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My mom and stepdad have been together 35 + years and still live in a house. They have been getting in-home care 9 hours a day M-F since February. My stepsisters who live nearby have been helping them on the weekends with medications and meals. I live in a different state but regularly call my mom, the in-home care providers and my stepsisters. Recently my moms belligerent behavior and outbursts have caused a couple of her care providers to quit. And my stepsisters think my mom is verbally abusive to their dad. We have already adjusted her medication a couple of times over the last several months and it seems to help initially and then she goes back to the same behavior. Recently she and her husband were in a grocery store with the caregiver who would not let her buy a bottle of wine (it doesn’t go well with her meds). So she picked up the bottle and smashed it on the ground. She also recently had trouble determining what order to put on her clothes. Her husband has Parkinson’s and some indications of dementia. She clings to him it is definitely very codependent. So he never gets any time away from her and is probably exhausted mentally and physically by her. We all agree it feels like it’s time to put her in memory care. But I always thought that her husband would go with her because they’ve been together so long and there’s still a lot of love there. But the stepsisters want her to go by herself and they will move their dad in with one of them. This is made so much more difficult because of Covid since none of us will be able to truly visit her for what could be several months before there’s a vaccine. It makes me sad to think she will be in there for Christmas. So my question is, should we wait until the new year? Should we wait until there’s a vaccine? Or should we hope for the best and put her in memory care now? Without Covid, I think we would all agree to put her in memory care now. Thanks for your suggestions.

Imho, she should go to the Memory Care facility now.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Dear Cologirl1, it is so hard to think with your head and not your heart. I think you should put her in memory care now. Why wait? Is it because you are thinking with your sweet heart and not your head? For those in the trenches taking care of her, 4 or 5 months is a long time. I would start looking now, it may take that long anyway.

You said, "I’m not so fearful about her getting COVID-19 as I am about her being confused, scared and lonely without being about to interact with her family while she’s in memory care during these uncertain times". Those are your fears and thoughts. Remember your mother has dementia. Soon, she may not even know who is her family and who is not. She probably will go downhill in memory care, but to be honest, she is going to go downhill anyway and there is nothing you can do about it.

Since she is throwing things and smashing things, she is a danger to herself and others. What would have happened if she had cut an artery or vein on the broken bottle. What would have happened if she had hit someone with the bottle and maybe marked them for life or God forbid killed them?

Your SD needs a break, stress is not good for Parkinson’s patients. Believe your step sisters who are there on the front lines.
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Reply to MaryKathleen
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My dad had advancing dementia when I moved he and mom into assisted living. Mom had some dementia but her problem was lack of mobility and several medical issues. Dad had no short term memory and was repetitive with questions and comments. He drove her nuts.

I realize now that they would have been much better off if dad was in memory care and mom in assisted living . The facility had both under one roof. Dad eventually moved to memory care after mom died.

At this stage there are no good, better and best options. Sadly it’s more like not so good, bad, and worst.
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Reply to Windyridge
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Has your mom been checked for a UTI? Consider a visit with a geriatric doctor to evaluate her. Does she have a dementia-type diagnosis? Even with COVID-19 present, plans need to be made. Would your mom listen to you about Memory Care? Are you POA? Start looking for a place. Virtual tours are usually available. When you narrow it down, call to check on availability. Check on their stock of PPE & what safety protocols are in place. Check on past breakout at the chosen facilities. Then visit mom & present what you've learned. If she's unable to participate, then you will need to decide for her. Check to see what the application process involves. If stepsisters are willing to help involve them with some of the facility research since they live in the area. Maybe choosing one near where dad will live to make visits easier when allowed. Keep the communication going as it will be difficult for your mom & stepdad.
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Reply to ToniFromRVA
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ColoGirl1 Aug 16, 2020
Thanks for the suggestions Toni. Unfortunately my mom won’t be able to participate in this decision. But I have found several good memory care facilities and have asked a lot of q’s about their COVID protocols. These days moving her will be tougher since we can’t go inside the facility. We will have her stuff delivered and hand off a box of personal items. Then we will have to say goodbye outside. I can’t wrap my head around how emotional this will be (for the siblings). We will definitely pick a place near where my stepdad will be living. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
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Your stepsisters have been carrying more of a load than you, and may want to focus their help on their dad.   Blended families are not easy.
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Reply to FloridaDD
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ColoGirl1 Aug 16, 2020
You are 100% right. They are much more on the frontlines of this than I am. So I will err on their side. I believe we all want what is best for our parents.
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I would put her in memory care now. To be frank, you cannot protect them from people coming and going, nor from the virus. Yes, if the virus comes and runs rampant, then Mom is at risk. But as things stand EVERYONE is suffering, and I don't see an upside coming. I doubt anything will change. If Dad doesn't want to go with her I think he has a right to that decision, and he likely doesn't need the care she does. If there is alcoholism at all, then there could be a problem even with Listerine, the drink of preference of my late bro's alcoholic ex partner when nothing else was around.
So I vote for the facility. I would hope she didn't get covid. If she did I would hope she could survive it. But if she did not, then that sadly is the times we are now living in, and I believe it will be so for some time.
If all agree, especially those LIVING there and caring for these two, then you can make a time. Say January. When, if there is not a vaccine imminent, you go ahead. This is a tough question, a tough decision, and you are asking all the right questions. There just is often not a way to fix everything with a "right" and safe answer.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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ColoGirl1 Aug 16, 2020
Thank you for your insights. They are very helpful. I’m not so fearful about her getting COVID-19 as I am about her being confused, scared and lonely without being about to interact with her family while she’s in memory care during these uncertain times.
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A large decision. I hope facilities aren't waiting for a vaccine to determine if they open their doors or not. Hopefully the virus will die off. In my area they are allowing outside visits.

I do think your Mom needs to be placed. And I agree that her not being able to see family or be with her husband will have an effect on her, not for the good. Depends on how far she is into her Dementia she is.

Your stepdad, this has to be stressful for him and with the Parkinson's he does not need that stress. Being in Memory care being in the same room with her isolated will not help him either.

Start looking around and ask questions about how they are handling isolation. In the end, Mom needs to be in a safe place and SD needs time to himself.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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ToniFromRVA Aug 16, 2020
Unfortunately, the virus is not going to die off!
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