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PBFB 01-03-2010 04:18 PM

When and how to tell MIL we will be placing her
My husband and I are going to be looking into maybe placing my MIL into a home. It's not something that we want to do but we are really starting to realize that she would probably be better off. We are just trying to get our heads (and emotions) around this decision.

My question is: Once we decide we will be placing her, a) Do we tell my MIL and b) if so, when do we tell her? Her short term memory is completely gone so she most probably won't remember shortly after telling her, but I know that the emotions this will evoke will stay and may affect her emotionally and mentally. Do we start preparing her now or do we wait until just before we move her? Just sending out her Christmas cards sent her downhill so we are worried how us telling her will affect her.

Thanks, PB

Martha H 01-03-2010 04:35 PM

Re: When and how to tell MIL we will be placing her
Don't tell her until everything is all lined up and the moving date has been set. Then, don't ask her, tell her, "tomorrow (better yet, today!) you are going to your beautiful new apartment/room ... a great place with ..... whatever will sound good to her (a view, good food, lots of games and fun and activites and nice people, etc.) If she protests you could try saying the doctor wants to see you there. There is usually a medical exam shortly after or at admission. Just say, "we are going to see your new doctor and get an exam," and once there, "this is the nice place where the doctor wants you to stay for a little while." Probably she has been in hospitals before, and will be able to understand staying somewhere for a while ... until 'you get better." If she says 'there is nothing wrong with me" you can say "they only want to do some testing." Never say this is forever. It isn't. One day she will go 'home' in the sense we all go back to God some day. I always said "you will go home soon." By the end Mom imagined her childhood home with her mother as "home" and there was no way we could replicate that.

If I sound to you like a terrible liar I am .. I was so bad at it that I goofed big time over and over again, making my mother more upset than it had to be. (like reminding her that her brothers had died whenever she asked about them, until I finally understood that she mourned anew every time she heard it.)Gradually I learned how to make things happen without major conflict.

Another piece of advice is: once she is admitted, stay away for a while. Some places recommend 3 weeks. She will then make new connections to personnel and other residents, and not hang onto you and demand to go home.

It may sound cruel but in the long run it is a good thing to move an Alzheimer victim to a home with professional, around the clock care. My Mom turned out to be very happy in her NH and lived there 2.5 years until passing away at age 99.

Hope it all works out for you.



kenbob71 01-03-2010 05:04 PM

Re: When and how to tell MIL we will be placing her
Martha gave you all the same advice i was going to (thanks, Martha, you stole my thunder... Kidding.) It was spot-on advice.

I think God forgives us lying in this case. It's the Alzheimer's / Dementia Forgiveness clause, and I"m sure it's somewhere in The new or old Testament... somewhere. Say WHATEVER it takes to make it as easy on her and you as possible.

Best of luck. Keep in touch. K

AnnD 01-03-2010 05:20 PM

Re: When and how to tell MIL we will be placing her
If she has no short term memory there is no need to prepare her. You just take her and stay for awhile as she gets her room assignment or whatever and then you leave. If she asks anything just have a conversation like you would with her about something other than where she is at. There will never be a need to tell her anything about where she is living. Just be matter of fact like she has always been living here and you came to visit or whatever. I am sorry. Good luck.

Gabriel 01-03-2010 11:07 PM

Re: When and how to tell MIL we will be placing her
I too agree with everything Martha said. There is no need to prepare her. Mom and Dad moved into AL and took their own furniture. We did give Mom a couple of days to help pack up. We told her that the doctor insisted and it was just until Dad was better. Everything we said about the place was positive. It was temporary, it was doctor's orders, and it was going to be wonderful :) I totally agree that it's best not to go repeatedly the first few weeks. She is going to need time to adjust and find her way in her new world. That is easier done if she doesn't hang on to the connections of the past... which includes you. It has now been over 2 years since Mom and Dad moved into AL and 9 months since they moved to the locked unit. Today I talked to the caregivers because each time I was there Mom mentioned going home. they assured me that she only mentions it when I am there. It doesn't really distress her now... it's more just a statement. I had to laugh at her just before I left today. She told Dad they had to "go". I ask her where and she looked at me with a quizzical look on her face and said.. "I don't know, I guess we will just stay here!" It actually delighted me!!

Good luck on the move when you decide to make it :)

Love, deb

Martha H 01-04-2010 04:55 AM

Re: When and how to tell MIL we will be placing her
St Ken has that forgiveness clause right!


kenbob71 01-04-2010 05:55 PM

Re: When and how to tell MIL we will be placing her
St. Ken has spoken. Therefore it shall be.

Or something like that. I'm still new at Saint - Speak

Gabriel 01-04-2010 07:32 PM

Re: When and how to tell MIL we will be placing her
well spoken st ken :)

Love, deb

PBFB 01-05-2010 08:55 AM

Re: When and how to tell MIL we will be placing her
Yes, thank you St. Ken.

kenbob71 01-05-2010 09:11 AM

Re: When and how to tell MIL we will be placing her
Awwww. Shucks, ya'll.


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