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I moved my mom,who has lived with me and my husband for almost 6 yrs, to an assisted care adult home last wk. around Thanksgiving she forgot how to do her daily routines and didn't know how to use the phone to call me anymore and she turned 101 in Dec. I believed she was an accident waiting to happen, she wasn't safe to be left alone so I, with alot of input from other people, made the gut-wrenching decision to move her. it's a wonderful, caring home but she can't get over the fact that she "lives" there and I "don't know how she feels" and she didn't know she was going to end up like this and why has she lived so long, etc . it is so hard to listen to. how long does this go on? I try to let her talk but I feel really bad. I know I can't "fix" her but that's probably what I'm looking for. I feel no turmoil inside over this move so I believe I've done the right thing but I want her to be HAPPY. any words of wisdom from someone who's been there???
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Dear Anne:

It isn't easy always being the one to make decisions, is it? And to bear the responsibility that goes with the decision on top of it... Your mother certainly sounds like one tough cookie - giving you heck at 101!

Well, I am glad to hear that you do not feel guilty about placing your mother in a home. You have certainly looked out for her best interests for a long time. I have never been in the position of placing a parent in a home, thank goodness!

My mother was farsighted enought to place herself into an apartment in a graduated care facility. That was a very good move on her part especially since she doesn't get along well with her daughters. My father, on the other hand, is still in his own home and I have been his care-giver for almost five years. I cannot remember the last time I had a vacation or a day off! Eventually care-giver burnout can be a concern...

So, in order to care for ourselves, sometimes we have to make the hard decisions. I think that eventually, as your mother finds friends and interests in her new environment, she will settle down a bit and have other stories to tell. All you can do in the meanwhile is visit her often and keep reassuring her that you made this decision out of your love for her and your concern for her safety. And I believe that deep down she knows this already...

It also might help to let her know that it does not help to protest. That you do care about how she is feeling but this is for the best. That way when she brings it up, you can say "enough" and change the subject! Meanwhile, Anne, stay strong! Do not succumb to feelings of guilt. Perhaps, after your visits, it would help to journal and release those feelings as soon as possible. It could make this transition time easier on you... God Bless, Anne!

Love and Hugs from Glenda
Dear Ann,
Welcome to the boards. I do not have personal experience placing a parent, but I have done a lot of reading on this site as well as a few others. It sounds like your mom has some dementia going on. The move itself will most likely confuse her and may cause a decline, BUT... you should see her start to adjust and consider it home within a few weeks. I can't tell you exactly how long it will take, because every person is different...some adjust quicker than others, and your mom, God bless her, is 101. Just know that she will consider it her home. In the meanwhile, continue to visit and reassure her, as Glenda said, of your love and desire to do what is best for her. I wish you well,
Hi, Anne.

Wow, 101! That's amazing she has stayed out of a care facility this long.

We placed my mother in assisted living a few years ago when she was in her late seventies. She has diabetes (neuropathy) and Parkinson's - which we didn't know at the time - and was a fall risk. The nightly ritual for getting her upstairs was taking longer. Getting her to the bathroom was almost as bad. Finally she fell getting out of bed one morning and I couldn't get her up by myself. My husband is disabled with his back, but he helped me get her in bed then had to go to bed himself for 3 days to recover.

It was an adjustment for all of us to place her in a home. The first one was a good transition because they worked with us on the finances and bending the rules to keep her after she had a slow healing surgery wound on her leg that required extra care. Then they went up dramatically on rent, so she moved to a more established facility that she really liked.

One of the things we did to get her to leave her room was to not give her a TV. She eventually got to socializing and making friends, playing bingo, etc. When we did get her a tv, we did not hook it up to cable, so she would still have incentive to get out instead of "vegging out" on CNN.

Next week will be a year that she left assisted living as her health took a downward turn (we almost lost her 3 times last year). Now she is in a nursing home, much improved, but still too fragile to leave. Now that she cannot ambulate at all, she has cable tv, and stays in her room to avoid the wandering dimentia patients. I visit at least twice a week, and weather-permitting, take her for wheelchair "strolls" around the little town where the nh is.

I guess what I'm saying is that with time, your mom should adjust and may actually come to enjoy her new situation. Do visit her often and take her for outings when you can. Make friends with the staff yourself and they will be more friendly with her and more willing to help you both with the transition.

Please let us know how it goes.
I can truly identify with what you are going through. I listen to it from my mother-in-law who is now living with us and have heard those same words from years from my mother who is still living on her own. I would agree that it is probably dimentia related but also depression. We have started my MIL on anti-depressants and hope that we can help her to feel better as the medication dosage reaches the right strength. There isn't much hope for my mom as she refuses to even go to a doctor. One of my brothers has all of the power of attorneys over her so that is his responsibility. I have made a few suggestions but stay clear for the most part because I don't imagine that it would matter what I think anyway. I do try to see her every month and do call her every week or so. But her complaints have gone on for years now and by now I just figure that there isn't much I can do. Maybe nibble on a candy cane while she carries on so you don't blow up and say something? Just think, you will smell minty fresh by the time she runs out of breath and you can escape.
Hello Anne,

Welcome... I have been meeting so many elderly through the caregivers here at the site as well as out in the field when we interview with them when we provide our volunteers to respite caregivers.

It is very difficult to imagine how the elderly feel at the age of 101. Some are still driving - so very active.. and for others it can seem like a waiting period.. they have lost their family, friends, society and the times have undergone so many changes... your mom may continue as she is on an ongoing basis..

Perhaps now that she is in the facility, you can find some interests or hobbies that can occupy her and help her to maintain her dignity and feelings of worth.. this can be participating in arts and crafts to reading to children.. socializing.. she will never have the dear friends she has lost.. but there may be something that she would be open to becoming involved in...

keep us posted...


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