My parents have dementia and don't know who we are, but they don't wander. Is it foolish to try and care for both of them in my home?

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
Well, Mom knows me, doesn't wander or bolt (she's too fragile at this point.) the thing is they might be sometimes frightened of this person who is doing all this to them and make a run for it. Rushing, tripping, getting to the street and a block away, lost. Once I put a puzzling array of false locks (ties, chains, clips) on the door, but only one really worked to keep the door shut. Got a $20 door chime alarm. that was when Mom still went out to get the mail. Years ago.

Good for you for considering it, though. If you are all alone, it would be a chore. I would not be able to leave Mom alone if I had to deal with another (ie, give other one a shower).
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No--my Mom didn't wander at first either and I thought I could care for her, but theres a long list of other things that seem simple at first and it will ware you down. You can't be alert 24/7 and with two, you will surly go down fast. My Mom is now in a NH, it's hard to do but it really is the best move. Please check them out, it really does take a village. Good Luck.
Hi Doug~In my opinion, not knowing the form a dementia your parents have....this is a difficult query to reply to. Can you possiblty have your parents checked out by a physician or neurologist?

In my particular case, I was advised by my Mom's neurolgist that she would be best off if in a facility.

Your thought of caring for your parents at home is a good one-but you have to evaluate, would this the best move for them at this point in time.

The people at the Alzheimer's Associaion would be a good contact to make, as they deal in a variety of dementias..they have a 24/7 hotline-and the telephone number is 1-800-272-3900.

Good luck on your caregiving journey, and do get back to us with more information-if possible.

Hi Doug:

I have spent the last ten years taking care of the elderly in nursing homes in Virginia as a Certified Nursing Assistant. I commend you for wanting to care for your parents in your home, but I would advise you not to. Since they do not remember you it could be very frightening for them and painful for you. Also, if they do not remember you, it is a good bet that if they should get out when you are not looking they could get lost and that could potentially be very tragic. Another thing is that it does not get better, it only gets worse. I am not a doctor at all, but from my experience I could almost say that it sounds like your parents may have Alzheimer's Disease. Alzheimer's Disease is a very unforgiving disease and probably the worst of all dimentias. It takes people with specialized training to understand what is happening with these folks and how to care for them. Caring for them at home would become extremely difficult for you as these folks also tend to wake up in the middle of the night and wander around. If you are asleep this could get to be a problem. They can put things in their mouths that they can choke on or that could poison them or they could otherwise hurt themselves.

All of this said, I would advise that you put them in a facility. They would be put on a locked unit, but this is for their safety because these folks do wander and if a door is unlocked it is almost a certainty that they will eventually wander out of it. Good luck to you Doug and God Bless you.
I do care for my mother who has alz/dementia and a mother in law who has emphazema 70% blockage, I am here to tell you take the advise of the others, it is extremely hard for me and it does wear you down. Presently my mom still remembers who iam on occassion, but when it comes time she doesnt remember me at all, I will have to make the decision you are facing. It's been 7 yrs runing in and out og hospitals having to wake up at night changing and bathing,It's hard very stressful,When it comes to them u dont think u just do, u can easily give and give till theres nothing left.
oh, I'll bet Doug did not click on the button to have alerts when people are responding to his post. Well, here is another thought. Have all other possible causes of dementia ruled out, including stopping prescriptions that are not absolutely necessary. There were two drugs Mom was taking, both caused dementia, and she improved dramatically when stopping them or changing. Then I knew to watch for whacked out behavior with every new Rx. At one point, she had five drugs that caused dizziness and sleepiness.

The two drugs that caused the most problems were Ditropan for bladder probs (after a week off, she started to come alive again, and when I questioned if she sensed something different about herself, she gave a speech! I filmed it and posted it on YouTube.) She was improving, learning things like someone coming out of amnesia, then doctor changed BP med to Zocor, and she sunk again. We tried on/off a few times, then finally off, but she was too far gone. So near, yet so far.

Urinary tract infections, any infection, can cause dementia and delusion, usually clearing up when the problem is resolved. She got cat scratch fever once, and that was a trip.
We kept Dad at home when until he had a fall. He went to a rehab center (nursing home). While there he fell 3 times in one week, the last caused him to be taken to the hospital and ultimately to pallative care until his death. If I was doing it all over, I'd think twice about putting him in rehab, maybe have tried rehab at home. The nursing homes have some great staff, as well as those who shouldn't be there. I could almost tell who was on staff by how Dad was dressed, and where they parked him for the day. As he declined, they did less and less to integrate him with others. Even after many requests for him to be in the TV room, it again depended on the staff. Some would say it was the course one goes through, but Dad lost weight quickly. After starting to visit during meals, it was clear why. So, I went and helped him eat 2 meals a day and took him snaks. Since he couldn't ask for snaks, he got none. Yes, it is time consuming, and is a major drain on one's life, but with outside help, I think home is the best place unless the medical issues truly require confinement in a facility.
Good luck on your decisions. I'd suggest talking to a minister or social worker on posibilties.
I think you need to look into placement -it is for their best interest and you can take care of them 24/7 without becoming sick yourself it is just too much for one person-you could put them in a nursing home close to you so you can visit them and maybe take them out for rides at time and visit them often. At the very least have them evaluated by a social worker in your home and see how that goes.

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