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I read your profile.

I totally understand that you miss having lunch and shopping with your mom.

You say that your mom lived with you for 16 years and you feel sad and guilty because she now lives in memory care.

There is nothing for you to feel guilty about. In fact, be proud of yourself for making sure that she is receiving good care.

My mom lived with me for many years too. I think we lose sight of our own needs and we become one with our mom. Right?

Deep down, I don’t think your mom would want you to sacrifice your life for her.

My mom told me that she was sorry that I sacrificed my life for her shortly before she died.

So, lose the guilt. Being sad about your mom’s condition is perfectly normal though.

As far as your mom not participating in activities. Follow her lead. If she doesn’t seem like she is interested in socializing with others, I wouldn’t be overly concerned.

This is a learning curve for you, just as it is for your mom. You are going to figure it out, not only with the help of others, but from your own intuition.

Wishing you and your mother well.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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My 92 year old mom has been in memory care for just 3 months now. We're all still adjusting. She wasn't very social before being placed. The facility has activities every day. We were told the staff tries to rally all the residents to join but they don't push it. I usually find mom in her room when everyone else is in the community room . I asked the staff if they can try to persuade her a little more to join..they said she actually does join in more times then not. My visits just seem to be on the days she didn't want to??? Not sure about that..we do have a camera in her room to check in on her and find she is actually out of her room quite a bit. I also was told she likes to " help" the staff at the desk. They give her " tasks " to keep her busy which I loved to hear this. She was a charge nurse for years so she used to do alot of paper work. I also heard she goes out on the van rides for ice cream and to go down by the waterfront. She tells me she's bored all the time, which I truly believe she just doesn't remember that she had a pretty active day before I got there. . Again, it's only been a few months. But I trust the staff, she's eating and sleeping so much better than she was before we had to place her. I also am doing the same . As her primary caregiver the last 3 years I'm able to sleep at night knowing she is safe and well cared for.
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Reply to MDR317
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CaringWifeAZ Jun 13, 2024
I love your story! Thanks for sharing your experience. It made me smile :)
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If she seems content , let her be . For some people as dementia progresses , activities are just noise and confusion . Some prefer quiet and to look out the window .
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Reply to waytomisery
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cover9339 Jun 9, 2024
That can describe some who don't have dementia
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Is it an option for her to just sit and watch? My MIL’s NH had an arrangement to take the church flowers after a day of Saturday weddings (each of which brought their own flowers, masses at the end of the day). The NH activity for the next day or two was to sort the flowers and put them into vases. Other residents just sat at the edge of the activity, watched what was happening and enjoyed seeing it all. That’s a lot less demanding.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Time your visits for when there is an activity you think she should enjoy and go with her, that icebreaker might be all she needs to continue attending in the future.
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Reply to cwillie
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Anxietynacy Jun 9, 2024
Good idea!
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As dementia progresses, folks often prefer not to be around a lot of other people but would rather stay in their safe routine. Getting out of that routine can cause great agitation and distress, so I would just allow your sweet mom to live out her days the way that she wants to.
Otherwise if you wanted to try and take her personally to some of these activities when you're there, you can then get a better gauge on how your mom reacts to them. If she starts showing any kind of distress, then you just take her back to her room.
Having a loved one with dementia is hard....I know. When my late husband was progressing in his, he didn't even like to have any family come visit as it disrupted his routine and he would get angry and agitated, and often would just escape to our bedroom.
So don't push it with your mom, just enjoy whatever time you may have left with best as you can.
God bless you.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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I love cwillie's idea about visiting her at times when the activities are happening. At some there is a great variety of activities such as Bingo, tours by van, visits from therapy pets, lectures, art classes, puzzles and games. If you attend some with your Mom it will quickly become clear which she likes.

Now I will say, for some--like me and like my brother--the inclination is less toward social activities. My brother was always very private. I am as well and most of my activities are solitary. Walking, gardening, painting. I even prefer to go to Museums alone.

If your mother was once very social and you note her withdrawal now then I would speak with her about that. She may prefer to be alone. For my brother and I we liked to sit together and watch the world go by. He enjoyed reading, walking, picking roses for the table in his ALF, going over for a.m. coffee in the main clubhouse. Not terribly "social" or active in that way. My own aunt was exceptionally contemplative in her last years in care and told me she loved sitting quietly and remembering a review of her life. Everyone's different!
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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The activities that a MC should have should be simple. Your Mom can no longer learn new things. The loss of short-term memory will not allow her to retain the info. IMO, if Mom did not do it before her Dementia, she won't do it after. The staff's responsibility is to try and involve her. My Mom never played Bingo before, didn't play it after. But she liked the entertainment provided. Would sit and tap her foot to the music. If Mom does not want to be involved she should not be forced,
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SadBigSister Jun 14, 2024
This is something I learned recently from a woman who conducts seminars on dementia. If someone didn't do something before dementia set in, you can't expect that behavior to change. You have to work with what you have. Also the short term memory thing - learning anything new is very difficult. Even navigating a TV remote has become a challenge for my Dad. My husband had to figure out a solution so he could not press the wrong buttons. It is just the saddest thing watching them slip away.
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As the disease progresses the person will lose their executive ability, so won't be able to participate without cueing. This would be a good thing to discuss with the MC director, to get cueing for activities that she might enjoy added to her care plan.
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Reply to ElizabethY
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You can encourage her but that's as much as you can do. That's how it's been with my 89-yr old MIL in LTC. When she first went into AL she started to refuse to do anything. Then she refused to get out of bed. Now she's in LTC because she lost her mobility but willingly goes to the activities and events if we or the staff ask her to.
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