My 88 year old father with dementia is declining.

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He has a home health aide shower him, my mom who is 82 lives with him. She helps him but she is exhausted. He is up all hours of the night, gets frequent UTI infections, and she is so tired she falls asleep during the day a lot. He is very weak now, still walks with a walker but very slow, is continent thank God, will not stop eating fruit, you cant buy it fast enough for him. Was in a nursing home for a short term stay last summer. He cried so much I had to take him out, he was better when he left, but now he is worse again. Should he go back to the nursing home for short term again to get stronger, OR should he stay for long term? I dont know what to do. He still knows his family most of the time, and thats what is holding me back. I guess its the guilt he puts upon us. The crying breaks your heart! I just need advice! Thank You!


Hugs to you - I understand how difficult this can be. If he is getting weaker - he is prone to a fall which could be catasrophic. The crying is so sad and see how that breaks your heart. But appears that he is heading towards 24/7 care.

My father had been quite weak and hospitalized - then on to rehab. to get him built up. But, sadly, it was the beginning of the end for him and had to end up staying permanently. I realize it is not something you want to happen, but there does come a point when living at a facility is in their best interests; especially as dementia progress. And I know you want to keep him safe and it is a traumatic drain on your mother. Maybe you could talk to his doctor and discuss the situation. Thinking of you..... and take care.
You are in a tough situation and I feel for you. I can only suggest that you keep him as long as your are able. There will come that definitive point at which you know that, despite the fact that he will cry, that he will have to go someplace where there are skilled people to take care of him. Asking one person to care for someone with dementia, without any help at all, is a recipe for getting very sick yourself. At least you do have someone coming in to help. But, sometimes, that's not enough. He's going to cry, but it's going to happen and there's not much anyone can do about that. It's an adjustment that he will have to deal with, or not. This is one of the harsh realities we all have to deal with sooner or later. I may be looking at this myself very soon.
Hi, jdfamilyinc, Have you discussed this with your mother? What would she like to see happen here? If she is resistant to consider long term care placement, it will be difficult to place him. My suggestion would be to speak with their doctor and ask if adjusting his medication and his routine might change his sleep pattern. I would also ask the doctor what additional home health might be available. A sitter for a couple of hours once or twice a week would allow your mom to get away and would likely go a long way to improving her frame of mind and build her strength.

I agree with 3pinkroses. My dad has dementia, was falling all the time and refusing help to get up when he did. My mother lived with him and was also exhausted and helped as much as she could. Finally, his last fall put him in the hospital, then rehab but he plateaued and ended up staying in the NH long term. It was not safe for him to live back at home, weak, totally incontinent (ur lucky on that one!) and not able to transfer himself to the bed or the toilet etc... It was also not safe for my mother as I could see him bringing her down the next time he fell. Think about that one....

So u can either wait for a bad fall, because it will happen, or think about another solution. I know it's hard, but your taking the right step to try and do something.

Perhaps you can get your doctor to advice/prescribe a rehab stay, which would be covered by Medicare for up to 20 days. So you don't have to tell your Dad OR your Mom that this is for good. Once he's in a place, he can be better evaluated by the medical help and you go from there. It's a start.

Good luck. I couldn't be closer in your shoes. I went through the exact same thing.


This is a very sad, difficult, heart wrenching decision to make, but you must think of his safety and your Mom's safety as well. Both of them could be seriously injured or worse in a fall. I don't think an 82-yr old women should be responsible for someone in your Dad's condition. Yes, I am sure he will cry, but which is worse...helping him to learn to cope with his new situation or bury your parents prematurely? I know that sounds harsh, but it is the reality of the situation. I will face this with my own husband down the road due to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. I am 17 yrs younger than he is, and I know I won't be able to handle him. Please try to look at the long range and your Mom need to be safe and healthy if you are going to help your Dad enjoy the last years of his life. Most facilities have activities and to the chaplain, your pastor, anyone who will visit and help all of you with this very, very difficult transition. Take care and God bless.
I sound like a broken record but I can't believe the doctors & nurses have not ruled out the possibility that the UTI is causing signs of dementia. I went through this with my mom, we thought she had dementia & was acting very strange but when the UTI (she had no symptoms ) was cured it was miraculous. Thanks to a very good nurse for that because I never would have guessed that was the problem.
After reading all the above, you all gave great advices. Sometimes, a simple change of medication can eliminate falling and confusion. Some meds. have side effects that might cause his behaviors. If home help is still affordable for you, then I suggest you continue. You can also find a way of cutting down your father eating too much fruits. With his dementia, he doesn't remember what he did or ate 5 mins. ago. That is the nature of the disease. You mentioned your father cried when he was in a home. I am not in favor of big facilities ( unless you go visit at all hours of the day to check and see if you like how they interact with clients), before you put your father there. I recommend smaller homes as they are more personal. Again, a loving, compassionate help (and they are out there), is all your father needs and will allow your mother rest. Good luck and keep us informed.

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