Follow
Share

She has Alzheimer's and dementia and find that it's best not to give her too much information in advance as she either becomes very anxious or forgets (or both!). I want her to understand that I want what is best for her and that I am not abandoning her.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I guess I was fortunate in that my mother no longer recognized her own house, couldn't tell day from night, was being 'visited' by scores of dead people, and when I put her in a nursing home she never said a single word about 'where am I' or 'when can I go home'. That's how far gone she was. (and she is doing great there, btw.) I feel bad for all of you who still have to discuss this kind of thing before pulling the trigger. But I say, when they need signs in the house noting what rooms are behind the doors, when they swear that their 50 years dead parents are sleeping in the guest room, when they fall down and defecate on the floor several times a week, and the caregiver is seriously considering suicide, you pack 'em up and take them in for a 'doctors evaluation'. Which goes on forever. God bless those still sentient enough to question the move, God bless the caregivers. It's difficult.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

God bless you Wendy. I pondered your question quite a lot before answering. First, every situation is different. People can suggest, however, no one knows your mother or situation better than you. If I were to suggest, I would be as pleasant, assuring and matter-of-fact as possible to mom. Visit assisted living homes, talk with the administrators and staff members. Most have brochures outlining activities, meal plans, room types, etc. But, please do not let fancy brochures determine your decision. Get a feel for the place, the atmosphere, notice if guests are happy and well cared for. Do your homework and then decide. Perhaps keeping mom at home a little longer may work out. If not, at least you will know what is available and a good fit for your mother. Be patient, be strong and focused. And, don't give up. Sometimes there is a waiting list at assisted living homes. Get on the wait list---search other places. Get your 'ducks in a row' so when the final decision times comes, you will be able to make the transition much easier. Please do what is best for both your mother and you and do not wait too long. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

When it came time for me to place my Mom in a Memory Care Center I felt it was important to include her and prepare her for the move. Several weeks before the move I began to have positive brief talks with her about the upcoming move. I also brought brochures of the facility that had colorful pictures and left them at her chairside table and we talked about them. I knew Mom probably wouldn't remember our conversations but I felt it was important to prepare her as much as possible. I didn't want to just "dump her" and lose her trust in me. I do not think our conversations caused her any anxiety or additional stress.
Despite everything I did in an attempt to make the move easier the day of the actual move was horrible. But, we made it. Its now been six months since Mom moved to the Memory Care Center and after an initial rough start she has adjusted to her new home. I visit her 3-4 times per week and usually spend about an hour or so per visit. I see how she has declined as this disease has progressed in just 6 months and I'm so glad for her move to the center. The care she gets there is better than what I alone could have given her.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is no easy way to prep our folks for the move. All we can do is the best we can.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Chaswife, i teared up reading your post. I always felt that we should put ourselves in our loved ones shoes. Therefore, i kept my mom home with me 8 years . Her ss helped out for helping me but i spoiled her and dont regret it. I would be furious if my kids did that to me, i wouldn't even want to move now at age 60 with hubby, never mind older and alone.so saf what you witnessed, i would cry with them. Maybe i should volunteer to visit with those who are lonely.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I worked in a LTC facility and often witnessed families bring their loved one in without having discussed it beforehand. The families thought they were being creative and sparing their parent from undo worry. In most cases it caused the parent to lose trust in their family. The poor elders would cry and ask to go home for days. Of course the family never witnessed this. They showed tremendous disrespect towards their parents. It's difficult being old and helpless and seeing your grown children make decisions that effect your life, without discussing it with you. Quite often these elders are more aware than their family realizes. Put your self in their shoes. How would you like it if your family tricked you into going for a ride, only to find you could never go home? It's mean and hurtful. You don't discuss it with them because you don't want to deal with their emotional response, not "because she would just get upset" . I'm not saying that AL is wrong. I am saying, talk to them about it even if you don't think they'll understand. Give them a chance to express their feelings and enough time for them to adjust to the pending change.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks Bob. I needed a good belly laugh. You are as funny as you are wise.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

tell her in a little homemade ditty. ie;
your startin to be a pain, its messin with my brain.
crappin in the chairs , and fallin down the stairs.

im just kidding wendy. its prob'ly not possible for everyone to fulltime caregive because of career and other complications. i know i lost a fortune in wages over the last 6 years. maybe you could get a facility to let your mom come in for daycare for a few weeks to see if she takes a shine to the place. set up her room and everything on the pretense that she just spends her days there. the transition would be easy to just let her stay there one night cause the weathers bad outside or something. just trying to be helpful, must be a heart wrenching situation for all involved.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

wc, as much as we might like to keep our parent at home until they die, there comes a time when we can't provide the care they need. A trained team of people will be able to keep her more comfortable. A good care facility will make sure she is clean and fed as well as possible. Family can still visit, but don't have to worry about all of the things that are such heavy concerns. My biggest concern about AL and NH are the costs. If they can be worked out I think the help is a godsend. The easiest way to enter a NH is from the hospital if they have to go in from a fall, a UTI, or other thing. I think it is far less traumatic than moving directly from the house to the facility.

I wish there was something better
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Wendy, I hope you have found someone. My mom is 90 and I moved in a year ago when my father died. She doen't take a bath, doesn't trust anyone, and always thinking others are here, when it is just us but she can't never give me a name. She repeats herself over and over. I feel that I'm going to go crazy by contining to live here, but I can't live either. She is also going through my things and today I realized she is wearing my underwear. I question what I should do she is total with it one minute and gone the next. I know she will not want to move. What do I do?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

just went through this situation as I was the full time care giver for my dad for over a year. My dad's best friend went with me & my dad for a ride to the facility we had chosen & then walked in and had a conversation about it. I made a deal with him to try it out for 3 months and then we would discuss it again if it wasn't working. He agreed. But then told with dementia his story changed a few days later when he told 1 of my nieces that I tricked him. Anyway, its the best choice for us and we'll see in 3 months how everyone feels about the decision. Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sorry Wendy. I got confused and posted not only a reply, but a question of my own as well! From the experience I had with Mama the first time she moved into assisted living, I believe that it is better to wait until that day. Mama forgot that she'd asked me to move her to assisted living, so I had to constantly reassure her that day that she had. It helped at the time that she had an older sister whom already lived there that Mama worried about. I may, when we move Mama back into assisted living, have to tell her a 'white lie' but not a lie, by saying "Mama, we're going to go for a ride" which I know she enjoys. Our destination will be the assisted living community. Hope that helps.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I moved my mom into assisted living at her request 3 years ago, and she liked it - before her dementia worsened to the point that she became suspicious, sometimes angry, and distrustful of the staff. My sister then became a widow, so moved Mom back home. Now, Mama thinks she is still in assisted living, and that my sister is her care-giver more often than 'daughter'. We plan to move her back to assisted living Nov 2012 because she seems to miss the 'ladies' she used to live with, and my sister isn't quite up to the task. Thanks for the replies that indicated I should wait until that day; the only problem is - how do I move and pack her stuff beforehand, or do I just wait until I take her down there and have someone sit with her while I "run back to the house for a few minutes" to get her personal belongings? Any ideas? I'll have a friend, and my sister, to help that day.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sooo, Good luck Wendy. I hope it goes well. I have tried discussing my concerns with mom and she is finally warming up to the idea... but then, by the next day she will forget the conversation. I wish you an easy journey.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Your message, Ruth1957 was very helpful. My mom has Alz and it is progressing to where I realize she needs assisted living. She loses her keys, purses, money, and can't remember things from 10 mins ago. She still lives alone but I am there ALL the time when not working. It will be best for her and I pray she will understand. It will be hard, I know, but I pray that she settles in nicely. I have just begun the search for the best fit for mom. It has to be "income based" as mom only gets SS and is by herself. Wish me luck.... it breaks my heart to do this, but I know it is for the best.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

One of the clients for whom I provide at-home care may need to be moved into a home soon. She's starting to be at risk to herself, even with 24-hour care. Right now she already thinks she's somewhere else from time to time. I don't think a deep discussion prior to the move would be necessary. I think a trip to the facility, once decided on, is sufficient. At the new place, you can hang out all day and get her familiar with it, and then gently let her know she's spending the night there. You may need a "reason" such as her home being worked on for a time. I believe the transition can be very peaceful. You have to be strong, creative, and patient. If you're doing what's best for her, you don't need to justify that to anyone. The lady I care for, who has Dementia, thinks she's in my home much of the time, anyway. She asks me "Am I spending the night here?" although it's her home and I've been coming there for some time... She just needs to know she's safe, never alone, and will always be cared for.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Spend a good part of your time now researching online, visiting facilities, and looking at online rating sites. That is how I started.
Then I had a frank discussion with Mom (who does not have Alz. Your situation is quite different) and pointed out that she was starting to need more care than any one person could give her. I feel that getting any kind of "buy in" really helps and it is respectful. I felt like "springing" it on her would not be a good idea. I also had other people look at the two or three facilities I had chosen and give me feedback. The next thing I did was to make a long list of questions that were tailored to Mom's special needs and asked the same questions of each facility. I made columns and wrote down the answers. It really helped me in comparing them. (cost is just one consideration...it is more about quality of care) Then, I visited and spoke with the director whom I really liked. She seemed genuine and caring. We ended up all agreeing on the same place.
Her place is an apartment with a lovely view. I arranged for additional care because it is not provided in her wing. You may need an advanced memory care unit.
The last thing is that, when you have chosen a place, get everything in writing. Everyone will promise you the moon, but having it in writing gives you clout when the small things go awry.
Also, I am not a fan of those places where you have to put down a substantial deposit, buy your room, or get locked into a long-term lease. Mom's is month-to-month.
As far as telling your Mom, I think sharing information with her in increments is a good plan. Perhaps show her the brochures, take her on a visit, and asking the director to invite a few residents to lunch for her to meet might help with the transition.
Luvmom's advice about home care may be a good interim solution for you. It gives your Mom an opportunity to interact with other, non-family caregivers and get used to it. It gives you respite and a chance to see how she would do in that environment. I did that for a few years and it worked until it became apparent that Mom needed more medical care and I did not feel that I had the expertise. It is scary if you do not have the medical skills or background that the professionals do.
Good luck...there is no such thing as a "perfect fit." Follow your heart...it never steers your wrong. I can tell that you love your Mom and want what is best for her needs.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with you imsostressed. I don't post much because I'm always running for my mom and trying to have a life with husband and child too.

Posts like yours, luvmom, make my heart ache and make me question whether I'm a crappy person whether I could make an unworkable situation, workable? Nah! My mom lived with us long enough to know it wouldn't work. I love her dearly but daily screaming matches didn't add to our quality of life, her or ours.

My mother gives me enough guilt, that I don't need it from individuals on this board. Good for you that it works in your situation. Each is unique so I wouldn't be so quick to make such blanket evaluations.

To the sweet OP who is wrestling with this question, I honestly don't know what to tell you. My mom is 99% there mentally. My mother-in-law, not so much when she went to a nursing home with Lewy Body Dementia. I would not tell her until she arrives there. If she has Sundowners she'll awake to a new day.

This caregiver stuff is hard, even if your loved one is in AL. The love and caring doesn't stop at the door to the facility. And as far as they don't "love" people there, I've met my mom's caregivers and they are wonderful and she agrees. Sure, they're not your own family, but I'm there every other day, and mom knows who's going out on a date the coming weekend and all the latest gossip.

I am SO thankful that my mom is able to afford this facility. My dad was a teacher and my mom a stay at home mom my whole life. They socked money away forever for this eventuality. We were never rich, they just planned ahead. I have no guilt. My dad died last Christmas. His ultimate gift to me is AL for my mom, and sanity for me. He didn't mince words. That was HIS plan. He knew my mother!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This web-site is not a forum for guilt trips Luvmom. Your comment to Wendy really upset me. Sometimes We have to do what we have to do. Keeping someone at home with alzheimers/dementia can be really hard and stressful.
Good for you being able to keep your mom at home but don't heap guilt on any of us. Your comment affects more than just Wendy.
Wendy, I agree with the other posters that said to wait. If you were to tell her she would just get upset and then forget why she is upset. Be nice to yourself. This is a hard decision.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

I, too, would wait until you have everything ready for the initial move. Warning her in advance will just cause her to fret and won't change the outcome at all. No matter what you do, it will take awhile for her to come to terms with her new surroundings, so be kind to yourself and avoid the conflict ahead of time.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Honestly Wendy is it best for her or for you? Why not keep her home and get homecare if thats what she wants. In a nursing home they have about 8+ patients to one Aide and at home its one on one, much better. Which would you want? I am not trying to be rude but really, home is whats best for her. Its not easy, I have had Mom for almost 4 years but I get morning help and now weekend help with Mom SS check, I am alway here for her and see her care and console her, sing her to sleep, etc. Depending on her condition, you can also use daycare, which I used to do when Mom could walk .You cannot get love in a NA, good luck and do whats really best for her please.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I would wait until you are actually going to check in to the facility. You know you are doing the best thing for her, but she may not see it that way, why upset her ahead of time? Just continue to reassure her when you leave her there you will come back and you are not abandoning her. Good Luck.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter