How do I handle it when mom cries when I come to visit at her in assisted living because she's so unhappy? - AgingCare.com

How do I handle it when mom cries when I come to visit at her in assisted living because she's so unhappy?

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I know I've made a few posts just in the last few hours, but I'm new to this site and I so need the experience of others in the same boat. It is so hard to try and calm my mom down when the first thing she does when she sees me is cry. There are other times also that I knock at her door and she doesn't hear me and so I open it to find her either sitting or standing there, crying and talking to herself. I realize she is miserable, I would be too, but she is in that hard middle ground between knowing she is failing and is scared about it, and being out of it but not realizing how out of it she is. She is planning to move...she is just going to call the moving people and find her own "little house". She has no phone, no money and no place to move to, but if it gives her a sense of purpose then I let her believe she is doing exactly that. but in the meantime I deal with the horrible guilt I feel for not being able to help her find something to help her pass the time. TV, books, etc., are not options anymore due to her dementia. She is not interested in scrapbooks, photo albums etc. It is next to impossible to take her out anywhere as the background noises are amplified with her hearing aids, she is constantly cold, her food "always gets cold" so she complains about that, she has no filter when it comes to talking about other people and iwth her hearing loss means she voices her opinions very loudly. It is taking a huge toll on my sanity and I don't know how to get my head into a place where I'm not sacrificing my mental and physical health.

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Hi jeanne, well she has gone downhill very quickly. Memory Care is the next step. She is now having hallucinations thinking her room is full of people, she has no cognitive memory of where she is once she leaves her room. It's sad, but it is what it is. With memory care she will have activities geared to HER level of cognition rather than dragging her to an activity that she is totally lost in, she won't be alone as she is becoming very scared at night. It is hard to see, but I know that she (and I) will be happier and I will know that she is safe all the time as now they check on her every 2 or so hours but she still has all day and night that she has nothing to do except move her stuff around. So that's my next plan of action is to get the move to memory care going. Thanks for asking, I hope things are well for you.
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ucylilac57, it has been more than a month since you posted this. How are things going for you and Mother now?
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Oh Boy! I also told my mother that if she lived with me and fell I'd get into a lot of trouble. She forgets to use her walker and, of course, she falls...and bruises. If I was alone with her, I couldn't pick her up and would have to call 911. At the ALF there are 20 rooms arranged in a square with a caregiver station in the middle - 2 are on duty 24/7. The bedroom doors stay partly open and the caregivers make the rounds every half-hour. My mom cries when I leave but I know she's safe.
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Her hearing aids are only a year old, supposedly better than the "all in the ear" ones I got for her 2 years ago for $2K apiece. it's not her hearing per se it's her understanding. I am going to take her to the audiologist maybe they can do some sort of tweaking but they are good hearing aids so that isn't the problem. I do tell mom that she can't live alone, and when she denies that she needs help I pass it off and blame it on the State of Nevada saying that once she got a diagnosis of dementia that if I let her live by herself and something happened, I could get in a lot of trouble. She is in denial about her decline while at the same time admitting that she has trouble.
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At the assisted living place where my mother-in-law lives, there is a nurse and a health coordinator that I often talk to about mil. Believe me, these people have seen it all, and would be a good resource to deal with your mother. Talk to them and lay it out what you're seeing, then ask for help. My mother-in-law has dementia and macular degeneration, so really she has NO memory and NO eyes anymore, but still she maintains her sanity. She doesn't like living there, she'd rather be home and she also complains about pretty much everything, but she also KNOWS she has to be there because we've told her. I don't know if letting your mom think she can 'live in her own little house' someday is such a good idea, but that's also a question I'd be asking the professionals. It could be that you're just going to have to let your mother cry for awhile till she gets used to living there, I don't know. One thing I WOULD do, is get her some better hearing aids. :)
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