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 Moving my mom to an ALF on Saturday 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:13 pm
Posts: 17
Post Moving my mom to an ALF on Saturday
On Saturday, my mom will move from the SNF to a memory care wing in an ALF ---

(at least I think it's an ALF. Actually, until a month ago, I didn't know the differences in any of these places... but that's another post)

I got a really good feeling from this place when I visited last month. I got a good feeling today when I was included in a conference call today with the whole team - at least six people, the Medication person, activities person, food person, social person, and new member coordinator - as well as my brother.

I hope I asked the right questions - I mainly asked that they not disrupt her meds (it was an issue at the SNF) and whether they have a set time they give them, and how to monitor how she's doing on them if we want to adjust them.

I also reiterated that although I'm far away, I want to be included by phone or email as much as possible. Nicely, the new member person called me personally about an hour later and asked me to email her a bio of my mom, and gave me her cell phone number and said she's in by 7am and I could call whenever I want.

I guess I don't have any questions, I just wanted to put that out there. I really hope this transition is relatively smooth for my mom! She's still wishing to go home, but she did understand that she needs more care than she can get at home alone.

_________________
Melissa, caring long distance for her mom (70) diagnosed with LBD in 2011, symptoms arrived with a bang in 2012, currently living in memory care facility.


Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:11 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Moving my mom to an ALF on Saturday
Sounds good, Melissa! Hope it works out well for your mom and for you.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:44 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Moving my mom to an ALF on Saturday
Sounds good!

I'm glad you learned the difference between a SNF and an ALF, and that your mom is suited for a dementia care ALF.


Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:55 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3400
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Moving my mom to an ALF on Saturday
That's great that the move went smoothly and it sounds like a really good place where they truly care about each person as an individual. Don't know if I recommended this new service to you, but in case I didn't send this explicitly to you, this is something you might want to check out - www.trustdots.com It's a web service where CGs, your LOs medical people, ALF staff, other family members, etc. can communicate with one another and store info. like med. changes, if they refused to eat, how their day went, etc. I think it would be especially helpful for people doing CGing at a distance. Also, there are lots of resources on the site so it is kind of a "one-stop shopping" if you will, to help families manage and cope with a LO who is ill.
Glad your experience has gone well so far, and let's hope continues to be positive. Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:51 am
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:11 pm
Posts: 15
Post Re: Moving my mom to an ALF on Saturday
KAMBS, how did you personally decide to move your mom into an ALF? I am looking at one this Friday, because my mother seems so isolated living at home alone, and I can't be there all of the time (we are moving in with her this month, but when I am not there things quickly fall apart). But I am also afraid to really explore the option. Her doctors are still working on her diagnosis, and I keep hoping she will get better.... but each day feels like a yoyo. There are really good moments where things feel almost normal, and then there are moments I panic because I realize how bad my mother's cognition can get (not to mention she falls about weekly).

I hope the ALF works well for you and your mom.


Wed May 02, 2012 4:18 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:13 pm
Posts: 17
Post Re: Moving my mom to an ALF on Saturday
cza,

Deciding to put my mom in an ALF was not an easy decision to say the least, and her decline was fast and steep.

Two months ago, she was still living alone and performing most daily living activities. But she had a steep decline in February and started becoming extremely paranoid. She thought the neighbors were breaking in. She saw people in her closet. She started barricading doors, hiding knives all over the house, and called 911 a few times. She had my brother change the locks. And, my brother was living right upstairs! (Most of this happened while he was at work or really late at night.)

She briefly went to stay with her sister, but got completely paranoid there too, and one night left and started walking down the road, got lost, fell, and had to be brought home by police.

I live far away and couldn't help daily. My brother has to work to support himself so there was no one to be with her. Plus, she was needing support and care day and night. He couldn't sleep because she was up and about at all hours.

We finally made the decision because we feared for her safety. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. She was not in agreement with it, but over the last two months, she's kind of come to realize that she couldn't be home alone anymore.

I wish you luck in whatever you decide.

Melissa

_________________
Melissa, caring long distance for her mom (70) diagnosed with LBD in 2011, symptoms arrived with a bang in 2012, currently living in memory care facility.


Thu May 03, 2012 7:58 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:11 pm
Posts: 15
Post Re: Moving my mom to an ALF on Saturday
Melissa, I am sorry you had to go through all of that. But I am glad you found a nice, safe place for her. It sounds like you made a really good decision, but I can imagine how difficult it was.

Can I ask you how long it took your mom to go from seeming "okay" to the state that you described? Some of the events that you wrote about, especially the paranoia, hit close to home. Except my mother is mostly really afraid of her house, and specific rooms at times, and then at other moments she has no problem with it. Nothing is consistent.


Thu May 03, 2012 8:15 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:13 pm
Posts: 17
Post Re: Moving my mom to an ALF on Saturday
cza,

I would say the timeline for my mom seeming "okay" and then needing care was very fast. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and there were red flags that we should have paid more attention to, but...

My mom was living alone and even driving as recently as February of this year (2012). She had a precipitous decline in Feb/Mar. Her paranoia just went out of control. We tried adding Klonopin (which I think did help) and Risperidal (which DID NOT help) and we briefly moved her in with her sister, but the paranoia and care needs were too much for her sister.

She had hallucinations for a while before that (6 months? more?) but they were relatively benign. She would see animals, mostly dogs, and not freak out or anything. And she was having trouble regulating her sleep. Up at night and sleeping in the day. And she was recalcitrant with in home nurses. But the irritability, stubbornness, and sleep issues were all part of her character before LBD, so we didn't think too much of it. And, as I said, the hallucinations were mostly benign ("Oh, look at that dog, isn't he cute?")

What really precipitated the move to the ALF was the extreme paranoia that sprung up so fast! She thought the neighbors were breaking in to her apartment and she changed the locks, barricaded doors and called 911 a few times.

Also, my brother was/is working full time and was getting calls from her during the day asking/demanding for help with intruders.

We had hoped she could stay at home with my brother caring for her in the evenings and people checking in from time to time in the day, but she suddenly needed 24 hour supervision.

I know what you mean about nothing being consistent. She could, and still does, have periods of lucidity where she knows these things can't be happening, but when she was/is in the throws of the delusion, there was no getting her out of it.

Oh, she also started feeling paranoid about her us, her own kids. She refused to take medication from us at times, and one night, I had to "sit with her", but I put it in quotes, because I had to sit in the next room. She didn't feel comfortable with me in the same room with her, but she also didn't want to be alone.

I think watching her be so fearful was one of the hardest parts of this...

_________________
Melissa, caring long distance for her mom (70) diagnosed with LBD in 2011, symptoms arrived with a bang in 2012, currently living in memory care facility.


Tue May 08, 2012 7:52 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:11 pm
Posts: 15
Post Re: Moving my mom to an ALF on Saturday
Melissa, you sound like a really strong person who cares for your mom a lot. Thank you for sharing. (I would write more, but I had an exhausting day.)


Tue May 08, 2012 10:53 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:43 am
Posts: 4
Post Re: Moving my mom to an ALF on Saturday
I moved my husband into an ALF (actually it is more than assisted living; between that and a nursing home) 6 weeks ago. The first month went well. Last 2 weeks: hellish. Today he threatened to turn me into the state's attorney for kidnapping by putting him there. He had fallen 3 times and badly injured his head walking into an open door prior to my moving him there. Our home no longer could provide safety for him, and I was exhausted! Any suggestions for helping him adjust?!?!?!?

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http://dementialivingwithitgraciously.blogspot.com


Sun May 20, 2012 6:25 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Moving my mom to an ALF on Saturday
Oh Judith, my heart really, really goes out to you! I fear the day when I might be where you are now. Please keep us posted on your progress. We learn from each other.

Coy never thought as high as the state attorney, but several times he tried to call the sherrif's office (once from a nieghbor's home) to report that he had been kidnapped and was being held against his will. He was living with me in the house we'd lived in for about a dozen years at that point. I just bring this up to point out that your husband's behavior may not really be caused by moving him into a care center. You might be facing similar issues even if you could have kept him at home.

Based on what I've seen in my local support group and how I feel about it myself, I'd say placing a loved one -- especially a spouse -- has to be one of the most traumatic events in the caregiving journey, but often is it necessary. As you struggle with how to deal with Hubby's behavior, please at least don't add guilt into the mix. It is the disease that is causing this problem -- not your well-thought-out decisions.

Does his dementia doctor know about this new behavior?

Hugs to you both.

_________________
Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Sun May 20, 2012 6:50 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:43 am
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Post Re: Moving my mom to an ALF on Saturday
Jeanne, thank you so much for your reassuring comments.

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http://dementialivingwithitgraciously.blogspot.com


Sun May 20, 2012 7:31 pm
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