I’ve wrote already about my 92 yr. old mother with dementia, but I need more help.

I took her to California on May 11 to AL. Since then, she has still not adjusted and won’t sleep, screams in the morning, afternoon and at bedtime. They put her on a low dose med 2 weeks ago and have increased it to twice daily and now upped that. Also, they are trying melatonin to help her sleep but it’s not helping.

I am afraid the AL will say she’s too disruptive and ask us to move her, but no one can care for her. She needs 24/7 care, with professionals who see this daily. She can’t be the only one to behave like this at a new place. She was a nice lady but with her dementia she has changed so much.

I thought she’d make friends and adjust but it’s not happening. This has not turned out at all like I thought. I’m at my wits ends.


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She is in ALF?
That is unusual, I need to tell you, for ALF to allow that to go on and remain in ALF.
You are not responsible for her happiness.
As you say in your profile, this is not the mom you used to visit on nice trips. This is a mother with dementia. I feel she should be in memory care. Or yes, in a nursing home if this continues. I don't know how much in contact you are with the administration, but if your mother's medical team cannot get some sort of handle on this then it will be a move to psychiatric inpatient rehab to try medications that will work or to plan for a move to care where sadly your mother may require medications that result in her being "too drugged". I know you understand the options here if this cannot be handled by a medical team.

I don't know how cognizant your mom is now, if at all. She needs to understand that this is now where she lives and that there is not now and never will be again in her life any better option. But that there are WORSE options such as a shared room in memory care where she receives drugs to "keep you sleepy". If she isn't cognizant enough to understand any of that and perhaps control herself to the extent she has any control, then that information would be cruel and useless and shouldn't be given.

You didn't cause this.
You can't fix this. There will not be happiness again for your Mom and the hope for that is likely pie in the sky (not that miracles don't happen). Your mother has severe dementia. The moves have been very disruptive and have perhaps caused a more quick escalation of what would have come anyway. We all hope we can die before this happens to us. My brother when diagnosed with probable early Lewy's was so able to discuss his fears of his future and his wish to die before all controls were gone from him including self-control.

I am so sorry. This is awful. This has no happy ending I fear. I would now consider close contact with the ALF, plans for what the future would mean in MC, and most of all CLOSE CONTACT WITH MEDICAL TEAM. Try everything and anything would be the way to go. For some today it is even medical marijuana which has resulted in miraculous turnaround for a friend's mom in nursing home in Texas. I wonder if the medical team has tried a low dose anti depressant. Or is she ON one and it is making it worse? A hospital gave my brother an ativan to calm him and he went off the rails nuts climbing the walls. People have odd reactions to medication.

I am so sorry. As you say, this isn't going how you hoped. You did a lot to make this as good as you could and NOW LOOK! You are going to have to settle into the fact you are not responsible for her happiness and no amount of money or care on earth can buy it for her. This is now experimental territory in the hopes that "something works" to calm her. My brother hoped to die before Lewy's could really "get him". He did, 1 1/2 years after diagnosis, of sepsis. I will be eternally grateful, as was he those last weeks in hospice. Never was anyone more ready to go.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Patrice2 Jun 25, 2024
OMG Alva. Your sentence “you are not responsible for her happiness”. These exact words have been my mantra for the past 4 1/2 years as I deal with my parents in AL. Also “I am not responsible for their relationship”. Helps a bunch.
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Is your Mom under the care of a geriatric psychiatrist?

My mother’s facility that has one that comes in. We needed them on board when the GP was out of ideas.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to cxmoody

It sounds like your mother is now beyond assisted living and really needs to be in memory care instead.
Memory care is better equipped to handle the issues your mother is presenting with.
Best wishes in getting her moved over to the memory care unit, which is hopefully attached to the assisted living she's already in.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to funkygrandma59

My godmother had a difficult time adjusting when she entered her facility.

She had Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration. She eventually went blind.

My godmother was placed on meds. It can be challenging to find the right meds and dosages.

I agree with cxmoody. Your mom needs to see a geriatric psychiatrist.

Best wishes to you and your mother.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

"dementia she has changed so much."
Change to a new environment for people with dementia can be challenging the adjustment period I have seen last a day or two to as long as 3-4 months. Hopefully, she is a smaller memory care unit with A supportive environment for people with dementia that is designed to enhance their well-being and quality of life. Here are some ways to create a supportive environment at home:

Make sure the house is well-lit to reduce the risk of falls. You can also try using LED lighting that can be adjusted throughout the day.
Use contrasting colors on the walls and floors, and select bright-colored furniture that stands out. Avoid patterns and stripes, which can be confusing.
Ensure floors are non-slip and free of trip hazards like loose carpets. Check that locks, doors, windows, stairs, and balconies are safe and may need modifications. You can also install handrails and mark the edges of steps with bright tape.
Outdoor space
Make sure outdoor spaces are secure to prevent wandering off. You can also install raised flower beds and sheltered seating areas.
Sensory stimulation
Use music, aromatherapy, and tactile objects
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to NJCALA

It may be time for your mother to be put into a memory care facility. The AL facility will tell you if you should move her into memory care. If she becomes too difficult for them to handle, they wil insist you move her.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to BurntCaregiver

I agree that the adjustment period is different for everyone and 1-1/2 months is not that long, in some cases.

I also agree to keep adjusting the meds. I takes time for her body to recalibrate to those changes every time, like 2 weeks. This is a pain-staking process but will pay off in the end.

Is she leaving her room for meals? How is she managing any other ADLs, like hygiene?

Has she been checked for a UTI, just to discount this variable?

Do you know what type of dementia she has? Vascular dementia can produce some very unpleasant personality changes, such as anger, agitation and violence.

I'm so sorry for this distressing situation. I wish you success in finding the right answers and care for her. Please do self-care, since this is very hard on you as well.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Geaton777
Klopes Jun 25, 2024
She hates being in her room and is always by the front when anyone visits. She hates bathing, it’s a fight. I think her medication is interfering with her appetite too. She used to clean her plate, now she picks and is losing weight. It’s a struggle.
thank you
It’s time for memory care .
At 92 with dementia , this was a big move for her , which caused a step down that she may not be able to be in regular AL .
Memory care can better handle trying different meds and get Mom less agitated , so she is at peace instead of living in this upset state .
I feel bad for Mom , get her to memory care .
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to waytomisery

My mom and time in the facilities has shown me that mom needs/responds better to one/one care and cueing. I asked the receptionist in her AL if anyone had private caregivers and she pointed me to a wonderful woman who got me the best person for mom. She has been with us for 4 years and has moved to MC with mom. Mom is calmer, less anxious, likes having her own person who can help her and “read her mind”. The facilities are lonely places for elderly. The other residents may be hard to talk to because they are “broken” too. The staff is slim and have many jobs to do and don’t have the time. Mom’s caregiver is her advocate, helps her eat if needed, gets her the things she wants, showers her, lotions (AL and MC do not do lotions). Puts in her eyedrops, talks to mom, walks with her so she doesn’t fear of losing her way, takes her to events-mom was refusing because she was fearful of not getting back to her room when she wanted to leave. 3 facilities and they are all the same. Some staff are wonderful but they are limited in their face time with residents. When I first got mom a caregiver, I gave the lady some background and introduced her to mom as my friend. We sat together and with the background, mom liked her. They made plans to get together without me (I said I would try to get there but didnt) and it has been wonderful. Mom at one time told me she didn’t need a sitter but did it because I asked her to. So glad it worked out.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Tandemfun4us
Kchristian55 Jun 25, 2024
What is the cost of a caregiver? Does she live with your mom?
Klopes: Perhaps your mother requires residence in a memory care facility now.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Llamalover47

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