I always read, and respond to, comments from people who are laying guilt trips on others for needing to place a parent in a care home environment; Skilled Nursing, Memory Care or Assisted Living.

If you LOVED your mother, they'll say, you'd care for her at home, even if it's killing you to do so!

How's that for a guilt trip? Yet we read comments like that ALL THE TIME here!

What does love have to do with the need to place a loved one in a care home environment?

As a receptionist in a Memory Care community, I DARE you to tell ANY ONE of the sons, daughters, husbands, wives or other loved ones that they do not 'LOVE' their family member and 'put' them there in this place to rot away! I'd sure love to see the fight that would break out as a result of such an insensitive comment.

Not many people would have the chutzpah to make that comment in real life, to someone's face, yet find it perfectly acceptable to do so under the veil of anonymity here on the forum.

I call FOUL!

When is it okay to say you've had enough and that you're human and can't care for your loved one any longer? Do you have to be in the hospital yourself before it's acceptable to surrender?

I will say this: my parents have been in Assisted Living/Memory Care since 2014; Dad passed in 2015. My mother is almost 93 and still alive precisely BECAUSE she's in a care environment with a staff to look after her 24/7! Had she been in my home, or living in the 'heaven' everyone seems to think is her Own Home all this time, she would have died long ago.

Having a staff 24/7, round the clock, is safer and a lot more effective than trying to care for a loved one yourself day & night! And knowing when to call the doctor, or when to call 911, or when to get an xray and on and on. In a care environment, those things are a known quantity, as a rule, and done FOR the elder.

It's okay also to take care of your loved one in your home, or their home, if that is what you truly want to do, and if you're happy doing so, and if THEY are safe in that environment. But please, do not pass judgment on those who MUST place their loved one in care!

You actually may find YOURSELF in that boat one day and I promise you that you will not welcome comments telling you that if you 'loved' your mother, you wouldn't have 'put her in a home.'

Some decisions are out of our hands. Some decisions are made FOR us. And some decisions have to be made for the sheer necessity of it.

Be kind when leaving a comment here on the forum. Lots of people are hurting and genuinely in need of a sincere word of understanding and empathy rather than judgment.

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OH MY GOSH! I almost can’t believe that I am reading this right now!! Minutes ago I was feeling so despondent about my situation. And although intellectually I know I can’t care for my mom in my home, emotionally I am having a very difficult time with it. Hearing hurtful and insensitive comments that place judgement is just making it worse. I just said a prayer asking for some kind of support. And low and behold this is what I stumbled on!!! THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. People really need to stop judging and realize that we all have limits. We all have responsibilities and it is old age and physical decline that places our loved ones in care environments.
I have been hurting and struggling for so long now I don’t even remember what it feels like to be truly happy about anything. There is always a dark cloud hanging over my life. That looming sense of dread and fear. I’m so tired of feeling this way. I look at others without parents to care for and wish I were them. I wonder what I did to deserve this fate. So when others try to judge and blame they should step back and realize the damage they are causing. And think maybe, just maybe everyone’s situation is unique.
Helpful Answer (23)
Reply to Momsgoto
lealonnie1 Dec 8, 2019
Well, God must have led me to post this because He knew YOU needed to read it!!! Glad the post & more importantly, all the great comments have helped you, dear woman. Wishing you all the best as you take steps to regain your life and place your mom in care. Don't feel despondent......and don't forget, you can visit as much as you'd like and bring her small gifts and lots of love!!
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Last year we approached our vet about an aged cat who had rapidly failing kidney problems, asking 'when is it time'. We were a little shocked when she said 'if you have to ask, then it means it is time.' We took our old friend home but it was only a matter of days before we realised she was right, so we sent our beloved moggie to the ''heaviside layer''.
Earlier this year a difficult set of family circumstances meant we had to place our mother into Respite care for a fortnight. The first night she was discovered continually wandering in search of the non-existent music; walking into walls and not knowing how to turn around; and looking for her mother who had died more than 40 years ago. Within just a few hours she was identified by RN as needing to be in a memory care unit. She had well and truly crossed from mild cognitive impairment into dementia, but had been hiding her symptoms very well - either that, or we were blinded by our promises to never place her in 'one of those dreadful places.' We thought her behaviour eccentric but what else does one expect from a 93 year old? And there was our always our ''promise''.
So we rocked up to her regular GP asking 'when is it time?" Would you believe his response was almost the same as the vet's regarding our cat? ''The fact that you are asking means that it is long past time!" He had been suggesting the idea of moving into assisted living to my mother for a number of years but she resisted - vehemently. "Family has to look after family" was her way of guilting us into compliance with her wishes. The GP said she was extremely lucky to have been looked after so well at home until then, that most people throw in the towel much earlier, unless they are gluttons for punishment or just plain naive. That ''love'' has nothing to do with it.
The GP's advice was grasp the opportunity to leave her at the aged care facility where they had a lovely room available in the memory care unit, otherwise it would be doubly difficult to both prise her out of my sister's home where she was then living, or to surrender our caring roles. In that instant we indeed surrendered our ''carer'' roles and became ''just family'' again.
How did mother take the news? We have never really told her. Like so many dementia patients, she hates it where she is and just wants to go home. But she has no concept of what home is. At times she is sufficiently ''with it'' to still try guilting us, that family should look after family, that we want her to die so we can have her name it, she has, and continues, to try to shame us into taking her home.
Not quite the final trip to the heaviside layer that we sent our beloved moggie along, but the relief for us has been incredible. Is it still stressful? Of course it is! But we can now walk away from the facility whenever we want, knowing that mother is well cared for. We recognise she will never be happy there, but her happiness has to be overridden by her safety and need for heavy nursing.
The more advanced her progressive dementia becomes, the more we realise we did do the right thing for our mother. It was, indeed ''time''.
Helpful Answer (22)
Reply to Shezza1
lealonnie1 Dec 7, 2019
So poignantly written. I'm sorry about your dear Moggie, but glad your beloved pet is free of pain now. And glad for you that you placed mother where she can be properly looked after and where you can assume the role of daughter again.
Thank you for your post. There have been a few times I’ve considered leaving this site due to rude comments about people who put their loved ones in nursing homes, very harsh and judgmental comments that lack any insight or compassion. My mother went within hours from living just fine in her home to being 100% physically unable to do anything from a devastating stroke. She couldn’t roll over, sit, eat, or stratch what itched, yet she was fully there mentally. It was and remains the cruelest thing I’ve ever witnessed. Her care was overwhelming and impossible in the home. It was with profound sadness that she went to a nursing home. I spent the next four years wondering how to bring her home, but there was never a way. Her care only got more intense and then she mercifully died, leaving me broken-hearted. We remain grateful for the kind and compassionate care she received, our family visited and were her advocates, we made the best of the rotten hand that was dealt. Our children learned valuable lessons from being in a nursing home environment. Fast forward, I find this site for help with my dad, and all too often see snide comments on the sorry people who put their family in no good, sorry nursing homes (the oft repeated “there are no good ones” is a mantra here) and the self patting on the back by those who have the choice not to do placement. I join in asking that the judgment stop and the compassion and understanding increase
Helpful Answer (21)
Reply to Daughterof1930

I've been a member of the forum for many years and although we do have people who like to spout that kind of self righteous garbage they are very much in the minority (after all, the people who think they have all the answers don't need a place like this).
Helpful Answer (19)
Reply to cwillie

Thank You Lealonnie!
Bootshop girl is tired. Mama has had Alzhimers 11 years. She has been in Memory Care for 1 year. I am closing our family's western store in the next 2 week's. It has been in our family 138 years. She is the owner. She will never know. I watched over her 7 1/2 years until I crashed. I KNOW Memory Care is best in my head. But my heart is a 1st class rebel. It is Christmas. I'm sad. My husband just said "Honey, all these people are coming. Everyone is a little sad. Let's go get a tree." I just got done reading all these posts. Thank you all so much! I feel better already. We are all in this boat together. If we keep shoring each other up.....this ship won't go down like the Titanic. Bless you all.
Helpful Answer (19)
Reply to BootShopGirl
lealonnie1 Dec 15, 2019
Aww, I hope you went out & got a tree BSG! And I'm so glad these comments helped you feel better. Love your statement about this ship not going down like the Titanic..........perfectly said! Happy Holidays!
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I surrendered when I was diagnosed with cancer after almost 10 yrs of caregiving. 8 yrs just for my mother. It ruined my health, and I was still hesitant to throw in the towel. But if I didn’t stop, I wouldn’t be here anyway. So I called it quits. Hospice stepped in for my mother and they have been a God-send. I have no problem handing her over to them. If she becomes bed-bound, she will go to the hospice center for the remainder of her time. I cannot take care of her when no one else is there. Hospice doesn’t do full time in the home. I am no longer a martyr. I have stage 3 cancer. I need to fight for myself.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to nymima
NoTryDoYoda Dec 7, 2019
I pray that you win your fight! Thanks very much for sharing.
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I can answer this very simply. When the day comes that the burden of being a caretaker affects the caretaker in a negative way, mentally and physically, or if it is having a bad impact on the rest of the family and the overall living atmosphere of the rest of the family or caretaker, and the behavior and needs are causing a major toll on everyone, then that is WHEN YOU STOP BEING A CARETAKER. In most cases, it is the elderly who are being cared for by the younger members. The younger members have every right to live their lives - just as the older person did before all this happened. Under no circumstances, no matter who it is, or the relationship, no matter what, when the impacts are causing negative consequences, that is the end - the person must be removed and placed somewhere. End of story.
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to Lockett2166
azilmedia Dec 8, 2019
Thank you for that message. My family (me, husband and two daughters) took care of my mother for almost 6 months after she fell a year ago October, went into hospital then rehab, then our home. Then she had a stroke in February 2019 which affected her cognitive part right frontal lobe (she already had stage 6 dementia or thereabouts). Went back to hospital for 5 days or so and was being discharged. It was recommended to send her to rehab but we took her on. Everyone in hospital said that it was a commendable gesture to take her home. Unfortunately, two and a half months later, she was mean to my younger daughter (21) by saying to her all you do is eat (my daughter was on a meal plan recovering from an eating disorder). I realize it doesn't sound like much, but for those families that have dealt with an eating disorder you know what that felt like to you the parent watching a recovery. I was so upset with my mother and although she didn't know what she was saying, I had to put my 21 year old first and place my mother in a facility. Your words mentioned above were said to me. She has lived her life (she is 87) and you need to think of your family first. Unfortunately for me, my rushed choice to place my mother came with many other types of stresses of neglect. I toyed with the idea of bringing her back with us, but i kept thinking of the unintentional damage that she would do to my daughter. I took the selfish way and am having her transferred to another facility and praying that it will be a different experience. I realize no one takes care of our LO like we do, but I am hopeful that this will be a better experience.
Absolutely agree with you. I will never ever expect from my daughter what was expected of me. Never. Alzheimer’s patients progress at different levels. I couldn’t keep caring for my mother 24/7. I did for 5 years. Then my blood pressure goes off the charts, I don’t sleep. , I have a racing heart. And why ? Because one person can’t be on call and a caregiver 24/7. Not possible. So she’s in memory care, and guess what? She’s adjusted. I did all I could for as long as I could. Then I could not. No shame.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to EllieP

Well said but...I haven't seen anything posted like that for a while.

My DH does not like ALs or NHs. He very rarely will enter one. I have told him I will keep him home as long as I can but cannot promise him anything. He weighs 80 lbs more than I do.

When Mom came to live with me, it was not going to be permanent. I hoped to sell her house. With those proceeds and money she had I was hoping to get her into an AL. Which I later did. No one should have to care for someone 24/7. Plus, for many is a history thing. No one should have to care for someone who has been abandoned or abused by the person they r asking to care for.

I at one time wondered why people didn't take a parent in. My eyes have been opened an I judge no more.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to JoAnn29
Jada824 Dec 7, 2019
My mother & her siblings ( there are 4 of them) didn’t take my grandfather in to live with them or care for him in his home after he had fallen. He went into a nursing home & he was okay with it because he liked to socialize with people.

Now however all the siblings are in their 90’s and all want to stay in their own homes. Three of them are not safe or capable of living on their own.

It’s scary to think that one of them who is alone still drives at 95.
I moved my mother in with me and my husband 7 month's ago. She needs 24 hour supervision and willl not spend any time on her own. She constantly needs me to entertain her. I am one of 5 children 3 of which live out of state. The 1 sibling that lives nearby gives little help and when she does come here it is like she is the baby sitter and not mom's daughter. This has taken a toll on both me and my husband and I will be looking for long term care. I would like to go back to being my mother's daughter and not her full time care giver. We should never judge anyone. This journey is different for each family. We all need to make decisions that will bring peace to all of us. I do not want my children to take me in if the time comes that I am no longer able to care for myself and have already told them as much
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to CZB1956
lealonnie1 Dec 7, 2019
Amen.....good luck and all the best!
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