Follow
Share

I always appreciate the perspectives that this group provides as we all navigate our roles as caregivers. I'm at a decision point with returning my mom to assisted living and could use some advice or a reality check. She's 92 and is generally healthy, but can't be alone for too long. She is a fall risk, so I prepare her meals, do her laundry, and generally keep an eye on things. Dad died in May 2019, and she stayed on in the small, top shelf AL facility where they were together. I made the decision to temporarily bring her home in March when we were unclear on what COVID would bring. I have never been inclined to keep her permanently at home. Caring for my dad with advanced Alzheimer's disease depleted me of my life's supply of caregiver energy, so I don't have much to give. I have been 100% teleworking since March 6, and have had the bandwidth to prepare meals, do laundry, and try to keep her at least somewhat entertained. I got my return to the office email last week, so my spare time will evaporate. I am excited to return to return to work. I love my career and am ready to get started on a new project that was stalled during the lock down. I am 60 years old, so this will probably be my last big project before I retire. I contacted the facility where mom was, and the good news is that her bright, beautiful apartment is being completely renovated and will be even nicer. They have agreed to have her return when it's ready in a few weeks. Although I had hoped to keep her home until January, this seems like a good juncture. The facility is in Phase 2 of a three phased reopening. Residents have resumed activities, group dining, and salon services with distancing guidelines. They are allowing residents to socialize, but external guests are still limited to the library or patio by appointment. Residents can leave for medical or dental appointments. By comparison, it's only my spouse and me at home, no kids, and very little activity in the house. I work all day, and then try to get some exercise and relax a little before bed. I'm inclined to make the move. Thoughts?

Not sure what is holding you back from what sounds like a good idea.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to vegaslady
Report
notsomuch Sep 28, 2020
Maybe Just a little guilt that if I tried harder I could manage...
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
Dear "notsomuch,"

I echo "vegaslady's" sentiments.

Everything seems to be in order and it doesn't get much better than that. Also, you will be returning to work and will have less spare time. I know your mom is doing fairly well other than being a fall risk but the truth of the matter is as she continues to advance in age, she will at some point decline. Wouldn't it be better if she were already in place especially since she would be able to return to her newly renovated apartment in which she is familiar with? The only thing I see in your post that seems to be an issue for you is the fact that you aren't mentally prepared for the move to be in a few weeks - you were hoping to have her until January.

I would hate to see you miss the "opportunity" because of that. I'm not sure if you would get to a place where you are forced to move her and her nice facility wouldn't have any availability therefore you'd have to find a new place which might not be as up to par as this place seems to be. Also, if there were another round of the virus, she would already be in place. So I'm not sure "what" is the sticking point for you. The other thing is was your mom comfortable (I won't use the word "happy" because oftentimes that may or not be the case) there. Those are my thoughts and a few things you can ask yourself in order to make a sound decision for you and your mom.

I wish you all the best and hope you will let us know!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to NobodyGetsIt
Report
notsomuch Sep 28, 2020
Yes. Missing the opportunity was my concern. This is a small facility-- only about 70 residents, 50 of whom are independent/assisted living. The other 20 are memory care. Everyone knows everyone and the staff and residents are very close to each other. Mom was comfortable and did have a couple of friends she got close to, so yes, I'm thinking I do need to grab the opportunity now before it's gone.
(3)
Report
See 1 more reply
As you said, this was a temporary thing because of the virus. Seems to me this is a good time to take her "home". The place is familiar to her. And you need to get back to work and have your life back.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report
notsomuch Sep 28, 2020
Yes. I just can't do the caregiver thing forever. Trying to care for my dad with Alzheimer's disease exhausted me. I'm glad I did it, but that's all I had in me. She loved the apartment and has "muscle memory" for steps to the bathroom, kitchen, etc. It became home to her.
(1)
Report
Dear NotSoMuch, you are a good daughter and you have done more than enough! It sounds like perfect timing for your mom’s return to her facility. Please do not hesitate! I bet she will be very proud of your accomplishments on your upcoming project. All the best to you!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Laswin
Report
notsomuch Sep 28, 2020
Thanks. I do my best, and know my limits after trying to help keep my dad at home for so long. It does seem that the timing is right.
(0)
Report
Just curious, if you did just try harder; What happens when you return to work? You say that she can not be left alone for any amount of time, wouldn't leaving her for 9, 10??? hours a day cause her to be unsafe?

I am asking this because of your response to vegaslady. I don't understand guilt when the situation really only has the lesser of two evil solutions. I think that isolation is far worse than anything that could possibly happen in a facility. Just my opinion.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Report
notsomuch Sep 28, 2020
Just mom guilt....the facility has created cohorts of residents and staff that are well. They eat together, socialize, and participate in activities. She will have far more engagement and socializing than she has with me. It's mostly just the two of us at home, and once I'm back in the office I'm not guaranteed to be safe.
(0)
Report
Let go of any guilt over moving her back. You are one of the few lucky ones to have things working out perfectly for both your mom and for you. The Assisted Living facility now has experience in handling the pandemic so she is probably no less safe there than in your home, especially now that you will be out each day on your return to work. She will have assistance and company during all hours - day and night - when you would be unable to provide company and help. You can go back to work and enjoy your return to some semblance of normalcy knowing that you did a great job keeping your family and your mother safe. Good for you! Everyone's a winner with this move.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to jkm999
Report
NobodyGetsIt Sep 28, 2020
"jkm999,"

I had thought the same thing as far as her mom not being any less safe in the ALF than in "notsomuch's" home now that she'll be back in the office environment.

Well said on every point!
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
Yes. Move her back. Better for you both.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to AnnReid
Report

Your parents made a decision to go into an ALF in the past.

If I understand it correctly, that was a good decision and you only removed her due to possible Covid problems.

So, in keeping with that course of action, I would want to know if they have had Covid cases with residents or staff and then if they have had, how they handled it or what their plans are should someone test positive. I’m sure you probably know that. Just following the logic. Checking those boxes.

Then I would be concerned about how your geographic area is faring with Covid. Of course, all could change, but as others have said, your going back to work brings an element of risk in as well.

Should things heat up on the Covid front, you can always change your mind.

I think I would tell mom “Our break is over. Things are returning to a bit of normalcy. I’m being called back into the office and lucky for you, your home has been refreshed while you were away”

Then make sure you have deliveries set up as needed if needed or be prepared to sign on additional services as she and you adjust to the move.

You have had an unexpected opportunity to have your mom with you for a few months. I’m glad it’s worked out for both of you.

And remember that we are all Aging and there is no way you can prevent her from continuing to decline. Don’t rush to condemn yourself if it takes her a minute to adjust. It will probably take you a minute as well as you become readjusted to your inoffice work routine.

Be sure to let us know how it goes. We learn from one another.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report
notsomuch Sep 28, 2020
Thank you, thank you, thank you. What a thoughtful response. We were fortunate enough to have chosen a great fit for an AL facility that mom enjoyed. She has kept in touch with her friends there and is not sorry to return. As you said, it may take her some time to adjust, but in the end this is the right move. Good reminder about the deliveries. I have on my list to ask about additional services. Mom knows all of the adjunct caregivers there and has a few favorites when we need to move up in care levels. Thanks again!
(3)
Report
See 1 more reply
Move her back. She needs to be around people her own age.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
Report
notsomuch Sep 28, 2020
Yep...now that's for sure. :)
(1)
Report
You are making the right decision to move her back. She is used to it and you are going back to your office. You will be too busy to do everything. She can resume socializing with others.

Best wishes to you and your family.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Report
notsomuch Sep 28, 2020
Thanks. That's my "gut" on this. She will have a laundry list of activities. She will miss being at home with me, but she will be able to have a certain amount of self direction in AL.
(2)
Report
See 1 more reply
Sounds the like the perfect idea. You'll both be fine!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Babs75
Report

Talk about perfect timing. It sounds as if you two have had a wonderful opportunity to bond as adults for a few months and now it is time for you both to assume your regular but still intertwined lives.
And when you return to your work site you will not have the time to truly engage her. You both like the facility that she chose years ago so this is going to work for both of you!
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to geddyupgo
Report

Move her back.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to FloridaDD
Report

Yes, move her back. The best part of AL for my mother was seeing her engaged in activities with the other residents. Some days it was like the cool girls table in high school but at least it kept her busy! When she was at home or staying with me her chief activity was sitting in front of the TV napping.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Frances73
Report
notsomuch Sep 29, 2020
Yes. We used to laugh about the lunch table. My mom had two friends in AL, one who was just a precious little old lady who loved everyone and one who was just mean as a snake. The nurses used to call the table the Mean Girls because of the mean one :-)
(0)
Report
It’s ok to let go. It’s best for both of you and darn you got lucky timing.

you might want to run out and buy a lottery ticket 😂
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Ohlas1
Report
notsomuch Sep 29, 2020
I really need to pinch myself. We had to wait to get in during their initial admission there. I need to wrap this up before something happens to jinx us!
(1)
Report
It's OK to be normal again.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to careinhome
Report
DILKimba Sep 30, 2020
Amen!!!
(1)
Report
I think you should do it. She was happy there, has friends, it will be a familiar environment. Sounds like the AL is doing a good job of managing social distancing and visits. You will be able to visit. I’d say GO FOR IT! We never brought my in-laws home and their center has been exemplary in managing the virus. They are not all gloom and doom. Unfortunately due to fear, many centers may have to close down due to people pulling out. Then when people decide it’s safe, spots will be harder to come by and much more expensive.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to DILKimba
Report
NobodyGetsIt Sep 30, 2020
Dear "DILKimba,"

The last part you wrote about centers may have to close down... is a very scary thought for everyone who has loved ones in facilities. If that does end up happening, I feel terrible for both the loved one and their family member(s)!
(0)
Report
Ive told my daughter that as much as i love her when the time comes i want to live in assisted living ... thats why im buying insurance.

i have no interest staying alone with nothing to do during the day when i could be living in a pretty facility with meals fixed/room cleaned/activities.

maybe your mom misses the facility but doesnt want to hurt your feelings ?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Betsysue2002
Report
NeedHelpWithMom Sep 30, 2020
We need more moms like you! You sound fun and interesting. Best wishes.
(1)
Report
Imho, your plan sounds like a go.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Llamalover47
Report

Thanks, everyone. I met with the staff at the facility and am very impressed. The renovated apartment is so bright and beautiful! The kitchen and bath were both redone and provide much needed counter space. I think she will be very happy when she sees it. I signed the lease and will move her in on October 13. Thanks for helping me think this through! This site is full of such insightful and experienced caregivers.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to notsomuch
Report
NeedHelpWithMom Oct 1, 2020
Great job! You are so loving and thoughtful. You should be proud of yourself and pleased knowing that you are doing the right thing for all concerned.
(1)
Report
See 2 more replies
Dear "notsomuch,"

That's great to hear - it sounds like they've done a beautiful job with her apartment. I'm glad you seem to feel at peace with your decision and will be moving her back there in a couple of weeks!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to NobodyGetsIt
Report
notsomuch Oct 1, 2020
I really did need to get out of my head and hear from others on this.
(1)
Report
"notsomuch,"

Like you said, it's always good to get out of our heads sometimes and get other peoples thoughts on situations - that's exactly what the forum is for.

I'm glad all the people who've commented here were helpful to you in making a decision you could feel good about. I hope when things get settled after her move, you will give us an update.

I wish you and your mom the best!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to NobodyGetsIt
Report

I was in a similar situation. It is a difficult situation but when I weighed out the pros and cons, I felt that my Mom would be happier and safer in the ALF. For my mom, being around people, having activities like bingo and live music make her happy. It also meant I wouldn't have to worry about her safety, medication, cooking,cleaning,doing laundry and entertaining her. It was a win win situation.

But each person's situation is different . I also considered the limitations of an ALF and still keep close tabs on her. I visit everyday on a regular schedule so she can feel secure that I am there for her.

But
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Nver4Get
Report

Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter