To tell dad or not tell dad about nursing home?

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My 91 yr old dad is in a rehab; his former ALF has evaluated him twice and finds that he needs a higher level of care than they can provide and they recommend a nursing home. The rehab facility is a nursing home as well. The question is, do we tell him that he cannot return to the ALF where his wife resides or keep him living on false hope that he is in a rehab temporarily and 'might' be able to return home? we fear that telling him the truth will be his demise as his only wish is to return to his wife, but he needs too much help and his wife cannot help him - she has dementia and his return would cause her to go down hill; she is not fit for a nursing home at this time. I think the truth is the better way to go - thoughts?

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YVM, let us know how things r going n what approach u decided to take-we all learn from each other. No real R or wrong. Just hope to know how it's been going...? I hope some better, kimbee
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I think foster care is a good idea as long as the people offering to do it realize that it have to be long term-it would not be good if the families have to scronge around to find another place real quickly.
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Thank you ALL for your wonderful and helpful responses!!!
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yvmartinez, have you checked into adult foster care instead of a nursing home? Out here in Oregon, foster care is becoming quite popular as an alternative to the nursing home. We had really good luck when my father-in-law was in one.
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It is better to talk to him about what nursing home he would be interested before he isn't able to make any decisions, because it would be harder for him to adjust to change when his dementia is worse. It might help to have a social worker talk to him with you.
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Hi, I've been caring for my 84 year old mother for approx. 5 years, with the last year my husband, son and I moved in to her house to care for her. Oh, she is a victim of Alzheimer's.

Ask yourself this question.........is dad living life or just existing in this life? Death is part of life on this side and we must understand we are not meant to just exist, but to live. If he is not going to get better, don't prolong his suffering, but tell the truth.
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YVM, I thought of another idea to consider. Don't know the financial situation u r working w, but a well respected university SW advised me that when shopping AL's, to look fo one that would permit me to bring in outside help of my choosing for my mom ( a previous plan when her husband was planning to join her, but then didn't). Might b worth a review of ur contract wording, if u could hire in Xtra help that dad needs. The SW also told me that many facilities r not full (18 mo's ago) so worth pushing a little to get what u need. Certainly the idea of moving BOTH of them to a Place that could handle all the needs may influence the current AL to be more accommodating to added outside help? Just a thought... Let us know more about parents, n NH push to tell dad. Glad he has been friendly w other gentleman, surely makes it more manageable. Kimbee
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I agree with the posters that used a light approch and asked who in the nursing home was pushing their agenda on you-and since he is accepting of moving to a semi-private I would continue as you are-you are the family and do not need it to be more difficult than it has to be-since he is not asking about it as much I would continue as you are doing-why get him upset when he is handling it ok now.
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Is it possible to take your Mother to visit your Father once in a while? If so, that might help him be more content in the NH.
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I think it is best to give your father hope of getting stronger. Unfortunately most rehabs aren't set up to exercise the elderly if they are over 85 yrs old. PTs tend to write the 85+ crowd off. If I had a dime for everyone that told me my father had "plateaued" I would be a wealthy woman. The exercise rehab must be paced with their stamina level but they tend to have a "schedule" of 3 hours a day of exercise and it is seldom broken up. This type of rehab doesn't work with the 85 yrs + crowd. With proper exercise, your father might improve enough to return to the facility with his wife.

I brought my father home from his second rehab because they said he was nursing home material. I knew he didn't want to be there and mentally it would have depressed him. He came home and lived another 3.5 yrs. Of course, it took lots of money, work and having a trained "exercise lady" who had experience with the elderly above the age of 85. But they can improve slowly with proper combinations of rest and exercise.

Nursing homes may be needed but let's face it the majority are not good for the elderly person's mental health. My father's mind remained sharp to the end.

Elizabeth
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