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My mother-in-law has come to the stage where she can no longer take care of herself. She has suffered a few falls at home, had a TIA and general ill health. Doctor & part time care staff suggested full time care in a nursing home near to us so we could monitor her care plan. She has no relatives where she lives to help keep an eye so we have moved her closer to us. We are visiting everyday and helping her settle in. However she has started accusing care staff of allsorts of terrible things, complains about the care, food and basically anything she can really on a daily basis. She says we don't visit her despite seeing her everyday. The list is endless. Is all of this normal when an elderly parent gives up her independence. We are not bothered by her behaviour because we love her dearly but just wanted to know if anyone else has had a similar situation.

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Sally, it can happen in a rehab facility as well. I've seen that personally.
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Sunnygirl1 your message is helpful. I agree that visiting everyday could be adding to her distress. I will definitely take your advice on on getting my mother in law evaluated for depression and anxiety too. Thank you
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I initially placed my LO in a regular AL and was called to come by for something almost every day. Sometimes, twice a day. I'm not kidding. Eventually, it became apparent that she needed a higher level of care. I moved her to Memory Care. I'd discuss your MIL's situation with the staff just to see how she's faring when you are not there. Being at the AL with my LO every day, accomplished nothing really. She forgot that I had been there, the minute I walked out the door. So, I might evaluate what number of visits really are helpful.

I might also have her evaluated to see if she suffers from anxiety or depression. They can make people miserable and cause unnecessary mental distress. Meds helped my LO a lot and she seemed much more content in her surroundings, after she went on medication. Nothing to make her drowsy. She stayed very energetic.
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Thank you so much for all of your advice it is really reassuring and I am so grateful to all if you for sharing your experiences. I never thought about our daily visits stopping her settling in or making her behaviour worse I will reduce visits now it makes sense. It could be Dementia or damage from a brain injury due to her a TIA. I also think making friends would help her settle more too.
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Yes its normal. My mother was the same after we moved her to an independent living facility. She complained constantly, about the food, about losing her car, about everything. As she aged she developed some dementia and then paranoia (thought the housekeeper stole her clothes, etc)
Sometimes it takes a while for an older senior to adjust to the loss of independence and once they make friends they settle in. In Mom's case, she didn't and instead aligned herself with other complainers and they fed on each other's negativity. But we just ignored the complaints because there is no sense in arguing with someone with dementia. The best thing to do is change the subject or distract them. Sis and I each visited once a week (on different days) and didn't hover. We found out she did make friends and did participate in certain activities but she never told us - so we realized she wasn't as unhappy as she wanted us to believe and eventually did feel at home.
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I agree that she likely has some dementia due to brain injury, from TIA. Visiting less often and/or for less time may help. It takes some time, maybe months, for a person to adjust to moving into a facility and they adjust better with a break from families visiting. In fact some facilities recommend that family stay away for a couple of weeks so the senior starts to engage with people in the facility.
It might be a good idea to talk to staff there about your mother's difficulty with adjusting They are used to dealing with it.
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In a word, yes. You don't mention if she has dementia, but chances are she has some mental issues that are contributing to her behaviors. I am sure she is angry at being uprooted and is directing her anger toward anyone within earshot. Since you are close, you can keep an eye on her and make sure the staff is truly following her care plan. I have a suggestion. Visit daily for one more week. Then start visiting every other day. Put yourself out of the path of her vitriol. She waits for you to visit and then let's you have it. Whatever you do, don't argue with her. That only fuels the fire and upsets everyone. When she complains about staff, tell her you will speak with them, or simply say, "Oh, ok. I'm sorry about that. I'll speak with her/him about it." No one cares to be uprooted from the way of life they've known for decades and when one has medical and emotional issues as well, it makes it worse. When my mom acted (exactly) this way in her facility, I had to grow a very thick skin. Good luck.
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