We moved my mom (90 yrs old) into our home in April, as she needed more support & moving in with us (after selling her home) was the only solution she was willing to agree to. Once she started living with us we realized that she was in far worse shape than we had anticipated. The doctor confirmed there's some cognitive decline in play. Well, probably no surprise to anyone of you but she's continued to decline in that respect & we're expecting an official dementia diagnosis at her next exam (early January). Mom had me rather late in life. I'm in my early 40's with no siblings & my father passed away in 1999. Mom's had a VERY rough week this week. Yesterday she couldn't work the television without assistance (despite the simplified remote with only 5 buttons on it). Then she kept unplugging her reading lamp & then getting upset that it wouldn't turn on. That was followed by an inability to figure out her favorite handheld Solitaire machine. It's no surprise to anyone of us that a day like that would be very frustrating. But the problem is that as her struggles are ramping up she's blaming us more and more for these challenges. She's convinced the television needs to be replaced, the fridge is broken (she can't seem to understand how to open the fridge door anymore), etc. The hostility she's been throwing our way this week is off the charts. We have a young family in the home (eldest is 9) & her displaced frustrations really did a number on our Christmas holiday. Hubbie & I tried so hard to give her a great Christmas and the result is that we're in the midst of Day 3 days of a massive passive aggressive silent treatment from her (aside for making rude, backhanded comments & slamming her bedroom door in our faces). This week is our first week off as a family since July, so no one is happy about her behavior and even the kids are upset and want grandma to move back to her own home. In preparations for that appointment in early January, I've emailed the doctor all our observations of her cognitive decline per the doc's request and I've included comments on my concerns about her remaining in the house long term. I'm going to request a social worker asap and I have a few facilities in mind that I intend to set up appointments to visit after the holiday week. Anything I'm missing? Any useful lessons learned from you folks that we should keep in mind? I had really hoped this would work out for awhile but she clearly has challenges that we're not equipped to manage long term & the entire house is walking on egg shells 24/7 trying not to piss off grandma all the time. That is no way for especially the kids to live. The more support and assistance we give her, the angrier and ruder she is to everyone. She's started to complain about our pets (2 dogs and a cat) and so this morning the kids are all upset thinking she'll make us get rid of their pets (that will NOT happen). It's simply not working out. I want her out of the house.

Have you brought up the idea of AL to your mother? What are you going to do if she refuses to move? My suggestion is that you may have to wait for an emergency. If she needs to go to the ER for any reason, refuse to bring her home saying it is UNSAFE for her.
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Reply to lkdrymom

Can you arrange for "respite care" this week at the local nursing home?
Or day-care at the senior center?

Calling the senior centers can put you in contact for supportive resources from
the County Area Agency on Aging. (dial 211).

A quick walk-in at urgent care can test for a UTI. Do not wait for the appointment in early January, because a Urinary Tract Infection must be treated right away, and can lead to sepsis. The symptoms in the elderly include behavioral, and may not even include fever at times.
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Reply to Sendhelp

I’m so sorry, especially for your kids, that Christmas was a bust. And that now, those babies are afraid their beloved pets will be kicked out and off-the-wall Grandma is at fault.

My mom crashed from a UTI 5 years ago. She exhibited many of the same symptoms your mom is. After becoming combative with the hospital staff, she was tested and evaluated and it was determined she could no longer live on her own. She was always a martyr and a drama queen so i knew far in advance that she could not come to live with me. There was no Noble Promise of caregiving for me.

Mom was well able to handle her ADLs. There were many people on her floor who could. However, there were behaviors that prevented me from considering Assisted Living for her. Leaving the stove on, calling 911 for no reason, being paranoid and delusional. I worked with the social worker at the hospital and the doctors and nurses who helped me make the decision to place her in skilled nursing right away. It was the right decision.

It sounds like you are well on your way to having your ducks in a row. That makes the whole process easier.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

Is there any way that you could get her tested for a UTI today? This sort of sudden loss of previous skills can often be due to an infection; of course, she could also be having TIA's, but there's not much to be done about those.

If this is a SUDDEN change in mental status, I would report it to her doctor immediately and ask for her/his advice.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

I think the right social worker will be a big help to you. Look for a placement with different levels of care. It sounds like your mom can still do a lot of her Activities of Daily Living (Dress and feed herself, get up and down, go to the toilet, bathe) at this point and probably doesn't need a Skilled Nursing Facility. However, it would be best to find a living situation that could provide that advanced level of care if she needs it without moving her to a new facility. There are places that can house seniors from Independent living to skilled nursing care. They are called Continuing Care Retirement Communities. Maybe you have one of those near you?
Once the social worker can assess your mom's needs, you will have a better idea of what kind of facility you are looking for. If your mom has the finances, there are some very nice places available. Best of luck!
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Reply to anonymous594015

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