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I have been caring for my mother who has moderate to extreme Alzhiemers. I have been doing pretty good with the help of my loving husband and wonderful children. However, lately I have been having terrible problems with my uncontroled blood pressure. The Doctor says it is caused by anxiety. I love my mother so much, but I am finding it harder and harder to care for her ever changing and demanding needs. I am wondering if she would not be better off in a memory care center of some sort instead of with me and my family, especially because I am finding it so hard to deal with her that I stay away from her as much as I can. And then I feel so terribly guilty. I read so many wonderul accounts of people who have cared for their parents and I want to do the same for my poor mother, (my father died 6yrs ago) but I am not sure I can take it any more. When is the best time to start looking for alternative care? Will this mess her poor lost mind up even further? Does anyone else have any experience in reaching this point? I only want what is best for her but if I stroke out then I can't imagine that I have done the best by her. My Doctor says that if I do not relieve some of the anxiety that I am under I am looking at some serious health problems for myself and medicine is not doing the trick. Maybe all I need is some encouragement.

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Never, making the decision is always hard! Take care of yourself that is the only way you will be of any value to your mom. Start looking at communities (I think that is the politically correct, or at least more gentle word than facility). There are many good ones out there, the best often have wait lists.
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Thank you gladmhere and Babalou. I need to hear what my heart is already telling me. This is by far the most difficult discision I have ever made in my life. I know I couldnot do it alone.
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Neveralone, I don't know how you can do this without killing yourself in the process. Your doctor and your body are both screaming "stop"!!!! In no uncertain terms.

1. Would your mother want you to harm yourself, caring for her?

2. If you were to become incapacitated by a stroke tomorrow, your mother would go to a facility. WITH OUT YOU as her advocate.

In a facility, she'll have three shifts of caregivers AND a loving daughter.
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Never, my theory is, and it is my theory, as soon as you question if they would be better cared for someplace else, and/or your health is suffering, it is time. This is not a joob that can be done well while second guessing yourself. My mom was placed two months ago after four years of me providing her care. It was time.
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Thank you geewiz for the advice. I definitely know I am not superwoman. I'm barely hanging in there. I just feel like such a failure to my mom and my family,. I know it is time for me to get help and I appreciate the encouragement. This is not an easy desease and the heartache just goes on and on.
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Neveralone, it sounds like you have done so much for your Mom, but she will be needing more care and it's unlikely that you will be able to do it. If you find a GOOD memory care center, you will be able to return to the loving daughter role rather than the caregiver role. Your MOM will have an adjustment period if you move her anywhere. But once she is settled in, your visits will supplement the care given by the team of professionals. You will be much less frazzled as you and your family will have time to be together again. I chose a memory care place that I liked and was very close to me (10 minute drive). I was able to visit every day (unless another family member was visitng that day) and still have my life. I found my visits better suited to my Mom as I wasn't unpacking groceries, doing laundry, helping her shower, etc etc. This is a Gift to your Mom and your family. She deserves full tie unfrazzled care and your family needs you back. AND YOU need to relax and acknowledge that you aren't superwoman and that the facility will offer entertainment, help with the activities of daily living, med dispensing, etc. Make a list of places near you and start to visit them one at a time to see which would work best for all involved. Good luck and keep us posted.
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