My 90-yr-old mother has late mid-stage dementia and aphasia. I have been caring for her in her home for two weeks every month and then my brother has her in his home for the other two weeks. When she is at his house, she is confused, does not know who he is, and constantly wants to "go home". Sometimes when he brings her back to her home, she does not know where she is or where the bathroom is.
I know routine is crucial for a person with dementia, along with familiar surroundings. Recently, my brother has told me that he can no longer have Mom at his home. He says caring for her is too stressful for him. And, truthfully, Mom's hygiene is not at the top of his list since he is a male, which is a negative for Mom. He says we need to place her or her care will be 100% my responsibility.
I found a Memory Care facility about 5 miles away from my home. There are 4 memory care "cottages" that house a maximum of 16 people. There are 3 caregivers during the day and 2 at night, plus the House Manager is always there. All the residents' rooms open on to the common area. They can see the dining area, the activity area, the TV area, etc. as soon as they open their door. No long halls to wander or get lost in. The cottages are really nice and she will have a private room with a private bath. As a bonus, this facility has had NO COVID! I can do an in-room visit as long as I have had a Covid test within the last 14 days. There are also patio visits and window visits that don't require Covid testing for me.
I have spoken to a woman who lives near me whose husband is a resident of Memory Care at this facility. She says he is well-cared for, the caregivers who work in his cottage are wonderful (caregivers are assigned to one cottage and do not work in the other cottages), the food is good and they keep him clean. There are activities every thirty minutes.
The problem is me. In my mind, I keep seeing Mom there, confused as to where she is, afraid, lost, alone and feeling abandoned. No doubt, she will cry and beg to "go home". She might even pack her things and sit in the lobby, waiting for someone to "rescue" her. Just thinking about this breaks my heart. However, there is that remote chance that she will adapt and like it there with a routine and schedule that she does not have with me.
I love my Mother and have been caring for her for almost 5 years now. I know she is not going to get better and that caring for her will most likely get to the point where I can no longer do it. She needs socialization, people her own age to relate to. Covid is a concern, for sure. That's one of the reasons I have not had in-home care for her.
Am I being selfish to consider placing her in MC? I am 71 and my significant other is by himself for two weeks each month as it stands now. He has not complained but, I think after 5 years, his patience is wearing thin. He says placing her in this facility is a "no-brainer". It is close to me, beautiful, has a good reputation and I have a personal recommendation from someone who has a loved one there. She won't have the love I can give when I care for her, but she will receive better care than I can give her. Why am I so conflicted?