After two weeks in the assisted living facility my mom is intensely unhappy. How much time should we let pass by if she continues to feel so uncomfortable? - AgingCare.com

After two weeks in the assisted living facility my mom is intensely unhappy. How much time should we let pass by if she continues to feel so uncomfortable?

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We do have the option of her coming to live with me in Tennessee, however she has lived most of her 90 years in California.
I am the only family member that does not live close to the assisted living facility.

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Since she has lived in CA so long and has family members nearby, it seems you should give her more time to adjust. I hope the family members are paying attention to her. Two weeks isn't very long and change is hard for anyone, let alone someone her age. There's no set time, but if the center is a good one, they should be able to get her to start engaging. She could turn out to love it, but it will take time. Another move may not be much easier.

Keep tabs on her though. You are right to watch carefully.
Carol
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Reply to Carol Bradley Bursack
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backing off, distancing and detaching, not answering the phone, not staying when they are miserable to you, not running around trying to fix every little complaint, - these will save your sanity and will not hurt your parent, My mother who is qute well for her age would have me engaged daily following up on her complaints - which to me are just the ups and downs of life. It is a lose lose siituation in that nothing ever gets resolved. I have observed that she doesn't really want things to get resolved, mostly she wants attention and the more attention she gets the more she wants. I have virtually cut contact but am in contact with those people who care for her and will be advised is there is a real problem. The stress was affecting my health and I strongly advise anyone who is on this kind of situation to set limits to protect yourself. Some oldsters get very narcissistic and demanding. Mother has had Borderline Personality Disorder all her life and is narcissistic and wants everyone's life to revolve around her. It is not healthy and I have to set the conditions that are. Take charge of your own life, look after yourself and look after your parents needs as appropriate, - notice I said needs, not wants. Mother used to complain that none of us lived very close to her - she moved to where she wanted to and expected I would give up my life to come and wait on her. Not going to happen - my life is here and I help the best I can but from a distance. She is well cared for and that is what is most important for her and I have my own life and that is important to me. In fact, family agree, she would not be any happier if I was there at her beck and call as she has been unhappy and a complainer all her life no matter what the circumstances so one of us many as well be happy.
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Reply to golden23
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This is just my two cents.....As Carol said, if family members nearby pay more attention to your mother, that would definitely help. If the center she is living in is clean and she is well cared for there, I see no reason to move her out of there. In my experience, I learned that everything my elderly parents "ask" for is not necessarily the right thing to give them. I learned I have to set limits to protect my own health. I learned that both of my parents were losing the ability to have rational thought and that I had to be strong and make some tough decisions. ( even if this made me "unpopular"). Maybe your mother could use medication to help control her mood. You could talk to her doctor about this situation. But I would go real slowly about any decision to move her out of there. With the proper support from family in your mother's area, she could adjust to living there in time.
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Reply to anne123
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I agree with Anne, I would not move her out. Every move is just another change. We moved my Mom 3 times and she is still not happy but this is where she will stay. I tried taking care of her and so did my sister and it didn't work. Being her caregiver was taking its toll on us both. After a while she will become adjusted to this environment. She may still be unhappy but she will get adjusted. You on the other hand do not need to move her in with you, nor do your other relatives. Once you do, it is harder than ever to move them out when that need arises.
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Reply to Sandy48
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willows, I’m so sorry - I cannot fathom what it's like for you or anyone else to have your spouse stricken with dementia. My dad had Alz, but having your spouse have dementia involves so much more on so many levels. Your comments hit a nerve with me because they struck me as being a bit judgmental. Many of us are not "wimping" out when our parents need care or "assuaging" our guilt about our parents being in AL or NH. We are making difficult decisions based on many factors because we have responsibilities to/for spouses, children, employers, not just to/for our parents. We are assessing what we realistically can do. Some of have juggled raising our children while also caring for our parents and working fulltime jobs. Add to that that some of our parents have made caring for them quite difficult, with demanding personalities and also refusing needed medical care. Our parents were young and healthy when they "put up with us". We are aging and have our own health problems which often make caring for a parent 24/7 difficult or not possible. And some of us are helping more than one elderly parent. Many of us do not have the luxury of quitting our jobs to provide 24/7 care for our parents. I have a demanding fulltime job, my husband is in the early stages of PD and we help my FIL remain in his home – I cannot physically also care for my mom, who needs 24/7 care. If I sound a bit strident, it’s because I’m really tired of people judging without being in the other guy’s shoes. Because sometimes when you get into those shoes, you end up having to take an action you’d never have dreamt you would, but it’s the best one at that time.
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Reply to Linda22
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Moving my Mom from place to place just made her worse. She was not happy at any of the first 3 places we tried but we decided to leave her in the 4th place and although she is still not happy, she has adjusted to it and now has a routine. She was not happy when she was living with me, or my sister - (and never were we). We dealt with her in our homes as long as we could and we were getting more stressed and having stress related health problems (BP, Insomnia, etc) than she was. So it was either us or her, and we chose to be happy and move her to assisted living. I am 62 and my sister is 60 years old and just could not deal with it any longer.
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Reply to Sandy48
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Do not move her in with you,she could be unhappy with you also.My dad has been in the care home 6 weeks and he now joins in with the other residents.He so needed people his own age.I thought he would fight the change to the end But he as now accepted that after being with me 5 years it was the only solution to our problems. I see him most days and have found that our relationship has improved.I love him very much but could not live with him again.He has just been diagnosed with vascular dementia which is effecting his behaviour. Its early days yet but give them time elderly people don't take to change well.
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Reply to tinapick
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Willows, I cared for my husband throughout his 10-year dementia journey. I told him and our 5 children that I would keep him at home as long as that was where he could get the best care. If we reached a point where I wasn't able to give him the best care, I would place him where professionals could, but I would continue to support him emotionally. Fortunately for us, he could stay at home for the full 10 years, and died in our bedroom, holding my hand.

But I have seen many -- most -- of the caregivers in my support group have to face the fact that they could no longer care for their spouse in their home. It was a wrenching decision but they made it in love. I am NOT a better person than any of them nor did/do any of them love their spouse less than I did. They were simply dealt a different hand.

My 93-yo mother has dementia. She is in a nursing home. I am absolutely amazed and how well she is doing there! I think I can say that objectively without "assuaging" any guilt, because I do not feel any guilt.

I send you warm hugs, Willows, as you deal with your spouse's dementia. I know how heartbreaking that can be. But along with Linda22 (and I expect many of our forum participants), I'm really tired of people judging without being in the other guy's shoes -- or even stubbornly insisting that one shoe size fits all.

I hope you are able to fulfill your own commitment. Please don't judge others.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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Giver her some time. See if you can someone from the neighbor hood to visit . When you go to visit bring some pictures of the family and yourself, or mail them. they love stuff animals or some music or a picture book. My mom was in New York and I live in Florida, my job did work with me so I was able to see her alot, but I did have to move her to Florida since I had no one to make visit's after she did not know anyone.Every move is a big change on them. When my mom came to Florida from New York I had planned on her living with us, but was not told how bad the Alzheimers/Dementia was. So we found a place close by and when it came time we had to place her there. At first it was hard but for two years they took good care of her, I was there every day. Caregiving is very hard on the body and mind. But we do what we can. Take care.
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Reply to patrica61
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As sad as this may be, there are darn good reasons people cannot just move their aging or ailing parents in with them. Number 1, they cannot be there to do the caring because they themselves have to work in order to survive!!

It would be great if everyone had the luxury of feeling a paycheck is optional, but for most of us, that's not the case. And if we're talking about Alzheimer's, do not even attempt it unless your willing to take 10 to 20 years off your own life. Unless you've been there, you have no clue what it's like and what it does to you. Then there's the terrible guilt and misery you feel because you *can't care for them.... It's just relentless.
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