I Thought Assisted Living Would Solve my Problem, Now it's a Nightmare

I finally decided to place my mother in an assisted living/memory care community. The staff were so sweet and made it sound like it would all be so wonderful.


My mother was there for one night, and the night nurse walked into her room startling her, and my mother started yelling at her to get out, etc.

It escalated, and my mother flew into a rage, and the next day the facility told me they wanted my mother to go to the local hospital to the senior behavioral psychiatric unit to get her medicines modified.

It's now been 2 weeks. I have learned that this is standard operating procedure for when an elderly demented person acts out. They claim it is to protect others from getting hurt, but honestly, no one was really in danger of getting hurt, especially in my mothers case.

But if they ever actually hit someone they are classified as violent, and may not be permitted to live in an assisted living or memory care community.

Now she is on 5 different drugs. Fortunately she does not seem to be having any bad side effects.

Will this make it so she never argues again? No. The facility will give her a tranquilizer if she argues again, or insist she go back to the hospital for another stay where they just keep them locked up in a small ward, and give them drugs.

I am so disappointed. I trusted that the facility would know how to deal with my Alzheimer's mother.
I will need to relocate her to a place that is better equipped to deal with people than this one.

This is a nightmare.

The dirty little secret no one ever talks about. Locking up and drugging Alzheimer's patients because they get agitated. If they express rage, or despair, they are quickly thrown into a classification of violent and suicidal and they get locked up and drugged.

My nightmare is still not over. I am anxious about whether they will let her out. Then whether the assisted living community will let her back, then if they can handle future rages.

I thought they were supposed to specialize in this!

I am unable to sleep or relax. My life has gotten even more tense. I have to drive 2 hours each day to visit her. I've been there 15 times already.

I was worried about moving her and now I see why. It is a risk once you are outside your own home. You have to go by their rules.

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It Doesn't Have to Be This Way
by: Daughter Alone

What a terribly stressful situation you are in. I'm sure you're exhausted and despairing...I would be too.

Please look for another option if you have that available. My mother is in an assisted living facility that is more home-like. It is run by a faith-based organization. It has been a very good choice for us.

The property where my 87-year old mom lives was recommended to us by several people who had family members there and could give an insider's report.

These are the things I like about it as opposed to a conventional assisted living facility. The property consists of several homes, each with 11 bedrooms. Each resident has a private bedroom and bath.

They look like ordinary ranch-style homes. Their food is home-cooked in the house kitchen, and they emphasize "scratch" recipes and real food vs. prepackaged.

The property has an affiliation with a home health care agency, and nurses are on site M-F. A doctor (gerontologist) is available to make house calls, or residents can keep their own physician.

Activities are planned to be both centralized in an Activity Center, and decentralized in each home. Many services such as hairdressing, manicures, vaccine clinics are brought into the residents' home.

Though there are two homes designated as 'memory care' homes, these are reserved for residents who roam and are at risk of walking off the property.

These are gated and fenced so the wanderers won't hurt themselves, but they have beautiful back yards for outdoor time. Residents with dementia can be housed (and are) in any of the non-gated homes as long as they don't wander.

We have been very blessed to find this solution for my mother. I understand that this concept of the home-like setting is becoming more common for assisted living.

The point in telling you this is to encourage you to look for less conventional, less institutional settings. I hope you will find something that is more suitable for you and your mother.

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Stressful Situation
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry to hear this. It is so stressful. I have so many people suggesting that I place Mom in one of the facilities but I have talked to so many that have placed a loved one in them, but none have a good report.

Plus, I am told that once Mom is placed in one, I will have to be there every day because they will simply place her food tray in her room and leave. She will not be assisted in any way. They are understaffed etc.

Well, I would prefer to simply keep Mom at home rather than go there each day and night. I have no help as it is, so I know I cannot count on a family member to volunteer or agree to go and help with one of the 3 meals each day.

It is a very difficult situation and the most stressful lifestyle I can think of. My heart goes out to you. I hope that you are able to either bring her back home or find a better assisted living home.

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If this helps
by: Anonymous

Ohhh, how I feel for you. Yes, it sure feels like a nightmare when you're in it!

If this helps, we had to move our mom three times in 3 months!

Finally we found the right place, a small home with a small staff and one on one loving care.

It was hard on mom to be moved three times and super, super stressful for my brother and me but once we found the right nest mom lived there comfortably for almost three years.

My hope for you is that you too will find the right fit for your mom!
m in Santa Rosa ca

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