Yesterday my Mom signed herself up for assisted living. Should I have let her?

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My step mom has often said she was not ready for assisted living. Then suddenly she changed her mind. She stated that she did not want to be a burden to us anymore. I am flabbergasted. We have never considered her a burden. She has been living independently but has been very lonely since my Dad died a year ago. I help her with some errands (though she is still driving a little) and in the winter, snow shoveling fits in to the list of things we do for her. She is showing some signs of failing memory and false memories of having seen strangers before. I am struggling with guilt and wondering what prompted this sudden change. Anyone else run in to this?

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Yes, yes and yes again. She is lonely, she will make new friends and have may activities that she can participate in. She did it because she realizes as she gets older, that the assistance she needs will increase drastically! Better her decision than get to the point that someone has to make it for her when they can no longer provide the care that she needs. Respect her wishes, it will be a transition for her and YOU, no question. Do all you can to help her and smooth the transition.
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Why would you try to talk her out of it? She's probably lonely, and good on her that she's decided go into assisted living while she can enjoy some of the numerous benefits that will bring her. Support her in her decision. Ask what you can do to help. Don't cause her to second guess herself. This is HER decision. Let it be.
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Thank your lucky stars you have a logical, reasonable and honest elder !!!!!!!!
Please do not question, offer her your total support and enjoy visiting her in her new home.
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Hats off to your stepmother - I've told every older person who's ever asked me that it is far better to walk into ALF than to be wheeled in, simply because this way she'll give herself the best possible chance of establishing new friendships and really constructive relationships with the staff, who'll be able to get to know her as a person long before she's totally dependent on their help.

I can understand that you might have some anxiety that perhaps something you said or did made her feel unwelcome? But it sounds unlikely - far more probable that she's seen a place she likes the look of and has decided to give it her best shot. If you're still worried, tell her that she hasn't burned her bridges and if doesn't work out for some reason in the future then she can always count on you for help with finding something better.
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Wonderful!! She is probably a wise woman who can see down the road and know that she will need more care as time goes on. You can still take her places and visit and enjoy her - probably all the more. And she can make new friends. I applaud her!
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Thank you so much for your wise council and advice. I feel so much better now about all this and will support my step mom in her decision.
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Help her pack, and be positive with her decision. Make her feel proud. That way she will be happy that she still has control of where she lives. She is going to enjoy being around people of her own age group :)

Oh my gosh I wish my aging parents [mid 90's] would have made that decision... I can't get them out of their house at all to go some place more elder friendly. Sure my sig other and I use to shovel their driveway, too, but couple years ago we had to stop because of our own age decline, there was no way we could shovel our own driveway and theirs. We had to stop half the errands, too. And that makes for a lot of unpleasant telephone calls.
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Assisted living is great. She is doing the right thing. You will learn from it.
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A good transition takes into account her current activities and interest. To help her make together a 'memory box' with photos and objects she can take with her, crafts she can continue when she moves, help her to remain active in those clubs/groups she enjoyed when at home, make a list of wishes and interest so the assistants can follow it easily.
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