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We went out of town to bury her husband, and now that we are packing to go back, she has suddenly become suspicious that I'm leaving her behind, shipping her off, or "placing her in a sanitarium". The actual plan is that once we get back to town, she will be going to a wonderful place that specializes in memory care...and I have a feeling it's going to be ugly. Trying to stay positive, and I have a long time family member who's actually going with her so there is a familiar face, but now I feel guilty about placing her in that position....my Mom might get really nasty.....I feel bad for my mom too, but honestly there is a part of me that feels resentful that she only cares about herself. She's been kind of self absorbed for years, so it's not entirely the dementia, I just hate being in this position. I don't like being the bad guy, I wish I could make everyone happy, I am a complete wimp when it comes to confrontation. How does she know??? She can sometimes be so clueless and unobservant, why is she sensing it now?

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Sunnygirl the caregivers take mom on outings: to the gym for personal training sessions, to play cribbage at the nearby senior center, and any other place she would like to go like the park or store to buy her beloved Diet Coke! I believe that her ability to get out and about contributes greatly to her "contentment" and the ladies who work in her memory care agree.

Freqflyer, it sounds like you have things well organized. Today I discussed changing up the days Mom has outside caregivers, or eliminating one all together, since she seems fixated on the gym outings right now.

Here is her week:
Monday I take her to the gym for weight training
Tuesday the caregiver takes her to play cribbage at senior center
Wednesday she's on her "own" with lots of memory care activities
Thursday the caregiver takes her to gym for weight training
Friday I bring my iPad so mom can face time her therapist
Saturday the caregiver attempts to engage Mom (I might cancel this day)
Sunday I usually take mom to the park for a walk

And, under no circumstances am I bringing her for a visit to the home because I'm sure that would end poorly.

It seems like a lot, but she is only just turned 77 and quite healthy & active physically.
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That's a good point. My cousin has gotten confused after returning back later in the day too, but sometimes, she doesn't. I think that when the staff are with her, she does better. I know your mom enjoys her outings. I bet the staff and her caretakers will let you know if outings begin to bother her.
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JJGood, I've been following your journey with your Mom and Memory Care. You have given me some good ideas in case my Dad, who is now in Memory Care, starts up with wanting to go home, etc. I like the "memory therapy" reminder :)

Moving my Dad to Independent Living last January was his idea as he was tired of trying to maintain his house. He was able to bring along a couple of his favorite caregivers who I scheduled from 7 to 1p, so they could get him ready for the day and make him breakfast and lunch. I wanted to keep that routine going.

Then Dad needed 24/7 care, so I had to increase the caregivers hours. Yikes that was expensive. So Dad was happy to move to Memory Care because of all the money he would save. I was able to put into Dad's budget two of his favorite caregivers from 9 to 1p. He's happy as a clam there, until his sundowning shows up. But it is mainly him calling me, he still thinks he is working, going to meetings, and riding the bus to and from work, staying at a hotel [his Memory Care room] which tells me his mind is back in the 1940's during the sundowning.

Except for doctor appointments, I decided not to bring Dad back to my house [he never lived there] for holidays or meals. And Dad never asked to visit. I had noticed when the caregiver took Dad to doctor appointments then to Burger King [which Dad loves] that he is more confused later in the afternoon.
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JJGood,. thanks for the update about your mom. I can't recall, but was wondering why you have extra help go to be with your mom at the Memory Care facility. Are there to transport her for outside activities? I've just never seen that with people in Memory Care before. It sounds good that they can keep her occupied.

I think you are right about her being in Memory Care. Her lashing out, getting loud, aggressive, as they have observed, could very likely occur no matter where she were living....even with you. And, as she progresses, she might likely ask to go home, EVEN no matter where she was living, because it may not mean, what you think it means. So, I wouldn't get distracted with that or feel bad.
Keeping people who have dementia happy and content is not always feasible. I'm very fortunate that my cousin is that most of the time, based on what I have seen. She does get cross and speak her mind with other residents, if their behavior bothers her, according to what I am told by the MC staff. I never see that side of her.

I'm not sure I would expect her to understand, process or accept things, since, she may forget it if she did do that. My cousin is quite content, not because of accepting, but, because of her belief that she now lives in a lovely apartment with great amenities.
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Update: mom seems to be generally pretty good. Last week she had several angry moments (I wasn't around for any of them) but the staff is learning what her triggers are and they don't seem all that phased. The care giver company is sometimes a problem, only for the fact that they seem reluctant to leave if my mom asks them to go. Saturday they had a fill-in visit mom, and mom was already in a grumpy mood. Mom told the fill-in that if she wasn't going to take her to the gym, she could just leave, and the fill in was persistent--trying to engage Mom, and eventually Mom got so frustrated that she yelled and threw a book at her.
Mom has been nothing but nice to me, other then telling me today that I looked pudgy and asking if I was expecting another baby! UGH!
She has been asking about moving back in with me, and I usually try to avoid the subject if I can. Telling her its memory therapy prescribed by the doctor usually gets me the response of "BS" so the last time she brought it up, how living with me would be better then the "jail" I told her that it really wouldn't be any better....she can't just leave and go do what she wants. Her therapist has been working a lot on that concept with her too, and I believe it's a really hard thing for Mom to accept, if ever.
One thing is for sure, her NOT living in my home has made me a much better person when I am with her, I'm not panicking anymore, my appetite is back to its normal ravenous level, and I am able to enjoy Mom most of the time.
She called a couple nights ago, sobbing and begging to come live with me, which was heartbreaking--but I know it would be a mistake.
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My cousin is very thankful too, whenever I tell her that I've taken care of something. She just lets out a sigh of relief and hugs me. Of course, there's nothing really wrong or if it is, she can't say or doesn't remember. I always ask the staff if they know what it is, but they don't. Regardless, the relief she gets makes her feel better.
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Update: Mom has been settling in despite the agency continuing to rotate in new caregivers...she is almost always pleasant to everyone (I'm told) and usually hugs me lots and thanks me when I visit or take her to the gym, or movies or whatever outing we go on. There have been a couple exceptions where it seems like a switch goes off and she has to vent some steam. Then once she's had a little time ranting and raving, she goes back to being her pleasant self. She had a rant the other night via phone. She called me and just went off, cussing and angry. When she dropped the F-bomb I hung up on her and called the Memory Care place back to make sure she wasn't tearing up her room or scaring anyone, and they said she was fine, she returned the phone and politely said thank you!!! The next morning I went to take her for a walk and she didn't recall one little bit! ha ha
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MsMadge I have caregivers for my Mom three days a week for 4 hours each time. I'm not sure how long that will continue, but since she is so active it seems to help.
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Oh, Schoff, I'm glad the actual transition is over. I hope she settles down soon. Dreadful, heartbreaking disease.
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My mom was escorted to the memory care building from AL. I moved her furniture and they even helped me hang pictures. I was told to stay away for a few days. My mom threatened to kill herself and of course this is my doing. I am sick about it. I hope she settles in soon. I had to let her Aids go because I couldn't pay for them plus AL. although memory care is much more, I am still ahead of the game as we need all we can get to help pay. She was lost in such a big building.
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Rainmom
My mom is a hard case and frankly I'm concerned about the caregiver leaving especially after the meeting with the facility yesterday - they are giving my mom 1week on increased meds or they will 5051 her -

Agency did ask me what I wanted to do and I said she has to check in with you now on a landline - they won't charge me for the 1 1/2 hours she was late -she's young and has 2 little ones and so I will give her another chance because she is good with my mom. I asked the night nurse tonight if she's ever noticed her exceedingly late before and she said no so hope it was an isolated incidence so now we trust but verify
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MsMadge - I'm surprised that that isn't already the agency's protocal for clocking in and out. We've used two different agencies over the past five years - a dozen or so various employees, and they were all required to use my parents landline. Is there a way to get the agency to refund you any of the fraudulent time - or are you worried this will prompt the caregiver to stop working with you? I'm also a little surprised the agency isn't insisting on either firing or diciplining the employee. Being ripped off at about $25 bucks an hour sucks big time!
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JJ
May I ask how many hours a day you are providing your mom with personal caregivers ?

I learned a couple of days ago that my mom's favorite caregiver - she doesn't like anyone but relatives - who has been with her for 7 months has been cheating on her time card since she is not an employee of the facility but of the outside agency I use - since my mom's situation is now quite tense since she eloped last week I need this caregiver and have decided to keep her but told the agency they will need to verify she's there - new rules she calls from a landline to clock in and out -

At some point I will confront her and let her know that she lost much more than she gained by cheating

Continue to keep us posted on your moms transition
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Also.....I think the saying is crocodile tears, not alligator. It's almost as good as the new phrase I came up with today talking to a customer on the phone....I said, it's like looking for a toothpick in a stack of toothpicks."
I know he thought to himself, "what the ???"
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Ha! Seems to be true Blackhole
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Thursday is light-years away, in her mind. She'll turn on the charm for the new caregiver. Despite the conventional wisdom that dementia patients "don't know what they are doing," it's uncanny how they reserve their choice sh*t fits for family and loved ones.
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It sounds like things went pretty well, even with the little hiccup.
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Well it was bound to happen, Mom had a bad morning. Today is the day her new caregiver was being introduced (not that she's really aware of what's going on, she thinks the current one is my daughter). I wanted to meet the new caregiver as well, so after my doctor appointment I found that I had time to drop in. The floor nurse saw me before Mom did and she said that my Mom was very angry today about needing an iron, she wanted to iron her clothes. She said Mom has been so sweet this whole time till now, and maybe it was the full moon???
So I knocked on the door, Mom saw it was me, and the first thing she did was stomp her feet and throw her fists down by her side, through gritted teeth she exclaimed, "I hate this place!"
UGH
I distracted her with a letter from a friend, which made her cry big alligator tears, and she talked a little bit about wanting to come live with me, and I gave her the drill about the memory therapy and doctor's orders and getting the best medical care possible. She went at it again, and I reminded her how boring it was at my house, and then I distracted her again by suggesting we play pingpong. Then the caregivers arrived and I left...supposedly her mood improved.
Tomorrow she has no visitors, Thursday the new caregiver is on her own....ACK!
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I am so thankful for this discussion. I am in my third year as full time caregiver for my mom in her home. Someday I will likely face this situation and this has been a good guide. One thing I learned from a friend; when the holidays come family members may beg you to bring her home to celebrate with the family. Don't do it. My friends family members thought it would be a nice treat for her Dad to be home with all the family. When it was time to go back to the AL he refused to go saying he was home and he was not going anywhere. It ended up being a painful ordeal for everyone - much like the first day they took him to his AL. Think of what this would be like from your Mom's perspective. Don't let anyone pressure you to do something Unless you think it is in your Mom's best interests.
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I believe there are a couple factors working in our favor.
#1 Mom hated the other AL they lived in, she associated that move with her loss of independence, loss of her home of 20 years, loss of driving etc. the building was also dark, kind of gloomy, and the majority of the residents had mobility issues. With The move into this memory care, she didn't really lose as much except living with me, but that was brand new to her, and honestly, I know she was bored in my home. Additionally, this memory care is a beautiful building with large windows, high ceilings and bright halls and rooms. There are just as many people without walkers as there are people with walkers.

#2. Mom is a higher functioning dementia patient, even though they rate her somewhere between moderate to severe, she has no issues with speech, mobility, or social settings. (At least not super obvious ones). Her inclination to say inappropriate things (like pointing out how heavy an obese person is) has always been part of her personality. I have been told patients do much better if they move in while they still have some cognitive abilities.

she used to refer to the first AL as the penitentiary, she tried calling this one the jail, and I pointed out to her how untrue that was, she was going out several times a week to do the things she enjoys, and she agreed.
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Msmadge, my mom too wants to elope. When she first was moved she tried to climb a six foot fence even to get out. She got all scraped up but was ok. She required a three day geriatric psych evaluation to figure out what meds were going to work for her. She has now been in memory care for more than a year and her behaviors are still problematic at times, with requests to go home very often. She is doing better but has her moments.
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JJ
Mimi's Cafe ? Are you in California ?

Gladimhere
Mom eloped from her facilty mid- morning Wednesday following an altercation with another resident - she's nearly 93 and wants to be left alone with exception of folks of her choosing - many of the residents are much younger with disturbing behavior - anyone comes over and bugs her or touches her walker it's not pretty - she was asked to leave the activity room so she went outside - front yard is fenced with a delayed alarm with a sign that says gate will open after 30 seconds which it did

- unfortunately she made it into the street and put up quite a fight when they brought her back inside - it could have turned out much worst but it was pretty bad
I have a meeting with management on Monday - not sure what they will say but I agreed under duress to increase her meds during the day - today was a bad day for her being so sedated and heard from my private caregiver tonight that she is getting sick and the facility was in process of moving a new roommate in with her at 8:00 pm - feel like the kid holding his finger in the wall to hold the water back
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Jj - you and this thread serve as a good reminder that things can go well once the move is made to AL, memory care etc. You are an inspiration!
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JJ, wonderful that your mom is doing so well!

Msmadge. Eloped while you had her out? Or from where she is living? I cannot imagine how frightening! Happy she is ok.
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Oh no MsMadge, that is depressing. I guess that's the nature of dementia, it changes....

My mom and I went out again today, took a group fitness class that beat our butts and then we went to lunch at Mimi's Cafe. Conversation at lunch was quite delightful (especially for Mom) and when I took her back she was fine. She thanked me numerous times for being such a good daughter and taking her out for some fun. Tomorrow she has her first day with no visitors or outings since last weekend, and then I see her again on Monday to take her to the gym.

So far so good, before you know it she will have been at memory care for a full month!
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Great news

Keep us posted

My mom "eloped" on Wednesday so we may be done with outings - heartbreaking since she loves to get out
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MsMadge, no problems at all with the first outing! I'm taking Mom again tomorrow for a fitness class at the gym and possibly lunch out afterwards....as long as she gets out to the gym to exercise, she seems content to go back so far.
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JJ
How did the first outing go to the gym? Any reluctance to return to the facility ?
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Update: things are going really well, a slight blip recently developed....the caregiver that Mom likes is moving on to a new employer, so we have to try a new one with the agency. I hope they hit it off! Will find out next week. Luckily there are plenty of activities at the Memory Care place, but I would like the caregiving agency to continue to help with a few extra outings.
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JJ, great things are going so well for your mom! Not many are able to do as well!
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