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We had a really ROUGH week last week and basically it was the "straw that broke this camel's back." I had to threaten to leave before my hubby would call his brother about the situation and get some financial help so as to place his mom in assisted living. We found a nice, small, well run place just 5 miles from us. Her room will be fairly large and the residents there seem content. No odd smells, etc. Friendly staff. How do we break the news to mom? Should we wait a while? She is a bit forgetful but does not have full blown dementia. We have set a Nov. 1 move in date. I know she will blame me. I get blamed for everything. Of course this move is my fault and NOT the fact that she is 91 and needs more care than I can or want to give. I just feel that nearly 13 years is enough. Can I disappear and let her son and my sons help her move? Would that be wrong?

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oldcodger2, based on your last post update, it sounds like your MIL is really not able to process much. She likely did not have the ability to press her button for help when she fell. And having toileting mishaps is also quite common with dementia. They not only lose memory of where things are, how they work, etc., but they lose the initiative to react. Like, they may want a piece of pie, but they sit and stare at it, because they lose the ability to know how to pick up the fork to eat the pie. It's really about how the brain is damaged.

I would try to avoid blaming her for not being grateful for all your help. It's not really her that is being that way. It's the dementia. There is no disgrace in deciding to stop being her caretaker. It's really up to your husband and or her other children, but, I would just end it with calmness and peace of mind and not with hurt feelings or resentment. I'd let husband handle her transport to AL. It's likely she will forget how that transpires later on anyway. I hope things settle down.

Is someone staying with her until she moves into AL?
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If she starts to blame you...maybe you should OWN it. Tell her that after her last fall and the mess you had to clean you realize that you can't do this anymore (and why was her SON not doing the cleaning??). Put it back on her. You are unable to care for her anymore. It is physically too much for you to do anymore. And quite frankly you were being used. Good for you finally standing up for yourself. Don't back down.
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oldcodger2, It's not your duty to tell her, its her sons' duty. Do not be there the day of the move, let them handle it totally. AND do not go visit her for the first two weeks. It takes that long for the resident to settle in.
If by some odd chance you return to the house and they have failed to move her, get that plane ticket and disappear for a week.
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She fell last week and lay on the floor for 2 hours and did not press her call button. This is the second time she has fallen and NOT pressed her button. We have explained to her that neither I nor my husband can get her up off the floor (she weights nearly 250 lbs) and that we must call 911 so she may as well press her button and get help ASAP. I work PT and am not always here. She promised she would. But then - she didn't press the button AGAIN. I told her that if we could not trust her to press the button then we might have to look into other care arrangements - where she would be safer.

Someone mentioned that a person can possibly not have good judgment or focus or be unable to process. I think that is where she is now. I call it 'not thinking straight' - the inability to recognize a dangerous situation.

She got angry. Started making nasty remarks about how I wanted to 'get rid of her' and 'it is what I want anyway' etc. etc. She never says anything like this to my husband.

I told my husband that I WILL NOT be at her beck and call and checking on her every hour to make sure she is ok. I can't go back to that again. I could - but I think it would kill me. Basically, I feel like I have been 'used' by my husband and brothers for nearly 13 years and as long as I am 'willing' they will continue to 'use me' until either she or I are dead. I am tired. Completely burned out. I finally came to the conclusion that no matter how much my hubby loves me - he was NOT going to stand up for me unless he KNEW that I meant business. So, I bought an airline ticket................ He finally made the call to his brother.

Last week - She was in a horrid mess (think the worst mess a person can get themselves into on floor when you are 91 years old) and it took me over two hours to clean her and the mess she made up. I thought I would puke. She has yet to even thank me for cleaning her and her mess up. It is like it never happened. Sadly, I am all used up.

I think we will wait until the last minute to tell her about the move. If we tell her now it will turn out badly.
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Oh, I'd like to also add that, if she already knows that she is moving to AL, then the announcement of the day, may not be a big surprise, especially, if you've been telling her that it would be soon. But, if she has no idea that she is moving to an AL at all, then I might approach it a little different, so she has time to adjust to the idea.
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I'd focus on getting through it. If she doesn't understand the need to go to AL, then explaining may not help.

I'm not sure what you mean about her not having full blown dementia. Some people are able to recall things, but they have no judgment and are not able to focus or process information. So, her memory may or may determine how she would process the news of the move.

If she is able to remember the date of the move, she may worry, obsess and try to delay the move. I don't see much to be gained from providing lots of advance notice.

I told my cousin of her move to AL the night before and her memory was good enough at that time to remember it and to feign that she was too sick to go the next day. (I convinced her to go anyway.) If I had it to do over, I would tell her as we were getting dressed and ready to walk out the door. But, everyone is different.

Try to get the blame game out of your mind. We have to do the right thing for seniors, though they may act like children who can't understand why things have to be a certain way. I don't see any right or wrong ways to handle it. It just depend on the person and of course, you and your family will do the best you can. That's all that anyone can be expected to do.
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oldcodger2, Hopefully the sons have arranged for her to have some antianxiety meds to smooth the transition, maybe even antidepressants. We found that worked well for mom. I wish you could find a way to make her think this is her idea and not yours.
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I know it's hard for all of you and the decision was a long time coming. If you think it would be easier on her and them for you not to be there then don't be. If it's less tension that way then okay. But you and they need to accept that you aren't doing anything wrong and acting like you are won't make her feel better about it. You can't stop aging. You aren't wrong to say you can no longer do the job. Hopefully her sons and grandsons will continue to visit her and care for her in AL as she will need an advocate. After a rest you might be willing to visit. You've done the best you can do. That's all you can do.
13 years is a long time. Let her sons decide about what should be said and when. It's a decision they made regardless of your threat. A big hug to all of you.
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