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Within a few weeks my mother-in-law will be transitioning to a nursing home. She has moderate dementia. She does not think anything is wrong with her. She is fully ambulatory, her main issues are cognitive and finding words.She does take medication for high blood pressure and diabetes, but doesn't usually recognize that she has these conditions or needs the medications. I am wondering if anyone has some advice on gentle answers to the hard questions I expect my father-in-law, husband,and his siblings may get from mom. Any ideas for what to say about where they are going (the first time) and why? What to say when leaving her there for the first time? The family plans to be with her alot in the beginning to help her adjust and anticipate lots of questions from mom like, "Why are we here? When can we go home?" etc. Any thoughts on how to make what I'm sure will be very difficult a little easier are sincerely apprecited.

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Thanks, Rosie. As others have said, lots of pictures and doodads from home, and emphasize that " this is where the soctors say you need to be for now"
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hi babalou. she has been accepted at the NH. its the same NH my mom is in and she was accepted in a similar state. I dont know the particulars of what went on with my MIL admission but I know she was accepted. in my moms case she was just shy of meeting criteria at AL because she was not indpendent for many ADLs. for my MIL itis the same.
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PS. It will make it easier for Dad too when he goes to visit. It will feel at least a little bit like home for both of them.
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Surround her with the things she loves, plaster the walls with her favorite pictures, etc. from the house (yes, take them from the house!), put her favorite comforter, blanket on her bed. Take some of her home's throw pillows and place them on the chairs, bed, etc. in her room. Bring some favorite knick knacks and place them on dressor or nightstand so she can see them and hold them and feel like she is in her home.

I agree not to have things of great value in NH in case they get stolen; but I would surround mom with familiar things vs trying to make everything new or leaving her in sterile environment. It is a big adjustment and elders find comfort with familiar surroundings and smells of their own pillow, blanket, "things".
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Rosie, as all the family is rallying round it probably is best if they just play it by ear - trust themselves that when the time comes they will find the right words, and get through the day together.

Looking back at your profile, and seeing that your MIL was diagnosed at the back end of last year, I have the impression that you have all helped your FIL to reach this difficult decision in an orderly and compassionate way. It is the right decision, but it will still I'm sure be very hard for him. In your position, your FIL would be my main concern. Your MIL will have an entire facility helping her to adjust and settle in, as well as caring family members. But poor old FIL will have to deal with all of the usual emotional issues and adjust to living on his own. How is he getting on with his support group? - is he still going to that?
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Rosie, I'm confused. It does not sound like your MiL meets the MEDICAL criteria for a nursing home. It sounds as though she needs what is called " memory care" in most places. Has she been accepted at a nursing home?
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hi Rainmom in our state assisted livings require higher leves of independence than my MIL has cognitively. In AL they dont bring her to meals, for example, and she has no sense of time and needs much direction for daily things like bathing, dressing, taking meds etc. also AL requires 200 K comittment then you move to medicaid. but if you social security check is above a certain threshold you cant stay and must go to nursing home
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In my mothers case the easiest answers came by way of her health and her falling down. We told mom that her physical condition was such that she needed round the clock care that focused on things medical. From what you've written that isn't likely to apply to your MIL. May I ask if she was considered a candidate for Assisted Living and if so - why she is not being placed there. I'm not trying to be nosey - but hoping to gain a better understanding of the situation in order to perhaps give better suggestions.
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