Newbie here! After 18mos I feel emotionally DONE! Mom still wanting to 'go home' and her phone calls

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/16/2014 6:13 PM (GMT -6)   
 I know many people reading this will understand the emotional rollercoaster I have been on since 'we'-my brother and I put my mother in a residential care home Sept 2012 at 79yrs . She is a old nurse and they say nurses and Dr's are the hardest to 'settle' in to a senior's home. 
I initially tried to get brother to look at moving her back home with 24hr/7 care and I would help manage her and I would live with her to introduce this new regime and caregiver to her-knowing this would be hard but if it didn't work then 'the home' may be considered. This idea flopped big time w brother, Dr.'s, gov't agents-even though a gerontologist helped develop my plan. I looked at the private care homes that take up to 8-9 residents- as long as residents don't wander.  I don't think she would wander? but never tested her either. That plan was dismissed by brother as he didn't want to make any changes and it would cost more as it was private care.  I eventually realized he wants to keep her estate intact. That was a big revelation. Before the gov't agents for our health care system proclaimed her 'unable to live on her own and they put her down for an 'emergency bed in Aug'12 my brother had spent much time reducing her income from investments so the gov't in Canada would charge her the minimum rate on her residential care home bed. Many people are in gov't beds in Canada that have many hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars worth of assets in their portfolios but pay $1,800 to a max of $3,800/mo. I find this disgusting when our system is so stressed and people without resources or advocates lie waiting in hospital beds for a gov't senior's home room and bed. Both brother and I had POA's for mother but after my attempts to try something different for our mom..even hiring private care helper to visit daily for one-on-one therapies and to keep her occupied and less brother spent my mother's money to secure a 'committeeship' over her in Jan'14 so I have no say in my mother's care and no advocacy over her drug regime. I am allowed to see her so far but her bank card no longer works and the staff don't have to tell me even though they seem to want to keep me in the loop? 
I am waiting to be told one day that they can't talk to me as per my brother's order. Besides my mother living in a place she doesn't want to live 30-40% of her time my main concern is the 4-5 drugs they put her on once they took her in to the home against her will. Her calls to me are regular, as they are to my brother (who is close by) and he is good about taking calls and seeing her. But I have to keep lying to her when she calls and when asks me if I am coming to take her home I say yes, in the morning (I am 1hr away). This is the only way she will settle down. After I worked for months to get private care in daily for her 2 -4hrs a day my brother has given up on that now and of course the Dr. is increasing her antipsychotic again.  Over 18mos Mom was on 1.5mgs/day of risperidone, then 1mg then .725mg then I got it down to .5mg where she wasnt as much a zoombie and now this week it is going back up to .725mg.  She is also on two antidepressants (one for sleep). They are taking away her memory pill that she had been on for years. Mom is not psychotic(as her nurses confirm) only anxious about her living environment. When she comes to stay with me she has no anxiety except when 'preparing' to travel but says she wants to go back to the 'home' but I don't think she remembers what her senior's home is like-good things about loss of memory.
Over the 1.5yrs Mom has gone down hill on the drugs and in the institution and looks like a very old frail lady who almost shuffles when she walks and her eyes are dark ringed and sunken.  I believe the drugs are having a terrible impact on her overall health condition and they are not helping reduce her times of anxiety overall. They still have to give her PRN's of risperidone and haloperidol  5-8 times a month. Poor Mom.  If the drugs actually  stopped the anxious phone calls and her anxiety I maybe could feel better about them but they don't and if she becomes a zoombie again it will make me hesitant to visit her once a week. She is always happy when I visit her(or when anyone visits her) and we go out and do normal things and she doesn't complain about her living situation.   But to visit a zoombie who still has anxiety at times and now has no extra private care coming it is going to send me even more overboard. I can't sleep when I think of her doped up and still sad and desperate at times. This is really just 'chemically restraining' her so that she is easier to handle for an overworked staff.  
I have  just started working out with a personal trainer to get back in shape and I am hoping I can take time out from my guilt and worry to enjoy my own life, husband, dog and health..In 18mos I have not felt like exercising and have not been sleeping well.  I feel like what has been happening to my mother has been happening to me.  I wish she had someone with her all the time to keep her from getting anxious. drugs are not doing it!
Any suggestions or people with similar stories? Pls tell me things will get better! I fear I am praying for her disease to take over and maybe if she doesnt remember her family I will feel better for her?

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/15/2014 2:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I stumbled on this message and couldn't help to register and post a reply, as it annoys me so much the way psychoactive medicines are prescribed. My mother has been a victim of psychiatrist (with some help from her side), since she was so fond of prescriptions, psychiatric and nonpsichiatric. The medicines your mother is taking mekes me remember the prescription given to my mother in a psychiatric ward were she was admitted after suffering from an anxiety crisis. In the long term it turned out that the medicines she was already taking were the culprit of the crisis, and that providing her with even more of these toxics just made things worst. So she was not calmed, she still was anxious, but on top of this she was doped and acting as a zombie. Antipsychotics produced her parkinsonim (which in turns made her to fall and break first her shoulder and then her hip), plus some other movement disorders (dyskinesia and akathisia). Benzodiazepines, sleep pills and antidepressives just added to her confussion. Now she is not taking any medicine at all, and though there are some side effects that cannot been reversed, most of her symptoms and conditions improved. But I had to take the decisions on my own, cause Doctors are totally reluctanct to admit how wrong their treatments turn to be.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 506
   Posted 4/17/2014 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
OMG! Al these stories are focused on housing and drugging our loved ones. Yet u all love UR elderly parents & want the very best....we will all get there sooner than u think...

I found what I thought was a great adult home for my mother thru references from the local hospital. I was assured these were safe and caring places for the elderly who need constant supervision and medication on a regular basis.

After interviewing three homes in our area my mother was happy to find one that fit her needs for privacy, her own furniture in a small area a special hospital bed and people that had the correct training and experience. I felt a great weight lifted all the worries seemed to pass.

She was glad to have every meal prepared and clean cloths etc. she was very week. I would visit evey day for the first couple of months. Then I started witnessing inappropriate behaviors by the care givers. It all started to mount up with more and more as time went by.

No one really checks on these homes on a regular basis. Once I understood the care errors I would bring mom home to stay with me for weeks then on days I could not would take her to the adult care home.

I was in the middle of moving her back in with me full time as she pasted away before I could. I still feel guilt to this day that I could have done better. Yet I know the guilt is misdirected knowing all the circumstances to late to intervene she would not remember me . Yet I became a victim of the care system just as she did.

I always wondered would she have had a better quality of life with me full time. I had spent the past 15 years taking care of all her needs. Would I be trained enough to recognize serious health issues she was facing? Or maybe I was trying to protect her from a system that was so indifferent to family care only the bottom line $$$ was needed.

If I had recognized this sooner would it had made a difference in her quality of life. I think not. I did the best I could for years until health issues were no longer within my realm of responsibility I felt unqualified to handle. I believed she was getting better care 24/7.

No one can predict the outcome under these complicated circumstances. Especially when all the ducks were in a row. The system failed. I hope I stay in my home until I pass.

We all have the best intentions. Family members at times are the most difficult to deal with as we trust them to always do the right thing. This is not always the case. Sometimes there are so many issues and family members involved the whole issue of care becomes so convoluted.

I have a stubborn streak I will never leave my home for any reason as long as I can find live in help for rent and a watchful eye of a trusted family member. Now is the time to start planning. There is great hope for a young family friend who grew up with our son, he can stay with us along with his wife rent free, to save for their new home. This is our future plan for our care. Legal papers are signed for both my husband and I. We have known and trusted this young friend for over 24 years. In fact he works as a caregiver in a group home for the past 15 years., and help around our home just as long. That is our wish and our children are fine with that decision which leaves them free to live there lives no worries about us.

That is our gift to our children.
"As long as there is breath there is hope, LIFE is a GIFT. "

Post Edited (Chotti) : 4/17/2014 8:11:20 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2013
Total Posts : 506
   Posted 4/18/2014 7:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Good question C,

Yes she was. They must be classified to enter elder care homes.
Each home offers different needs & are classified as such for different patients thru the hospitals. Staff are trained for each, as well as safety considerations, meds, diet etc. all included.There are laws in place to prevent improper placement.

U are right and I totally understand what u r saying. I however, did not feel my mothers health was taken seriously. I will live with that and knowing too I was not responsible and found the best possible care available at that time. I was not trained for emergency care & we are located out in the country & live far from the closest medical care.

I do sympathize with your mom as it is a huge responsibility for anyone. I am so sorry you had to watch ur mother & father. Yet it was a learning experience for us both, as hard as it was. It is a whole other issue in life & it can leave its scars. I took a lesson from my experience & will hope to do the best I can for my family, to relieve them of the burden of making those tough decisions. Never want them to ever think , "If only". Now they know it is our wish.

Yet on the flip side the experience gives us a better understanding for our futures thru all the clouds in the sky it is blue, the rain subsides & the sun does shine so brightly once again and life does go on.

Bless you & I feel ur struggles have heightened UR ability to truly share UR strength & kindness. Thank you !
"As long as there is breath there is hope, LIFE is a GIFT. "
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