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Do the people there help make it work smoothly? What will her reaction be? What can I do to help make the transition work? I think I'm at the point of placing her or almost at that point.I wonder if I'm ready. I'm trying to sale myself on the concept that she will be better there than home with me.

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Every case/person is different. You will hear that from the CNA's (certified nursing assistants) every time you ask why your loved one did this or that which you might feel is abnormal. Abnormal is normal. You, we the family members have to get used to it.
As for your question, my mom has been in 5 different facilities for various reasons and is now in her 6th year of dementia. The first assisted living facility, we made living room to look EXACTLY like her sitting room at home and her bedroom as close as we could get it. She fought tooth and nail not to go, but in the end she had no choice. She could not take care of herself at all.
Transitioning is different for everyone and what facility you put your loved one in will make the difference. Most all of them have excellent first steps and days and everyone welcomes you and your family member and you get a decent feeling. Again, if you choose the right one. Most will tell you not to visit in the first 2 weeks to a month, or I should say not to visit your loved one, but you can always observe from a far or just talk with the staff. It is important that your loved one gets used to his or her new environment without the hope of you bringing them back home. They need to settle into the routine and get used to the new faces and voices and new friends, if possible. Now you can do whatever you want, but that is their suggestion.
You sound like you are not ready to cut the strings. This is hardest for the caregiver because of the guilt about turning the care over to someone else as well as forcing her out of her familiar environment. It is quite a long process for the caregivers, family members to really get on board for what is happening and will happen. You can only go through it, nothing prepares you for this unless you have gone through it before. Do alot of reading, ask ALOT of questions, but always remember that every dementia resident is unique because the disease effects everyone slightly differently. And there is no one timeline for the end of it all. You could lose your loved one within the first year for any number of reasons, or they could fool you and last 20 years. My mom is in a wheelchair and has been for 3 years. She is incontinent and has macular degeneration. She used to speak alot, but hardly says anything now and when she does she garbles her words. I am the family member most close to the situation and the most important thing is for you to take care of yourself, not matter what that looks like. You will hear that from everyone too. I might have my mother for another 2 to 5 years and while I love her, this is no quality of life for her anymore and I am hoping her to be at rest sooner rather than later.
You will know when you are ready to move her. Try to get as much help as possible and support of any other family and friends. It is important not to do this alone. The person we give over to any facility is actually in a better mental position to handle it all, so to speak, because their mind takes them elsewhere. You are still based in the here and now with worry and guilt and love and stress and a whole lot more. So you need to stay healthy and uplifted however you can.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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I look at it this way. You have to follow your gut. Just like with raising kids. You can read all the how-to books by all the experts and that gives you a good knowledge base, but you still have to use common sense and listen to what that inner voice is telling you. And what your eyes, ears, & nose are telling you.

If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't. Especially if you rule out all the things that seem like pretty reasonable explanations.

I wished I could have had an experience like you did MSDAISY. Oh how I wanted that, but it was not to be due to a number of really unpleasant reasons. Mom had mental illness in addition to dementia and all her medical problems. We never have had a normal mother/daughter relationship, so we were not close to start with. My situation was not in any of the how-to books!

But, I followed my gut, listened to the experts, and tried to make the best out of hard choices so I can sleep at night at least. I made sure mom was safe above all else. She will never be happy, but she is safe, clean, and gets lots & lots of attention.

This whole journey has been a real education for me and my husband.
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I might be in the minority here but when we moved my Mom into an ALF I almost felt like I was moving in with her. Atleast for the first few weeks. It was very important to me that my Mom didn't feel like I was "putting her away" as she always liked to call it. I moved all of her familiar things in when she was still in rehab and on the big day I went with her and stood with her as we "both" became acclimated to her new home. We had lunch, we met people, we walked the facility,. I wanted her to know that just because she was living in a different place it didnt mean she was "displaced.". I went there every day and we "hung out." We had a girls day out and went shopping for new furniture. I bought her the best adjustable bed I could find as she loved to sleep and nap and I didn't want her to ever say she missed her old bed at her home. Little things like that. I kept her busy those first weeks and I too got to get a feel for the place and the people that would be caring for the most important person in my life. In a way it put my mind at peace knowing first hand from seeing it that she was in great hands. My Mom didnt like the ALF in the beginning, she kept complaining about everything as she just wanted to go home. Knowing that wasnt a safe or healthy option I asked her to stick it out for six months, and she agreed. At the end of the first six months I asked her to hold on for a few more. My Mom had something to look forward to even though in her heart I think she knew she would never be able to return home to live alone. My Mom passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago, and while my heart is shattered I know I had an extra year with her because she lived in that ALF and had a great fullfilling year socializing with people her own age, living in a place that resembled a resort. I found out after her passing how much she loved it there even though she would never admit that to me. It put me at peace to know I picked a great place and that even though she wouldnt' admit it, she was happy. I completely would do it all exactly the same if given the opportunity. Stay close in the beginning. You don't want your loved one feeling like you are just dumping them off. Especially if they have a bit of dementia. Like I used to tell my Mom, we are in this together, we will adust and find new fun things to do here and I will be by your side the entire time. No regrets on how I helped with her adjustment whatsoever. It made her feel at ease knowing she wasnt being "dumped" anywhere to be completely alone and I think it really helped as moving into an ALF, no matter how nice the place is, is a major adjustment for an older person. What better way to ease into the transition than to have someone they love right by their side encouraging them to participate in actvities and familiarize themselves to their new home. I would do it all over again the exact same way in a heartbeat. I miss her so much.
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As with any big life change, there will be ups and downs. Good days and bad days. You can come here to vent and complain on bad days, and we will celebrate with you on good days. The peace of the decision will come over time, as you adjust to the new normal. Each person's adaptation is unique - for both of you.

Facilities will have a new resident process, for lack of a better word. They are used to dealing with new people, and getting them established in the daily routine. They are used to new residents coming in and acting any way possible. Some are calm and quiet. Others are heck on wheels (my mother) who calls an entire lobby full of neighbors the B-word on her very first time going to supper. :-D Aside from that, my mother has never had better care and quality of life. They found another resident to buddy mom up with for meals & activities.

You can prepare yourself with education & information. Look on Youtube for Teepa Snow "Making Visits Valuable" series. It's for non-medical dementia care givers and can prep you for some of the things you are bound to experience.

A lot of people realize that when they are no longer nurse, janitor, cook, taxi, errand boy and gopher, their visits are more enjoyable. The visit isn't about to-do items, but just about sharing precious time together without all that other stuff hanging over your head.

The loved one's mood improves simply by being in a community environment with people their own age, and having a variety of stimulation. They can do a lot of things besides sit in bed or on a sofa and passively watch TV and the same 4 walls day after day.

My mom asks to go home. Dementia experts explain this is really a longing to go back in time to when life was good, not a literal request to leave and go home. Be prepared for this happening. Sometimes they mean their childhood home, or a place they lived long ago that might not even exist anymore. It's not a literal request. You can redirect by asking what was their favorite part of home and questions that will get her talking about her memories and on to another subject.

To prevent mom from crying when we leave, we visit her before a meal. The meal is a natural transition for her, and we can gracefully step away without it being much of a notice to her. If we tried to just get up and leave from her room, it would be much more difficult. We also try to pick our visit times carefully, so it's not too early (before the meds kick in) or too late in the afternoon when Sundowner's starts.

I hope this helps you in your journey.
Come back & let us know how it's going!
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My sister and I had Dad's room all ready before we moved him to AL. Familar items like his recliner and excersize bike and items that had hung on his walls.
We did not visit too much that first week to limit confusion.
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In most places, the staff is very helpful in guiding her transition. Her reaction will be a little unsure, but after a few months she should settle in to a routine and have some new friends. Anxiety meds for the first month or so will help. You can help by NOT visiting when she has in house activities, so that she learns to focus on the group and not you. You also meet with the Head Nurse weekly at first to follow up on her progress and needs. You call her MD when she needs written MD orders for bathing, dressing and medications.
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