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Mom transitioned to MC
My mom liked her robotic cat a lot
She also enjoyed magazines, even when she could not actually read any more. My mom was
fetched and brought to EVERY activity...not ASKED, just fetched. After she was there, she
could leave but she almost never did. She liked music they had, chair exercise, bingo, a form of
bowling...lots of things.
My dad has been in MC since June 19. He has repeatedly told me to "get me the hell out of here," and has referred to the other residents as "crackpots." There are folks of various stages of dementia in his facility. Most are worse than he is, while some are better. He clearly does not see himself as one of "them" and I'm guessing nobody in MC actually ever does see themselves as such. His demands to be removed from the place have subsided considerably in the last month or so as his condition worsens. I don't know if it's just him growing more comfortable there or if he's actually forgetting more about the outside world.
One thing I came up with as an answer to "you've got to get me the hell out of here" is "I'm working on it." That seems to buy me some time before he's on to the next subject.
You're absolutely correct that you will keep doing the thing with the iPad photos, and that's ok. You will end up doing things repeatedly, sometimes even in the same visit. I often have the same conversations over and over with him, and as long as they are comforting to him, it's no big deal because it's new to him. It seems if you find something that works, you can stick with it longer than it feels natural.
There is nothing that stings more than feeling like you've made a giant mistake by placing your loved-one in a place he or she hates. You have to remember that is definitely not the case and you've done the right thing. Good luck.
My DH moved to memory care 2 weeks ago after a series of falls due to syncope and/or seizures (or mini strokes? we still don't know). Anyway, he is the most high functioning person in the unit and complains constantly about being "locked up in jail with crazy people" (sigh). When he is really fired up he insists I get a lawyer for him so that he can sue the evil doctors who conspired to put him there.
Some things that have helped me:
Blaming the doctors.
Telling him I'm working hard to make arrangements to help him return home. Sometimes I tell him he needs to try a new medicine for two weeks to see if his balance improves. I do all this with lots of love so he feels supported and cared for.
I take him over to the assisted living side for at least one meal a day. It's a much nicer dining room, with better food and more natural surroundings. I think the meals in MC disturb him the most, as most of the other patients are non verbal and occasionally incontinent. Nurses will also bring a plate to his room if he doesn't want to join the group.
I got a smart TV for his room, so that we can watch favorite movies together on Netflix or HBO. That feels a lot like home to him.
I'm arranging to have someone who does companion care take him out occasionally for museum visits and/or lunches if I can't be there.
All that being said, he has been on such a fast decline that these arrangements will probably not be necessary for more than another month or so. He is getting more confused and losing his memories of home. Sometimes he thinks I also live at the facility, just in another part of the building ("And where is your room?" he asks when I drop him off). So as with all things dementia, the MC outrage will pass and a new (and even sadder) stage will begin soon.
Good luck to you.
Watch all the Teepa Snow videos you can, and then be in her world with her.
If she wants to go home, here come the fiblets: 1)Let's go after lunch when traffic isn't so congested 2) The renovation for wheelchairs isn't finished 3) As soon as you can walk/get out bed on your own/ put on your own shoes/whatever will never happen you can leave.4) I miss it , too. It'll be nice to see the ___ again. What would you like to see again at home?
If she complains about why she's in there with people like "that" and she doesn't belong, here come more fiblets:1) they're not as strong as you. They're learning to (whatever your mother can do) while you're learning to (a skill she has lost). 2) There are more people who need (whatever your mother can do) than space, so the overflow has come here. 3) They may be here just for the day. Let's go look at (the magazine you just got, that new TV show, the flowers outside).
Mother goes out froo froo once a month with family. This past year we subscribed to Dallas Summer Musicals. We also take her on weekly outings (eg to get froyo, Baskin Robbins, run errands, visit the closest mall, take in a movie). Then there are the days that we just go for a walk around the MC facility and talk about what we hear and see (birds, flowers, erosion, traffic noise, the pattern of the guy's shirt walking in front of us, clouds, the heat of summer). It's mostly passive activities; she can no longer hold her self upright and rarely speaks.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Ken. It’s brave and encouraging.
We’ve just started looking for a RCF for my mom. The other day when I was with her at her PCP’s office, my mom told the doc and me that she wants to live with more people. The doc had mentioned options for her next home because my mom said she wanted to move (she suggested A Place for Mom, which she used to get housing for her own mother with great success). Anyway, when my mom perked up and said that’s what she wanted and to live with people, I asked, “you want to live in a group home?” And she said “yes,” that’s what she needs. I was surprised by this, as last year, she would say she never wanted to “end up in a place like that” when we would pass a nursing home. But I guess it’s a bit different with a RCF being more like a home. In many ways, she’s still lucid, but things seem to have progressed quite a bit over the past year. I hope she will find some comfort and contentment in a good setting with people she can connect better with around the same level of functioning...and will not revert to saying she wants to move...again, as she has repeatedly said since she came back east 2 1/2 years ago!