Is a nursing home right for my Mom? - AgingCare.com

Is a nursing home right for my Mom?

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My mom has severe dementia. She doesn't make sense alot of the time with her words. Can not dress, shower or fix food for herself. Wanders around in the house and finds it hard to sit still. Is afraid to ride in the car due to thinking the sky is water and she is afraid of water. Thinks people are telling her things to do, she says that lady told me to do that. Looks at magazine pictures and talks to the people and even kisses some of them. Eats only the same few things daily. Was always a picky eater but now not recognizing some foods. She does eat because I fix the same things she likes, not sure she would eat in a facility. If she doesn't like it she wont eat it. So many things she will not eat now that she use to love. Basically her meals are pancakes for breakfast, maybe a hamburger from fast food and peanut butter toast with honey and cinnamon and apple sauce for supper. Some cookies and candy. Still drinks water but needs reminders. Needs help going the bathroom, but still knows she needs to go. Gets ornery and says don't tell me what to do. She is not always in reality and it has been difficult these last 2 years. She is afraid to sleep by herself and constantly is looking for me. She doesn't always listen to me and that frustrates me, because she is not in her right mind. She needs to be watched most of the day so she does not put 3 shirts on and 5 pairs of socks and underwear over her pants. Puts shoes on the wrong feet. She tried to touch hot iron and just doesn't know things anymore. I slept with her every night for the first year she was with me, she would try to get up in the night and wander around. Now I sleep with her until she falls asleep and wake up at 6am and sneak back in her bed. She has this blank stare and doesn't blink just stares. That does scare me. She is still in good health besides not liking food, but if she doesn't like their food Im afraid she won't eat. Thats what scares me the most. There isn't really anything she would eat at a restaurant she is just that picky. She needs constant watching is that even possible? Let me know your thoughts as I am trying to medicaid approval for somewhere.

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Home » Elder Care » Health Conditions » Alzheimer's & Dementia » Articles » Validation Therapy for Dementia: Calming or…

Sue: Carol just wrote a wonderful article on Validation Therapy. If you google that term, you'll get several useful articles about what that is. You may need to validate your mom's reality (this is likely the technique that they'll use in any facility she'll go to). Yes mom, you need to pick up the kids, but we have time for lunch first, let's eat and then I'll take you to them. Get her a baby doll to hold. Find out more about Alzheimer's and read up on the techniques that will help you. Bless you.
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Hi I would like to share with you my personal expierence. My mother also has dementia and her level of care became too much for me to handle. The case worker placed her into a nursing home and said it was the best one. It was medically. My mother never was happy there she was always crying and calling us upset. We decided to move her into a memory center and that was the best thing we could have ever done. They are used to dealing with dementia, mild , moderate, severe. My mother is moderate probably near severe. There are people in there very severe that wander around all day long. Its a secure facility and has an outdoor area. The care is good. They have a ton of activities and keep them busy and out of their rooms. I think the big difference on nursing home versus memory care was the nursing home was short staffed, some staff not used to dementia and she was alone in her room most of the day , limited activities, ect.. Don't wait too long because you want her to be familiar with her surroundings before she gets too progressed. I am glad to share this with you, I hope it helps, it was a hard time and kind of a live and learn for us.. Memory care was a life saver for us, mom is used to it and still has her moments but I feel she is safe and feels at home there.. Best of luck to you.
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Thank you ba8alou! My mom had just started the Dementia with my brother and he was pretty much in denial. His heart attack was not related to mom. She was capable of taking care of herself when she was with him. Today she kept walking around and around and sits a few minutes and walks around and around. Its about to drive me nuts. I say, Mom sit down and she says I got to check on the kids. She was saying some people were coming to get her, and I don't even know how to react. What if they won't go to a nursing home? I am sure she doesn't think anything is wrong with her brain. I keep telling her she is not thinking right, when she thinks some one is coming for her. She wants to know if I can come and we will be back in a half an hour. Talk like this is constant all day. She is not in reality but her own reality. Do they deal with this at a nursing home? When she wanders from room to room she can't remember where I was and needs help finding me. Then she leaves again and the cycle goes on and on. It is hard to deal with someone who has severe dementia.
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Sujean; this must be SO hard for you! Was your brother her caregiver as well? This may seem a hard way to look at this situation, but was your brother's heart attack in any way related to his caregiving? In your situation (my mom is 91, in a NH, with moderate dementia, CHF and some other issues, so I feel like I can chime in), I feel like it doesn't matter what I do, the dementia is going to kill my mom eventually and it would be kinder to let something else take her first. That may sound cruel to you and to some out there, but the person who inhabits my mom's body is no longer fully my mother. That being said, my mother is in MUCH better shape physically than she was two years ago, because she's eating a more varied, healthier diet; mealtimes have socialization built in and she has much more stimulation than she would if she lived with me. According to her, there are work actions or strikes every week at her facility and she gets very excited (in a good way) about them. Never thought she'd last this long! Look, there are loads of bad facilities out there, you need to go and see them and see if they might suit. No one is going to care for your mom the way you do, NO ONE. But she also wanted you to outlive her, didn't she?
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Thank you sixcounty, yes I have a husband but my children are grown. He is very understanding but I do miss our time together. He knows my priority is mom. She does fight me in getting a shower and sometimes using the toilet. She says I just went or I just had a shower. I am concerned she wont like any of the food they offer her and she will just waste away. That makes me feel like I am abandoning her. She is very social but very dependent upon me. I don;t even want to tell her about a nursing home. We looked at a memory care assisted living place, I asked her would you stay here. She said, if you are here. She has never been independent her whole life. Lived with my dad until he passed and my adult brother never left the home. They were in a family business together. Then 2 years ago my brother passed away at 49 with a massive heart attack. So since then she has been living with me. I just don't want to be responsible for mom not eating due to not getting what she will eat. When I picked her up because of all the grieving from my brother she was down to 97 pounds. I nursed her back to 125 pounds. It is a struggle now to make sure she eats. I tell her you have to eat mom or you will get to thin and die. She says, I already ate. I have to keep at her to finish eating. This situation is eating at me and making me depressed. I have been on anti depressants for 25 years and when under stress it tends to get worse. I have a brother but he lives far away and can't help from day to day. My husband and adult son watch her a few hours every day but it is still hard. What if they won't stay when you place them somewhere? Thoughts anyone!
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There are two factors you need to consider tow things, your health and her safety. What you described is not good for you but many people do just as you have been doing. You didn't mention your "other life" meaning if you have your own spouse or family to contend with, how are you meeting those responsibilities? To be a sole caregiver is tough and causes stress that can be detrimental to your health, and if something happens to you, what happens to your mother then?
Though it's honorable to take on the responsibilities you have, what would your mother want you to do if she was in her state of mind prior to the Dementia? I'm sure causing you ill-health, taking care of her would not be the answer. That being said, it is difficult to make the decision you presented. Nursing facilities are staffed with multiple individuals that can watch or monitor activities and medications in a secure setting. Centers with secure Alzheimer units are staffed at a higher rate than other levels of long term care and have specialized training, but you will not find one-on-one care. Change is difficult to Alzheimer's patients but when a routine is established, they can function rather well under a physician's directive.Her diet and weight would also be monitored.
If you choose to look at placement, remember your goal is to get her more specialized care that she would benefit from and cannot get at home. I also caution people to realize nursing homes can't preform miracles, people continue to age and accidents can happen anywhere. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease and as the dementia progresses, other symptoms my develop. Some become more aggressive and others may be completely lost in their own home which could be a safety factor.I would suggest you join an Alzheimer's support group so you can visit with others going through the same experience as you. You're not alone!
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