My Mother has Vascular Demetia and we had to put her in a nh in July, 2008. She started wondering at night and I could not keep her safe, and still make it to work the next day. My Husband quit his job in April and we brought her to our home and we were going to take care of her. Well that lasted until July. I feel like such a failure. I feel there was a lot more I could have done. Then I had to deal with family members who did not want to help care for my Mother tell my Mother that she did not belong in a nursing home, that they have heard about dementia and she is nothing like it. My Mother even asked me if I put her in the nh just to get rid of her and get on with my life; which could not be farther from the truth. I love my Mom and am so angry with this disease she is a wonderful person, who has a heart of gold, that worked 30 years, just to give the nh all of her money. I do not know why I am writing I just know that my emotions are all over the place and I am so angry that anyone would put in my Mother's head that I just do not want her in my life. If that were true I would not have become her Power of Attorney, would not have moved her in with me, and checked out every option I could before putting her in a nh. Did I do all I could do? I hope so, I can only take it one day at a time.
YOu have done NOTHING WRONG! The first lesson you need to learn is that there is NO GUILT allowed here. You have done everything possible for your Mom. I lost my father to vascular dementia and my mother followed him 5 weeks later with Alzheimers. So I have already gone through this.
Taking a person with dementia into your home is not a walk in the park. It is more like falling into the rabbit hole like Dorothy with the Rabbit. You fall into a whole 'nother landscape that has not relationship to the world you live in. It may look like the one that you inhabit, but the reality ends there. Your Mom may think her world is fine, but the one that you are living in is all screwed up. Her value system is all haywire now and she is totally confused and everything is off kilter for her. She will say hateful things that she doesn't mean, turn into a person that you never knew existed and sometimes embarress you to no end. You just change the subject and keep going.
But you have made the best and biggest choice by moving her into a NH. This is the best thing for your Mom. She now receives care from people who are there refreshed because they aren't living with her 24/7. You have done the right thing. Don't ever doubt yourself and don't let your family tell you otherwise. YOu have given her a place where they have games and sing-alongs and parties and three balanced meals a day plus snacks. The is someone up all night watching over her. Nurses to dispense meds. Someone who can bathe her without fights, someone who can get her dressed without arguements. Tell me why this is bad....
You have done the best thing you can do for your mother. No second guessing and no guilt. I have done it already and it just causes tears and headaches. Post often and welcome. You have come to the right place. We all know what you are going through
Thank you, your words are so kind. I am sorry about the loss of your Parents. I will continue to keep my head up, and I am going to start coming here often. I have needed others to talk to for awhile now and just did not know where to turn. Thank you for caring enough to respond to my email. God Bless
Welcome to the board CAJ and please do come often. I have felt everything that you described. My parents (mom with ALZ and Dad with vascular dementia) are now in Assisted Living. We tried so very hard to keep them at home, even with in home help, and it just didn't work. I hauled around my share of guilt for that until I realized, with help from these great ladies here, that Mom and Dad were at the best possible place. Now my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.... not for me but for them.
So no guilt allowed. There is no way that you can do what 3 shifts of fresh faced care givers plus an extended ancillary staff can do. Mom and Dad have contact with dozens of caregivers in a day. I must have thought I was wonder woman to do that. They not only get fed well and their meds on time but many activities, socialization, and so much more that I could not give them.
As for what other's say, unless they have walked a mile or more in your shoes they have NO clue. Hearing about dementia in no way compares to the reality you live caring for a loved one with ALZ. It is impossible to even imagine. As for denying the disease, that is just what it is, denial. It is their mind's way of not accepting the reality of the situation. That is their burden to carry and not a reflection on you in any way. You know what it is so, you know what it is like to care for your Mom, you know why she is in the nursing home, and you know she does have the disease and you are doing the best you can for her. If you are lucky, one day the rest of the family with catch up with you. If not they can stay in their lala land. This may sound harsh but if they want her out of the facility then they can take her home with them. They have NO right to dictate YOUR life!
As for the things your Mom says about you.... I will bet that is just confabulations that she has created in her mind to explain her current situation. Mom is an equal opportunity accuser. I wish I knew the number of phone calls I have had accusing my other sisters of horrible things and they have had those same phone calls about me. We have dumped her in a hell hole so we can steal her stuff. There is nothing wrong with her except "that Place". It goes on and on. In reality it is all in her head. She blames the place and her daughters for her chaotic world that she doesn't understand when in fact the chaos is in her mind but she is incapable of understanding that. She's perfectly fine. So in her confusion the ONLY way she could possible be stuck in such a horrible situation is our fault. I guess one of the good points, for the patient, of this disease is that they truly don't know that they have it. But the down side of that is that they blame those around them for what they don't understand because they KNOW it is not their fault. So it was probably your Mom that put that in her own head as the only explination she could come up with for her current situation. IBake is right, their world has no resemblance to our world at all and we can't think in our terms and understand what they are thinking and why.
So know that you did all you could and more than any other family member even attempted to do. Leave any guilt you might have for them to carry around. I am so glad you are here and look forward to talking to you again. You will find such wonderful empathy and sympathy here along with expeirences and advice. It's sure helps me to know that others think the same thing I do, are going through what I am and have gone through, and care enough to pull me up when I need it. You are here to find support and we are with you......
Please take some time and listen, really listen, to ibake and deb. They know what they are talking about. You'll not find more understanding or wise people anywhere.
I also have been through what you are going through. My Mom is 82 and now lives in Assisted Living. She is in her 8th year of dementia. Or around that long. Seems longer to me. I tried for years to keep her in her own home. I was exhausted and overwhelmed trying to take care of her. One sister wanted her to stay right there. Of course she did not care for Mom in any way shape or form. Of course the ones that do nothing have no idea what a toll it takes on you. So don't ever feel guilty. You are doing what is best for your Mom and yourself. Its OK to know when enough is enough. Your allowed to look out for yourself at the same time your looking out for your Mom. I love my Mom too. I'm a good daughter. Just do the best you can do for her and leave the guilt behind you. It has taken two years for me not to feel guilty. It took these wonderful ladies here a long time to pound that into my head. NO GUILT.
I would leave the AL facility and cry all the way home. I don't do that anymore. Mom is where she belongs. I can sleep at night. She won't burn the house down or get lost. Reality really stinks. Some family members choose not to face this disease. We have to.
hi caj, we just did the same thing with my mom and for the same exact reason. you are not a failure. my dad and i still feel guilt, but we have no choice. i am so glad i came on these boards because they help so much. i want to take my mother home every day, but i know i cant. i have just started not crying anymore when i leave the nh. i do visit often though. you will get through this and you will become strong.
I echo what many have said here before me. You have done nothing wrong and have done everything a loving daughter could have.
It's taken me the better part of a year to come to grips that I put my mom in a nursing home...took her out of her own home; sold her house and all within a year. It was very hard, believe me.
A little voice in my head kept telling me I'm doing what's best for mom; and she, thankfully, went along with it. I'm fortunate she had the wherewithall (is that a word?) to get LTC Insurance. Mom was one step ahead of me 20 years ago and thank God she was!
I still wish I could just dress my mom up and take her to lunch like we used to..it just isn't to be. I know that she is in the best place because I could, certainly, not be able to give her round the clock care, which she definitely needs at this time.
Try not to feel the guilt. You have to do what's best for her and you're doing it.
I've been in Wonderland also, with Alice ... Dementia is just like that. Things just don't seem right. Nothing makes sense. The afflicted person really needs professional care, as we all found out the hard way!
WoW this board is terrific and I am so blessed that I found it. It is a relief to hear people say that they know what I am talking about and how I am feeling. Thank you everyone for your insight and I will be visiting this board everyday. Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart!
That is the best thing about this board Caj. We have all been in the same place, we know what it feels like, and don't mind sharing our experiences and our feelings. It has been my salvation for the last year and a half since I found this wonderful place!! So hope to hear from you often. I will definitely be here.....