My Mom was just put into care home, she says she would rather be dead than stay, what could I say to her? - AgingCare.com

My Mom was just put into care home, she says she would rather be dead than stay, what could I say to her?

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without telling my Mom anything my sister took her to complete care facility, she did not sleep for two whole nights, fell asleep at a table with her glasses on and badly is bruised and gets startled when she sees herself in mirror, I live a distance, and was not aware of this move, and so far I am told to stay away so she can settle in, I am going to see her next week, told I am being selfish?? Thanks ahead for any information

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Thank-you to everyone, I am learning so much here,Bless all of you.
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Although I don't agree with restricting family visits, I do concede that each situation is unique. Also I endorse the goal of getting Mom to depend on the facility. For example, if your mother needs help getting to the bathroom, remind her how to call for help and let the staff member help her. Don't do it yourself. (After a few months the staff will appreciate it if you help Mom when you are there, but only do this after Mom is thoroughly comfortable with staff help. Don't take Mom on outings for the first few months. Go with her to care center activities. If you are there at mealtime, eat in her regular dining room. Say, Oh, there is entertainment in the fireside room this afternoon. I can't remember when I last heard someone play the concertina. Let's go! If she says that sounds dumb and she is not interested, consider replying, "Well I think I'll go and see if it is any good. Should I save a seat in case you change your mind?" Do everything you can to work toward the goal of Mom getting comfortable in this setting.

I don't think any of us so far have addressed what to say when Mother says she'd rather be dead than stay there. Some possibilities:

You will die when it is your time, Mother. All of us will. I will be very sad if you die before I do. But until then, let's figure out how to make the best of this place.

I'm so sorry you are unhappy here. Sis and I want the best care for you and this is a place where you can get it. I hope you will like it better when you get used to it.

(If she understands her diagnosis.) I get so mad sometimes when I think of you having this disease. It is not your fault! You don't deserve it! You are here so trained people can help you with your disease. I don't blame you for wishing you did not have the disease. That is what Sis and I wish, too.

Do any of those suggestions seem to fit?

Be sympathetic. Don't trivialize her distress. But also don't agree that she shouldn't be there.

Be aware that with dementia she is losing her ability to reason, and losing touch with external reality. Don't expect that you can reason away her feelings. Keep explanations short and simple and connect with her emotional reality of the moment.
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Jeanne, didn't you have frequent contact with your mom before she was placed, maybe even her caregiver? Irene, when was the last time you saw your mom? The problem my mom was having due to frequent visits is with her sundowning she would start to distress about the safety of her little girls. When the visits from siblings stopped for awhile my mom's worries, that often became agitation, decreased. My mom was so difficult with behaviors that for the first four weeks she required a 24/7, 168 hour a week caregiver for the 1:1 attention and monitoring. All situations are different and the staff in the facilities are experts and have seen it all. We need to trust them and the direction that they provide. The 24/7 caregiver was an additional charge on top of the monthly facility rate.
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Most people with dementia eventually need round-the-clock care, and at a level that is almost impossible to provide at home. This is often upsetting to everyone involved, but it is no one's Fault.

Many persons with dementia go nights without sleeping, in their own home, a family home, or a care center. This is not unusual, but it is one of the reasons it is hard to care for such a person at home. The care center will be able to deal with this.

It is important that you learn more about your mother's health needs.

I do not agree, however, with the no-family-visits approach. I would never, ever agree to not see my mother for a month. I would not let her feel not only lost, confused, and disoriented but also abandoned. Ain't gonna happen. And her nursing home did not suggest that. She had at least one visit a day from her children from the very first day. (Large family.) I even stayed through the night a few nights. A year later we are down to 4 or 5 visits a week. Mom has adjusted and settled in very well.

But I hope that you can talk this out with your sister and come to visit Mom not in defiance and causing a break in your relationship, but with an understanding of why you need to do this, with no disrespect of her decisions. And I agree with Mincemeat -- it sounds like you need some visits with your sister as much as you need to visit Mom.
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Please give it some time before you fly in....wanting to do the "right" thing may unravel months and months of preparation your sibling has done. Admitting a parent to a facility is the single hardest thing a person can do in their entire life. Please respect your sibling and do not be quick to pass judgement. Remember, by the time you have lived long enough to need round the clock care, you have learned a thing or 2 about pushing your children's buttons.
The best thing you can do is take your family member out for a well deserved lunch and have a open minded, non angry discussion.
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Good point, Blannie. The facility my mom is in actually requested my sister take Dementia 101. She was absolutely clueless. Unless you do this job, the need and the stress is not at all understood. There are a variety of classes offered through the Alzheimer's Association that ALL distance family members should take, especially if they are POA!
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Yes, you need to do a lot of reading on this site before you go visit your mom and/or believe your sister has done something wrong. Come at it with knowledge and an open mind. I imagine it was hard on your sister to place your mom. And it's very normal to have someone who's placed take time to adjust. So please educate yourself about Alzheimers and dementia.
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Irene, I agree with FF. We just moved mom to memory care five weeks ago. She would rather be dead as well and threatened suicide. I had been the 168 hour a week caregiver for the past four years. I have only visited her a few times, but my sisters were initially very attentive, and caring. They had little to do with the care of mom for four years. Now they need to look good to staff at the facility. The facility finally asked them to stay away for awhile to give mom a chance to settle in. Their frequent visits actually made things more difficult for mom. So, give it some time. Wait a month or two, you would much rather see her some what adjusted rather than in escape at any cost mode. Let sis deal with it and listen to her. It will also help your relationship if you respect and understand and believe what she is tellin you and asking of you. Trust your sister to tell you when she thinks your visits are appropriate.
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Question, who has been the main caregiver prior to your Mom [who has Alzheimer's/Dementia according to your profile] being placed in a continuing care facility? If it was your sister, chances are your sister is totally burnt out from all the caregiving. Caring for someone with Alzheimer's/Dementia turns into being 168 hours a week.

Your sister is right, it is better that you stay away for at least 2 or 3 weeks so that your Mom can settle in according to what I have read in articles posted here on Aging Care. It gives the person time to find their way around the facility, learn about the Staff, and meet the other residents. And don't be surprised if your Mom begs for you to take her home... that is very common.
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