I worry that I gave up too easily on my Dad.

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Two months ago, my 90 year old dad suffered a small stroke but one that was big enough to impact his activities of daily living. After he left hospital, he definitely was not ready to go home alone (he lived alone for the past four years in his condo since mum passed away) and so we placed him - with his blessing - in a retirement home just around the corner from his condo. He has made some improvements since living there, but he still needs help dressing below the waist; he sometimes has urinary and bowel incontinence, that seems to have abated since being given medication to treat them, he has very advanced macular degeneration, is partially deaf and often has trouble now with his hearing aids (remembering to wear them, putting them in properly, changing batteries) and has exhibited signs of dementia for the past few weeks (getting up in the middle of the night and going to the dining hall for breakfast and arguing with the nurses who tell him that it is still hours before sunrise - one of many examples). My brother and I would not trust him to take his medications as prescribed.

With all of the above, if this were your father, would you say he could live at his condo, but with hired help (he wouldn't be able to pay for 24 hour care, but maybe during the day), or would you want him in a lovely (it really is) assisted living facility? My brother and I are readying his condo to have a real estate agent look at it and I worry that we have given up too easily on dad. He hates the ALF and always complains about everything - even though I have done my best to make accommodations for him so that he would be happier. But nothing would make him happier than being back at home. Should we just leave it alone and let him stay at the ALF? I live 1.5 hours away and visit 2x per week, my brother sees him almost every day (he lives 5 minutes away) to help him shower, etc.


You haven't given up on your dad. You've helped *him* make the practical decision to move to a place where all the support he could need, now or in the future, is available.

You see, the complaining wouldn't be solved by moving him back to his condo, even with the help he could afford, because what is upsetting him is not the new place itself but the changes in himself: the disorientation, the reduced physical abilities, for example. It's reasonable to hope that as he continues to recover from the stroke, God willing, which could go on for four months or so yet, and as he settles in to the ALF's routines, so he will begin to feel much more comfortable and 'at home.'

So to repeat: you have not given up on your dad and dumped him. Quite the opposite. Big hugs to you, and stay positive: I wish your father a continued recovery.
Thanks, Countrymouse. You're so right and so kind of you to respond. And I am probably the millionth person to post a very similar question :(
You're the first person to have to cope with how you're feeling about it though. It's a bit like having a baby or getting into a fight - it's not until you're doing it that you really find out what you're made of! But the forum is a great place for moral support, so keep posting :)
Chris, my parents would be so much safer and healthier in assited living than living on their own. I won't be able to get them in care till we have a horrible crisis with one or the other. They would scream and yell about it now and they will scream and yell about it down the road ad I will accept that and deal with it. They will never leave their nasty little house voluntarily. Don't feel guilty...H*ll..I'm envious....

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