Moving Mom to a Care Facility

Monday, July 18, 2011

We are quickly approaching the time to move Mom to a care facility. She has been fighting Alzheimer's for about 4 years and is now quickly losing the battle. There is a new Memory Care facility in town that is wonderful. We've been a number of times in the last 6 months and are convinced this is the right place for her. Unfortunately, Mom has always been the one "in control" in the family and we are getting major resistance. Getting her to stop driving last year was a major drama, and we know this move is going to be worse. Of course, for 50 years she has told us she never wanted to be a burden to her family and to "put me in a home!" when the time comes. And yet... now the time is here and it is not looking good!

We took her for a physical (pre-move physical, unbeknownst to her). The doctor recommended taking her off the cognitive meds she has been on so she won't fight us quite as much (he knows her well!). She was actually receptive to a discussion with my brother last week about where she could live as she can no longer stay alone. (Don't get me wrong; someone is there off and on throughout the day.) We decided to take advantage and orchestrated "a ride to look at some apartments" at a care facility. We thought it was going well, but by the end she was mouthing "get me the *bleep* out of here" to my brother when nobody was watching. When we got in the car she was livid -- cursing and swearing and agitated while she kept slapping her purse on her lap. Quite combative, really, and we aren't convinced she wouldn't resort to violence if agitated further.

So even though she can't string a sentence together, doesn't know her age, birthdate, where she is or her kids' names, she is suddenly completely coherent when faced with the prospect of this move. The nurse at the facility recommended we get the doctor to assist with some calming meds, so we are trying that for a few days before we broach the topic again.

Has anyone had to go through this when there is such resistance? Our goal is to move her this Saturday, 7/23/11. What have other people done in these circumstances? I know we need to take her, but how do we PHYSICALLY get here there? We are a bit frightened for our own safety (hers as well) if she does get violent. Is it smart to alert an ambulance company in case she needs heavy sedation? Would like to hear if anyone else has had a similar experience.

By the way, I am convinced that it will be ME needing the sedatives before this is over with!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I just now saw your blog on this. I hope things went all right this weekend. I know it was a very hard thing to do.
    3558 days ago
    All I can say is my prayers, support, and on-line hugs are with you. You are doing the right thing. Hard as it may be you are doing good.
    3562 days ago
    Thanks for the ideas, suggestions, and just plain old moral support, ladies! Each of us kids have tried further talks with Mom this week. Of course these are the responses we get: "I don't need that; I will know when it's time; don't take me there -- I'll die if I go there; I can't go there -- I don't have any friends there!" Although we know she has no logic or reasoning ability left, it is going to be horrible to go against her wishes. Unfortunately, we are really out of options. She wouldn't allow a caregiver to come into her home, so we are going to be forced to take her to this beautiful facility against her will.

    We've talked with the doctor and upped her anti-anxiety meds, but that doesn't seem to have made a difference. We will review that with him today. I appreciate the input from the professional side, Chris!

    I am trying to remain calm, but we are all losing sleep and pretty well burned out with the drama. Wish us luck! And thanks so much again for your thoughts and support!
    3562 days ago
    I am so sorry you are going through this... I'm just getting back from vacation and reading this... I hope you are doing ok... emoticon
    3564 days ago
    I haven't gone through this personally, but professionally I have seen it. Usually the family takes them to the facility and the doctor has orders there already for the nurses to follow, usually includes sedatives if the patient has a history of combativeness/aggression. They then medicate the person if he/she becomes upset. Many times the patient (if they visited before) will have no memory of having been there before or even having talked about going to a facility, so it will be like the first time again and they will not be aggressive, maybe, the second time.

    If the doctor gives you sedatives for her, I would definitely medicate her about an hour before you plan on her walking through the doors there, if you think it will be a problem the second time.

    Good luck, and I know it must be such a hard thing for you and your brother to do, but is in the best interest and safety of your mother.

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    3564 days ago
    I have not gone through anything like this but my heart and prayers go out to you. Take care.
    3565 days ago
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