Should I feel guilty about placing Mom in a skilled nursing facility? - AgingCare.com

Should I feel guilty about placing Mom in a skilled nursing facility?

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I'm at a crossroads, and really need some advice. Mom has lung disease that is progressing. However, the last two weeks her mobility is terrible. She can barely walk. So I've helped her up and around for two weeks. The conflict is I have scoliosis of the spine that has moved to my neck also. I'm in daily chronic pain myself. I'm a full time online college student, and single mom to a 16 year old in high school. We have Dr. Appt. Monday to get her walker and in home PT. But, I called and requested Dr. To do an assessment for SNF as well. She Will be so upset if and when she realizes this but it's really starting to run me down and increase my pain by a lot. Can't she go in temporary until her leg strength is built up? Should I feel guilty for this? Afraid she will never forgive me. When requested assessment I told her I wanted to have it done in case she doesn't improve in a week or God forbid, gets worse. I just want her to have best care possible, and I know I can't go on this way for more than another week. Trying to do the responsible thing but when tried to talk with her she was totally against idea. Any advice, Please?!?!? Have a blessed weekend!

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I have not read any of the other replies as I am running late today...

I'd suggest should she be admitted to a SNF that you tell her that the doctors want to keep an around the clock watch on her symptoms for a few weeks so that they can determine the best course of treatment...Then keep pushing the potential discharge
date back a week or so at a time...

As I see it, this is not deceitful. I say that because years ago, I had a similar experience..Wife had massive stroke and was paralyzed and could not speak. I kept her at home for two years by myself...I then had a heart attack and she had to be put in a SNF. We told her I'd be able to take her back home in three months and did so seriously....Doctor then told me I'd likely die if I took her home and care for her by myself, I told her that the doctor needed a few more weeks to review her situation and symptoms and then said I was forbidden to care for her at home...Ten years later, she was still in the SNF and when asked if she had a happy life, she nodded yes. She finally died earlier this year a happy woman until the very end..I sat by her bedside twice daily all those years..Of course, being retired, I was able to do this...

Moral of story: Take care of oneself as well as the afflicted one..

For what it is worth.

Grace + Peace,
Bob
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Dianne, Your mother is probably afraid that if she goes in the SNF that she won't come out again. That is a scary thought, I know, but sometimes it is a choice that has to be made. We can't be a medical team for our parents, no matter how we may want to. Some things are beyond our ability to handle. What we can let them know is that they can come home when they're better, but that they need more help than we're able to give them.

It's a sad situation to work through. I hope people who have been in the same situation will let you know how they worked through it.
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DianneKK, any chance your Mom could afford a caregiver to come to the house for one shift during the day to help her? That would give you a much needed break, and help get Mom used to having a non-family member be helping her in case in the future does does need to go into some type of continuing care.
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You’re first question you asked of us was "should you feel guilty?" And unequivocally...NO. When you are doing ANYTHING in the best interest of your loved one, guilt doesn’t play a role. The definition of guilt is that you’ve done something wrong. As long as you are being responsible to your LO, there should be no guilt. All actions should come from what is in the best interests of all parties. Your health by the way, should also be considered. You should be allowed to be her daughter...not her nurse. One can only do so much. I personally despise the term guilt when it comes to caregiving....unless one is being abusive, it has no place. I hope your situation works out well for both of you. By the way...from experience...a LO can get all the rehab in The world, but their strength will deteriorate after rehab ends. So unless it’s kept up, don’t expect miracles. I know this from my dad's experience.
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You may want to ask Mom's doctor about rehab. My husband was in rehab for 4 months this year for help with his lack of mobility. Did it help? Not really, but he is not the sort of person it would have helped. However, it gave me a much needed break. We have had a nurse come to the house once a week since he was released in May. Other than that, it's all up to me and I have my health issues too. Most of us caregivers are not trained to care for our loved ones. I learned what I do know by watching the aides at my husband's rehab.

Not knowing you or your Mom, it's not easy for us to say "Yes, definitely admit her to a SNF." But since she, like my husband, has health concerns as well as medical issues, caring for her will only become more difficult. IMHO, you need to care for yourself as well as her, and a SNF may be the best way to go.
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In a similar situation - when I had to move mom into an assisted living community- someone told me this will be the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Hard stuff. It sounds like you love your mom very much, have you told her honestly what a toll this is having on you? I finally broke down, cried and told my mom how horrible I felt about moving her and all and how caring for her was pushing me to the breaking point. That seemed to get through to her. Good luck and do what is best for you and your daughter. 
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A hard, hard decision. You have a big heart. And like so many of us, you want your parent to be happy. Or whatever passes for happy when they are so compromised.

You are at one heckuva crossroads. You have surely mulled over every what-if and 1-year/5-year/10-year scenario as they relate to Mom and her POV. As you work through your options, it is crucial to devote exactly as much "brain space" to analyze the scenarios as they relate YOU. And one more time -- as they relate to your son.

You and son have more life ahead of you than Mom. Sounds harsh, but it's just simple math.

If you continue to plow through as-is while your spine and neck issues worsen, how likely is it that you will enter limited mobility decades younger than Mom did?

Picture your life after Mom's funeral. Will you be working on (or completed) that degree, managing your own health issues and on your way to greater financial stability? With son in college or possibly graduated and building his career?

Or will you be so physically compromised that you are unable to work? (With or without your degree.) And son will feel that he has to limit his options in his 20s or 30s to take care of his relatively-young but disabled mother?? What a cycle, eh?

This gets lost in translation all the time, but the caregiver's health is just as important as the care-receiver's issues. Possibly more important, if you think about " the math."

I hope you can find a solution that works for your mother's issues, yet honors the futures that lay ahead for you and your son. 💛 ((((hugs)))))
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All the comments really put things in perspective. Thanks for taking time to lend me time and advice. I'm getting her walker and then the in home therapy but have decided to put things on a time limit. Like 2 or 3 weeks. If things are still the same way I plan to move forward with SNF. It's too much on me and my health, and I don't foresee great improvement. I keep trying to give it more "time" but I have to be realistic, and make right decision for all involved. It will be sad, but I will visit 2-3 times weekly and take her goodies. Again, thanks for the excellent advice because I listen, and take it to heart. She actually fell over the weekend, and it's too dangerous. I have her not getting up at all now for restroom, but not sure if she Will forget about depends on or whatever. It's been one hell of a ride lately and don't feel guilty for looking forward to my own life, and not worrying constantly. If I could make it all work with her home, I would but it's just past that point. I use to take care of everything, and all she did was dress herself and go to bathroom alone as well as her personal hygiene, but now I do that all too. I'm only human. I will update, and you don't know how much it means to have you all for listening ears who give thoughtful yet meaningful advice. Love and Light, Kelly.
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I am in a similar situation. I am my mother’s POA and primary and ONLY dedicated caregiver. I’ve been caring for her since July 2015 when she fell during the night and was never the same since. Even though she had no serious injuries from the fall, from that day on she was never able to walk on her own again due to severe imbalance and slow to respond gait. Her dementia, which was mild prior to falling escalated to more of a Level II.

What has transpired in the two years and two months since her fall has been all-consuming, intense, & nerve-shattering just to name a few. Like you, Dianne, I had promised my mother years ago I would do everything within my power to keep her at home in her elder years. Since her fall this is what has happened...three admissions into rehab facilities for PT following hospitalizations for dehydration, weakness, etc from UTIs. Discharged home all three times with Home PT. While Home PT was in progress, Mom seemed to be improving. However, as soon as it stopped, the same weakness returned, she was hesitant to do her exercises, and she actually regressed. She has had Granny Nannies home Care which I was able to afford through a county grant. She gets 40 hours a week. My sister, who has removed herself from any and All Care with Mom, reported me to DCF (Florida Adult Protection) on three different occasions for abuse of our mother (neglect & financial) all of which were falicies but none the less I had to endure interviews and inquiries. My sister is bipolar which only adds to the interference. She is finally more or less easing out of the picture (long story) but her presence in any capacity adds stress to an already stressful situation. At present, my mother’s ability to walk even with a walker is declining. Her dementia is worsening and her UTI’s have become more on than off causing worsening of hallucinations and delirium, weakness, etc. I still have the nannies and cams in the house to watch her in the afternoons when she is alone between nanny shifts...however, she now is having trouble understanding how to use the phone so when I call her she can’t hear me because she’s holding the phone upside down. You get the picture.

I feel at this point that a SNF is in our near future. It saddens me to no end to proceed this way but I truly feel I have done all I can do. Like Dianne, I have disc issues in my back, tendinitis in both arms from lifting Mom, and my anxiety is 24/7. My husband died five years ago. I had access to only enough income for about five months. I went thru my savings account and now am living off a reverse mortgage which is almost all used up. I pet sit to earn some supplemental dollars. But I am now very scared I will lose my home lose everything if I don’t start caring for myself. I have given my mother all of me for the past two plus years and it has enabled her to stay in her home, but I feel I am on the verge of a total burn out. I’m 59 years old but feel like I’m 69. I have health problems that need addressing. Somehow, I need to find work, something I never thought I’d have to do Again since getting married in 1995. Retired in 1998 from administrative medical work. I’m finding so many changes in the work force. It’s challenging & scary all at the same time. I wonder if I’ll even find a job that pays me enough to survive. A work-at-Home Job would be ideal for me, and I have had a few of those on a temp basis in the past, but these are difficult to come by now.

I will feel sad for my mom when the day comes to enter the SNF. However, I will not feel guilty because I know I have given her all I could to keep her home as long as I could.
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I'd rather do anything then admit her to NH. I was hoping it would be temporary, like rehab, until mobility improves. However, I'm having 2nd thoughts, and just going to go with in home PT. Hopefully, they can help build her strength back up. I do believe that the way her health is declining it will have to happen at some point, but I prefer not to be the one who iniated that process. I plan to call before the appointment Monday and let them know we don't need that assessment right now. I couldn't deal with the guilt. Just have to build me a little health team, to help me, help her. I hope she never has to be there indefinitely, and will keep doing what it takes. Only, with in home help like some of you suggested. Thanks for thoughtful and caring comments. It's a difficult journey, but I would never change taking care of my mom. I buy her fresh flowers every week, and she gets excited and tells me where to set vase so she can see it. I agree, that you have to do what is best for your particular situation. For now, I can handle things as long as mobility doesn't worsen. Best wishes to you all😇😇😇&prayers sent for your journeys as well. God won't bring us to something, if he isn't going to bring us thru it!! Love and light.XOXO
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