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Moved LO to memory care
MN Chickadee
Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 8:05 AM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 730

We moved mom. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. Gut wrenching to leave. But we got through it. A close friend who is a social worker and worked at nursing homes really recommended we not visit for a week. Take things to the room, spy from afar and talk to staff but not see mom. She said it hampers the process of adjusting, reminding them somewhere in there that this is not where they should be. She said after a week or so they are better adjusted to their new normal. I trust her so we'll stay away but it will be hard. 
We got an evening update that she ate dinner and after being told she was going to spend the night she was confused but not agitated (she was super anxious before that.) So hoping the morning update is ok. 

A few rambling things that might be useful to someone else about to do this:


  • We set up the room really cute and lots of personal touches. Spent a lot of time and made many trips. I wasn't sure she would notice, wondered how much time she would even spend in there, but she did notice , she liked it and it helped the initial shock and I was glad we went to so much trouble. 
  • I printed a note about her, stating the fib we were telling her (doctor wants you to stay here overnight to see if they can help your memory. Repeat tomorrow.) Also some info on her personality and favorite things to do and thanked the staff for their hard work. The director posted it by the time clock, and a few of the staff thanked me for doing that and said it really helped. 
  • I brought a huge box of treats and donuts for the staff on move in day. They seemed to appreciate it. The aforementioned social worker friend said this kind of thing really does help. They of course try to care for everyone equally, but families who show appreciation and respect for them make them want to go the extra mile for your LO. I will definitely be doing some more stuff like that. More treats, maybe writing a letter to recognize an individual or group for a job well done etc. 
  • I grabbed a stuffed animal from the store on a whim and left it on her bed. Apparently it has been at her side at all times and came to dinner. Something soft to cuddle, and I suppose maybe she sees it more like a child sees one. A buddy. The staff said a couple residents have those creepy toy cats or dogs that make noise and move and said they love them. I may consider that. 
  • Facilities don't have activities going 24 hours a day. There are down times, which is when she is going to get agitated. If she is busy, she is fine. Same as at her day program. I left a big bin of craft supplies (beads and necklace string, markers and colored pencils, the dollar craft kits you get at Michael's where you color an ornament etc) and mentioned it in the note to staff for them to get her set up with when there isn't a structured activity. I encouraged them to share them with her table mates if it helped get her settled in. When we left she was working on it with another lady. Hoping it helps the early days to keep busy.



I thought I would be a bawling mess after leaving. But I just felt empty and drained. I think I did all my bawling ahead of time. And now we wait and see. 

Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 9:16 AM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2117

Oh it is heartbreaking, I know. I sure hope things work out and she stays calm.I always helped the aides and the activity director when I visited mom. It gave me something to do because it was difficult engaging mom in anything. I also sat with mom when called. I'm pretty sure it helped to keep her in there longer due to her bad behaviors. I sure do miss her though.

Has anyone told you lately what a wonderful daughter you are? Your parents are really blessed to have you. 


Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018 7:43 PM
Joined: 10/25/2018
Posts: 214

A caveat on the beads and things.... When I visited my dad in his memory care unit, I was surprised by the things the residents would eat that weren't food. One woman was eating puzzle pieces right out of the box.
MN Chickadee
Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2018 7:24 AM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 730

I asked/told multiple staff about it and they said it was fine, they must know which residents would be ok with it. 

She had a rough first night. Was awake and exit seeking most of the night. She is fine when they have structured activities but any down time and she is pretty agitated. They let her call me yesterday. I tried to sound upbeat and confident but it was killing me inside. I told her she should stay there today and we would see her soon. She said "A whole day?!?"  Oh if only you knew.  I hate knowing she is upset and none of us can help her. But I do think visiting right now would just reset the process and make her go looking for us all the time. 

Mimi S.
Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2018 9:47 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7037

Hi MN Chickadee,

Don't know if there is any research or reports by staff at MC facilities about visiting. As a PWD I vote for visiting. Doesn't have to belong, since by the time a person is in MC their concept of time is apt to be compromised.

And as always, use of Naomi Feil'sValidation method should make life easier for all.

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