I am very worried about my my mom's resistance to moving to a facility, not just that she won't want to go, but that she will try to refuse to stay, even using violence with family and staff. She has mid-stage Alzheimer's but has anosognosia (no awareness that she is ill). When I tell her that I can no longer care for her by myself because it is too much for me (I've been her in-home caregiver for almost the past 5 years), she says "I don't need to be cared for, you are free to leave, I don't need you," etc., etc. She is extremely stubborn and aggressive, occasionally violent with me and my sister. I think it is also likely that she will cry a lot and go on about how we are just dumping her off, trying to get rid of her, which she has also accused us of when we have tried to have a discussion about her moving to a home. Does anyone have ideas on how to make a smooth transition? She will be going to a very small place where it will feel more like home, with beautiful, secure grounds where she will be free to walk around on her own. It is the best place we could find for her, but still, I am pretty sure the process, which we undertake next week, is going to be hell.

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Great big hug! Yes, it will be hell. So you are prepared, that is a plus.

I would honestly help her get situated and then make myself scarce for a while, 1, 2, 3 weeks to let her get settled in. You can call and check on her progress or you could even do a blow by visit, had an appointment and got here early thought I would stop to give you a hug, tell you how much I love you and let you see my beautiful face. Then hit the road.

You can not make her understand, but you can protect you and let the professionals handle the transition.

I never thought leaving and not being there everyday was a good idea, until I saw that I was hindering his ability to make the facility his home. I was also burned out by 24/7/60 hospital and rehab stays, yet he wanted more and more because he knew or thought he could make me feel guilty. You are doing the best thing for your mom, whether she knows it in her broken brain or not. Give it time and be kind to yourself.
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Hi ProGnostic! We were in a similar situation as you, in fact, our mom's have very similar character traits. We moved my mom into our home shortly after my dad passed away in February 2018. He had been dealing with her dementia issues for several years before he passed away and had mentioned feeling he couldn't do it anymore and talked about placing her in a nursing home. I had very good intentions to keep my mom with us and was actually excited about having her here. After working through the grief of losing her husband and a bout with depression, my mom slowly took over our home and everything in it, telling us how to do things and when to do them. It caused a lot of tension and arguing in our home to the point it wasn't our peaceful, loving home anymore. After visiting several assisted living facilities, we made the difficult decision to move her in on July 5, 2019. She never would have agreed to this so we concocted a story about having to move out of the house because we were remodeling and that my husband found a beautiful place for her to live in the meantime. The morning, of the move, my friend had picked both mom and I up and took us to her home for coffee and snacks while her husband, my husband, son & his girlfriend loaded up all of mom's furniture, clothes, etc. and moved them into her new room. My friend, mom and I then had lunch in the facility dining room and then walked her down to her room and this was when we told her our story and why she was there. She was a bit confused at first but started interacting with the staff, we said "we love you, see you later" and the staff took over. The staff told us it would be best not to come visit her for several days to allow her time to adjust to her new surroundings but I did call every day to see how she was doing and felt so much better when I found out she was doing well, better than anticipated. Also, they want you to feel free to call any time and they appreciate any input you may have which could help them get to know her better. My mom is still high-functioning so doesn't need assistance with anything other than meals and meds. It's been a couple months now and mom has long forgotten the "remodeling story" and doesn't even remember living with us. She still expects to leave there every time I see her and the staff say it's very common. She likes to lay the guilt trip on me but the staff reassures me that she is happy, very kind and helpful to others and everyone loves her there. Her mind is being stimulated by participating in the activities...she just sat in her recliner when she lived with us and didn't want to do anything. I have peace knowing she is in good hands and doing well. Best of all, I can be her daughter again! I take her to lunch or out for ice cream a couple of times a week. She enjoys those times and so do I! Although it was a difficult decision to turns out to be the best decision for everyone!
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I have some idea as to what you’re facing. It’s just so hard to have to “trick” someone you love into what’s best for them. It took my 5 siblings and I a long while to finally decide that our daddy needed 24-hour care in a supervised setting. The experience was heartbreaking, but none of us had ever regretted that decision. He was diagnosed with a specific type of dementia that causes hallucinations; he was terribly anxious & afraid. We tried home care, but he became combative & abusive with the caregivers. So at this point, we had to make a drastic change to residential placement.
Having everyone in agreement was essential; we could always reach out to one another. Also important, we refused to second guess our decision, sad as it was. I think that attitude made things bearable. If you’ve vetted the care facility & shared your concerns with the administrator, it’s likely you’ve been told that your situation isn’t uncommon. There’s nothing shameful about your decision for it’s in your mother’s best interests. I had some hopes initially that our daddy would adjust and become comfortable, but this didn’t happen. The dementia was further gone than we’d realized. I don’t mean to sound negative, but we didn’t have any happy “reunions” with him, only visits that were hard on us. Nevertheless, we all stuck together and muddled through. We were all together at the care home for his last birthday (90). A life that ends in dementia is usually difficult for everyone. Trust your judgment, you know your mom & her situation better than anyone else. You need time to recover from being her caregiver, that’s NOT unreasonable.

I sincerely hope you can be at peace with your decision, even if it takes a while. During that time, don’t let guilt keep you from enjoying life. Remember that your life is as important as your mom’s.
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Harpcat Sep 2019
I resonate so much with what you wrote! We too placed dad in LTC and as months and soon years go by the visits are not anything to look forward to as his dementia and personality changes occurred. It makes me sad too but it was the right decision. He turns 98 next month and I have visions of him living to 100 and burning through all his savings at 10+K a month.
i especially agree with your last sentence!
I moved my Mother from her home to Assisted Living. She was all excited, but when she got there, she refused to stay. I had to bring her back home. A Geriatric Care Manager told me to wait until she fell and was in the hospital. Instead of going home, take her directly to Memory Care and tell her it is "temporary". With Alzheimers, she forgot all about home and is now so happy and active at Memory Care !!
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blueberrybelle Sep 2019
How did you obtain your Geriatric Care Manager? Was s/he helpful? What state are you in? Would you recommend? I'm in Colorado.
Call the facility in advance to let them know your concerns. They've seen it all and can help you with the process as long as they know what to expect. Blessings and peace to you!
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If you don't think she'll stay put, perhaps a locked, secured place will be in order. Also, be upfront and honest about her behavior. You want to be sure you are placing her where they are aware of her condition and WILLING to take care of her.
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Use trickery, e.g. we're going to lunch and ice cream at this place (of course, it's the facility, but you don't tell her that.).
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We moved my mother to AL last year after we became concerned that she wasn’t taking care of herself or her home. After heart surgery and a stay in rehab I suggested she spend a few weeks in an AL near me to see how she liked it. In the meantime I contacted A Place for Mom and got the names of several places near her home. We visited each one, toured, had a meal in the dining room, talked to other residents, etc.

It took a lot of discussions, and a commitment on my part that it didn’t have to be permanent if she hated it, but she finally picked the AL she felt most comfortable in. It’s been nearly a year and she has settled in, made friends, and is joining in activities.

It helped that my siblings and their spouses all supported me and helped convince Mom it was the best solution. The most important thing was persistence on my part, and letting her made the decision as to which place she wanted to live in.
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My husband had ALZ and had to go to Hospice. He raised a ruckus. I ended up taking him there after lunch one day, getting him somewhat settled and then mid after noon I said a quick good bye. They suggested I not come to the facility for several days but give him time to settle in and let the staff handle things. After his 5th day there I did go over and when he asked when are we going home, I quietly answered, not today and changed the subject. After a full week he became more accepting. Try to introduce her to some other patient who is friendly and maybe making a friend will help ease the transition. Remember she is giving up everything, her home, etc. to go live among strangers and it takes some time to adjust and adapt.
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