Confused..mother seems more lucid since going into memory care?


We brought my mom to the hospital because we found her unable to make her coffee and hallucinating and had been up all night kinda tearing up her house. She was diagnosed with vascular dementia after finding she had many mini strokes, oddly enough she was fine the night before, of course we saw some signs of dementia like forgetfulness, and she was experiencing "dreams" which turned out to be hallucinations. She was evaluated in the hospital and we were told she needed 24/7 care and was nursing home material. After 5 weeks in the hospital we found her a nice memory care facility and took her there last week, we told her she needed to go to another hospital to get strong again. When she was in the hospital she was hallucinating, losing weight not sleeping and depressed. She has been in the memory care facility for a week and has perked up, she's sleeping, eating and bright eyed again, at first she thought she worked there :). The past few days she's been more lucid and asking to go home, when I tell her the Dr says she must stay longer to gain weight and regain her strength she gets upset. This now has me question weather I made a mistake putting her there! She still believes her dead relatives are alive but other then that she's almost herself. Since her decline was so quick we had no time to adjust to her having dementia and am unsure if this is normal, will she get worse again? I'm distraught tonight with guilt, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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You made the right decision. Hospitals are terrible places for our elders. Too much confusion, too many meds. People try their best but it's not a good atmosphere so many elders decline.

The people on this memory unit know their jobs. Do stay on top of the meds because sometimes medications can cause dementia-like symptoms. But the hospitalization may have caused a permanent setback so even if your mom improves some, If she his well cared for, take time to recover and let her continue recovery. Keep giving her your perfect answer and move forward. Don't take her out unless you are convinced that is the right move, because changing environments can be confusing and trigger more symptoms. Use some time for yourself, too.
Take care,
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You did the right thing! OF COURSE she wants to go home. But she also wants to be younger and to be able to do all the things she could, and to have everyone alive again. (Don't we all?)

My MIL has been in a Memory Care facility for 3 months now. We had to tell her that she was going there because the doctor said she needed therapy to walk better (she has some balance issues but otherwise ok, and physically "healthy" but FRAIL). In the 1st month she asked us each time we visited if we were taking her home. We gave our/your stock answer. The 2nd month she said she really liked it there/it was very nice, but she wanted to come home. We gave the stock answer - "Of course, and we want you to come home as soon as the doctor says you're ready."

This past month she stopped asking or even mentioning coming home about 2 out of 3 visits. Then a staff person put some St. Patrick's Day photos up on the FB page - there she was, smiling, laughing, havng fun with her new friends. She's very social and always was. At our house, she stayed in her room most of the time, slept 16-18 hours/day, came out for 2 meals, and watched endless TV when she wasn't sleeping. Did my husband have guilt when we moved her there? YES. Does he have any now? NO. We realize that where she is is BEST FOR HER. Of course we wish that she could have died at home, but that didn't happen, and now she's spending her days with her new friends, doing structured physical and mental activities, and SMILING MUCH MORE than she did when she was home with us.

Give her and yourself some time! As others have said - change is stressful. Moving her again now wuld be a mistake for all of you - but especially her.

Wishing you peace and an end to (your very normal) guilt! XO
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You gave your mom a good answer. She needs to get better. Give her and yourself time to see how she recovers. You can change your mind later if you need to. Hugs.
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You did not make a mistake. She needed 24 hour care.

Wait at least a month before deciding to take her out. She is unhappy about not being in her home, and needs time to adjust. In a month, you will get a better idea of her actual condition. She may decide that she is actually pretty happy to be somewhere safe with lots of people to talk to and activities to go to. Don't expect her to "decide" to stay. Probably her wish to go home will peter out. And sadly, her condition will probably eventually require NH care.

Feeling guilty is a sign that you are a good person. It is not proof that you made a mistake. Bless you.
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I know exactly what you are saying!!.I had to put my sister in hospital a year ago - she was hallucinating & wandering.She then was placed in a nursing home.My sister perked right up
For a short time but she has good days & bad days.
She has gained some weight back that she lost not eating or remembering to eat.
In the home she has 3 meals a day & healthy snacks through out the day.They have activities for all who want to participate.
I too thought my sister was improving until I had her to my place over Christmas for 3 days
It is a 24/7 care.You think they are sleeping at night - & then who should be wandering & does not remember where she is or sme stranger is in her bed.
My sister is only 71 .People with dementia have stages of different personalities .
I am sure if you took your Mom home for 3-4 days you would find out for yourself that you can not take care of her.I think your Mom is where she needs to be
The staff are well trained & the nursing home has 24/7 care.
Just my opinion .Hope all works out for both your Mom & you.💕
I had that guilt -was I doing the right thing for my sister who has no family but me. I now know that I have.As time goes on your Mom will adjust .Don't feel that you should be there every day to see her .I visit once or twice a week or when there is a tea or once a month they have a party for whose birthday s that month.
Hope this info helps.
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My Dad was in Memory Care for 2.5 years before he died at 93 yrs. For the first month, he variably asked about going home; thought he was in a boarding home due to a long distance job, and thought it was a hotel 'with really good food'. We gave him the same answer, always about 'going home'...the doctor wanted him to be there longer while they tried to find the right medicine to make his memory better or to make his brain work better. Remember, that your Mom cannot remember as you remember....and she is going to repeatedly ask because she cannot remember that she asked that yesterday or that she was worried about it yesterday. With dementia, everything is happening new for them at the moment. With conversations, they may be able to recall some things from yesterday. If we went to visit Dad and asked him what he had been doing, we got some really really interesting stories....and if checking with staff, all had a thread of reality to them. His facility was 5 cottages, all alike, on the grounds, that were secured with a fence....and beautiful grounds with paved walking paths, grass, gazebos to rest in the shade....and he walked a lot to deal with anxiety. So he was always 'going to work'. They arranged for him to 'help' the young maintanance guy, by carrying and holding things. But, what we heard was that Dad was the supervisor and was teaching the ropes to this guy! One day he told all about the airplanes that were landing in the wash behind the property all day. In reality, they had been on a ride to an airplane storage yard....and looked at a lot of war planes that were in storage. That's how the mind confuses things. At any rate, he soon considered it home, but would get excited every day when Mom came to visit....and he never 'forgot' who she was, or who else in the family was....though he got to where he was bad with names. He would give big hugs, and tell me that his memory was not what it used to me, and he couldn't think of my name, but " I know you belong to me!" Our best visits, and his happiest times, consisted of getting him to talk about things from his, at Christmas, asking him to describe what they did on Christmas day when he was a kid, living with his parents. What did they eat for dinner....when did they open presents....did they buy a tree or cut a did they decorate the tree.... Those things he could remember and he loved to talk about those times. And I was collecting things from his history at the same time. Do stay focused on what his meds are....and I would also recommend taking her to a Geri Psych MD for the meds and check ups on the dementia, because those kinds of doctors know the best and latest ways of the meds that help the dementias. The facility should have care conferences on her about every three months, that you can attend.....and if you make friends with the supervisors and the nurses on the staff, you'll know that she is getting the best. Even 'lazy' staff, will take better care of a resident when they know that family shows up regularly to visit and check on things. And don't always go at the same time...and go for some meals, so you know that your Mom gets what is on the menu. In all 3 of the facilities, family was able to sit and eat with the resident too, if we asked ahead of time. My Dad really liked that, as it was a social occasion that always stayed familiar to him.....having dinner as a family. So give it time, but stay involved in visiting and checking on things.
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my mom was having uti's every month it seemed with hallucinations. Went into a nursing home after hospital suggested rehab for about 6 weeks and it was awful. she was stuck in a wheelchair (never been in one before) out of her mind, babbling. They suggested it was dementia progessing and tried to get me to move her in there. I moved into her house when the time was up with rehab and took her to a new doctor and he sees no dementia. Took her off many medications and it took a few months, but has been pretty good for a 90 year old. No hallucinations, no uti's,
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My mom was living alone and falling and not remembering. Even when I showed her in the mirror the bruises she had from falling, she'd deny it. The clincher was when one of the Meals on Wheels guys called to say he'd found her on the floor - she'd apparently fallen, got some skin tears and crawled across the floor leaving a trail of blood, and out of her robe - at 95. My sister and I knew we had to get her out of there. We found a foster home for her we thought was wonderful but after 6 weeks, she became 'combative', trying to hit other residents with her walker, and they brought her to the hosp where she remained for several weeks as they tried to 'adjust' her medications. She did horribly as she'd never taken any medication before this and it knocked her out or increased her paranoia. When she was able to go, it was suggested she go to Memory Care which is what my sister and I agreed to as she was unable to return to the Foster care place and required 24 hr care. She's been there for 2 years now and it's 'better' but I still feel a lot of guilt as we removed her from her home 'for her own good'. We'd been taking her to assisted living facilitites hoping she'd move out of her 2 story condo but she'd always decline. We know she has better care and is safe and my sister visits daily (I am out of town and go every 2 months), her dementia has increased to where she's no longer asking to go 'home' which is all she did for the first 6 months or so. My husband and I are going to put something in place so our sons don't have to deal with this guilt and they will know our preferences. Good luck!
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You did the right thing. This dementia road is an up and down journey. My Mom has been in full time dementia care for almost two years. In the beginning she would want to go home with us when we visited. She then became very happy and content as this facility has lots of music and programming to keep them busy. Try not to feel guilty and know they you are doing the best for her. Enjoy the good times that you see that she is having. Best wishes and keep smiling!
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I wish I could put my Mom in a Memory Care facility. (No money) I think she would be happier there. She is not ready for a longterm nursing home that Medicaid would cover. In a MC she would have more freedom than she does in my house, which is a split level. Five flights of stairs. My Mom has been here almost a year and a half and still talks about going home. She thinks she is visiting. If you can afford to keep her in this facility, I would do it. If are willing to give up your life, then bring her to your home. If it wasn't for Daycare, I would only have time to run errands. Daycare has given us some time together and get things done. October she will be going to a facility for respite so we can go to a nieces wedding and have some time to ourselves. Its a riot that my husband is worrying more about her being there than me. He says she won't like it. I say "we need to get away". He doesn't want someone in hour home he doesn't know so this facility is the best thing. No, can't take us with her. It's seven hours away and two days in a hotel.
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