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My Dad passed almost 2 years ago. We noticed things going on with my mom about 1-1/2 years before that. It started with her inability to do tasks like she used to - forgetting how to answer a phone that was ringing - choosing a knife to eat her entire meal - no longer cooking or driving, etc. Initially we thought it may be depression, as my Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We were blessed that my Dad lived 3 years beyond diagnosis and led a very full and healthy life. In fact, his death was a surprise as they were on vacation and the cancer was stable. Since he passed, Mom has been primarily with my family. We recently moved her into a beautiful assisted living facility in hopes she could meet some friends, become more active versus sitting in my house waiting for us all to get home from our days.


This transition has been almost harder than her living with me for the past 18 months! I had no privacy in my home and woke up to her standing in the hallway at the butt crack of dawn to pulling in the driveway and her standing in the door waiting for me after work. Now she calls me NON-STOP throughout the day at work to complain about how much she hates her new home.


I'm trying to help her get engaged with the community and she will go and rave about the people she met and that they are the nicest people EVER. But 2 hours later she is miserable and lonely. She expects me to visit every day (she is 35 minutes away) - but I have a full time job, 2 teenagers and a husband that have been neglected the past 2 years with all my parent drama.


I guess I'm just looking for affirmation that we need to give the assisted living facility a chance - I can't have her with me 100% of the time - every conversation is nothing but her complaining and I have become depressed and miss hanging out with my husband, kids and friends like I used to. So selfish...

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You are doing the right thing. You don't say how long your mom has been in assisted living, but it's a big change for her, particularly if she has dementia or Alzheimers, so it will take her some time to get acclimated. If you look through the threads on here, you'll see lots of caregivers whose parents initially hated the move and then over time, come to love their new friends and the activities in the facility.

If it was me, I'd limit the number of time you talk to your mom each day. Talk to her before work and once in the evening (or whatever schedule works for you). There's no reason for her to be calling you incessantly and even less reason for you to talk to her each time she calls. Reinforce to her that you'll call her 2X a day and that you can't answer the phone at other times because of work and kids and husband. Then stick to that boundary. Write it on a whiteboard in her room (you can get one at the Dollar Store) so she can see it. If you're not as available, she may be forced to get more involved.

I'd also talk to the folks where mom lives to see if they can make sure she's being included in activities, etc. But if she has dementia and Alzheimers, she may forget it all every five minutes, which is one more reason you can't respond to every phone call or you'll be joining her there as well.

I'd also make sure her doctor is on board and maybe see if she can get some temporary medication to lower her anxiety level if she's appearing anxious in her calls to you. You could also consider hiring a caregiver to spend a couple of hours with her each day for the first few weeks, to make sure she gets acclimated to her new schedule and home. Again, you're doing the right thing for your family and your mom, even though it may not seem like it right now.
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You needs to talk to the acyivities director about your concerns. May be she can arrange for a buddy for mom to go to actiities with.

Don't be so fast to answer the phone. Let mom's calls go to voice mail.

Talk to mom's doctor (whoever is managing her dementia) about meds for depression for anxiety and/or depression, which accompany dementia.
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