I moved my older sister with Alzheimer’s to MC from Independent living last weekend and it did not go well. Her out of town son and daughter actually took her as I was too heartbroken and they offered. The drop off went great and she was charmed by her new living space(private room with a bath to which we had her furniture delivered and set up.) Although we had told her she was moving, she did not remember and by evening was in a panic. She called me to see if/why I was mad at her. On Saturday, she was taken to the hospital for evaluation because she was expressing “detailed” suicidal ideations. Staff brought her back and gave her a mild sedative. Staff advised no visits for a while.
I’m struggling with what that first visit will look like and how to cope.
While I feel relief that she has 24/7 care I’m also feeling much guilt to the point of panic attacks. I’ve been her sole family caregiver since she moved here 2 years ago and we are very close.
Of course I will call to check up.

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It took my mom almost a month to adapt so be patient. She is actually content now. She feels at home. She has her people now. The first visit i had was AWFUL! I understand how you are feeling but all i can say is just wait for her to settle4. After being my mom's caretaker for so long I had forgotten what it felt like to not carry that heavy, crippling anxiety 24/7. I know my mom is ok when I am not with her. It is a blessing and I am so grateful she planned ahead and has the funds to go to MC. She probably wanted to do it for her kids but the way i see it, it is benefitting her kids more than cash after she passed away! I am rethinking my whole financial situation because i definitely don't want my daughter to be in the same situation with me or her dad but her parents are broke. So now I need to start saving $$$$ big time.
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Reply to kstay10

Sorry, but she will adjust. You need to stay away for awhile, like 2 weeks, so she can adjust to her new home.

There is nothing to panic about, she is safe, she has food and water and there is someone on site 24/7. Guilt is a self-imposed emotion that you are creating and it serves no purpose, it will keep you stuck.

Be happy that she is where she needs to be.

Sending support your way.
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Reply to MeDolly

My sympathies for the situation. It's good advice - let her get used to where she is while she adjusts. That allows you to get used to it also. I totally get where you're coming from, but as you know, it is best for both of you for her to be where she is. Look forward to the time when you can visit again, and then ask if you can meet some of her new friends. She will eventually have some, and it will be a fun thing to visit all of them.

My mom was in assisted living, and I enjoyed visiting and going to dinner with her group in the restaurant there. Nice people! One of them eventually left and gave me some of her beautiful clothes. I was touched, and I'm glad that she thought enough of me to gift them.

When mom first went there, I didn't know what to expect, but it certainly wasn't that I'd gain social contacts there too. Life is so interesting.
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Reply to Fawnby

You must be honest with her.
Let go of guilt. You didn't cause this and can't fix it. Use the other word, grief.
Until you are consistently honest face to face with your sister you will be tormented.
She may not understand but you must look her right in the face and say "I love you more than I can ever say, and I always have and I always will. I know you don't understand, but I can no longer take care of you. I will always love and visit you. None of that will change. I know how hard a new home is on you. I believe they will be very good to you and that you will be OK here. I know you are full of grief, and so am I and right now about all we can do about this is cry together."

Your sister may well wish her life were over. I would. My brother did, and soon enough it WAS over. But none of that is within our purview. This is how it has to be.
I would do as the care center says. I would stay in touch with them once a day and ask if they will let you know if they change their minds and think her adjustment will be better with you there.

I lost my big brother, first partially, to Lewy's dementia. Then to sepsis. I loved him more than I can ever tell you, but we were honest with one another always. We cried together. WE laughed together and he gave me huge lessons in how he saw the world. He said to me "Hon, this is kinda like when I was young and in the Army. I don't much like it, but I make the best of it." And he did.

I am so sorry. So incredibly sorry. Life is full of loss. Allow yourself to mourn and to weep and know that there is nothing you can do to fix this.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

Dementia robs people of their reason and logic (in addition to memory), which increases their anxiety. They are no longer able to bring themselves to mental states of acceptance or peace, this is why meds are merciful but will take time to adjust the right med and dosage. She needs time to acclimate (and she will eventually). She also was probably Sundowning, which didn't help the situation that evening when she called you in a panic. She won't remember what you tell her, no matter how many times you explain that you aren't mad at her or why she needs to be there.

Give her time and consider not visiting or contacting her for a while. Others will affirm this strategy. I'm so sorry this is causing you to have anxiety attacks. You are in good company on this forum. Everything about dementia is hard.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Geaton777
Tmounsey56 Jan 10, 2024
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