Do I move Mom to assisted living now before we don't have a choice?

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My mom has Moderate Dementia, but lives Independently. It was a 2 year battle to get my mom to move off the top of a mountain & into a nearby community. She has moderate dementia & doesn't take her medications on time, sometimes not at all. She's down to about 105#, I know she forgets to eat sometimes. She needs more help than I can provide, (Money very tight). should I move her to Assisted Living while she is mostly capable of caring for herself or do I wait til she isn't capable at all? Is being comfortable with her surroundings better or is getting the right help better? She has very little savings, I help when I can but I have 2 kids & not much either.

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So much to learn, I've been recently diagnosed with Lewy bodies on top of a whole host of physical issues including being wheelchair bound, and I'm part of a DID/MPD community. I'm a carer for my BIL who has his own dementia. Widowed almost 9 yrs ago, no other living relatives and a handful of elderly friends spread far and wide. I have 10 hours of support time per week and try to care for myself and fur babies, + BIL. So that's who I am in a nutshell, now to give you my perspective on your issue.
3 years ago I had to move into my current 1 bed flat after 30+ years in my own 3 bed house. Frankly I hated it, I knew it was necessary as I couldn't access my home and had no hot water or much electricity for 3 years prev. I moved with bad grace but determined to make the best of things and I've tried to. I taught Brownies until 18 months ago and was active in the local community in various groups. Now with unexpected flare up of health issues I can barely leave my flat without assistance, tomorrow my little dog goes back to his breeder because I know I can not give him the life he needs. I love him to bits but he doesn't get enough exercise or interaction with others. It's breaking my heart but I need to be responsible enough to make this decision. That leaves me 4 cats aged almost 4 & 3 years old, 2 Chinchilla & a Syrian hamster almost 5 months old. At the moment I can still care for them and I do. However, I regularly forget my medication (thankfully it's mostly supplements and my pain patches my computer reminds me about every 3 days) I don't eat enough. Not interested/motivated to eat, cooking is almost impossible.
I would fight the idea of going into "assisted living" or similar, I don't want to lose my independence. But, and I would never write this if I knew anyone I know would read it, a part of me is ready to hand over the reins. I'm arguing because it's all I know, it's what's kept me going. But at heart I'm exhausted and to hand over and have someone else make the decisions would be great. I'd lose my fur babies and that would break my heart as it is with my dog ~ But I'm going to lose them some time.
I never had a loving family home/childhood and I guess what I'm looking for is that. A "parent" to care and keep me safe because I'm not sure how much longer I can keep me safe.
I'd "lose" most of what I have now, but in reality what it really means is less stuff to have to take care off. I don't do all the craft activities I used to love, though they are all here. I rarely go out and when I do I'm afraid and I want to be home. Then I'm so exhausted I just want to sleep.
Ok, I'm just recovering from a 3rd bout of Norovirus and I'm probably depressed from that and not being able to keep my meds down. That said, this is the truth of how I feel. If my Care agency rang tomorrow and talked about sheltered accommodation I'd say "NO, I'm only 59 I'm not ready for a granny annexe." I'm not sure though that I'd fight for long. I'm scared of the future whatever it brings, because whatever that is it's going to be out of my control and it's going to keep getting more and more out of my control as I lose more and more of me.
I hope this helps give another perspective on where your loved one might be.
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Babalou: Thanks. She was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment with short term memory loss last Nov. Apparently, if LA doesn't have a local contact (someone who can get to the house within 15 minutes of a call) and the LA wearer doesn't answer the call back (Mom was in the bathroom), they automatically call 911 for EMS. I'd already planned to be at her house for about a week, starting day after tomorrow. These visits always wear me out; I think I have her back on track, then a day or two after I leave, she'll push her LA button for a non-emergency. AARGH!
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Caty, it sounds as though your mother has anxiety issues; this happened with my mom. It sounds as though the LA pendant, which I'm sure was added to the daytime CNAs to assure you all that she was safe at night is being misused. That's an indication that she needs a higher level of care.

Two things; I'd get her in for cognitive testing and a good geriatric psych exam, so that you can get a handle on what her needs are. I'd start looking into Independent and Assisted Living facilities, possibly near you or one of your siblings, if you have any. Having mom in a place where there was always staff around, where she could get to the doctor by herself, where there were activities, a variety of people to interact with....they were all a Godsend for her. Much less isolating than being home with a CNA. And I'm sure it would be much less expensive than $300 a day.

The idea of having her close to one of you comes from this; when mom ended up in the ER (falls, high BP and eventually a stroke) one of us had to get there. If she's close by to one of you, it makes it easier. Good luck.
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When is it time to move Mom to AL, when she frequently calls Life Alert for non-emergency situations at night when she's alone. We don't want to cut off her LA service, but we and the neighbors are tired of calls in the middle of the night and ermergency vehiciles flashing lights and running engines, waking up the whole street. Should we just take away her alert pendant, put a hold on the service or cough up an extra $300 a day to extend here CNA care to 24/7?
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I agree about finding the right level of care. Find out what she really needs daily. I wouldn't rely on what she says she can do. Dementia patients often say they can do lots of things, but in reality they cannot. A regular Assisted Living may not be enough hands on care, but a Nursing home may not be necessary, if she doesn't need skilled nursing care. I would look at Memory Care, which is a more secure Assisted Living with much more hands on care.
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SoMuch - please, please get a realistic handle on what moms ability is. Yes, I know she has been living on her own but often so much of daily tasks is rote memory by default. Add to that, that our parents can "show-dog" when we visit. Family often fixates on the finances so AL always looks like the better decision. Keep in mind that Medicaid waivers for AL isn't always available BUT there will be a NH somewhere that takes Medicaid & will take her Medicaid pending from day 1.

If you can, visit both a AL and a NH that you like and be there for about 3 hours - to be there when an AM activity is done (10/10:30) and then go to lunch and then to the beginning of whatever is planned for after lunch. Will your mom fit in? AL are very much social hives with planned activities while a NH is not quite so much. Can mom do what the majority of the other residents are expected to & can do? I'd guess that she will not be at the ADL ( activities of daily life) level that most AL residents can & are expected to do but is more at the NH level.

If mom has been somewhat isolated in her home (I don't know if this was an actual mountain or not!), an AL could be just overwhelming. She may not be able to follow along the pattern of daily life at AL. They don't have to be all sorority social to live in IL, AL or NH. But if they are very antisocial, a NH will be more accepting of their personality.

Moving them is hard but moving them from their home to AL only to get a "we do just love, love, love your mom but she needs a higher level of care and this is your 30 day notice" a couple of months later is a panic & crisis situation both emotionally and financially.
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I would look for ways to help your mom stay in her home as long as possible. Perhaps you can find some local, low cost in home care for a few hours per day/week and assist with medication reminders, meals, etc. In home care can be a much more cost effective alternative to a facility.

Check with your local Agency on Aging. There is likely assistance available such as Medicaid Waiver, VA, etc.

Moving to an assisted living facility can be a bit costly and the transition can be very traumatic. Your mom sounds like she has led a very independent life in which she has been in control. If you plan to move her to an assisted living facility, you will want to prepare her for the loss of control of the small things in life for example when she sleeps, eats, and who she associates and how she spends her time.

If you decide to move forward with assisted living I suggest you do your homework, there are a number of good facilities and some are not so good.

Good luck, and God bless.
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As cwillie has said, you can't force anyone into a facility if they refuse to go. Until she's diagnosed to not be able to make her own decisions, she can decide for herself.
I'm facing the same problems with my husband. I'm taking a chance next month and putting him in a facility ho will do respite while I need to be away for a few days. If he refuses to stay I don't know what I'll do except give up my plans and bring him back home. Also, you'll need her to get a recent physical from her doctor as he will need to complete a health form before she can be admitted. Best to get some of that done asap. It's what I'm doing right now myself.
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You said, " have found a "local" Assisted Living place that also has a memory care facility. They require 2 years of private pay before moving her onto Medicaid, which will wipe out her savings & require a few months from me but not to much." As someone who has a mom with advanced dementia, it only goes one way.. which is much worst than what your mom has now. She'll need care for everything ...for years. It sounds like financially you don't have much maneuverability and need to move quickly. Otherwise, you'll have to do it which will make it almost impossible for you to work. Then, where will you and she be? I'd move her as quickly as possible so she can make friends and adjust.
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Even with POA you can't force someone to move against their will, you would need guardianship for that.
I see this as a moral dilemma between living a longer life in a facility where she would be unhappy vs probably dying much sooner where she is. There are days where I'm not sure insisting they eke out their days in a care facility is really the better choice.
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