My mother in law is becoming increasingly unhappy at her Rehab/nursing home/ memory care, facility. She receives 24/7 good care which we are unable to provide at home. I am pretty sure her dementia is increasing and she now is saying she is hating it there. Im 99% sure theres nothing wrong at her place, but I feel so bad. Is it worth it to check with the state to see if she qualifies for full time home care, or is this a normal progression of elder care in decent facilities? She has increasing memory loss and dementia and I don't know what to do. We had her living with us until we were exhausted and realized we couldn't leave her alone all night and she may need extra help. I believe in keeping you're parents home, so we could sell our house and get a bigger one.

It could be the result of many factors. As dementia progresses they sometimes can’t effectively communicate what’s bothering them, so you may have to play detective a little. It could be a resident that annoys her, an aide that’s not friendly or a little short with her, a disruptive person at her dining table, being included in activities she doesn’t like, being excluded from an activity she wanted to participate in, dissatisfaction with the food, annoyance with her roommate for some reason. Is her roomie a good match? Can you try to pin down what’s bothering her with some leading questions? “Your roommate seems like a nice do you like her?” Has anything changed lately in terms of staff? Go to some meals and see how she interacts with the table. Try the food yourself. Listen for residents that may have outbursts and see how she reacts to them. Is she oblivious, or does it make her sad or anxious? Go to an activity with her and see how she does. Can she participate or is to too much for her? Is she embarrassed if she can’t keep up or doesn’t understand? Is she having more incontinance issues and is she embarrassed? Does she have any particular friends there? Has anyone passed away lately that she was friends with? There could be so many reasons that she’s feeling unhappy lately, including just being generally pissed off at life. Have you had a care conference lately? The staff may have more insight.
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Reply to rocketjcat

Yes its normal that they can be unhappy. She is in strange place with strange people. Ask about her dining table. Does she seem ok or is there a resident she doesn't get along with. My Aunt had been in an AL for a while and still talked about getting out.

The state will not give you 24/7 care. I think its only a few hours a week. MIL is going to continue to decline. Ask staff how she acts when ur not around. She may be playing you. I don't think she would like any where she was placed. Its what she needs now not what she wants.
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Reply to JoAnn29

I'll tell you something that I've discovered in caring for my grandfather(frontal lobe dementia) and my grandma(vascular dementia).
If they are still talking and have the capacity to complain, it's not too late to be a rock. Everyone is different and has a unique progression with their condition, but you know her best. Therefore you can provide the missing pieces which will make her less confused, which will make her feel better and happier.
My grandma would get confused and it was as simple as reminding her she was in her own apartment some times.
Every day brings a new set of challenges, but where there's a will there is a way, and nothing is more rewarding than giving your time to a loved one.
Happy to help in any way I can if you ever have any questions
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Reply to Troubledwaters

I'd explore if there is a reason she's unhappy, of course, keeping in mind that as dementia progresses, the person's perceptions and reports may be inaccurate, through no fault of their own.

I'd see if anything new or different might be bothering her. At one point, the MC had my LO sitting next to a loud person in the dining room. She didn't like it and acted out. But, they moved her elsewhere and problem was solved. She later had a roommate who handled her belongings and when I saw this was going on, I got her a new roommate.

So, there could be something or it could be her progression. Some people are just not going to be happy as their brain changes. Depression and anxiety are common with depression. If it continues, I'd discuss it with her doctor. My LO cried and worried a lot over nonexistent things until she went on meds for it. It made a huge difference.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
Coleyne Mar 4, 2019
After reading you’re answer I thought that it might be the other residents in the dining room etc, or a staff change that could be causing her increased anger and sadness. It may be a good idea to watch a meal and see how things are. I didn’t want to face the depression of it and she did have low level depression herself. She was overweight and we wanted her to walk to the dining room with her walker and interact with other residents, but I don’t know. We visited two days ago but she never remembers now.
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It is quite common for the elderly to complain generally and often if residing in facilities. My mother has been in 2 different AL facilities. She might complain a bit at times but would tell me about other residents who would complain incessantly. There was one resident who was so awful that the others at the same table were actually relieved when she died. That is the extreme. Most complaints are shared at meal times as residents tend to eat at the same tables with the same people. It can be a caring environment. When my mother had a surgical procedure we were greeted back with two of them expressing their concern. Generally if a resident dies there is a sadness shared.

I do think you should speak to the director and see if they have noticed changes. Hopefully you have a sense of the facility. Most of the complaints relayed to me were minuscule and in the nature of the elderly. If you continue to remain very concerned you could attend a meal at the table and possibly get a good sense of whether there is a problem.
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Reply to Riverdale

Geeez, so hard. But don’t take her back. You’ve already said it was too much. Is there a social worker you could speak with, chaplain or clergy, head nurse, someone with insight?

Is there something that you did not see when looking at the facility? What reason does she give for being unhappy? Investigate a bit more.

Is she in an adjustment stage? How long has she been there? So sorry you are hurting. You obviously care for her.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

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