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Super Contributor
Posts: 362
Registered: ‎06-07-2019

Moving mother to memory care

My mother has advanced dementia. She is 97 and good physically albeit very frail. Her memory is very poor and she needs a lot of assistance with daily care. My husband and I have cared for her for 6 years. I have no siblings able or interested in helping. I also work at home full time. We're exhausted, depressed and sad. We haven't left her alone for the last 4 years so we haven't been out together. He goes to his family functions to his children and grands without me and I do the same. No vacations, no dinner out etc. I've made the decision to have her live in memory care. Small facility, seems nice. She is a loner and I'm worried that this will be difficult and she'll be angry and hurt. She is used to living alone. She is unable to cook, do housework or her favorite hobby which is knitting. These activities confuse her. She needs assistance organizing what to wear, bathing etc. Also, she has haucinations, and is sure my husbands steals her things. It's so sad, the disease is cruel. I'm hoping the memory care facility can better care for her and I can be a daughter again. The guilt and worry I've chosen a good place for her is overwhelming. Thanks for listening.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,936
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Moving mother to memory care

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I'm sorry about your mom.  I understand how hard and difficult this decision is for you.  My own mother never had to go into a facility and knew what was going on when she passed at the age of 94 last year.  However she was starting to lose it right before she passed.  She also had aides helping since she didn't want to move up to PA where I live and remained in Florida.

 

My brother's spouse has Lewey Body Dementia.  he's only 66 but it is progressing rapidly.  He hallucinates daily and will have to go into a memory care facility probably sometime this upcoming year.   I feel so badly for both of them!

 

You will feel guilty but you need to do what is right for all of you.  It would be different if you had several people willing to help out.   Since it's only you and your husband you can't go on like you have.  You need to have some sort of a life too!  

 

Keep in mind, your mom may not be happy about the change but she will be well taken care of.  I'm assuming she will be nearby and you could visit often.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,295
Registered: ‎03-27-2010

Re: Moving mother to memory care

@LillyBee2   I'm sure this was a difficult decision for you.  You are continuing to do what is best for your mother.  What a responsible and loving daughter you are....for six years you have personally stepped in an cared for your mother.  Unfortunately, her illness requires you to make a different decision so she will be safe.  I'm sure you will continue to visit her and see that she is receiving the best of care at her facility.  Be at peace with your decision, knowing that you are doing what is best for your mother.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,716
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

Re: Moving mother to memory care

@LillyBee2 ..............You have done the right thing for your mother and for you, your husband and family.

 

You must have a very strong and loving marriage to have made the sacrifices for 6 years and survived.

 

First thing to do when mom is all settled in,  is for you and your understanding and terrific husband to have a date night out!

 

Wishing you the best and know you have gone above and beyond and you and your family deserve normalcy in your lives.

BE THE PERSON YOUR DOG THINKS YOU ARE! (unknown)
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,166
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Moving mother to memory care

@LillyBee2 , so sorry you had to make this decision but you get to a point where there's no other option. Keeping her safe is what's important. I spoke with my dear mother many times before her passing about the possibility of having to put her into some sort of care, should the need arise. It was one of her biggest fears and I am thankful that we never had to do that. I'll pray for strength for you in knowing you've done all you possibly could. Now it's time to take care of yourself a little. Hugs to you.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,598
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Moving mother to memory care


@LillyBee2 wrote:
My mother has advanced dementia. She is 97 and good physically albeit very frail. Her memory is very poor and she needs a lot of assistance with daily care. My husband and I have cared for her for 6 years. I have no siblings able or interested in helping. I also work at home full time. We're exhausted, depressed and sad. We haven't left her alone for the last 4 years so we haven't been out together. He goes to his family functions to his children and grands without me and I do the same. No vacations, no dinner out etc. I've made the decision to have her live in memory care. Small facility, seems nice. She is a loner and I'm worried that this will be difficult and she'll be angry and hurt. She is used to living alone. She is unable to cook, do housework or her favorite hobby which is knitting. These activities confuse her. She needs assistance organizing what to wear, bathing etc. Also, she has haucinations, and is sure my husbands steals her things. It's so sad, the disease is cruel. I'm hoping the memory care facility can better care for her and I can be a daughter again. The guilt and worry I've chosen a good place for her is overwhelming. Thanks for listening.

you are doing the right thing

 

 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,882
Registered: ‎12-02-2013

Re: Moving mother to memory care

My mom suffered from Alzheimer's and my dad from Lewy Body Dementia. My dad passed after my mom when LBD struck him.  It was a very aggressive and quick journey for him.  My mom lasted for almost 5 years.

 

Back then, memory impaired folks were mixed in with general population in the four-storey facility we chose.  It was not a good place as the constant moving of memory care folks between floors for all meals and " recreation " area caused much confusion.  

in addition to normal transition to a facility, including anger stage on her part, it led to more confusion, falls, dehydration, etc. She had to be hospitalized several times in a lock down ward.

 

We finally found the best memory care facility and she became stabilized.  This lasted until they could no longer keep her without violating state laws: immobilizing her in wheelchair and behind the nurse's station.  She was hospitalized twice for inhaling food into her lungs.  Then we found a nursing home.

 

In one lucid moment the evening we brought her to the first facility, we were alone and she told me as she was trying to remove the memory bracelet:  I know I am failing. Told her she was in good hands and would be protected.  We would be checking in and visiting her a lot.  That calmed her.

 

Find a local Alzheimer's support group and attend.  There is so much to learn and understand, not just for the parent but also for those who care about the parent.

 

There are many stages that you will pass through as the parent progresses down this road.

 

Two things I remember to this day:  one late afternoon as I was walking to the social circle, my mother saw me and said " How nice you look "....it was the first time in my life that she complimented me !

 

Second thing ( in the nursing home ) by now she didn't know who I was:  She gave me a new name " Lovely Lady"

 

Thank goodness I have those two memories from that time !

 

It's called the Long Good-Bye for a reason.  A little bit disappears constantly until very little is left.  It is a very hard road, esp. for those caring for someone with dementia.  

 

Please take advantage of support where it is available...for your own mental and physical health.

 

 

 

 

 

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.
Sir Winston Churchill
Honored Contributor
Posts: 43,405
Registered: ‎01-08-2011

Re: Moving mother to memory care

Your situation is very moving.  You certainly have done the very best that anyone could have.  Many places have wonderful elderly care with caring staff that have advanced knowledge in how to care for your mother in the very best way possible.

You sound like you and your husband need to take this step.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,343
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Moving mother to memory care

@LillyBee2 @I agree with what everyone here has expressed. You definitely did the right thing. Right for you and family AND your mother. The other thing is, she is now in a place where she will receive care from trained health professionals. I don't know what you and your husband's professions are, but unless you're professionally trained to care for someone with that advanced degree of dementia, I don't know if that patient could receive the proper care and attention. Maybe, but I don't know. This way you can feel comfort and relief that she will get the care she needs. Kudos to you for making what had to be a really hard but necessary decision. My thoughts and prayers to you all.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,455
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Moving mother to memory care

Call your state's elder care omsbudsman or State Dept on Aging and find out where you can find an adult caregiver to cover for date nights, an overnight, or just to give you a few hours break.

 

Check with Medicare to see what their requirements are to help cover the expenses for that kind of help.  

 

Caregivers need breaks and don't feel guilty for taking them.

 

I was the caregiver for my disabled sister. It drained the life out of me and stressed me to the point of hurting my own health and relationships. I'll never let it get that bad again.