Staying away from nursing home for dad to adjust.

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my dad has dementia but not to the point he doesn't know me. They told me to stay away for 14 days so he could adjust. He has the nursing station call me every day and asks me when I am coming to get him. I have to lie and tell him I cant for some reason or the other. What should i do?

7 Comments

It sounds like contradiction by the facility he is in. I would call the staff that told you not to visit for 2 weeks and tell them to get with the nursing station who is calling you for your Dad. They should agree on best action to settle your Dad and not put pressure on you.
Very hard on both of you. It will shake out. You are a good son.
If your dad still knows you there is no reason you can't visit. You need to be aware that these visits may be upsetting to both of you. Simply removing you from his sight is not going to make his adjustment any easier and he may be feeling very deserted and abandoned.
If you decide to visit, keep your visits short and try to time them so that he has something to do right after you leave--perhaps you could visit for 20-30 min. right before lunch.
Some facilities request that family not visit for 2 weeks because it makes the adjustment time easier on the staff not necessarily because it makes it easier on the new resident You alone can decide what is best for you and your dad.
akasun: Wow--really? It's about the Staff? It's not about the elder who has dementia, is confused, and the caregiver who is trying to do the right thing for their parent?
Not very reassuring.
I hope you are doing well. All I can say is NO one would tell me I couldnt visit my parent, ever! Could you get fulltime help and bring him home ? A cna I hired told me she had 12 patients to get up washed and to breakfast each morning and they cant give personal attention because there is no time to, here she does only one on one with my Mom when she comes to give me a break. I feel for you and for him very much. I am on my 5th year caring for my mother at my home and I absolutely do understand the stress, the life on hold, etc situation and sometimes I could scream or hang my head out the window to see the world and breathe in the fresh air! Getting fulltime help at home is great and you can your Dads SS check or assetts if you are his DPOA. Please dont let them tell you that you cant see him, what if he passes away? I say shame on them for telling you that.
PS To me it doesnt matter if they know you or not, they need you regardless, they may or may not know you or your voice but holding their hand and telling them its all okay and you are with him, is what they need. I cant imagine how scared he must be, youre both suffering. I am not trying to make you feel bad I just put myself in a parents position . He is already confused, moved in a strange place, and alone and his family stops coming? Who would want that? Best of luck, please follow your heart and do what you think is right.
The nursing home where my mom lives suggested I not come for a period of time, but I did not take their suggestion initially.

When I cared for my mom at home, I was very attentive. When we had to put her in the nursing home, it was so I could have surgery to remove my thyroid - we wound up having her go a couple of weeks earlier because she fell (again) and I told the hospital I couldn't bring her home. At the nursing home, mom went bonkers. Dad and I were spending most of the day there (we took turns) to help her adjust. She didn't. She threatened to kill herself. She told us we were terrible for leaving her there, that people were hurting her, that they were leaving her all alone in her chair in the lounge all night, and so on.

The staff told me I had spoiled her, that she needed to get used to the routine without me. This is a fabulous nursing home, by the way. Couldn't get better care anywhere except maybe home (if I had full time helpers!). In the end, I had my surgery and I was apart from her. Every time I visited her, she'd cry and tell me how terrible I was and why couldn't I bring her home. I realized when she was there that it was the best thing for me and my family for her to stay. Dad is still living here.

She's been in the nursing home for a year and a half. She no longer begs to go home (or at least, not very often) And we visit almost every day at lunch.

Go with your heart. The home can't keep you from visiting. Do what you feel is right.
I should mention that my mother has dementia...
That is so cruel of them! One of the most important things in life is to have comfort and contact with loved ones.

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