Follow
Share

My mom got sick and after a few weeks in the hospital and then a month in rehab, we found out that being sick had spun her into dementia. So, because she lived in another state that was far from me, I moved her to Florida with me into a very nice assisted living facility. I got her there by telling her that she needed some long-term recuperation, or else she would not have come with me.


She has now been there for about three weeks, and at first was very accepting of the place. But, now she cries every day and tells me she just wants to go home. She says that home is where all of her friends are that she plays cards and bunco with, even though she has played very little in the last year because she had been so sick.


She wants to go back home and pay for somebody to stay with her all of the time, and I explain to her each day that she is not rich and that we cannot afford for her to do that. She then cries and says “I guess I’m stuck here.” :-(


The big problem is that my mom does not think that she is old. For example, she will not go to the grocery on senior citizens discount day, because as she puts it, she doesn’t want to be around all those old people. That right there explains why she does not like being in the assisted living facility. Even though the place is very nice, and the apartments are super nice, when she goes to the dining room or anywhere else in the building she is surrounded by people who are old and don’t talk or have no memory.


I keep trying to tell her that we are going to start going over to the other building, which is the Independent living building, where there are a lot more people that are cognitively in a better place that she could socialize with, but my schedule has been busy the last few days, and it is going to be next week before I can start going over there with her. That does not satisfy her at all. She wants to go home and be near her friends, even though I know darn well that she would not see them very often and she would slip back into the habit of laying around and sleeping all of the time.


Even though she does not realize it, she is healthier now than she has been in a long time. She is eating good food three times a day, she is wearing her oxygen all the time (She also has COPD), and she has probably walked more in the last three weeks then she did in the last six months when she was at home. I feel that because she is so much healthier now, that that is the reason that she now feels bored and wants to be around people that she can socialize with.


But as we all know, that is not gonna happen overnight. Even though I tell her every day that it is going to take time for her to get used to it, she still cries and asks why she can’t go back home.


Mom had been a vice president at an advertising agency, and before she was put on oxygen, she was a very social person. I think another thing right now is that she is getting used to carrying the oxygen (and a walker) around with her, (even though she says it is a total pain in the butt)... and that now makes her want to get out and about. I have been to see her every single day for the last three weeks, minus yesterday when I just could not go up there because of my schedule. We have also taken her out to eat at many restaurants, including seafood places on the water, and over to an island, etc. But, that doesn’t make any difference, because she does not even remember going to most of those places, and because she’s so depressed and just wants to go home. Now I’ve gotten to where I just dread going there and also talking to her on the phone, because I know she will end up asking why she can’t go home and crying again which is just breaking my heart.


Mom is only 79 years old, and this could go on for years. I’m now wondering if I shouldn’t have just left her back in the state she was living in and into an assisted living place there. Thanks for any advise, and sorry for the long post.

I think it must be especially hard when you have to manipulate an elder to get them where you think they need to be. Makes you conflicted to lie to someone you love. Technically you have done what you said in that you got her the long term care to get better. Three weeks of better may not be enough. I think Stacy has a good idea to visit the IL and see what she would have to do to get there. Explain to her that’s the next step towards home. That might seem more achievable to both of you. If she can’t manage that, it would be harder at home etc. No doubt she is miserable.
So maybe a visual of sick at home, hospital, rehab, AL, IL and then healthy at home. Look you are more than halfway there. Don’t make promises you can’t keep but explain that the health professionals are good but they don’t have a magic wand. That she will have to do her part to get better. Part of getting better is to x,y,z.
Build some hope in other words but not too aggressive.
Took time to get sick. Will take time to get better. Yada yada yada. Slow and steady wins the race even for youngsters like her.
She may or may not buy in but if she does, at least you’ll have a talk track and she’ll have an action plan.
I know it’s hard.
Hugs
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report

Will she ever get better enough to transfer to the IL side of the complex, as she may fit in better over there? That might be something she could aspire to, improving on her mobility issues and her ADL's? That way she could always be transfered back to AL, should her impairment dictate that.

I do understand that it is early days yet, and she is still adjusting to her new suroundings, as well that "moves" can further their mental decline, it is all a difficult guessing game now isn't it?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to staceyb
Report

No, its good that you wrote the post like this. When we don't get enough info, a lot is assumed.

You had a choice to make and being near you was the best. As you know, ALs don't provide all Moms needs. So, if left in her state, who would have made sure she had a supplied kitchenette. Her toiletries and new clothing when needed. Who would have checked in on her.

Mom is always going to want to go home. Its what is familiar to her. Eventually, she will mean the house she grew up in. Her desease will get worse to the point she will need more than an AL can provide. She has COPD which may cause more health problems. I agree, maybe she needs more stimulation. Can she be allowed to eat maybe even dinner in the IL section? It will be hard because the ability to reason is one of the first things to go. Try to make her understand that she needs to be closer to you and needs care she can't get living at home.

See if there is a Senior Center near by or a group that play the games she enjoys. Maybe a member wouldn't mind picking her up.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter