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netty_73

Mom with dementia upset about move

netty_73
13 years ago

Hi everyone,

My 83 year old mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's-type dementia in early 2009. Since then the disease has progressed, but she still knows who everyone is. She has very very little short-term memory. My dad passed away in April, and it became apparent that Mom could no longer live in the small rural town where she had spent the last 57 years of her married life. There are no services--not a bar, a grocery store, a hair dresser--nothing. She never remembered to take her medication--never even remembered she was ON medication. I talked to Mom about moving and she eventually thought it was a good idea. Over the month or so as we waited to move her into a retirement community in the city where me and my 4 siblings all live (about 50 miles from her home), I would remind her of the move every single day. We moved Mom on July 26, and immediately she claimed we never told her she was moving. Ever since, she has asked me (not any of my siblings, just me) to go home. She gets very argumentative and of course, I can't use logic with her. One day, she called me at work 18 times to tell me she wanted to go home. I try using persuasion, telling her she's seeing me and my siblings every day now, that we get to spend more time together, that I was worried about how I would help her during the winter months if the roads got bad. Nothing helps. She still calls me every day, wanting to go home and saying she doesnt' need to be in the retirement community. But when she was at home, she would call me very upset about being alone there. It's like I can't win. I'm about ready to take away my phone number and just call her twice a day to check in. I just can't take the phone calls much longer. I have a fairly high-stress job and a new marriage (I'm the youngest and was born when my parents were in their 40s). Does anyone have any suggestions to offer?

Comments (66)

  • netty_73
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Sushipup--thanks for the advice. I did speak with the staff at the retirement home, and they said to ask about the anti-anxiety medication. One of the administrators has a mother with dementia, and she said it has helped them tremendously. I'm not wanting to medicate Mom up, but her agitation is not doing her or anyone else any good at this point, so I think it's worth exploring. She's just constantly cycling and fretting, and I think that probably contributed to her physical problems last week.

    I took the weekend "off" and didn't visit Mom on Saturday or Sunday (we were out of town on a planned vacation.) It's amazing how much even just two days helped. I think since she lost my dad back in April, she has substituted me in his place. Does that make sense? She always relied heavily on him, and now that he's gone, I'm her rock. She never acts this way around my sisters or brothers, probably because I was around for her and my dad for years, as I am the youngest. My sisters have made this observation, and I think they're right. I think I probably DO need to cut back on my visits/calls to her because otherwise she will never try to get used to her new surroundings. Why bother when she can see me and harass me about it every day? I think just seeing me gets her started on the "going home" bandwagon sometimes. The only thing is, I hate to think of her wondering where I am and why she hasn't seen me in so long. But then I think, "She doesn't remember that you were even there just a short time after you visit, so does it really matter if you're there every day or every other day or whatever?"

  • dadoes
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    ... but as I was leaving, she grabbed both sides of my face in her hands and said, "When you have time, you take me home so I'm not in your way anymore, OK?" I said she was not in my way at all, but she kept insisting.I get that often from the grandmother. Since she IS home, the spiel is "I should be in the grave, out of ya'lls way." It may be accompanied by tears or anger depending on whether she's upset about something or frustrated, and sometimes threats of "jumping the lake" or taking the car and driving into a river or off a bridge. She hasn't driven in years so it's an idle threat on that front, although I did take the car keys (which brought up a separate point of trouble until she got them back) during a particularly intense incident couple years ago.

    Regards to not remembering you've visited, it's astonishing how the memory loss can manifest both on short-term and long-term processes. Granny called this evening, about 5 hrs after the caregiver had left. Idle chit-chat. I asked who'd you talk to today? "Nobody." Oh, I'm sure you did. Belinda was there today, didn't you talk to her? "Belinda was not here today!" (slight scoffing tone). Which of course she had been.

    She'll insist she hasn't been to a hairdresser in years (goes every couple months), doesn't have a doctor (when I may have taken her for an appt last week), hasn't been to a restaurant in years (when my sisters came and we took her out four days prior).

    You're exactly right about avoiding upset by *not* trying to push them to "remember" that you were there, that she did go to the hairdresser or to a restaurant, that she does have a doctor (because how else could you get your pills?), but it's very hard not to do that. There's also the problem when accusations are batted-about of not providing attention, not visiting, not caring ... you almost *have* to remind them that, yes, we did all those things, even if it causes upset. It's a sticky, difficult situation to manage.

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  • rickyrosy
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Wow, this is me. Everyday is an adventure. We do have health care proxy, POA, and DNR.

    I am so stressed. I take care of everything

    My MIL is in a memory care unit as well. I am the one who sees her almost everyday. Usually 6 days a week are ok. The nurse will call once a week. Something has upset her.
    It takes me 1/2 to coax her out of bed. Its usually something simple and I can get her back on track.

    It is amazing to me on how someones mind can do the things it does. It is a living hell. I can only hope that when I get older there is a cure or I pass suddenly in my sleep

    I am so glad I am not the only one out there
    Thanks for chatting

  • netty_73
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I do have POA for financial matters and health care along with advanced directives (a DNR.) Got that done within a month of Dad's passing. It's been one heck of a year.

    Mom's doctor is wary of giving her any type of anti-anxiety medication since she's in Independent Living and not in Assisted Living at the retirement community. In his opinion, people on that type of medication need to be closely monitored. He did put her on a blood pressure medication, and he says her high BP could have caused the ER room visit last week and her meltdown on Friday. I guess all I can do is wait and see at this point. She did seem much better yesterday. It's such an up-and-down life with her now; you just never know what to expect. In addition to her care issues, I am scared to death of running out of money, even though I know I would probably just have to move her to a Medicaid facility at that point. We haven't done any gifting of her assets, so we should be in the clear when that day comes. I guess I need to just deal with this one day at a time.

  • netty_73
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi there...things are going OK. Some days are better than others, you know how it goes! Mom hasn't asked me about going home for a couple of weeks. Some days I go there and I can tell she's just bored and lost; other days, she seems much happier. One thing that's been difficult recently is getting my aunt (Mom's sister) to understand she can't take everything Mom says as the gospel truth. My aunt lives in Oregon, thousands of miles from us. She calls my mom every day, and I just don't think she understands how much her sister has changed. She called me yesterday and said that Mom was crying and saying no one had called or visited in ages. (Of course not true.) My aunt is in her late 70s herself, so it's kind of hard to get her to understand this whole situation. I can't email her or send her links to information about dealing with people with Alzheimer's.

    Anyway, that's not all that important. I guess the main point here is that we're making it, day by day. My husband and I just got back from a much needed 6 day vacation, and Mom did fine while we were gone. I called a couple of times. When we got home this evening, I called and Mom said immediately, "You're back!" I couldn't believe she remembered! She was in great spirits. I caught a nasty cold while we were away, and she was back in fine Mom form, giving me advice on what to take to get better. I told her I'd planned on coming to visit this evening, but with my cold, I didn't know if that was a good idea, and she said, "Oh no, you just stay home and rest." It's been a long time since she was OK with me not coming to see her even if it was for a good reason. A good day.

  • carrie630
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I am just learning about all of this, but netty if you go back to this forum (and I think you are a wonderful daughter), can you explain to me what you meant by "we haven't done any gift of assets, so we may be in the clear when that day comes" (something like that...)

    Do you mean that if she gave all of you (out of her savings) money gifts and THEN you had to move her to a nursing home, you would have to give that money back? Hopefully you will see this thread, thanks.

    Carrie

  • sushipup1
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Carrie, there's a "look-back" period where you can't distribute assets as gifts, or 'spend down' in order to qualify for Medicaid. I am not sure what the time limit is, but it's at least 3 years, I think. (But don't count on my poor memory on the subject! It's at leats that long, perhaps longer)

    Is that what you are talking about?

    And it's fine to start a new thread, too. ;-)

  • netty_73
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi Carrie,

    Sushipup is right, that's what I was talking about. Sometimes people try to get property or cash out of their aged loved one's name in order to 1) keep those assets from being used to pay for care and 2) to help their loved one qualify for Medicaid faster. In my state, a person cannot have their health care covered by Medicaid unless they have less than $2,000 in assets (not including their vehicle or home). I can definitely understand not wanting to spend these assets on care, as they virtually get eaten up overnight, as expensive as care facilities are. However, if you do try to "hide" those assets, Medicaid looks back for 5 years to see if that's happened, and if it has, they penalize you, and your loved one can't receive benefits. If those assets have since been spent on other things, it can be disastrous, because then how do you pay for care? We're just trying to play it safe with my mom and spend her money on her. After all, it's her money, and she and Dad worked so hard and did without for many years in order to save it up. Not that there's that much, mind you--but what's there is hers and hers alone.

  • carrie630
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Netty and everyone else... thanks for helping me out - I am still a bit confused... Here's my question (if you can help, that would be wonderful)

    If Mom is 82, in Florida and lives in her own home... Can she gift $13,000 to each child (five) (which I understand is the most you can gift per child), but then if for some reason she goes into a home let's say within 3 years, do the children have to give that "gift" back or is it "allowable" - That's where I am confused.

    I read "allowable" and so I am thinking that - say if she gave $20,000 each - yes, then $7,000 would have to be given back - but is the $13,000 for each child to keep? Even if she were to get into a home the following year?

    Thanks

    Also, if she is 83 and in Florida - wait five years? seven years? and then whatever she's given if she didn't have to go to the home, we could keep? I am a bit confused.

    Thanks - Carrie

  • sushipup1
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    You had best consult an expert in Florida, and don't leave important tax-consequential questions to unknown people on the internet. Seriously.

    She could have a stroke tomorrow and be incapacitated, and where would you be?

    Get serious answers to your questions, please!

  • carrie630
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Forgot to mention that while I am not in the same state - hours away - I did set up an appointment for them to see a lawyer that will be able to answer all of these questions.

    Their will has to be updated (I noticed since I am executor) that it hadn't been done in 20 years and had accumulated more assets since then.

    I am only sorry that they didn't understand that all of the money they have been saving, will go to the home - they thought they were leaving it all to us. It goes to show you that knowledge certainly is power - and they didn't have a clue. They are very disappointed.

    I told them "Spend your money! Do whatever you want, don't worry about us! Enjoy life" Hopefully, the lawyer will explain what they should do with their money - and they are allowing me to call to be present at the meeting - even though I am in another state.

    Too bad I wasn't on top of things sooner; I feel really stupid that I didn't understand anything about medicaid, etc.

    Carrie

  • sushipup1
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Carrie, not everyone has to go into a nursing home. My parents died at 93 and 95, and except for the 6 weeks rehab that Mother was in a convalescent home after surgery and several months of added help in her own apartment, both of which were either largely paid or didn't break the bank, neither had long lingering debilitating illnesses that required heavy expenses.

    So not every situation is the same, Just make sure that your parents are seeing an attorney who specializes in Medicaid planning as well as estates and wills. Don't see a generalist who does a little of everything in law.

    Good luck. Now's the time for you to pay close attention to these matters, when you can actually make plans instead of just reacting to what happens down the road.

  • carrie630
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for your help - I will check today to see if this lawyer understands Medicaid - I am sure he does - he visits onxe a week the over 55 community where they live and is pretty much the sole lawyer that everyone (mainly elderly) use.

    I am most concerned with the fact that her wealthy brother is making her heir to his estate - with me as inheriting when she is gone... we need to ask about that too.

    This is so uncomfortable - talking about money/death - I don't like it. I love them too much to talk about it but it's reality and it has to be discussed.

    Thanks again

  • blitzyblond_protege
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    In my years as Care-giver, by trade, I have seen a lot of families go through the guilt, the "packing/unpacking stage", the self guilt, the "Take me home" stage, the self guilt, the "I should be dead" stage, the self guilt, the "you don't come to see me" stage, the self guilt.... ten years ago I had to turn my profession inward on my own family. I had to talk and keep talking to my mother about all these just being the illness talking, they would have never treated her like that if they knew what they were saying.

    I've also noticed, and now it's a subject-in-common at Mama's "Ladies' Bible Study" group, that the primary Care-giver, who is easiest bullied with the emotional guilt-club is the one that gets dumped-on the most. My Daddy didn't have Alzheimers, but even he tried to keep Mama doing things for him so she would have to stay right in his sight. The more family-patients keep their caregivers busy the more they control them. like a spoiled child.

    The last few days Daddy was alive, Mama realized that he was more calm and easier to work with when she wasn't available. That is typical of all family-patients. Now my my Grandmother is in the hospital and Mama is acknowledging that grandma is calmer and takes her meds better, when she's not there. This is soooo typical of Every family-patient/caregiver relationship I have ever worked around.

    Psychology has a whole division that specializes in dealing with the way people transfer their feelings/expectations/dependencies to the next person when a spouse/family member/major player is no longer in their life. Even in as little as six weeks the patient begins to transfer focus. So that is all part of typical family-patients dynamics. You can verify that with a collage psychology instructor, so don't feel alone or crazy if you feel this way, just acknowledge it and redirect to the person who should now fill that roll. "...well have you told your nurse you're hurting?" "...have you told the coordinator you don't like their beef stew?" That will help you not to panic and feel more responsible to fix all of the things that is someone else's professional position in your mother's life.

    I never knew about this web site until today, but these seem to be good people who are going through the same situations as you, and they have a heart to help you. Reach out when you can, vent when you need to, seek guidance when you have a question, and they will understand and offer good direction.

    Peaceful journey to you.

  • netty_73
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Blitzyblond, thanks so much for the input, I really appreciate it. You definitely know the guilt side of this whole situation. I think Mom transferred her dependence on Dad to me within just a week or two of his passing. It's hard now because she is in the Independent Living portion of the retirement community where she lives (consensus was that she didn't have enough health issues for the Assisted Living side and that with all 5 of us kids in town, we could be around to help her). The reality is that out of 5 kids, 3 of us visit Mom. I visit at least 4 times a week, my oldest sister comes 1-2 times a week, and my middle sister comes when she "feels like it" by her own admission. I'm the one that the retirement home calls when they're concerned about Mom. Right now, she's really emotional, which of course is part of her dementia progression. I was over to visit her yesterday and she was teary about "being all alone" and no matter how much you try to talk to her about how there are a hundred other people living under the same roof, it doesn't matter. Of course she is missing Dad...which is understandable. I just feel so guilty because I can't be there for her the way she wants me to be. In her ideal world, when he died, I'd have moved in with her in her house in the small town where I was raised. But that's not an option...I have a high-responsibility job, a husband and a house of my own. I just hate seeing her so upset.. and when I'm not there, I worry about her just sitting and crying all the time. The retirement home wants me to ask her doctor about medications for anxiety, which I have, and he doesn't think she needs them. I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place much of the time.

  • blitzyblond_protege
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Netty: In our county not every Dr.'s office has anyone that visits the NH/LTCF, nor does every NH/LTCF allow every office to have a Dr. in their facility, some Drs are too hard to work with. SO, go to the AL facility you would like to have DM in and find out which Dr/office they would recommend. Ask several CNA's and Nurses which ones they would recommend and which ones are easier for them to work with. If DM's is not on that list, switch. (Tell DM the new Dr. is a specialist.) Then you will have a Dr. that is more in-tune to the needs of DM's medical/PSYCHOLOGICAL Projected State. Even the staff at the current facility might suggest a Dr. that would be more attentive, but they're not allowed to say anything by law. Ask their "...personal opinion..." without the administration around (evening hours) and see what they suggest.

    The new Dr. may also help get her into the chosen facility. If you've ever seen a two-year-old cry alligator tears and then suddenly be laughing, most likely because they got their way, then you know the type of resilience Dementia/Alzheimer pts have when you're not around. You beat yourself up far more then you would let a stranger beat you.

    See if the current facility has a place you can sneak in to during a meal that you may spy on her without her knowledge. Make sure the staff knows ahead of time, or without fail one will blow your cover. Then you will see her interacting. Or have one of the other siblings spy.

    If she was thinking as her old self she would be fine with you all carrying on with your lives and your families. Don't let the disease beat you until you have nothing but stressed memories left, because guilt and stress will eventually taint all the memories of the later "good years". Let your memories of her good years guide you on how to live your own life now. Make efforts, and every little effort counts, to defer DM to the professionals around her. You will always have a hand in her care and be up on her every situation because that's the way we caregiver adult-children are, but that doesn't mean you have to try and replace God by fixing everything personally.

    I have seen widows/widowers bawl with utter relief when a dearly loved spouses passed because they couldn't let any of the professionals or family take any MAJOR responsibility, trying to replace God and God-directed people. Then they kill them-self with guilt, because of the feeling of relief. All their memories of the last few good years were swallowed by the stress of the "Sick years". Please, Don't do this to you.

    When it come down to it there is usually one or two siblings that shoulder the whole responsibility and keep the others posted. My DM is that one for DG-M. This really has an up-side, can you imagine an elephant designed/built by commity. :) It might end up looking like a Platypus. :)

    IF YOU COULD MAKE HER "IDEAL WORLD" HAPPEN, THE ILLNESS WOULD STILL HAVE HER JUST AS UNHAPPY. And she would still have to mourn you Dad. The only difference would be, you would be a cognitive prisoner of her disease, with no professionals to defer to. and self-guilt would still beat you and steal your "good year" memories.

    Most of the folks on this site can give you more personal advice and tips because they have been through it from your perspective. They are involved from their heart and helping someone else go through it (and not make the same mistakes) helps all to heal. Mine is more of an outsiders/distanced opinion.

    Sometimes the answer to someone's pain comes to light when they share your story or their story with an understanding friend. And, you both might find a different answer to a different pain in the same exchange. this is a personal journey each one is on. l.marie

  • netty_73
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi everyone...things are OK, I guess. Mom is now on a very low dose of Lexapro antidepressant to try and control the constant tearfulness she was experiencing. That seems to have helped with the tears, but she still gets herself worked up into a state from time to time. And it's always about wanting to go home. She'll call me and say, "This is ridiculous, I want to go home. I'm going bonkers here with nothing to do, etc. etc. etc." For some reason, I cannot seem to get a grip when she makes those calls. They always upset me to no end, and it's very, very hard for me to do what the Alzheimer's Association recommends--redirecting them to some other topic or just outright fibbing and telling the person that this is only temporary. I've tried telling Mom that the doctor says she needs to stay where she is and she says she doesn't believe it. She continues to tell me that if she was at home she'd have all kinds of things to do and that her friends would take her wherever she needed to go, and so on. It's all I can do not to agitate her further by explaining how wrong she is.

    I think I am still dealing with personal guilt for moving her from her home, regardless of whether it was the right thing to do (which I know it was). Plain and simple, I'm going to need to figure out a way to come to terms with the fact that she's unhappy and probably will ask to go home until the minute she can no longer speak.

    Mom was always a very busy person, always doing something, so it does make me feel guilty that she spends so much time watching TV or whatever. But she's remembering her busy life before getting this disease and before my dad died, not the way it was the 3 months she was home alone. She had pretty much stopped cooking, she can't read a simple calendar or even turn on the TV. She didn't know how to work the thermostat in the house where she'd lived for 35 years. She wouldn't open the windows in the summer when it was suffocatingly hot. She spent most of her time sitting in her chair with the radio on, because she couldn't figure out the TV. When I'd call, she cry to me about sitting there "staring at these 4 walls" which is what she says to me now about her apartment at the Assisted Living. She was actually begging me to move her at that time, if you can believe it! But of course, according to her, she'd be just as happy as a clam at home now. And all of this just plays on the guilty feelings I keep allowing myself to have. I know she's incapable of caring for herself, but she'll never see it that way, and I just need to "get over it," which is of course, easier said than done.

    Thanks for asking about me...sorry if this was depressing for anyone. I think it's just hard because it weighs on me all the time.

  • shambo
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Netty, don't beat yourself up. You feel guilty because you love your mother and if it were in your power, you'd happily turn the clock back to when she was stronger mentally & physically. But the catch is that you can't do this for her. So it upsets you. It's understandable.

    My mom died almost a year ago, and I still find myself regretting some of the decisions I made regarding her care. But then I ask myself, "What would have been the alternatives?" She couldn't take care of herself. There were no perfect solutions.

    Yes, you may just have to "steel" yourself every time you hear about being bored and wanting to go home and all the friends that would come to visit... Her comments may never change. But you know the truth even though she's beyond being able to comprehend it.

    I know it's hard. That's because you truly do care about her well being. Go easy on yourself. You really are watching out for her best interests.

  • asolo
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Agree with Shambo. Don't do guilt. You've done well and you're doing well. Make a mental adjustment that admits the goodness you've brought to this troublesome situation. It is what it is, and you've stepped up and handled it. Somebody you know could have done better? Where are they?

  • netty_73
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thank you so much, Shambo and asolo, for the support. I know you're right. It's only been 7 months since my dad passed, and we're all still adjusting to this new way of life. I need to give myself and my mom some time. And asolo, you are right, none of my siblings was willing to help make any decisions about Mom's care, so I did the best I could. I've already heard the dreaded, "She doesn't remember when I've visited, so why should I go?" comment. What a crock of B.S....I should tell my brother I hope his kids don't say the same thing about him someday. But I know where that will get me. :) ANYWAY....all I can do is keep on, keepin' on. And hey, one bright side is if Mom and I do argue, she will forget about it and we can start over the next time I visit. And eventually, I will figure out how to let her comments roll off of me instead of antagonizing me.

    Thanks again, it helps SO MUCH to hear from people who have gone through similar experiences.

  • carrie630
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    netty - you sound like a wonderful daughter and have been doing the best to take care of her -

    I've learned so much about what may happen in the future and how you can feel guilty, even if you have done the right thing....The time you spend with her you will hold dear forever - no matter what - you made that effort - what more can you do?

    Thanks for being such an inspiration.

    Carrie

  • brownthumbia
    13 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Carrie, sorry I haven't had time to read all the helpful responses you are getting, so if I am repeating something someone has already said, I apologize. First off let me say I have worked in a nursing home for 30+ years so I have seen a lot. What your Mom is doing is so like what I've seen over and over. The one thing I can think of to tell you is--the resident almost always takes it out on the one they love the most. And try to remember how your Mom was before the confusion set in because THAT is your real Mom. I can tell you this, Alzheimer's patients do not like ANY change in their lives. It's confusing and scarey for them. Nothing is familiar and they just don't have the capability of sorting things out. They are confused and afraid. Take your time. She will settle down in time. Best of luck with this terrible disease. It is heartbreaking for everyone.

  • Candushka
    9 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I can't tell you how helpful this forum has been. My mom has always been a control freak, anti-social, difficult to please. I've been the scapegoat for her problems. And now, when I had to put her into a memory care facility that I thought she would love (and will stretch us retirees financially until we ready her home to sell) and she hates. Her dementia personality is not unlike the one she's maintained since I was a child with the exception of loss of short term memory. We've done everything we can to please her and it's like a never-filling cup. Thank you for giving me the permission I needed to stay away for a while, have brief conversations, change the topics. For years she has been telephone harrassing me and it's a relief to have her without ready access to a phone in her room. Blessings to all.

  • naniloa123
    8 years ago

    I just happened upon this site. Wow, Nettie, your mom sounds just like our mom who we moved into MemoryCare a couple weeks ago after being in her home 60 years. We are going through the same dance of should we stay away and let her work this out or hang and share her grief. All I know for sure is that it makes me feel soooo much better hearing you people are going through it with us!


  • grandmamary_ga
    8 years ago

    My mother in law was the same way she always wanted to go home. We just let her talk and tried to change the subject. We never let her have a phone in her room. Any calls that were made were from our home. Other family members thought she should have a phone, but no one was helping with her care, in the past or in her future. It was all left for my husband to take care of his mother. He did a good job. He took her every week to get her hair done by our daughter in law and then to lunch, just the two of them. We told the family if they wanted to talk call us and we would go to the home and let her talk to them on our cell phone. There was a lot of yes and no answers from her when she talked to the family. One granddaughter was interested in her will and when my husband said to her to ask her dad and the dad told her there was nothing for anyone it was all being used for her care she shut her mouth. Anyone who wanted anything never came to get it. In fact no one helped to clean out her house. We brought what she would need in the care facility. But she always would talk about how she missed her home. This did finally stop. She had 3 children all boys and they only came to see her when she was dying. She had been in Georgia for 3 year before any visits. But my husband and our family was there to see her several times a week and all parties that the home had for the residents. Plus the times we would bring her to our home.This she did enjoy. The home was very good for making sure that the residents had entertainment that seniors would enjoy. It was always a battle with her in her own home. She never took her medication when she was suppose to, get herself dressed for the day or fix meals. We had no idea what her life was like. When you would talk to her on the phone she sounded so normal. Not until a cousin of my husband made a call to him to let him his know his mom was ill and needed to go to the hospital. He had to fly to Ohio to take her to the hospital and the doctor said she could not live by herself anymore. So he took the bull by the horn and in 2 days we found her a place here in Georgia. Our home was not a good choice for her.

    I hope your mom is now settled since this is an older thread.


  • naniloa123
    8 years ago

    thanks for that. Helps to hear other people's experiences. Best wishes


  • grandmamary_ga
    8 years ago

    When we moved the MIL to Georgia she was fine in the car as she thought that she was coming to our house. NO way was that happening. We didn't have the room to care for her here. We took her directly to the facility and when she walked in the door she was stunned by the people she saw there. Of course she didn't realize that this is what we saw with her. She thought she was fine. The staff told us to stay away for a few days and let her get settled in to the routine there. Which we did and she made friends, the staff made sure she was fine and she enjoyed all the entertainment that they had for people her age. She went on excursions with the people and enjoyed it very much. We also made sure that she saw us a lot too. It was a big change for her. Good luck to you and your family member.

  • naniloa123
    8 years ago

    This sounds so much like what we are going through.... except the management at our facility felt strongly about us staying away til she made some positive connections there.... well its been almost three weeks and although they send us daily photos and reports that she is no longer crying and is in fact joining in the activities, when we speak to her on the phone, she is so angry and its all about when am i gonna go home? wheres all my stuff??? she says we are killing her by this move..... very hurtful to us that love her to pieces and are exiled from her now. Almost feels like good cop/bad cop. And we get to play bad cops right now! Let's hope this next week allows us to reconnect and we can start having fun with her again!!

  • grandmamary_ga
    8 years ago

    The first place my husbands mother was in had 2 rooms. It was like a small apartment. 2 rooms and a bath. We had brought some of her furniture with us to Georgia. Pictures too. But she didn't seem to enjoy the pictures and would hide them in drawers, out of sight. My husband asked her why she did this and she said it made her sad. She had a lovely view out one of the windows of a wooded area which did remind her of her home. But it wasn't the same for her. she constantly would ask when are you taking me home to my house. He never answered her directly. My husband did take her out on rides with just my husband. She was able to see her great grandkids. When she took her meals at the facility it was always with the same residents and they all made her feel welcome and called her by name. The staff was also very kind to her and made sure that she was included in everything that was going on. Whether it was game time or puzzle time the staff sat with the residents and played and sang songs with them. They made sure that she didn't sit in her room all alone too, that she was with the other residents. They encouraged her to leave her room door open so that anyone walking the halls could say hello to her. Give her time to adjust to her new place and make sure you visit all the time. We only lived about 10 minutes away so it was easy for us to visit most days. We only stayed about an hour or so depending on how she was doing. We moved her to a different facility several times before she passed away. The second place was much more fun for her. Bigger and she could roam and see a different part of the facility. She did make friends eventually and so did we. you would be surprised at how lonely many of the people are in these places.

  • naniloa123
    8 years ago

    sage advice. thank you. think we are getting there slowly!

  • foodieoma
    8 years ago

    Hi all, it has many so much to me to read your posts. I just transitioned my mom into memory care unit, from assisted living. She is 87 and has vascular dementia, along with other health issues. We have been waiting for a bed to open for 6 months, as she is trying to escape assisted living. We food her to visit and she loved it, as she had a friend that has been lving there for about a year. Well, from day 2 till now, have to admit it has only been a week, she has been miserable-crying, wanting to come home, die, leave country-as I ahve dumped her and no one in family cares about her. She tells me that she has not eaten for 2 1/2 days. This is not true. Staff has suggested that I'm or visit, as he sits in chair, purse in lap, waiting for me to take her away.mshe is very hurt and takes it out on me. I am trying not to feel guilty, but as you all know, that is very hard.

  • CA Kate z9
    8 years ago

    There are such places that ask you not to visit for several weeks to a month so the person can get use to being there with the people that are there. I know it is hard for you, but you have to know in your heart that what you're doing is what's best for her,... and you. (Yes, you count too! )

  • foodieoma
    8 years ago

    I am at my wits end. My Mom has not adjusted to transition to memory care. She moved from AL mid November. It is not as bad as first 3 weeks, but it is still bad. I am thinking about removing her phone or at least removing my number. This thought gives me major guilt. I have to accept that I cannot make her happy. She just keeps talking and crying and blaming me. She threatens suicide, running away, tells me that she does not need me in her life anymore, etc etc. She wants to go home-her childhood home-and tells me and everyone this multiple times a day. She is always trying to get someone to take her to train or bus station. She packs up things at least 2-3 times a week. She is in a very small and nice facility-only 11 residents. She is one of the more talkative ones. She absolutely refuses to join in any activities. She sits in her room and complains about being bored and no one ever looks in on her. She blames staff on her losing things-I know this is a coping mechanism. Any suggestions?

  • naniloa123
    8 years ago

    wow, feels weird to finally be in the position where we see the light at the end of the tunnel and I can reassure YOU that things really will get better......... we moved our mom out of her home of 60yrs this past August... it was ROUGH! they told us to stay away for a month and we lasted maybe two weeks--- they hadn't told HER that we were asked to stay away and she truly felt abandoned! After that it was crying jags every morning wanting to go home.... its now January and I just tucked Mom into bed at my home for the nite after having a fun football, fireplace and pizza night with my two brothers (one of which is in assisted living down here close to us now after moving him in Oct). Its been sooooo much work and stress and tears but its finally coming around for all the reasons why we moved her in the first place. So..... long answer to a short question---- HANG IN THERE. Stay steady and she'll settle in. It takes MONTHS. hope this helps you. sending hugs

  • naniloa123
    8 years ago

    here's a little sideline comic relief for you...... about a month into her move, Mom told the caregiver that she was going to kill herself so they called 911.... two handsome uniformed officers responded and Mom insisted on giving them a tour of her room, asking if they wanted to stay for a glass of wine!



  • CA Kate z9
    8 years ago

    LOL!!! She ain't dead yet! I'm surprised she didn't try it again just so she could have some handsome company.

  • naniloa123
    8 years ago

    I know!!! she continues to be shameless with babies and cute men- ha!


  • foodieoma
    8 years ago

    My mom has called 911 herself:). It is funny, when staff wants my mom to do something that she does not want to do, they get one of the two male employees and it works every time.

  • mililani50
    8 years ago

    My Mom lives in senior housing. She is 84 yes old. I am going to be 63...We'll it happening to me. All of a sudden my mother pretty much forgot everything. Her short and long term memory is really bad.. I shop..do her bills...wash her clothes and I also work full time. It can get very overwhelming at times. She getting more forgetful. I promised her I wouldn't put her in a nursing home...I need to work....I feel soon she's not going to be able to live alone.....Help!!!!

  • naniloa123
    8 years ago

    start looking NOW for options for memory care--- its a rapidly growing industry and some places do it better than others.... we chose a "homelike setting" where the highest functioning folks live six to a ranch house with a full time caregiver---- its rewarding to walk in and the fireplace is going, soothing music is playing and something smells good coming from the family style kitchen. Its not home but its as close as we found for our mom and she definitely needs the care! Good luck to you but I would recommend that you start planning ahead so it doesn't sneak up on you!

  • cacocobird
    8 years ago

    When I moved my mom into a retirement home, she had her own phone in her room. She called constantly, and I just couldn't take it. She had always been abusive, and that didn't change.


    My phone company had a service that could give me a different ring sound when she called. It worked really well. If I knew it was her calling, I had the option to decide to answer. She forgot that we had just talked an hour ago.

    I know what you all are going through -- it's very tough.


  • maifleur01
    8 years ago

    One thing that people should be aware of if the person needs more than one person to transfer or stand most assisted living places will not accept them. A NH then is the only option. When my 300lb husband needed to be placed after a UTI that worsened his dementia I was told he could not come home. I looked at several places receiving comments that their places were not suitable. It was not until one place called me back and in talking I was told about "if it takes two people to assist" problem. In one way I was relieved that something I had done was not why he could not go home. I was saddened that I had wasted time and energy trying to find a place. If I had been told why he could not come home in the first place it would have been better.

  • Anne Olivero
    7 years ago

    naniloa123...the ranch syle residence you describe sounds wonderful..If I may ask, where is this located..I placed my mom in AL 10 days ago..She has left so many messages wanting to get out, threatening me, etc..It is a wonderful AL facility..I had spent the last 2 years visiting and doing my homework in an effort to put her in the best place. Waiting for her to adjust to her new surroundings..hope it happens sooner rather than later.

  • Anne Olivero
    7 years ago

    Shawn Bass..Really? Have you had to deal with 15 to 25 nasty messages within a 6 hour period day after day after day..we as caregivers have enough guilt and each situation is different so please don't judge..

  • Jody
    6 years ago

    thanks to all for this thread. our new situation has been challenging for me and my sisters as well. mom (alzheimer's diagnosis four years ago) was placed in memory care a month ago now. she's just now decided that she is angry at her kids. this is painful, but i'm sure mom's sister is fueling her fire. some family dynamics never change, i guess.

  • stacylong1
    6 years ago

    All of this sounds so familiar and so heartbreaking. In September of 2015 I moved my mom into an Eskaton Assisted living. Then 4 months later moved her to a locked memory care unit. Tough transition. She was still physically healthy, walking all day. Now she falls once a month or so. I'm moving her to a residential care home with only 5 other patients. My concern is that she is still walking a lot (as of today). I think she will have a tough transition to this small home, but we will see. She scratched an aid today where she currently lives because she didn't want to take a shower. The important thing to remember is we are doing our best without a lot of hands on guidance. I know if she was her old self, she would be hugging me and praising the hard decisions I've made on her behalf over the last 3 years. I miss my mom, she was THE most amazing mom. Mourning the loss, handling all of this, being an only child, working full time, raising a 12 year old, and still having a happy marriage is beyond hard.

  • maifleur01
    6 years ago

    stacylong I am aware that people think the best care is in smaller settings but I have qualms about it. That small of a setting in most states can mean it is not fully licensed or is not licensed to care for people in your mother's condition. Depending on the state many require a RN or LPN to administer meds plus other staff 24/7. Unless the fees are really high the salaries for the needed staff would not be met. To me that would mean too many shortcuts in other things.

    It may be that a larger nursing home could be a better fit as long as you mother receives physical therapy so that she can continue walking. However since she is already falling once a month it sounds like it is time for a wheelchair unless an aide accompanies her when she is out of a chair.

  • jerianns
    5 years ago

    My mom has had Dementia for a while and she moved from an apartment to a room and board where she wasn’t taking her meds, never changing clothes, showering etc and had a small dog that she loved but was neglected and she would forget to feed etc. i ended up going to take care of her once a week, give her a bath, change her clothes, clean her room and take care of her dog. the Dementia grew worse. She would call the police 3-4 times a day, accused me of stealing from her and that the ppl at her room and board were poisoning her. They finally kicked her out and after I had been looking for months to find a semi-affordable assisted living/memory care facility that I will have to help pay for due to her limited funds, I was able to move her there and had to tell her the dog would join her another day because she said she wanted to live in the street with her dog. She’s not not been there a week and attempted to leave multiple times, continues to ask for her dog and leaves me awful messages that she’s gonna have me arrested, that she hates it there and that I’m dead to her. Doctors are going to increase or change her meds to assist with her anxiety. It’s been draining, and depressing- I am her only child and I have spent so much time taking care of her and all I get in return is vulgar words, messages and accusations - and all the while I am working extra to pay for her damn care while I have a family of my own and the money I pay for her is taking away from my own kids. It’s painful....it’s comforting to see others on here with similar stories of how awful loved become with Dementia....

  • maifleur01
    5 years ago

    jeriannes Sounds like your mother might be eligible for a nursing home paid through Medicaid if she is in the US. The criteria is how many tasks of daily living is she unable or unwilling to do for herself. With dementia age is not a problem. If she has a doctor see if they have recommendations and if they would sign off on your mother going to a skilled nursing facility. Look for one that has both private pay and Medicaid I would steer you away from a Medicaid only facility as those are not the best. There is a lot of paperwork to get her in one but after any assets of hers are used up Medicaid will pay for her. She will be allowed to keep some spending money for haircuts etc. normally $30.00. Do not sign anything that you will pay anything for her. By doing that you may be liable for the cost of her care. If you do not have a POA you may have to become her guardian/conservator. Do not be ashamed or allow anyone to shame you for doing this. Your children come first. Making yourself ill working two jobs with the extra stress could send you to the hospital or worse.

    One of the common misconceptions with dementia medications is that if you keep taking them correctly that they will stop your dementia. For some not all it may slow the dementia but eventually unless a person dies of another cause the medicine will stop working. For some the medicine never is more than just a promise that it might help.

  • ehocker
    28 days ago

    Just stumbled upon this as i was Google searching the topic for my sanity. Thank you all for being here and for sharing your experiences! We are at the stage where mom needs to go into assisted living, as she is no longer safe living alone. Her dementia is at about mid range, someti sometimes she seems fine, but most often she can’t remember anything short term. Her longer term memory has started to go as well, so she doesn’t remember any of our visits, anything we’ve done for her, or anything positive. She remembers the day she met my dad and what a little sh*t I was as a child. It seems most of her memories are the negatives. Today was the first day she said, ”I hate you and I hate your sister” repeatedly, because we are tasked with packing up her home while she’s in the hospital recovering from E-coli that nearly killed her. She tells anyone who will listen that we’ve abandoned her. I lived my entire life battling codependency, so I know better than to cave in physically or emotionally. It gets into the subconscious, though, and I have a very demanding sales job where I work wirh difficult seniors for a living. I have a good therapist, and my best line of defense is to stay loving yet firm. Every time I am able to help one of my clients at work, I affirm to myself that I am a kind soul who loves all the other souls. Positive affirmations and self care are my ways of dealing with these challenging times.

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