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Recently we both took turns caring for her in our homes. Since we are in our mid 50's, we need to work so this became impossible and very draining and stressful to care for her. She simply can't be left alone. We had her in an Assisted living for 1 month and 3 weeks, but after she wandered off and took walks (in 110 degrees heat!) without following the protocol of leaving the facility, they could not keep her there safely. She had a nice one bedroom and living room and kitchen at the Assisted Living and now is in a bedroom which at some point will be shared with someone else.
She is now in a brand new Memory care building as of 10 days ago and also one of the very first 3 people to move in! She is a very social person and definitely does not look 80 yet. As her daughters, we are seeing her NOT adapting well at all despite the fact that she was extremely happy when we visited the place and saw her new room.
Is it normal for her to call us every day (since she figured out how to dial our numbers on her flip phone!) and cry and say she doesn't belong there, and she has no family there. She says she isn't like the other people there and they are very confused and have bad memories, etc. etc.
It also doesn't help that her brother (our Uncle) died 6 days after moved into the facility. She asks where her mom is also and now she thinks her mom and her brother both just died! Her mom died in 1991 and she thinks we are lying to her about that. We are really struggling with how to handle her verbal expressions on how she doesn't want to stay there and she wants to go home. I am the daughter who is trying to stay firm and when mom calls my sister, mom really knows how to upset my sister and make her feel guilty.


I have read many of the answers based on similar questions asked here and it has reassured me that sadly it is all normal for someone adapting to a memory care center. Any suggestions and tips for us would be greatly appreciated.

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My Mother was far more assertive about not liking her beautiful new apartment in an active senior center (she had mild-mod dementia otherwise reasonably OK). She got her younger sister to buy her a ticket and she flew "home", including summoning a taxi to take her to the airport. She then cut me out of the will and quit talking to me. (This was after she demanded I come out and get her and take her back to my state so she could be close to her one and only child. She wanted "a nice apartment".) We were left with a boatload of troubles closing down the apartment. So, yes it's common for them to run away, complain, be miserable, lie to you, or really not remember things. It sort of is in the 'it sucks to be you' category I'm very sorry to say. Just keep excellent records of what you do on his behalf in case he summons authorities to tell them how abused he is. (It happens).
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Dad is in a relatively new facility, and it's been a difficult adjustment for him too. His dementia isn't as bad as most of the others, but physically he should prob be in a SNF. He is sad or angry much of the time when I visit. I have seen, though, that he's a bit dependent on his new surroundings. When I take him out, he speaks of needing to get back to "that place where I stay." He knows I fix things, so his logic tells him to relate to me in terms that are negative -- the sadness, anger, & complaints. In addition to that, he, and the other residents too, will have some very bad days and act completely out of their past normal character. I redirect when I can. When I can't, I cut my visit short. (I go every day.)
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Mom may be right that she is "not like the others." There are only a couple of "others," and they may be in more advanced stages. Time can become a vague concept in dementia, but would your mother understand this explanation? "When more people move in there will normal people here, like you. You will be the experienced one, and can show them around." But that is in the future, which may or may not seem real to your mother.
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emeraldstone, you are doing the right thing having your Mom in a memory care center, as it can take a village to care for a person who has memory issues.

There does come a time where a person with Alzheimer's/Dementia will want to go home. But "home" means their childhood home where life was much simpler. When my Mom [98] went through that phase I would tell her "maybe we will go tomorrow". As for seeing her sisters and parents, I just pretended they were still around but quite busy. Eventually Mom forgot the conversation, and it was an instant-replay the next day.

One idea, if Mom can budget for a private caregiver for a couple of hours each day, that might help. Dad did that and it worked out great, especially once the Agency found a really good match, someone who had a lot in common with Dad... it gave him a routine.

I think as more new people move into the Memory Care, Mom will find someone to be her new best friend :)
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There are many ideas on how to handle these situation both here and on the Alzheimer's site (alzdotorg) .
Reading these and other books on the subject will guide you in the art of 'redirection'. When Mom asks about her brother or her Mom find a suitable activity they may be involved with that would keep them from visiting her. For my Dad, I told her he was on the big committee for the fraternal organization he was active with --- he'll be here just as soon as that is complete. Her brothers? They were at the soccer game. etc.
Can you delete your number from her flip phone? The memory care facility that I had my Mom in REALLY discouraged the residents from having their own phones for exactly that reason. The aides would make the calls for the residents.
Since the facility is new they may not have a full array of activities yet. She may need a bit more handholding til they are full and have everything in place.
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