bhengstebeck Asked June 2011

When is a good time to place you 83-year-old Alzheimer’s father in a memory care facility?

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My father has alzhiemers and is easy to care for. He does needs instructions for almost everything and I mean everything but he tries willingly to comply, from picking up food to sitting down. Each time it's like I'm the part of his brain that gives the instructions, without it, the food, cup ect. would sit 50% of the time. Or he might say what do I do next. None of this bothers me. He does not know I'm his son.( I'm 59) He likes me and thinks I'm an older brother or good friend. He does't know what day it is.Untill 3 weeks ago he always looked forward to Sunday Church. He would worry about it as early as Wednesday. The past few Sundays he doesn't know he is there until he's walking in the door, maybe? He has IBS which was a real challange but we got it under control about 6 months ago. That was major. He is very hard to understand. He doesn't remember words. He is a real nice guy. I get up usually 2 times a night and take him to the bathroom. The secret is, wake up before he does, drink two glasses of water each time you put him to bed and that will wake you in about 3 hrs. I also have a motion censor in his room that goes to a viberater I wear in a headband I made. Works great. I can almost always beat him to the bathroom. Now the Bad news. I am it.There are no other family members that will step up to the plate if something happens to me. I have lupus and fybromyalgia + more and don,t know if my health will hold out.I found a excellent alzheimers facility.Only 32 beds. Lots of trained and happy staff. Lots of activities. I get chill bumps when I visit. I'm so worried (guility) about him feeling abanoned. I think I should tough it out but I also think he may like it. I want him to like it. I,m also afraid if I wait to long to find a place, I won't be able to get him in anywhere but a nursing home. He has been on a waiting list for 6 months. They called today with a $4,000.00 monthly companion room. We can afford it. It's but very doable. What to do? Try it, and bring it home if it doesn't work. I'm retired so can visit every day if needed. What to do? Pat

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goodsign May 2012
As a fellow fibro person, home companion caregiver, I think that you are running
on empty.......On a daily basis, you have little room to breathe.....previous to your needing help, I pray that the list allows your dad admission SOON. Having seen my last three clients enter nursing homes, I can attest to the lonliness "I FEEL", BUT MUST ADMIT, that these persons are receiving top quality care, and I am
free to just be there for the fun times, allowing me to do what I need to do........and their "social circle" (and mine) has grown and allows for a much more healthy schedule for ALL OF US.......... be at Peace........You are an exceptional son, and all can benefit from the transition.
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CaraMia Jul 2011
Pat, you have gone above and beyond in caring for your Dad and making sure that his needs are met. You say that he is a nice person; so are you. You've outdone yourself and it is now time for your Dad to get the clinical Alzheimer's care that he needs at this stage of his life. He will be well cared for if the nursing home is as good as you think it is. Don't feel guilty. You've done your best and angels can do no more. Your health is very important. Take good care of yourself and give yourself a caregiving break. Thanks for sharing your story.
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jeannegibbs Jun 2011
Yes, Pat, there is a good time. It is when a facility you have checked out and judged to be suitable calls with an affordable opening, while you still have enough of your own health to make good decisions and carry them out.

Once he is there you can visit him daily. You can stay as long as you like. You can feed him his meals. You can take him to church. Or you can cut back a bit. You can just visit and let others take care of the feedings and toileting, etc. You can miss a day or two or four when you have health issues and know that at least Dad is having his basic needs met.

If you wait until it is absolutely necessary, there may be waiting lists at the places that are most suitable. If you wait until your health gives out it dosn't sound like you can count on others to go through the careful selection process you have and to ease Dad's transition to the new environment.

Each case is different. From what you have told us, I think your time is now. I congratulate you for looking ahead and doing your research. Obviously your father's welfare is very important to you. This is an important service you can provide for him.
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