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My husband’s mother is 85 and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She has been living with us for a little over a year and was with his brother for 8 months before that. Prior to that she was living in Florida by herself. Her behavior has changed enough in recent months that we feel it is time for her to live in a memory care facility. We have chosen a very nice, small place that is memory care only. We have heard and read a lot of suggestions about how to make the transition... I would really appreciate if anyone on this forum has any suggestions. She is mid stage (late 5 to early 6) so she will definitely know what is happening and have something to say about it. She has never given up the mindset that she is still capable of living on her own and has never really “settled in” to our home, even though she has had many long term visit she here over the years. She is going to be VERY angry. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

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HappyDays2020: Stress safety first as I said previously because she needs new living arrangements. She most likely won't be happy about it so bring up the safety aspect.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Talk to the admissions staff. They can be very helpful. I took my mother out for a treat, then we drove to the new facility, telling her I had a nice place I wanted to show her. We had been moving items out of her apartment and into the new room so that photos and other items were already in place. The aides were congenial, invited her to play Bingo with some ladies, and advised me to slip out and come back a few hours later, just after they had dinner. While she was having dinner I returned to her new room and hung her clothes in the closet.

She was bewildered and asked why she was there. I told her it was her new home where she could live like a queen. People where there to help her, meals would be served, her room would be cleaned for her, etc. Things got testy. She was going to call the police and have me arrested for kidnapping. No, it was not fun, but it was necessary. When you leave, wait to drive until the tears stop--that may take a while.

There will be uncomfortable moments, but just be there for her as often as possible. I stopped by almost every day and distracted her by playing a card game that she still liked. That also kept her from saying the same thing over, and over and over . . . . . . . .and from being confrontational.

My observation was that it takes about three months for new residents to finally accept it and settle in. Surprisingly, a new friendship formed with another lady early on. They walked about, hand in hand, like six year olds. They said the same things to each other over and over, and it was okay because neither one remembered hearing it before. Sweet things can happen.

The best trick I learned was the "therapeutic lie." These are the things we say that are not exactly true, but can ease the pain for the parent. When she said "where are my brothers" I replied "they are in Sidney and you came here to live with me."
Yes they were in Sidney, but I omitted the part about the cemetery as they had all predeceased her. Say what she wants to hear whenever possible; it will help to keep her calm. Never feel guilty about these "lies," they are a kindness and keeping her calm will save you a lot of grief.

Blessings to you.
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Reply to Franzy
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Sorry didn’t see the many responses before I posted
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Reply to Erinm60
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Exactly in your shoes. Also would appreciate how to move parent with Alzheimer’s into memory unit.
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HappyDays2020 Dec 24, 2018
Sorry to hear. It’s a tough road. Do you already know when your loved one is moving?
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Thanks to everyone for all the great comments! Between this post and scouring the internet I feel a lot better prepared. We will continue to talk it though until the last minute I’m sure!
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Reply to HappyDays2020
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There there isn't much you can do to keep her from being angry. Talk to the the staff about your concerns. Ask them what the game plan is for move in day and it if they have any advice. You will need their help when it's time to leave because your mother in law will want to leave with you. They will typically distract residents when visitors need to leave.
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Reply to CSmith2018
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My mom was bouncing from home to home while my dad was in the hospital and rehab for several months. We moved her into memory care before he was released. Siblings kept her busy well I ran into her new room to get some personal items there. When she arrived we sat down and had coffee and then my brother left.

When I took her to her room, I have never seen her so mad! We both agreed that my sticking around was not helping her, so I left to pick up towels and shampoo and stuff like that. When I got back a fellow resident had befriended her and she was perfectly fine.

You just never know dot-dot.
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Reply to Joanies
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Please stress the importance of safey first. But she most likely won't believe you so perhaps you could get her neurologist to sit down with her.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Each person and situation is different of course and I haven't had this experience myself yet but I have seen many threads on this topic and the things I will do, make most sense for us I think are first the visiting while picking a place. You don't have to say :we are choosing a facility for you to live in", you can certainty but if your LO isn't really on board I don't think I would but going to various places for lunch to meet people look around to see if it might be somewhere they would like to go for some activities once or twice a week, like the senior center. If the place is well managed they probably have someone on staff that is expert at this, they deal with resistance all the time and know how to meet your LO on their level and befriend them. Sometimes just developing an attachment to someone there can make all the difference and visiting so you both know when it feels comfortable and right makes sense, even if Mom or Dad isn't thinking about moving there.

The other thing I will use is the method of taking Mom (in my case) out for the day, maybe a drive around old favorite areas or a visit to somewhere she really enjoys while others are moving her important things, the ones that will make it feel more like home, into her new digs. Some people have gone as far as setting it up exactly like a room in their previous residence, pictures on the wall and all. In my case it might be my brother taking her out for the day while I supervise moving or all three of her kids spending the day with her while others move her in, I don't know but whoever it is will simply bring her back to er new home after the full and hopefully wonderful day.

I don't know this is the way it will happen for us but if her mind is far enough gone at the point in time when it's time for a residential facility of some sort and she hasn't moved herself into one, forcing us to do it I think these are the top ideas I will employ. I'm already trying to get her to visit places, participate in activities there and get to know people, one great person (trying to sell us the facility but still) has been trying to get her to come for activities for over a year now. They do things in conjunction with the local senior center so very non-threatening, mom just isn't biting her hearing issues and now speech keep her pretty resistant to group situations. Anyway this woman has been great and continues to offer to bring lunch over to Mom one day just so they can get to know each other and make an effort to get mom comfortable with her in the hopes that might help her participate in an activity or two, they will even send their van to pick her up and bring her back home!
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Reply to Lymie61
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As others have said, every situation is different. Last April I moved my 86 year old mom from Indiana to a memory care facility near me in Pennsylvania. I stressed out and lost a lot of sleep for 2-3 months prior. I found the facility, signed all the contracts, made the travel arrangements, etc. without talking to her about the move. I knew she wouldn't understand or agree, but she couldn't decide what was best. She was living "independently" but not managing. Of course she believed she could manage everything on her own. She didn't need help from anyone, didn't have any issues - memory or otherwise. (She also had a cat which had to be given to the humane society for adoption.)

I would say she was stage 4 to 5 at that time, but it was clear she didn't really know whether she was in Indiana, Pennsylvania or somewhere else. My wife and I flew out, explained to her the day before that we were going to "try" a place nearer to us, then got her on a plane with us the next day. It was a long and stressful day for us, but she didn't fight, argue or make a fuss.

Fortunately, the place provided all the furniture she needed in her room so we only had to bring enough clothes to get her through the first week. I drove back out and brought several pieces of her furniture back in a rental truck a week later. It is often recommended that some familiar items be moved to help them feel more at home.

In hindsight, I'm not sure it mattered to my mom that she had her bed, dresser, recliner and end table. I also don't think I should have told her this was a "trial run". For a couple of weeks she kept wondering when she'd move "back home", though she had previously been living in an independent apartment in a senior facility. It took a few weeks before she began to stop asking about moving out, but she's come to accept this as where she lives. At this point any disruption to her daily routine causes distress, but her day to day routine keeps her mostly in her "happy place".

So make all your plans, grit your teeth and hope for the best. It may not be as bad as you fear.

Best wishes for an uneventful move. You and she WILL get through it!
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Reply to middleson
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middleson Dec 22, 2018
I probably should also have said my mom had durable power-of-attorney and health care representative documents giving me authority years before. So when the time came to use them I was easily able to make decisions and sign papers on her behalf. The whole process is a lot more difficult if that's not done in advance.
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I agree with Freqflyer - each situation is unique. I took care of my father at his home with several other caregivers for 6 years after promising to keep him home as long as we could manage it. I toured about a dozen facilities before picking a new one 4 miles from my home. I took furniture from his house and set up his room similar to his family room where he watched TV. I prepared myself for a long night; I was afraid that he was going to throw a hissy fit for moving him into a facility. Praise the Lord! He did not even seem to be aware that he had changed locations. The aids and Nurse dropped in to introduce themselves and check on him. He loved all the attention from the ladies! He adapted well to the routine, and does not participate in many activities, preferring to stay in his room and nap or watch TV. Personally, I feel that he was advanced enough in his Lewy Body dementia that he was not aware of his change in surroundings. Whatever the reason, I can enjoy my visits as a daughter and not a primary caregiver.
If she is unhappy, assure her that you love her and have her best interest at heart. Brag about how she doesn’t have to clean house anymore, cook meals, or do laundry, she just has to enjoy herself with the activities that they have available daily. Give her time to get used to the new routine, to make new friends, and participate in activities. Maybe limit your visits for a short time to make it easier for the transition. Hopefully, she will adapt well and be happy. Good luck!
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Reply to tazlady
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This is going to be very hard to do, damned if you do damned if you don't. My siblings dropped all of this in my lap 9 months ago.I NEVER knew Mom/Step-father's condition had advanced to this point as "they" would not tell me (bad history there).Before I left to find out what I was walking into,I called their Dr. My sister had not taken them to the Dr in over a yr,Medicare requires this each year.Step-siblings were there, I had made the appointment so "oh happy day NOT.Dr told me I'd be lucky if Mom were still here by July(3 months)for her next appointment due to her diabetes, urinary infections(1 stay was entire month of Dec,sister convinced Mom it was because I told hospital not to release her).Sad but funny when Dr told her 1 last chance & he'd place her in a facility.Threatened to call police,told her ok but he had legal right.I went back home and had to go back 2 weeks later (step-sibling issues)so husband went with me.Home care people refused to care for them because they were both too far,Mom ended up in hospital (her last chance) home care provided us with a fantastic caseworker.He quit his job after going thru this with his Father and became a private caseworker just for these issues.We'd drop step-father off at the hospital,told the staff NOT to let him out of their sight and went looking at group homes(some aren't any better than nursing homes, just less residents).I was afraid to place Mom in a group home due to issues I'd read or saw on news.I think we went to 3 and it was the 3rd that blew my mind!IT IS THE BEST PLACE EVER!The cost was less than home care,they have a suite, took the dog in too,contracted Dr who is Elder specialist, hairdresser,everything they need.NOT an odor of being a nursing facility.The staff is AMAZING!We took step-father to see their "hotel",the staff will wait on you for every need.Mom had to be there because she isn't well & Dr will not allow her to go home.We got him settled, went to discharge Mom,had to be taken by private service.I would not let Mom see me as she'd put up a bad fight.Made sure step-father knew she was coming & his job was to care for Mom now with help from the staff.We left before she arrived and I cried for days.It takes on average 3-6 mos to acclimate.Now they don't ask to go home,step-father asks what is happening to the house & I tell him Mom is his job because she is so sick & my job is taking care of the house etc.He can be hard/stubborn but Mom is taking in stride. LOVES BINGO AND IS THE QUEEN.They keep the residents busy.I made a small photo album for Mom w/pics from way back when she/Dad were married & all of us kids.She recognized our daughter out of everyone. I have a print copy next to each picture in large font so she knows who people are/how she's related.Did same for step-father.After about 2 mos my Uncle/me told step-father they have to stay because Mom is too ill.He agrees/then forgets.Take things from house a bit @ a time so they will think are @ home.BTW, I cry after each visit every month.Except for my Uncle/me, siblings don't visit & neither have his kids(waiting to get hands on the money). It'll be very hard but once you find your SPECIAL hotel take baby steps and stay in constant contact with Dr and "hotel" staff.Mgr of our SPECIAL hotel will call/text me all the time because she knows how far away I am and even things for step-father.Make sure you get guardianship/conservator too.Lots of work ahead & harder than I thought it would be even though I felt I was prepared.It hurts very deeply but we can't always keep our promises.Buy stock in Proctor/Gamble because you're going to need the Kleenex.You might consider a therapist for awhile for the guilt/depression you're going to have too.
Merry Christmas/Happy New Year and God will be right beside you to help.Listen to that whisper in your ear or the tap on your shoulder, you'll know when you see it!
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Reply to dkentz72
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Mom, has dementia and lives alone in NY state. I live in Florida 6 months and in NYS 3 hours from her the other 6 months. I was staying with her 3 days a week when I was in NY. My brother stops by 4 - 5 days a week on his way home from work. I have been trying to get her to agree to go into memory care but she adamantly refuses. (Dad, who also has advanced dementia, broke his collarbone in a fall and ended up in NH 8 months ago. ) One memory care facility told me to bring her for lunch and for me to excuse myself to go to the restroom but just leave and not come back. I just don't think I can do that. Right now she can still do a lot for herself so I think I will wait until she gets worse before I take drastic measures. Also, she refuses to take any medication. The MCF told me it cannot administer any medication such as valium without her consent.
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Reply to Suemayer2254
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dkentz72 Dec 22, 2018
If just a faculty for babysitting, no they cannot administer any meds. You really do not want a babysitter. As for your angst, I still have it & it's been 9 mos. I don't think it will ever go away especially when the final dreaded day comes.
Ask yourself, what is best for Mom/Dad? Falling & no help (like the commercials)? Taking the wrong medication or forgetting & taking too much? Yes, visit facilities without her 1st. Then take her 1 day at a time to each at lunch time. Tell her you're taking her out for lunch. You don't have to leave, just excuse yourself and let the person sit there to get acquainted and possibly bring another resident over to have a 3 way conversation. You decide how long to be in the restroom, go back like everything is "normal" enter the conversation. Take her home and talk with her about how nice of a day you 2 had. Wouldn't it be great if she had that everyday since you're so far away? Do this for several days with other places and she'll tell you which 1 she liked best.
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One mantra that got me through moving day was 'I'm getting them to safety'. (in Sept I arrived from out of the country to find both parents in a weakened state and within 3 weeks I had them in a LTC facility in the same room which is nothing short of a miracle).

On moving day my husband and one of my brothers was there to assist and after they left I stayed on for 2 additional months to help them acclimate and get to doctors appts. Unfortunately they're in their 90's now and most of their friends are gone so I knew that once I left the area there would be no visitors.

Surprisingly my mother was far easier than dad. Mom had told us all of our lives to 'never put her in a home' and yet she seemed to accept their situation...at least when I was there every second day. Now that I've returned to my life there's been outbursts etc but I keep reminding myself that I got them to safety and that has to be enough. Before I left I made a point to get gifts for both of them that the staff delivered each Tues prior to Christmas as reminders that I'm thinking of them. (simple things...a new calendar for her, crosswords for him...that sort of thing)

Today my very docile dad decided to scream at me (something he's never done) because he received a letter from the DMV telling him that they're pulling his license. The lack of independence is frustrating for them but can't be helped. Good luck to you, it's a tough journey. If you can, try and think of it from the standpoint of a caregiver for young children. We don't fault toddlers for their bad behavior or inabilities to understand we just try again. And again.
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Reply to BaileyP3
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My Aunt fell and had Compression fractures in her spine also Auntie had a bit of a hording issue ...from hospital went to a nursing home where they had 3 and 4 people to a room because of a hurricaine they had to move the residents from the coast to share rooms this was in Lynbrook , NY .We went to pick my Aunt up drove her from New York To Illinois when we moved Aunt into her new assisted liveing home SHE WAS A HOT MESS AND MAD MAD MAD AS A HORNET WHEW!!! SHE TOLD ALL THE RESIDENTS that we drugged her tied her up & kidnapped her !! Holy cow !! She was meaner than a rattel snake she was so Mad I would just break down and cry , then 1 day she told this story to a new wonderful resident who knew me and this particular woman really told Auntie like it was and said Nobody wanted to hurt her that she could not live 1500 miles away from her only family how would they care for her , she befriended my Aunt although she realized that my Aunt had Alzheimer's she took auntie under her wing at this point it was the absolute best thing that could have happened it took about 3 months but finally ! SHE ADJUSTED ! Now shes at my house and sometimes she thinks shes at the assisted living home !! BUT Auntie always thinks she can go back to NewYork and live alone we just let her rant and ignor it sooner or later she stops Its the Alzheimer's disease I know that she cant help it ...but no matter what you do no matter how much time you spend at the facility she'll always come up with stories to upset you ; just laugh it off !! Know in your heart that you are doing the RIGHT thing ! and it always takes 3 weeks for them to settle down and 3 months to adjust fully !! Your good people and have to make sure mom is safe and taken care of properly. I tell my story because I want you to know this happens ,and it happens to many familys !! Good Luck !!God Bless You all!!
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Reply to Lorraine12
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My mom had a difficult adjustment, but in time things settled down. My friends and therapist kept reminding me that I was doing what was best for her...keeping her comfortable and safe.....and for me, saving my sanity so I could have quality time with grandkids, friends, and alone. It won't be easy, but it is the right thing to do. Hugs.
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Reply to jjmummert
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I agree that you can't know how she will react. I think that by the time my mom ended up in memory care, she knew she had to move somewhere else besides her independent living apartment where she had 24/7 care (very expensive all-in-all). She stayed at our home while we moved her in. I cried off and on the day we moved her things. There were some bumps along the way because she is a fall risk and has arthritis pretty badly but things did smooth out. She seemed to adjust fairly soon. It is less expensive now and much less stressful for us. We even got her on a Medicare plan that brings the nurse, doctor, xray, tests, etc. to her. That was a huge improvement for us too. My sister and I visit often and shower her with love. We don't usually announce our visits and sometimes she is sleeping in her wheelchair and other times she is participating. She tells us that she has a few other gals that want to go shopping with her.
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Reply to GiggleBox75
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When i moved my hubby, i said it was a vacation. Had his room set up in advance with his familiar things, and pictures and fidgets to keep busy. I visit everyday. A calendar u can write on can help them to see ur visits or upcoming events. Hope that helps.
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Reply to NadiLewt
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The day is going to be difficult and stressful for you as well as for your mother. I don't go much on long term valium, but I would for her this particular day. Get through it the best you can.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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HappyDays, each situation is different so your Mom-in-law could surprise everyone and adjust to being in Memory Care, or will quickly look for the nearest fire escape so she can quickly leave.

For my Dad his mind set was on $$$. Thus I told him a "therapeutic fib" to get him to move from his Independent Living apartment over to a small studio apartment [I didn't tell him it was Memory care]. I told him this studio apartment would be much cheaper, and for him to think of it was his college dorm. Dad settled in pretty easy. I was lucky on that aspect.

I have read on the forums that many facilities would prefer that no family visit or call for 2 weeks, to give the love one a chance to "learn" the facility, to start to depend on the Staff, etc. But don't be surprised if Mom-in-law says she hates the place, that is a very common reaction.

I recall one writer here who said her Mom really hated the facility, she wanted to leave, the whole 9 yards. Then one day the writer went to visit Mom at a different time and didn't tell her Mom she was coming.... lo and behold, she saw her Mom in a class enjoying herself, laughing up a storm with the other gals, etc. Oops.
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