Mom is not adjusting to assisted living. - AgingCare.com

Mom is not adjusting to assisted living.

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my mom, 92 has been there one week..today, she threatened to jump off a balcony unless she can leave-they are putting her in memory care. She will hate that more, and it will cost another $800 per month..is private home care any better ? should she be on anti anxiety meds ?? she has always been narcissistic and negative..much more with dementia. Siblings, haven't helped at all (they are a lot like her) until last week, she lived alone but I had to constantly help her with everything..she has NO short term memory.

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chdottir I'm happy to offer you hope for improvement. This is such a nasty disease. It is truly awful to see your loved one so agitated and upset. We made many mistakes - trying to reason with mom is one we repeated many times. A mistake because it didn't help, made her angrier in fact. In addition to the right medications and making friends, time did help as well - her apartment, the staff and other residents that were strange at first became familiar, as did the routines. You are doing the right thing. Mom deliberately made us feel guilty for not taking her to live with us, but in addition to just not being able to provide the attention she needs (we both run businesses from our homes), she would not be in the improved condition she is in now - the nurses have suggested medication changes and pushed for her appointment with the geriatric psychiatrist (they were experiencing first hand how bad it was). That would not have happened if she moved in with us or if we arranged in home care for her at her place. She had been very depressed at her home, and had cut back significantly her eating; every little problem was a huge obstacle and upsetting -she just wasn't dealing with looking after herself anymore. 2 weeks ago we could not envision the complete change in her attitude about the place and life in general - now she appreciates the help and care available through AL - there is hope! Good luck to you.
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Find out if there is a geriatric psychiatrist (Dr or RN) that will come in. Many times they can provide meds right away. Surround her with as much of her own stuff as you can, so that it doesn't feel so foreign. Sorry I can't come up with anything better. I know how you feel.
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Patripatt, Thanks for sharing your story. It give me hope for my Mom. Finding a friend at AL would make all the difference for her, I think. I have already decided that future visits from me will be centered around AL activities, for just the reason you state.
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My 79 year old mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and vascular dementia after increasing confusion and memory issues while living alone in her home about 2 hours drive from my brother and I. For about a year she talked of moving to AL near us, so we moved her into a facility near us for a trial. She spent the first 6 weeks in AL extremely depressed, agitated and threatening to either walk out late at night (it is winter time) or to kill herself by jumping out her 2nd floor window, stepping in front of a truck, etc. By this time it was apparent how much difficulty she had with taking care of herself. But according to her, we were the cruelest children in the world and she left hundreds of nasty messages on our phones, even tho we spent hours visiting her at the AL every day (much of the time being verbally abused about how we ripped her from her home and abandoned her there to die). We did try staying away for a few days (twice) and hiring a companion for a couple of hours each evening when it seemed that things were worse (sundowning). Nothing helped. She started refusing to eat, skipping breakfast and lunch but eventually eating in the afternoon and supper. She was angry all the time, with us as well as staff. It got to the point that the staff was suggesting she needed the high level memory care unit. We worried that while the one-on-one staffing would be good, the condition of many of the other patients would be bad for her - she was still very social when she wasn't agitated. I'm so glad that we didn't move her because now, in week 7, she has had a compete turn around. She really likes it there. We believe 2 things made the difference - getting her in front of a geriatric psychiatrist who is addressing her depression, and started her on the anti-psychotic Risperidone, and developing a real friendship with another resident at the AL. She had been on an anti-depressant and the doses were increased, but it wasn't doing enough on its own. So getting the meds right takes time but it can make a real difference. Also, a real relationship with someone there was key for my mom. We actively tried to get that to happen. Right from day one, we made sure to get to know all the staff and other residents by name. On our visits we got mom to go down for the afternoon refreshments and various activities and we made a point of chatting with the other residents. Whenever we saw the other residents on our visits we would call them by name and ask them about something they had told us. It meant that everyone knew mom and us. Mom forgets their names but they are familiar now and they love to be acknowledged. (That's a very unexpected aspect to all this for me - meeting so many seniors and enjoying their company.) Eventually, she crossed paths with another lady she really "clicked" with. The proper medication and a true friend have caused a turn around in mom. I hope this offers some hope. Her memory continues to worsen, and she sometimes still calls at night regarding plans to go home the next day, but at least now she's content there.
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lkdrymom, but that is women's work to put clothes on a hanger, to put toiletries in the bathroom, to buy groceries, etc. :P It is how some guys are trained by their Moms or wives. My Dad was that way.

I knew it was time to get my Dad's caregivers when one night at 8 pm my Dad called me and said he was hungry [Mom just moved into long-term-care]. Good grief, this man was an inventor but he couldn't make himself a sandwich or figure out how to cook a TV dinner. My sig other went over to the house, got a Stouffer's out of the freezer and ran it though the microwave.

I got on the phone the next day with an Agency. The Caregivers just loved helping Dad, as Mom had trained him well, he was so easy going, and never argued with the caregivers :)
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flummoxed...you just described my father. When I moved him to AL (his choice) I did not unpack all his boxes as I figured it would give him something to do. Nope, didn't lift a finger. Complained to me that he was cold and had no warm clothing. I know we packed it. And I found it in a box in the closet marked 'clothing'. He was cold but could not be bothered to look for a sweater in his closet unless it was on a hanger. Same with toiletries. He had none so I had to buy more only to find a computer sized box in his closet filled with them. They take him on trips to the store but he won't buy juice because is it too heavy to carry. Well that is why I got him one of those wheeled carts. Nope, can't be bothered to take that. So I told him then he had to go without having juice in his room then. I am happy to help with things he can't do but I refuse to do things he can do but just doesn't feel like doing.
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Maybe it comes with the territory. Mom was in 2 different IL 's in different cities. She hated both of them. Now she is in an AL and hates that with equal passion. No resident, activity, manager, or aide is ever up to her standards. Her whole life seems to be seeing me walk in her door; nobody else is welcome or wanted.

That kind of neediness makes me frustrated and angry that she seems never willing to do anything to help herself. It's always up to me to do anything else that the AL cannot insist that she do such as showering, eating, taking her meds, not walking out the front door. I appear twice a week and she acts like she's been on the verge of a breakdown waiting for me. As soon as we start talking she becomes visibly saner.

Mom can still eat by herself, get dressed fine, and toilet herself, so I don't think MC is in order yet, but this self-inflicted neediness, especially the helplessness, is wearing me down. Yesterday the tissue box was empty and she had been doing without them for a week waiting for me to come in and replace it. She told me exactly where the new box could be found.

Yes, Mom has always been this way, but vascular dementia and whatever else, has increased her sense of entitlement and ungratefulness.

So my experience says that your LO may never "adjust" to AL. You will have to adjust instead.
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I'm moving mom into memory care assisted living today by her choice although she has forgotten that. We found out yesterday that one of her only friends is moving to the same facility onto another unit so mom is looking forward to that. We wanted mom to move here in the late 90's so she could still get around, learn the area and make new friends but her narcissism kept her in her small town; it was more important than her only child and my family. I think her greatest fear is abandonment so when she said she wanted to tour a facility and go live in an assisted living I jumped at the chance. I will never make her happy because I will never be good enough for her. We'll see how this goes. Two of my children are coming this weekend to help settle her in so I hope that helps. I hope she will adjust quickly but I might be looking at similar behavior. May God settle them into their new surroundings both sooner than later and without more threats.
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shep2016, sounds like Mom is trying the guilt trip on you. There are many stories on these forums about this very same thing. I realize it probably will be hard to ignore, but give it time. Your Mom needs more than one week to adjust. And if you move Mom to another continuing care place, I bet she would make the same threats.

My Dad went into senior living on his own request. And it took him awhile to adjust to the new floor plan of his apartment, to find things in the cabinets, to learn his way around the building.... new noises, new faces... different lights shining in the bedroom window at night. It's an adjustment for everyone.
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MOM WILL EVENTUALLY ADJUST.... TIME, PATIENCE, TIME, PATIENCE.... MILK SHAKES, FAVORITE TREATS, MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC.. DANCE, JOY JOY JOY....

DANCE MUSIC TREATS, SING. SING .. MUSIC TREATS.
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