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My 92 yo mother was living at the family home, 2.5 hours away, with caregivers coming in from 10am to 8pm. She has dementia: not changing clothes, throws out caregivers sometimes for no reason, won't let them clean, no short term memory, gets hostile if anxious, calls me or my brother for unusual reasons. She was **insistent on staying in the family home**. She sounds normal in a short conversation, but then repeats herself. With the pandemic, we had emergencies like all caregivers sick with covid, plumbing leak, she knocked out half the electric system by sticking a knife in a socket, caregivers quit, snowstorms, my older brother got covid and had a stroke, etc.
We (younger brother and I) used the excuse of the bad condition of the house to move her "temporarily" to an excellent nursing home near us that specializes in dementia.
She is very angry and mad at me as she says she is in a "loonie bin". There are others in worse shape than her in the home. She demands to be moved to a hotel or back home and puts the guilt trip on me. I had to hang up after 15 minutes of guilt and hate in the last call.
Did we do the right thing?

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YES

My mom was in another state in an AL, she should have moved to my state sooner… she wouldn’t. Your mom Is getting the care she needs. She will get over it….
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Does it really matter at this point?

Sadly the mother you knew is slipping away
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She is lucky to be alive sticking a knife in an electrical plug. That was probably very exciting for her for a bit. Yikes!

That is enough reason to place her, she is a danger to herself.

My dad complained to me ALL the time, yet, when I watched him and he didn't know I was there, he was happy as a clam.

15 minutes is to long to listen, I have a 5 minute rule for legitimate complaints, after that, subject changes to positive things or I have something else to do, bye bye! Non legit complaints gets 2 minutes, Max.

This is definitely the hardest thing most of us will ever have to do, become the authority to our parents lives. You did the right thing.
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Yes, you did the right thing. My MIL was convinced that going back home would make everything all right. No, it won't. It's not safe. You might talk to the head nurse about medications to improve her mood and relieve anxiety. Keep your visits to less than an hour and take someone with you. We found that mom would behave better with someone present. Same with phone conversations. Keep them short and sweet. Run the faucet for noise and say "I have to do the dishes" and get off.
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lealonnie1 Apr 4, 2022
Every. Single. Time. The extra person acts like a buffer and seems to force the elder to be better behaved in general. After a particularly dreadful incident with my mother while visiting alone, I vowed to NEVER do it again and I didn't. Good advice.
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Yes! Absolutely! You’re getting her the care she needs.
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YES.

You need to remember that she doesn't have an accurate understanding of what's actually happening. She isn't aware that she's too sick to change her clothes regularly or not stick knives in electrical outlets(!!!), and it may be impossible to ever explain it to her. Some people are able to accept that they cannot take care of themselves; others go to their grave with no idea what year it is or where they are, but CERTAIN that they could take care of themselves just fine, darn it.

It feels patronizing, but it might help to mentally treat her outbursts the way you would a toddler's. She isn't capable of making rational decisions and caring for herself. A toddler will scream at you for making them put on a jacket in -20 weather, but you do it anyway.
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YES!
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You have to remember the goal here: to keep your mother safe and cared for in an environment where such care would be w/o fail, 24/7. She was sticking KNIVES the electrical sockets for petesake! That was threatening her life and if she died doing such a thing, which was a definite possibility, then what? Then you would have felt like you made a huge mistake keeping her at home instead of placing her in a safe environment! I can guaranteed you that!

I used to care for a couple named Ann & Jim. They too insisted on 'aging in place' in their home, which their daughter agreed with, in spite of the dangers involved in doing so. They ONLY hired ME to care for them 4 hours an evening, 5 days a week. That was IT. Nowhere near what was needed, which was 24/7 care. Jim had moderate Alzheimer's and insisted he lived 'across the street.' One night, he wandered out at 3 am and fell in the street, and hit his head. He was found a couple hours later by a neighbor who called 911. Jim died the next day in the hospital of a subdural hematoma. Ann died not long afterward. When dementia is involved, the last thing the children should do is take what 'mom and dad want' into account! We all 'want' things that aren't the best for us, when you stop to think about it. I want to eat chocolate and ice cream all day & be healthy and 125 lbs, and that ain't gonna happen, so I have to accept reality and do what I have TO do to stay healthy, whether I 'like it' or not.

I had my parents living in Assisted Living (they loved it there) and then mom had to go into Memory Care in 2019 when her mobility and dementia got bad at the same time. She wasn't best pleased with that decision, either, but there was no other safe choice for her, with her myriad of issues. She too called the place a 'loonie bin' and other assorted names, and the residents I won't even tell you what names she called them. She, however, was in the SAME BOAT! Just in denial. She'd lay the guilt on nice and thick and demand I move her into my house and would not hear of why that wasn't an option. So I'd cut my visits and/or phone calls short when she got onto one of those rants. There was nothing I could do to talk her down off that ledge, so I'd get out of her sight or off the phone. Not everything has a solution our mothers want to hear. Old age and dementia is a horrible thing and it's the fault of that, not our fault they're in this position. Let's blame the disease and the hands of time instead of the person that's moving heaven and earth to HELP you, huh mom?

Anyway, pick a phrase to use about why she needs to stay put, like it's 'doctors orders and when the doctor says otherwise, THEN we can revisit the subject mom.' And leave her presence, change the subject, or hang up and say goodbye when the guilt trips and ugliness gets to be too much. Also FACT CHECK with the SNF. Oftentimes, they like to save their ugliness for US when in fact, they are doing just fine in the new digs. Check with the staff to see how she's REALLY doing, that's my suggestion. My mother was always laughing it up in the activity room until she saw ME. Then she'd be all sad and sour and miserable! True story. They save the worst of it for US.

Also, you are likely to get some guilt inducing comments HERE on AgingCare from commenters telling you to take mom home immediately, you did the WRONG thing, shame on you. Ignore those comments from our resident trolls who like to shame others for not slicing their wrists open and leaving blood all over the floor for no good reason. Take what you like from the forum and leave the rest, is my advice.

Good luck!
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Thanks to everyone for the encouraging replies.
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There is no doubt.
I think leaving someone with dementia as you have described alone is a recipe for disaster and potentially fatal.
When you have made a decision like this in her best interest and for her safety do not second guess yourself.
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She's safe.

You did the right thing.

That's what matters.

And she's reacting how most of them do, Part of the territory.

Be at peace with the decision.
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Yes, you did! If she has the beginnings of dementia then her decision-making is also impaired. This is a radical change for her, but if left to her own choice, she'd be starving or falling down or who-knows-what. Just because she "doesn't like it" doesn't mean it's the wrong decision. Plus, in a facility she will also get social interaction -- something she definitely won't get living in her own filth in her own home.

Does the facility offer any activities or clubs for the residents? If so, I would try to go visit her during one of them and take her with you. Maybe do this a few times so she gets familiar with it (although with memory impairment, who knows... )

May you receive peace in your heart that you did the best you could did in the situation. Your mother is protected and cared for, is being fed and receiving medical attention when needed, and is not alone. That's as much as you can do in her best interests!
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