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Mom mot adjusting to memory care. Any hope?
Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 2:00 PM
Joined: 10/6/2018
Posts: 3

We moved my mom to memory care at the end of September from her home.  She is on the high end of functioning with no physical problems but has very little memory.  Two months in she still tells me she hates it there and hates everyone.  She tells me she never has anyone to talk to, she doesn't know anybody, has nothing to do and nobody visits although I am there every other day or so, I take her out to lunch  and she participates in activities.  I know she resents not being able to lock her door and feels a lack of privacy.  She says everyone there has no brains.  She gets very angry.  I can see how her memory loss is preventing her from adjusting.   I wonder if she would be better off somewhere else?  Is there any hope?
Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 2:50 PM
Joined: 2/9/2015
Posts: 565

The hard thing is everyone is different - and I mean families, residents, facilities and staff.

I moved my parent cross-country to MC from her home.  She was at the high end of functioning with an unusual memory profile (little longterm memory, impaired speech, some day to day memory, very analytical).  It took almost a year and some anxiety medication to get her to adjust as she was an aggressive exit seeker.  I also "had" to take her out to lunch and for outings 2-3 x a week.  After three years, a decline on her part and some unfortunate adventures at her facility, I moved her to a different facility where even though she is now in the middle of the residents in terms of functioning she has made firm friends and has happy friendly relations with staff and others (and is no longer much interested in outings).  Also at the "new place" there is less shopping and visiting in each other's rooms and things seem to wander less which makes for a happier resident, at least in our family.

So talk to staff and management to see if there are any ways to help; give it time; and look around.  Other things that helped were a door that could be "shut" and "locked" -- staff could open it at any time and it always opened from the inside. 

Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 3:09 PM
Joined: 3/8/2018
Posts: 713

Two months is still very "early" in the adjustment period.

Have you gone to the MC and observed mom without being seen? It's quite possible she has good interactions with staff/residents, and saves her complaints for you (on some level hoping you'll take her home).

caregiving daughter
Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2018 4:04 PM
Joined: 11/27/2012
Posts: 2031

Talk to the caregivers and find out how your loved one is doing when you are not there. Are they disruptive? Do they participate in small art projects and sing-alongs? Note that individuals with dementia often cannot engage others in a conversation, yet they do not understand their deficits so of course someone would come up with all sorts of reasons why things aren't like the old days when they lunched with friends or played cards.
Posted: Monday, December 10, 2018 7:29 PM
Joined: 10/6/2018
Posts: 3

Thanks for your replies. I am trying to be optimistic.  I was there this afternoon and mom called this evening and complained that nobody has visited her for weeks.  I met with the social worker and it is like we are seeing two different people.  They see someone participating and being social and I see someone who is alone and lonely and wanting to die.  It is tough to see a loved one so miserable.