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My 74 year old Mom who suffers from dementia and Parkinson's has been in a NH for almost 2 weeks. My sisters and I decided it was best for her after seeing her dementia progress so quickly over the last few months. But, these last 2 weeks she has gone from bad to worse. Prior to her being admitted, she had only a few outbursts and now it seems like it's daily. She's very confused, she thinks she works at the NH. She's hiding her food, packing her clothes because she's "leaving" and gets physical with her nurses. She's even tried to escape the last 3 days. I know she's unhappy and she didn't want to go. I'm afraid she's become depressed and has just given up. What have I done? The guilt I feel is so overwhelming. Did I really just leave my Mom at this place for her to deteriorate and give up on life?

I spoke to the social worker from the NH today and she thinks it's best Mom be moved to a "secure" section of the facility. I know it's for her own safety so she won't be able to wander off but it's so hard to hear. She won't have her tv, no phone, no access to outside unless she's supervised. Like prison.....I can't help but cry just thinking about it. How did my Mom get this bad? Why was she chosen to have these diseases? I feel so lost...my heart is aching.

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Liz it sounds like you've done the very best you can and your mom is getting great care. She's a lucky woman to have you and your sister and the rest of her family to care about her. She's ahead of 90% of the people in her same situation. So don't beat yourself up, you can't give her back her youth, which is the only thing that would make her 100% happy. And it sounds like she may be adjusting. Or it may be up and down...but as long as she has some up days, she's doing OK.
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Oh, yes, we made sure she had all of her own bedding, pictures that she had at her house...her whole family lives there, grandkids, brothers, sisters. So, she gets visitors at least 2-3 times a week and my sister and I call her daily. They even give her non-alcoholic beer when she wants.

I don't know it's about her feeling abandoned, she's always loved being left alone...which is, I think, the real problem. She's always been very independent and having someone tell her what to do and that she can't go here or there is not sitting well with her. Which I completely understand....she doesn't know that she's sick, she can't comprehend it. All she knows is that she once lived alone and now she lives with other old people and nurses that are always up in her business.

BTW, I spoke to her again later in the day...completely normal. She told me she was fine, that she ate lunch and it was really good...like nothing.
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She hates it there, she may hate it anywhere, but frankly, one of your options would be to move her to a facility closer to you, since you will bother to visit and take her on outings and help her feel a little less abandoned. Are there any grandkids around to come see her? Does she have some of her favorite things with her?
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I live about 4 hours away from her. My other sister lives about 5 minutes away but is so busy with work she can't find the time to visit her.

I just talked to my Mom today and she asked how my sisters and I could have "put her away like this"...she said she would have never put her Mom or Dad away like we're doing to her. She also said she wanted to leave and live in a women's shelter. It's breaking my heart...hearing her say that to me had me in tears. I know it's not my Mom saying those words...it's this damn disease.
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HI Liz, transitions are VERY hard on those with dementia. Is she near to you that you can visit and (hopefully) have a calming effect on her? I watched a new admission to an assisted living facility for dementia walk and walk for hours looking to get 'home'. This went on for a few weeks. Then something clicked in and she calmed down and seemed to be comfortable in her new digs. With any luck, this will be what happens for your Mom as well. Facilities get very nervous when the residents try to 'escape'. Their liability concerns skyrocket. If you are able to calm her down, that may stop. Good luck.
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I'm hoping she eventually adjusts, I can't see my Mom living this way for the rest of her life. And you're right, I don't know if it would be the same if she were here with me. This is, by far, the hardest thing I've ever been through. Thank you for your support, I need all that I can get.
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Liz I am so sorry that your family is going through this. Is it possible your mom will stabilize after she's there for a while longer? The other thing you don't know is whether she'd be doing the same thing if she was home with you. You said she was deteriorating quickly before you put her in the nursing home, which is why you put her there in the first place.

You're giving her the best care you can - there should be no guilt or shame in that. You can feel sad for the condition your mom is in, but you didn't cause that, nor can you cure that. You've got her in the safest place she can be, with round-the-clock care. She's lucky to have you and your sister. Many folks aren't that lucky. {{Hugs}}
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