Before, she fell in a different assisted living place, after being there only 3 weeks, then a hospital stay, then rehab, now this place. She wasn’t happy in the first place and quit eating, we discovered later. I’m so nervous about telling her my brother and I believe she can no longer manage on her own at home. She assumes she’s going home now that she’s better. The plan is, most likely, for her to stay in the current place but to move to a regular assisted living apartment there. What’s to keep her from getting upset again about not going home and then not eating? Will we be right back where we started with another fall from weakness and dehydration? How do I approach her about the fact that she won’t be going home? We need to sell her house to cover her expenses, besides the fact that she isn’t mentally or physically capable of living alone anymore. This breaks my heart and I’m praying for answers. She’s 87 and just wants to go home. Thank you for any insight and suggestions.
No one has to “tell her”. For her comfort and yours, you refer to any changes as being based on “getting stronger”, “when the doctor says so”, “after the weather gets better” and so on, without making promises or giving a lot of detail.
Hopefully, you and/or your brother hold her POA. She needs to be assessed by a GERIATRIC specialist in psychiatry or psychology or neurology who can give you a better grasp of how able she is RIGHT NOW to take care of herself.
Most (probably almost ALL) people “are not happy” when they are newly placed in residential care. Many act out, stop eating, attempt to leave, say they want to go home.
If YOU and your brother have made the choice to place her out of love and concern for her, YOU HAVE DONE ALL YOU CAN DO. Her care staff are TRAINED to address her needs 24/7/365. The odds of her doing better in your direct care are not too much better.
“She’s 87 and she just wants to go home”. SHE can no longer accept the realities of her own situation. YOU as her loving and concerned family must do what SHE NEEDS, and not what she says SHE WANTS.
Be at peace with making a loving and responsible decision regarding her care. You really shouldn’t be considering making a choice any other way.
I realize it sounds a bit cruel but if it gives her a more positive outlook then it may be easier for all of you. Of course, if she really does get stronger you may be in a pickle but after a few months it may no longer be an issue as she will have acclimatized to her new surroundings.
If allowed, try to 'recreate' your mother's house in her new room (wall coverings, curtains, furniture, pictures, etc) - feeling comfortable can be therapeutic.
Does she have a good rapport with her doctor? If so, see if he will discuss her future with her?
Or what about having a social worker explain the situation to her?
I feel for you. It makes it difficult for you if she isn’t content with her living arrangements.
Best wishes to you and your family.