How did your parent react when you have to put him/her in a residential facility? - AgingCare.com

How did your parent react when you have to put him/her in a residential facility?

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Would like to know about other's experiences when they finally had to do this. I moved my mom in with me a year ago--she has Alzheimer's and it has steadily progressed to the point where I know I need to have this kind of help for her. I am her 24/7 caregiver and I found a place I feel very positive about. The administrator is asking for 2 weeks with no visitors to help my mom adjust and connect to her new surroundings. I just wanted to know how others who have gone through this handled the process.

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I agree that good facilities welcome input from family members. Balanced against that you need to use your common sense. Be careful not to get in the way, undermine routine or add to your loved one's confusion - but it shouldn't be necessary for you to vanish for a full fortnight to do that. Tell the administrator that you appreciate the purpose of what she's suggesting and will be supportive of helping your mother to settle, but will still expect to see her - I also agree that assisting at mealtimes is a good way to do that, especially helpful if you can break the ice for your mother with other residents, and get them chatting.
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I had two experiences. The first was when my cousin went into AL. At first it was a good fit. She thought it would help her with physical therapy, meds, etc. She was very reliant on me emotionally and I was called to the facility a lot. I was there every day, sometimes twice a day. It was too much contact. She had trouble settling in. Wanted me there 24/7. I should have stayed away, though, the AL wanted me there, since it took the pressure off of them. In retrospect, I'm not convinced it was a good fit. The other residents were more independent than she was.

After my cousin progressed, began to wander, the doctor said she had to go to a Secure Memory Care facility. She didn't question it at all, was content and happy when I left her. (She really didn't know where she was or that she had been at another facility at that point. She loved what she called "her apartment" ).

The director said that I should not visit for about 2 weeks. I called and they said she was doing fine and she was. She has been very content since day one. It was the right thing in our case.

I would explore the facility in detail beforehand, to make sure that they are trained and able to care for someone with her needs. For example. In a regular AL, if the resident is resistant to care, uncooperative, exhibits odd behavior, etc. you may get repeated phone calls to come and address it. They may not be staffed or trained to understand and work with the resident. But, in a special unit, like MC, they seem to be prepared for that. They have ways to work with the resident. That is expected in that unit and they attend to the residents needs. I think it's important to be very candid about the level of care that she may have. Everyone is different. I had a great aunt who lived in a regular AL then nursing home for many years throughout all stages of her dementia and never seemed to need a MC unit.
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PS
I understand that sometimes the adjustment is more difficult if the person is further along in the disease

In our case, mom is very dependent on me and it was gut wrenching to leave her there and I cried for days after

In her facility the residents don't have access to phones and some are so upset and want to call a loved one - this really bothered me for a long time as put yourself in their place - you're lost scared and can't call anyone for help, but of course that call is only a temporary fix as its forgotten immediately

The other thing that really bothered me is the lies staff tells the residents - oh your loved one will be here at 10 in the morning to have breakfast with you or they'll be her soon go wait in your room

But now I chime right in with the chorus- a new resident was having a horrible time over the holidays looking for her daughter- she cried and wouldn't sit still so I tried to comfort her on New Year's Eve - she was convinced she had taken her mom to the hospital the day before so without hesitation I said the hospital called an hour ago and mom is doing fine she's asleep and they don't want you driving in the rain tonight to come see her - she was so relieved- for about a minute

So my mom is atypical- knows a lot can read do math can draw a map to get home and such but she thinks we still live together and spends a lot of time asking where I am - I try to tell her she's in a care facility because she fell and hurt her head - she cried when she realized she wasn't going home so I try to change the subject now - 3-to 4x a week I tuck her in at night and we say our prayers together - at the end I say God bless mom and she says God bless Madge

The only time I stayed away for 10 days was when I was sick in bed with the flu -
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With proper medications and no visits for two weeks , they acclimate well. When family is there for several hours daily, they do not do well, they whine and beg to go home. Like the first day of kindergarten.
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It is not for the convenience of the facility. It is for the wellbeing of the resident. Even saw in my mom that after she would have lunch with L, she would start yelling and screaming, hitting people, you name it. Whether it was due to the separation, probably. But, Their job is to determine what will make mom most comfortable. If it is restricting visits, so be it. When mom gets agitated, she is a danger to herself and others, including the staff.
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I understand why they may well want 2 weeks with no visits but they should NEVER make this a carte blanche policy. Every service user IS UNIQUE and deserves to be treated as such. My mother would be appalling if she didnt see anyone she knew for 2 weeks. I have to say she would be appalling full stop but more so if she actually realised that the facility was preventing access. If after a few days there is a visible trend of adverse change in behaviour following visits then OK discuss with the family.

Until you prove to me that my mother is better without any visitors then sorry she ain't going in that type of care home. What if they feed her in an order she doesn't like, what if they don't understand that she PREFERS sleep with her slippers on, what if they don't realise the significance of her cuddly toy. These are tiny tiny things to a lot of people but to my mother it is the difference between night and day almost, and it is these things that the HOME has to adjust to - it is NOT for the service user to adjust to THEM. Care homes that don't recognise person centred care and individuality of their service users don't meet the standard FOR ME. Others may disagree (and you can because it wont change my thinking) but I expect better.
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There is absolutely no way I would have done that to my Mom. To me, that would be like dropping your child off at kindergarten and leaving them there for two weeks. I know some people hate the toddler/senior comparison but I use that cause they are both helpless states of being where you are counting on others to protect and nurture you.
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Your question is so timely for me as I am going through the realization that my 93 yr old mother is needing more than I can manage after 10 yrs. I have heard the 2 wks then come visit rule but not sure I can do that. I like knowing that I can drop in at anytime just to keep things on an "I'm on top of this" kind of relationship with who is caring for her. I don't have to spend the day. Maybe just bring her a sweet treat and check in for a very short visit.
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I think it depends on how well your mum adapts. The suggestion of two weeks no visiting is based in what often works best for the patient in terms of the settling in. After all, the facility is their new home. One size will never fit all, so if the patient is agitated after visits and begs to go home with family, it is probably best for everyone that family stay away for a while. If the patient adapts well, there is no reason not to visit. My experience with mother was that she adapted well, but, as I live at a distance, I am not able to be there often anyway, I keep in touch with the staff there, and when I do visit, I come unannounced, and am always pleased with the care she is getting as is she.
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Athena,
No one size fits all here

I moved mom (93) to memory care a year ago and she still has not adjusted and wants to go home

Some new residents have no idea where they are or why and don't care and others get so riled up they have to be heavily medicated

Depending on your mother's overall health and mobility- how do you think she will do on her own there ? Is this a nursing home or assisted living with memory care ?

I see you are in SoCal so if you want to private message me I'm happy to share more with you
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