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Memory Health: Alzheimer's Support Group
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spinning out of control

My mother was diagnosed a couple of years ago with Alzheimer's and had been living alone in NYC for the past 25 years. Although she has probably had it for several years it became unsafe for her to live alone. Anymore. We had a caregiver coming in 5 days a week until that wasn't enough anymore. The most frustrating part is that she doesn't look sick and sounds "normal" until she asks the same question 50 times. She has close to no short term memory left. All she ever wanted was to stay in her apt. Right now she is angry, blaming me for dumping her somewhere and taking her life away. She says she would rather die then stay where she is right now. Let me tell you about the place she is.... Arden Courts in west orange is a private facility that specializes in Alzheimer's/dimentia ONLY. It is a small nurturing loving environment. Unfortunately she doesn't see herself like any of "those"people. She hides things and loses them and blames people for stealing. I don't know what her mood will be like minute to minute. She is clinging on to how her life used to be. Her independence etc.... this is killing me as she sounds so convincing when she pleads to go home and swears she won't cancel her doc appointments anymore. She canceled her hypertension appt 16 times and has extremely high blood pressure. I feel like I am killing her by leaving her somewhere other then home. I feel like she is killing herself by living alone in NY. She is so confused all the time and now I am second guessing every move I'm making. I m damned if I do and damned if I don't. Any words of wisdom or encouragement are absolutely welcomed. I have been physically sick for 10 days and I feel like I'm gonna collapse myself from stress. Help!!!!!

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You need to save yourself and not question your decision. You have made an excellent placement. I don't think I would be alive today if I had given in to my husband and taken him home from the skilled nursing facility that hospice recommended/insisted on.

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I agree with jaykay. It sounds like your mother is not safe at home alone and you have found a great place for her. Your first priority is to keep her safe, so it is important to steel yourself against the doubt caused by your mother's pleading. Just know that she is going to want to go home, she is going to complain about the facility and "those people." Accept that and remind yourself that you are doing what is in her best interest. Hopefully, she will adjust over time and become more accepting of her environment. It's important for YOU to also accept that this is a necessary step even though it may not be what you hoped for her. Finally, because of the nature of this disease she is going to need even more assistance over time, and you have her in a place where she will receive what she needs when she needs it. Don't beat yourself up and allow yourself to become ill over your decision...you have to take care of yourself too. You are doing the right thing. Godspeed.

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Thank you Stephanie for your kind words. They mean so much to me. Really!! I do know this is the best place for her even if she keeps blaming me for taking her life away from her. I know in my heart she knows I love her more then anything in the whole world. Just so heartbreaking .....

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I cared for my dad for a year and half before he passed away. This is the most heartbreaking disease I've ever seen as IT takes their life away. All we can do is the best we can do and take solace in knowing that we loved them every single day and we tried our best with the circumstances we are given.

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Amen!

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