How do I tell my mom that I am making plans to move her into a nursing home or assisted living facility?

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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.

Answers 1 to 10 of 21
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.
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.
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.
Top Answer
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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