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I am struggling with knowing the best time to put my mom in a care facility. My mom is 81 and has dementia, strokes and we've seen additional cognitive decline recently.


She had a stroke 4 years ago. She did okay at first some mobility issues on the right side. I feel like I'm waiting for some epiphany, a sign to know exactly when to do this. I'm worried about running out of money too soon. I'm worried about her being upset about me moving her out of her house. We currently live together her, myself and my son. She hasn't started wandering yet but she's starting to forget who we are and it scares me. Can anybody give me an idea of knowing when or just tell me there's never going to be a good time? I am at a loss and I've never done this before.

She will never be ready to move. If you are waiting for that as some sort of enlightening moment, don't. Things will proceed as they do, but with the loss of competency things will become more difficult and she will be more difficult to place. I cannot know what her assets are, but they will indeed disappear very quickly if she enters assisted living.
Only you will be able to decide when you can no longer give adequate safe care to her on a 24/7 basis if it is needed. You see it coming and feel it coming; I can only advise that I do believe you will know when it has come. Meanwhile be certain that all paperwork for POA and wills, etc are done that can be done while she is capable of understanding what she is doing.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Schnooglies Mar 6, 2021
You always give great advice, I noticed!
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Oh my gosh. I just went through this last week only my mom was in assisted living. I think the fact that you are questioning is an indication that it may be time. I was also concerned about running out of money, and wanted to place her in a facility that would transition her to Medicaid when the time came. I was advised by the hospice social worker that in my area it is advisable to have a place before you run out of money so you can private pay for six months or so. Or at least a month or two. I started calling around and making applications to area nursing facilities when she would have about a years worth of funds. My mother has advanced dementia and other health issues.

I will say that it was the hospice social worker that really assisted in the placement. I also spoke with the hospice nurse and she reassured me that it was definitely time and that she had seen a huge decline.

I can really identify with what you are going through. I know I tried hard to insure she was in a nice assisted living surrounded by her things and I went to bat for every service I could find for her. Bottom line, when we picked up her personal items from the “curb” (we were not allowed to come in and pack so the AL put all her stuff literally on the curb), it was obvious that we made the right decision. There was a mixture of food, urine and other stuff on all her furniture. She had hidden feces covered items in her drawers. We basically took everything to the dump. She was also falling more and more frequently.

The sense of relief I have knowing she is in a facility that can provide her with the care and safety she needs has overridden any doubts, guilt, emotional suffering I was feeling. I wish I had moved her earlier.

I can advise you to try and find some support from any of her health professionals. Some people find placement for their loved ones following a hospitalization. I wish you all the best with a lot of help from above! I do feel as if in your heart you know it’s time. Please keep us posted.
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Reply to Mepowers
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Harpcat Mar 6, 2021
Excellent advice!
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When you have to ask how you know it's time to place someone, it's time to place that person. There will be no epiphany, just a realization that things can't go on like they are. It sounds like you are at that point. Wishing you the best.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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I thought I would know when it was time to place my husband in memory care - I had his name on a list at a small facility for a few years, when they had an opening, both the neurologist and therapist said to take it. I wasn’t ready, but my husband loved being with people, so I did. He was very happy. He’s more in a nursing home under hospice care and I know they can give him the 24 hr care I can’t. Best wishes and remember any choice you make is done with love.
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Reply to Franklin2011
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Just the fact that you are asking this question shows me that you feel placing her in a facility is what is best for your mom.

Start the process. Hoping it will go well for you and your mom.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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If she is not recognizing you at times, the time is most likely now. However, I would try to hang in a little longer until the coronavirus is more under control. You will not be able to regularly visit her or oversee her care if she is in a facility at the present time. This alone will fill you with more dread and doubt because right now you seem physically ready to do it, but not emotionally. Best of luck to you, I know this is extremely hard for all of you.
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Reply to NYCmama
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There’s never a good time, more like the best choice among rotten and sad ones. When you can no longer handle the caregiving, when it’s become more than one person can realistically do, when you’re exhausted from trying, when your mother would be safer and better cared for by professionals, it’s time to make the tough choice. It doesn’t end your role is caregiving. Everyone in a care place needs an advocate, someone with eyes and ears on the facility. I wish you peace
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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If all the legal stuff is in place, then any time soon is fine. There will always be an excuse. Just do it.
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Reply to Lvnsm1826
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When you feel that caring for mom is stressing your health (physical, mental or emotional), it is time. You can't be a caregiver if you aren't well.
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Reply to annandpaul1629
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If you see things now, they will get worse and often very fast. I am not sure you should keep her in your home as it will become a terrible burden for you and you will lose your life forever. Are you up to that? Start seeking out solutions with Medicaid if there is no money. Get information from medical people, the Office on Aging (local area), find out all of your options now and start preparing. Do not wait until the shit hits the fan. Then decide the best option and go ahead and start doing what needs to be done.
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