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She's afraid & cries when she calls. She doesn't know where she is and wants me to bring her home. What do I do? She can get in home care.

I go through this with my 94 year old dad who has dementia and numerous health issues. He is in skilled nursing also. As his guardian and conservtor, he knows I hold all the power. Our phone conversations consist of him begging me over and over to move him out but his medical issues go beyond what can be managed elsewhere. Some months back, we tried to put him in memory care but we were turned down by 2 different facilities. I am looking again at a couple others this week just in case. My other siblings always have nice telephone conversations with him while I get all his crap. I've had to learn to live with it. I rarely call him because it only seems to agitate him.
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Reply to Babs75
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My brother and I had to send my elderly sister to a skilled nursing facility because of a broken bone in her back. Long story short, she will never live independently again, due to her inability to care for herself. She calls my brother several times a day crying and begging him to come get her. My brother is a wonderful guy with a very soft heart and I know it is terribly hard on him. But guess what, when I talk to her, she says she is fine, doesn't cry, doesn't beg me to come and get her, etc. It is like she has a different personality for each of us. I am always urging my brother to look after himself and try to not let this bother him too much. He has power-of-attorney over her health and finances, so he is legally more involved than I am. But he is 77 and I am 73 and sometimes have our own age-related problems. So my advice is like some others on here. Call her when you can during the day, but don't be afraid to let the phone ring if you know it's her, because she is all right. The facility would call you if there is an emergency with her. Best of wishes; we all know this is hard on you.
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Reply to OldAlto
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Take a couple of weeks off & then go visit...hugs 🤗
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Reply to CaregiverL
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It's your wife ,if you can make it happen and care for her then please do what your guts tell you ,.
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Reply to Panhead
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Richard46,

I imagine that you had nothing but good intentions for moving her into assisted living in the first place!!

It may take weeks, but eventually she will adjust.

When I placed my Aunt in ALF, she tried several times to walk out the door to go home. It was heartbreaking!!

Be supportive. Be strong.
Most of all, don't second guess yourself!!

Best wishes and (((hugs)))!!
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Reply to xrayjodib
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when I moved LO they said stay away for a week or two. Let them get acclimated to the new surroundings.. Call the facility and ask how she is. Do not speak to her for a few days. Heart wrenching.. EXTREMELY...

nothing I would want to do again..

take care. both of you will get through this.
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Reply to MAYDAY
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Richard, Lealonnie1 has some good advice for you I think. As overwhelmed as all facilities are now with care, I think I would throw myself on their mercy and speak with them. I hope they will reassure you that the confusion of hearing your familiar voice and the desperation to get back to the one certainty she recognizes is what triggers this response. Often they will say that after that desperation the person gets on with the day. But hearing you triggers a response from her. Sometimes facilities actually suggest no calls for a period of time, torment that that would be.
There is good reason that you have your wife where she is now, Richard, and I suspect that it was just getting to be too much for you to continue to do. There is no bright wonderful "fix it " answer. Most men operate on "fix it" and so it is especially hard for men to negotiate this emotional mess without trying to figure out how to just "fix it". The truth is that what has happened to your wife cannot be fixed and you are doing the best you are able in such a difficult situation. I hope you can talk with caregivers there, and I hope they give you some hope. This adjustment will take time. I am so sorry for all you are both going through.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Getting these kinds of phone calls is heart wrenching. It makes you re-think everything. Makes you question yourself and what you were thinking to send her off to some god-forsaken place where she's afraid and crying, right? You're human, and that's why you're feeling this way.

She IS scared right now because she's in a new environment.

But I will bet you $100 that when she isn't speaking to you on the phone, she's doing FINE. Our loved ones save all their angst & fear & anxiety for US. We are their sounding boards. We are the ones who they trust enough to show their REAL selves to. Nobody else. So therefore, we are the ones who wind up wringing our hands in grief; staying up nights worrying; and questioning ourselves constantly if we 'did the right thing'?

That's how all this is supposed to work.

I'll give you a good example. My mother is just about 94; she lives in a Memory Care ALF and tells me daily how she hates it there and how the residents are all 'stupid morons' and even goes so far as to tell me the Activities Director asked her 'what are YOU doing here Joann? YOU don't belong here! There is NOTHING wrong with you, for petesake!'

Her version of things & the TRUTH are two different matters. When I SEE her interacting with the other residents, she's laughing and smiling. She's doing activities with them & having a good time. The staff loves her & even today, when I went there for a visit, the caregiver kissed my mother on the forehead when she left the room.

Your wife is doing what my mother does to me all the time; giving you the ugly version of her life. The REAL version is likely something entirely different.

Speak to the DON; ask HER how your wife is adjusting. Is she eating? Is she interacting? Is she sleeping? Is she showering? Etc. In other words, is she going about her daily life in an ordinary fashion? Or, is she refusing to move out of her room, quivering there in fear & misery, refusing to eat, and staying up all night crying.

Fact check EVERYTHING, like I do. Otherwise, you will wind up losing YOUR mind in the process of creating a safer, better life for your beloved wife.

Trust me. Been there, done that since 2014.

When you go visit her, you will SEE with your own 2 eyes how she's doing. Unless she's lost a lot of weight & her eyes are all sunken in and hollow, she's doing FINE, just like my mother is doing. Even though my mother tells me they're starving her to death with the horrible food and the teeny weeny portions. The woman weighs in excess of 190 lbs. Guess what? She's eating SOMETHING.

Wishing you the best of luck getting to the facts of the matter here.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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So many have lived through this, and you will too. I still have a recording of LO’s voice on my phone, and by now it’s a comfort for me to listen to it. It was enough to tear out my heart when it was new.

We had the resources to keep her in the home where she was born, but the benevolent old farmhouse was crawling with full risks, and she’d already had a few doozies, so that was a major incentive for finding her a pleasant place for her to live. We listened to her caregivers when they said to walk away, and we learned that they were right.

It’s the hardest part of placing someone whom you love, but once done, she’ll have a chance to live safely and relatively pleasantly, and get the care that she needs now and will need in the future.

So soon, she will know her surroundings and will no longer cry when she talks to you. If you chose the best placement you could find, she will find in time what you knew she would adjust to.

Be at peace, and give her time, and trust those who are caring for her.
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Reply to AnnReid
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Richard, it is ok to use what are called "therapeutic fibs" as to why you cannot bring your wife home. Since you just placed your wife in a nursing home, it will take time for her to adjust. Everything is new there... new sights... new sounds... different tasting food... and people she doesn't know.

Try to think up "fibs" that you feel would be acceptable that your wife would understand. Like you are away on a business trip or hunting trip and you didn't want her to be by herself. Or say that the house is being repaired and you didn't want all that noise to interrupt her day. I know it won't be easy, as you say she asks you several times a day.

When my Mom [98] was in a nursing home, she thought she was in a hotel in another State. She wanted to call her parents so she could visit. I quickly thought of something to "fib" and said her parents were visiting the old country and won't be back until the middle of the month. My Mom accepted that as that is what her late parents use to do.
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Reply to freqflyer
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This is pretty much a universal response. Ignore her calls (instead, you call her at the same time each day so it becomes part of her routine) and give her time to acclimatet to her new surroundings. It will take awhile, so dig your heels in
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Reply to ZippyZee
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She can get in-home care, you're not able to visit her in the NH, she's afraid and she wants you to take her home.

I expect those thoughts are pushing you to jump in the car and go and get her. But wait a moment.

You knew all of these points before you agreed to your wife's admission to the NH. Didn't you? And yet her going into the nursing home still seemed the best option.

How long has she been there? What do the staff say about how she's settling in? What made it necessary for her to go there?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I'm sure this was a wrought decision, but there was a reason it was made. She needs more time to adjust. Don't answer all her calls if they are unproductive and all she does is talk about coming home. Be reassuring and redirect the conversation when you do talk to her. Communicate in other ways, like letters and cards. And give it time. I wish you much wisdom and peace in your heart during this time.
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Reply to Geaton777
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I am so sorry that your wife is afraid and is asking for you to pick her up.

Can you share a bit more info please?

Does she have any type of dementia?

Why is she afraid? Does she need more time to adjust to the facility?
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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