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I'm a SAHM with two kids (2.5 and 10 months) and two dogs. My husband recently lost his grandmother to Alzheimer's as well -- she lived in a nursing home and deteriorated very quickly. This is my grandmother who I am very close with and I am determined not to let the same happen. I know first hand how engaging them and keeping them stimulated and with goals is very important. Just wondering what do I need to keep in mind as I approach my family with this? They are very pro-nursing home, and while I understand it may work well for some, I am very much against it for my grandmother. Thoughts?

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Have you lost your mind?!!! Your children come first!!!!!!! What are you going to do when she gets bed bound? Because that will happen. Who is going to help turn her every 2 hours? Who is going to clean the feces and urine that she will no longer be able to control because that will also be coming. You are not being realistic. Your heart is in the right place but your not living in reality. Has your family offered any help? Even if they do you still can't always count on it. What if you get sick? Who will clean your house, see about the kids. Don't throw all this on your husband, you could be costing yourself a marriage. Don't let guilt be your guide.
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I was also very opposed to nursing homes, and took my mother and father into my care. They are 89 and 93, and both have dementia, but very different types. They have been with me for over a year, and it is very taxing. Make sure you have lots of friends and relatives that will help out when you are tired and burnt out! The experience I am having is that I often need more support than I am getting.
Personalities change as the disease progresses, and you may end up caring for someone who is nothing like how your grandmother used to be. It's impossible to predict which course your grandmother's disease will take. Alzheimer's Reading Room is a great site- really informative- it's worth getting on their mailing list. Emails seem to arrive just at the right time, with advice for coping with all kinds of situations. One last thing, it's ok to change your mind!. If you take her in and it becomes too much for you, know that you gave her a good experience while she was with you, that she wouldn't have had if you had let her go straight to a nursing home.
Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
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Sorry SAHM. I'm with Timbuktu. My mother is in the early stages of dementia. Caring for my mother has completely taken over my life, nearly destroyed me - and she doesn't even live with me! Of three things I am certain: family who say they'll be there to help won't. Granny will become someone you'll barely recognize. You will come to regret this. You may call me a pessimist - but most here will call me a realist.
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My mother lives with me and has the early stages of dementia. She is prone to violent outbursts, crying, name calling, has become to strongly dislike everyone in my home including the dog. She has become for lack of a better word 'sinister' I don't trust her in my home, around my family or pets. I would really consider it long and hard as it has been very, very difficult. And once they are in, it is difficult to get them out.
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Let me add in my no vote - mainly because of your children. They are so young. Fully grown adults can barely handle Alz patients. How in the world can small children? I too promised my mom we'd never put her in a home but after years of living with her and as her physical health has declined we now have no choice. I simply cannot do it by myself anymore because I have to sleep sometime. She gets great care 24/7 by professionals, I go every day, sometimes every other day, ask a lot of questions of the staff, I arrive and leave at all different hours, and I observe my mom very carefully. My mom knows she's not abandoned (what little she does know now), the staff knows I am watching carefully, and I sleep well at night. And so does she.
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Some people with dementia deteriorate very quickly, no matter where they are living. Some plateau and stay at a given stage for a very long time, no matter where they are living. Assuming that it was the NH that caused your husband's grandmother's rapid decline is probably not realistic. Lots of factors go into how dementia progresses.

I assume that you are a stay-at-home mom because you want to give your children your full attention, at least in their early years. And now you are proposing taking on a job you will be responsible for 24 hours a day? What? You are a mother. Your first priority should be to your kids. And you must take care of yourself and your marriage. I really don't see where there is room for the additional commitment you are considering. Dementia moves in one direction: it gets worse.

My heart goes out to you. Of course you want what is best for your dear Grandmother. It is very painful to see her decline. You'd like to be superwoman and be able to be all things to all the people you love. Hugs to you.
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When hubby's grandma could no longer live independently, did he propose that she move into your home? If the answer is "no," please grant him the same courtesy. And your sister who does not have good things to say about MC and NH..... has she offered to take grandma into her home? Probably not, right?? Your heart is in the right place. Now it's time to get your head in the right place. Dementia is a downhill slide. Maybe today, grandma is a sweet old lady who says "red" when she means "blue" and thinks that your local 6:00 newscaster is Cary Grant. That won't last. If the grandma you always knew "would never [insert behavior here]," that no longer applies. New phases will come; each one worse than the last. Intinence, too. Scour this blog (and other sites these posters recommended) for examples of advanced dementia behaviors. Here are just a few: Disrobing. Eating with hands. Scratching skin til it bleeds. Accusing you of theft. Hitting kids...dogs...you...hubby. Kicking kids...dog...you...hubby. (If I came into your home and persisted in doing any or all of these things in the presence of your children, you would ask me to leave, right??) Let's say she likes to hide things. One morning, your husband's car keys are missing. Great. The breadwinner can't get to work, and grandma doesn't remember hiding the keys...in fact, grandma longer knows what keys are. Senseless verbal outbursts are a biggie, too. If she screams "whore!" every time you walk thru the room, guess what you kids' new favorite word will be? And what happens when you & your husband need to go somewhere together? The kids' babysitter isn't qualified for grandma, and grandma's by-the-hour minder didn't sign on for 2 children. And on and on. As you educate yourself about Alzheimer's, tour some facilities with your parents. Ask your sister to tag along. As a NH/MC insider, she knows what to look for and what questions to ask. Good luck to you all. Keep learning and keep communicating.
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Amk, arm yourself with all the knowledge you can find about dementia. Check out this link https://www.agingcare.com/Alzheimers-Dementia and scroll down to the articles. Even though some article are titled Alzheimer's, those with dementia can also have the same issues. Do you know what stage of dementia your grandmother has?

One very important thing when bringing someone with dementia [depending on the stage] into a home that has children, is that the person might become very jealous of the children. And a 2.5 year old and 10 month old cannot defend themselves. Plus there are the issues of bad behavior by the elder which you might find your children copying.

And I worry about the dogs. Animals can sense when something isn't right, and the dogs might see grandma as a threat to the children.

After you read the link I provided above, you will understand more why your family is pro-nursing home. But I do appreciate the thought that you wish to take care of your grandmother at home. Maybe you can for awhile.
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Will you be able to provide 3 or 4 different activities every day for gram to pick from? How about special programs? Maybe a singer in, a dancer or two, an accordion player? Will you be able to greet her every morning with a smiling face and encouraging words? Will you be able to put her on a relative schedule of three nourishing meals a day, maybe an ice cream dessert or apple pie slice in the afternoon? Change her Depends, wash her bedding every day, protect her from herself...

I don't know what's going on in your life that you would think you can give your two babies a happy and semi rested mom seven days a week AND feed, dress, bath, drive to doctor appointments, with her, AND! Be a supportive and loving spouse . . . But I think you need to look at your motives and rethink your strategy.

Your response to FreqFlyer is telling. I honestly can't think of much that would be less fair to your two babies...
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Wow! The developmental stage those children are in is the most important of their entire lives in terms of interactions, stimulation, attention, and love. Its a time which will determine how everything goes for them from here on out. Don't take away what you can give them. You are operating on a romantic notion of saving someone you love (grandma) assuming there is a way to make her life longer. Stay on target (mothering, not elder caregiving). Visit grandma but don't take her in your home. Be brave, and deal with the sad emotions of loss, but don't be a hero who sacrifices your young family life to an unrealistic ideal.
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