Pop passed. He lived well for about 5 more years living in my front yard! He still had his independence but with me being close enough to protect him and assist him.

It sounds to me like you are doing what is needed by providing a companion to assist and feed her as well as being company. I would say not to move her; let her remain in her home with her cat for as long as possible.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
Ricky27 Nov 10, 2019
Wow, RayLin,
You are so cool.
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How does she get along with her aide?

I wouldn't think that she would be lonely, honestly having someone with you for 3 hours a day and you in and out 3 or 4 times doesn't leave time to be lonely.

I would be more concerned about her ability to respond to danger. Would she know how to safely leave the house if, God forbid, there was a fire or the house filled with smoke? Would she understand if she needed to call 911 because she was in distress?

That would be my largest concerns.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal

This sounds ideal, honestly. Let your mother continue the way it is now because unfortunately, dementia only gets worse. Look into home care for a time that you will need it in the future, in other words, have a plan. Let It Be for now and give thanks for this time for her and you. BTW: you are doing a wonderful thing for your mother to be there for her and so close as well. All the best!
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to ArtMom58

Alva asked important questions that will help responders provide appropriate answers. In the meantime for your sanity's sake you can increase the hours of her in-home care until the cost is equal to the cost of AL. It is very normal for her to become very upset, but maybe it may have to do with how your conversation around this topic unfolds, if it comes up in moments of exhaustion and contention and exasperation. This will never work.

With my inlaws I started by visiting places by myself first and gathering cost info (as this is not published on websites and they are resistant to quoting over the phone). Ask if they have a waiting list. Ask if they provide for Medicaid residents. Make sure they have care from AL to hospice so your mom will never need to move. Take pictures yourself, and don't show her the marketing brochures. Get pics of the residents doing things and maybe even inside an apartment. Show activity areas, grounds, etc. And ask about having a pet. THEN you can sit down to a nice, calm dinner and start a conversation about how you are not able to keep up with her care and maintaining your house. See if she's receptive or sympathetic. Show her more than 1 place so that she feels that she has "buy in" in the decision-making process for her future. Have answers if she is worried about paying for it. It may take more than one conversation so try to be patient. If she never comes around, some back to this forum for "next steps". Blessings!
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Geaton777

My mom lived by herself when we had seen signs of dementia (not being able to dial phone numbers, no longer being able to cook for herself, etc.) We finally made the very hard decision after she had several hallucinations, that she could no longer live by herself. Mom is a complicated person and it would take too long to go into her personality, but after losing my dad after being married for 63 years, we put her into a memory care facility not too far from my brother and I. I still feel very, very guilty about putting her there, but it is a very nice place with caring staff that we feel comfortable with. Is mom happy? Not at all. Our parents have their own independence, and as mom often states, she does not being told when to get up, when to shower, etc. They have various activities for mom, and try to keep her stimulated mentally. We realize mom needed 24/7 care and for now, the facility is the best place for her. You know your mom, her personality, but the bottom line is, what is best for her.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Ginny60
Beekee Nov 10, 2019
Hmm, sounds very familiar, same situation. My mom didn't like the place either, until she met a man 6 weeks ago, another resident in her building. Now she says she's "thinking about the future" with him. Just goes to never know what's going to happen next, even in a secured facility.
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Clearly you are seeing things that worry you? What are those things? Might she wander? Into the streets and get lost? Might she start a fire with cooking or the store or electrical equipment? You say she has dementia, but none of us can know the level you are speaking of. I wonder if you can tell us more.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

Go ahead and research places and have a plan in place of where you'd send her if she gets worse. Have a second and third choice as well. Right now it sounds as if things are going ok. Would she be willing to go to a senior center or adult day care one or 2 days a week when the weather is nice? Be wary of increasing need on her part that slowly sucks up ALL of your time. Do not EVER allow yourself to feel guilty if you do have to move her into an AL.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to XenaJada

We have made the decision to move mom to assisted living. It’s 4 miles away. I will plan to be there as much as I can and when I can’t be there I know she will be in safe hands. She is moving in this Friday. I am at peace with the decision. She is happy but I think she will very soon love to there because she was always a social person.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Rstolive
CTTN55 Nov 10, 2019
Sounds like a great decision. But I would caution you to follow the facility's advice on how much you should be there until she adjusts. Don't fall into the habit of going there right after work and staying there until your mother goes to bed. (There was a woman at my mother's NH who stayed every night until her mother went to sleep. There were also some residents who always seemed to have a relative -- yes, usually a daughter -- with them during the day.)

Your mother may try to guilt you into being with her all the time, since she may complain that you put her there. Recognize how FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt) can affect your life.
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I love people that think demanding they know the best and dump her is always the solution, you guys need to start your own forum with that type of support...

Has your mom been evaluated.?
You seem to have everything under control and you seem to be allowing your mother to be happy in her home with her cat... I personally think your doing great just keep a close eye on her dementia can change rapidly day from day... you'll know when the time comes what you have to do, until that time let mom be mom and enjoy what's left... that's really all both of you want anyways, as long as she's not wondering off or having severe issues when alone you and your mom should be fine.
If you can afford it and if your that concerned increase the setters time or hire a part time caregiver, just be aware, keep your eyes open for any changes and keep up the positive attitude.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to madhatter632
Isthisrealyreal Nov 10, 2019
I find your idea that putting a loved one in a facility is dumping them.

I saw my dad frequently and I was daily dealing with his needs and issues.

Far from being dumped.
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