Should I take my dad home again?

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I live in an apartment building for seniors, and moved my dad across the hall from me when he retired and showed the first signs of dementia. That lasted a year, and due to wandering at night and the need for more social interaction, i moved him to a small retirement home where he has done well for just over a year. He has started exit-seeking and wandering again, and has become more confused and is on Seroquel, and has been assessed for a nursing home. Another issue is that we are Dutch and i am the only one who speaks Dutch with him, and going to a larger nursing home will not be good for him in many ways at this point.
I am thinking that the best thing to do is to move him in with me, and take a leave of absence from work. I live in a big 2-bedroom apartment and he still knows it and loves my cat, and of course feels very comfortable and safe with me. I am a PSW myself, and can arrange homecare and respite care with the Alzheimer's Society in my area, and can work on my BA in psychology that i've been working on part time for a number of years while working.
It would be ideal if i lived in a house with more space, and perhaps i can rent a house and move into it with him, but my question is really, is this realistic, and sane? His need for social interaction is less so that isn't an issue anymore, i'm looking at what is best at his diminished level of functioning. He still goes out with me to a local park, still knows me, has trouble speaking and finding words, can't tell time anymore, needs constant supervision but also naps off and on during the day.
Any thoughts? Anyone else who has a parent in this condition/stage and has them at home? Any advice or input would be most welcome.
Thanks very much,
Helma

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Hi Karie, thanks for the information about inappropriate content, good to know!

Another update: I'm adjusting to my new role after having had a meltdown day last week, I guess it was unavoidable. I called in sick for one day, cried my eyes out, rethought my situation and my father's, let things sink in further.

With my work, I come across a lot of wonderful people in their 70s and 80s, and I asked a good friend of mine who is 84, in a wheelchair as is her husband, if she experienced a sense of peace after her parents passed away. She was very much involved in their care at the end of their lives. She told me that there is a great sense of peace when we feel that we did what we could... we really do remember all of the happy times even if things were very difficult at the end, and that she knows that I will get through it when it happens. It was so helpful to hear that from someone who has experienced it already.

My dad is doing well, the nursing home is really an excellent one and I am very thankful for that. They have exercise, sensory programs and music programs daily, and they don't have a shortage of staff, which helps a great deal.

I hope my updates help someone else who is going through something similar. It isn't easy and never will be, but it is most definitely worth it, all of it.
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To EGLord, JudymW, and whom it may concern.

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Thanks you for understanding!

Karie H.
AgingCare.com Team
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Another update: my dad is doing well, as well as he can in the home, but i'm not doing so well right now. I know this is temporary, but i feel like i am suddenly lacking the purpose i had before, even though i see my dad every other day.
I'm going through menopause, have no life because i work afternoons/evenings (in healthcare) and it feels like too much to start anything new right now. I will just ride through this, maybe it's natural to feel depressed after giving up the main caregiving role... i can be "just the daughter" again, a few people have told me, but it's never just that again after having been the sole person responsible for a parent. I have to let go now, more than before, and it isn't easy.
There is probably a better place on this site to say this, but i thought i would continue my own topic here.
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Reading your update made me smile. So glad it worked out well for the both of you. Well done!
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Thank you for sharing! I think your story is more common than we tend to see here. Naturally it is when people are facing difficulties that they tend to turn to a site like this. (As you did when you were in decision-making mode.) We don't see all the success stories of elders who went into a care center and their lives improved. I am so glad that this working out well for you and your dad!
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i am so very glad that went well for you Helma! it's so wonderful when things just fall into place and it feels so right for everyone involved. you did a good job with that.
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It has been three days since my dad went into the nursing home, so here is a quick update:

It went extremely well! I spent the entire first day with him, half the second day, and a few hours yesterday.... he is just fine! It is a busy place, and he loves people, so that really helped things along, but in the first hour we had been introduced to one resident and two PSWs who understood and spoke enough Dutch to get by, and that really helped.

So much has happened that i can't think to write it all down, but i'm so happy to be able to say that my role in his life is now to be supportive in only the most positive ways, and his environment and the people around him support him in the ways he needs it most.

It didn't sink in until last night that he wasn't going to see the people in the retirement home he was in anymore, so we have planned to go and visit one morning next week.

This feels so very much better... like how it's supposed to be.
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Helm, I'm so happy for your dad. It sounds like an exciting new adventure for him. Don't be a stranger! I hope, like Jeanne you come back often and share your concerns and just let us know how you both are adjusting. SIGH!!!! I just love this site!!!!!
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Thank you for taking the time to share an update. Best of luck to you both on this new adventure. Stop back and drop us a note once in a while ... when new challenges arise, or just to let us know that things are going smoothly.
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@everyone: thank you so much for your comments and for sharing, it is so incredibly helpful to read about your experiences.

An update: my dad is moving into the Dutch-speaking local nursing home in four days, on Tuesday July 31st. I got the call about a bed available in a Dutch-speaking home the day after i posted here. I keep crying, while driving to work and while telling anyone else about it, but i have to be very honest with myself that it is partly relief that i am feeling as well as grief that it has come to this point. My dad will be all right with my involvement, as he is still able to enjoy other people's company. I had already taken him on a tour there a few weeks ago, and he liked the semi-private rooms, the cozy look of them (it is a really nice place, small but very homy) and that is what we have been offered for him, so he will have company rather than sitting in his room alone. It is a very well supported NH in the community, with very high volunteer involvement, and i am adding myself to that list now as well.
I do already provide him with a "Dutch connection" by taking him to a dutch grocery store in another town, speaking Dutch with him, and having hung up dutch landscape pictures and stocked his bookshelf in his current place with dutch books. He used to go to the library and pick them out, but now he doesn't want to take out new ones when he has so many himself, as he says.
I do think this is the best situation, as i can keep working but spend a lot of time checking on him, and can still take him out and enrich his life while he is supported there 24/7.
I'm glad that someone who was inappropriately critical of nursing homes was confronted in this thread; the last thing we all need is to compound the guilt and grief with someone wagging their finger at us with judgements.
It is true of this, as with so many things, that unless you have experienced someone with Alzheimer's or dementia, it is impossible to know how all-encompassing the demands on our energy and time is. It isn't that i have chosen myself over him, as i used to worry about, but that if he knew what i was thinking about this, he would be the first one to say that i can't take on too much and that i need to have my own life too. He did say that once, last year, and it broke my heart to hear him say it, but it is true.
I'm very grateful that we have a good situation and that his health is good otherwise, and that he isn't suffering. I have to see this as a new adventure for him, and will support him all the way.
Thanks again for your comments and support!
Helma
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