2nd Memory Care Facility...

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I have to vent. My brothers and I all moved our parents to their 2nd memory care facility. After 3 months of hearing how horrible it was and how miserable they were at the first facility and them begging us to put them anyplace but where they were, we found a place for them that was strictly memory care. Long story short, parents are still miserable. I was very involved at their last facility and visited them 4 days a week and took them on outings 2-3 of those days. My life was still being heavily impacted but I could at least go home and sleep. Well now there are more medical issues for the folks and I don’t want to continue being their “ voice” and driver and calendar coordinator but cannot seem to escape this duty. It just never ends. I’ve been to the ER with them after being called in the middle of the night from the facility. I’ve been called to come and take one parent away so the other parent can calm down. I feel like my entire life is on call for people who never even remember me being there. I don’t like the people my parents now are. They never wanted to be a burden, but that’s exactly what they have become. I can’t seem to escape the tentacles that are sucking the life out of me.

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Thanks for the comments folks. Appreciate it all.
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By the way, I was told by the ALs RN (who had worked at the local hospital) that for every day in the hospital, its 3 days of therapy if just needed to get ur strength back. For Mom thats 12 days not 18. Got to be on top of everything. TG, I have an RN in the family.
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Shakingdust off. I had to laugh when I read your comment. The last time Mom was in rehab her Dementia had worsened to the point she was like a child. Her roommate told me she cried her first night and she mentioned being scared on a visit. Because I was watching every penny for her AL that I told finance she would be staying only the 20days that Medicare paid. She couldn't afford the $150 after that. So they better tell the physical therapist. It took them 10 days to have a care meeting. (was suppose to have one in 3 to 7 days). During the meeting I found they stopped Moms thyroid medicine, she had Graves desease. Long story but Dr. at hospital had labs done, the nos. were normal so he stopped her medication. Even though the medication was listed on discharge papers to rehab, Dr. at rehab felt since she didn't have it at hospital he wouldn't order it. I was livid. I gave them the name of the doctor who took care of Moms Thyroid and they didn't even check with him. I feel there should be a law that that rehabs and hospitals have to consult with the doctor who prescribed the meds before making changes. Also during the meeting I was told Mom would need someone with her when she walked with her walker. Really! She was only in the hospital 4 days. She was in rehab to get her strength back. I told them I don't know how someone could rehab when they only had therapy 1 hr in morning and one in the afternoon the rest of the time in a wheelchair. She was in rehab 18 days. Got back to AL and within 24hrs Mom was walking all over with her walker. I swore I would never put her in rehab again. She could get it at the AL. People think because its suggested you have to go. No you don't. You can ask to have it at home or at facility. Actuaaly, I wasn't asked I was told, we are sending Mom to rehab, so pick one.

I talked to Moms primary about what happen and he said, welcome to the new healthcare system.
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Alzh, take a deep breath. Leave them where they are. They won't be happy until the disease progresses where they r in their own little world. Scale down your visits. Outings too. Once a week should be enough even less for an outing. Not familiar with Memory Care facilities. Where I live its ALs or NHs. Does Memory care have their own doctor, dentist, eye doctor and foot doctor. If they do, think about using them. I also cut out some Drs. Mom didn't need the Dr. for what the hospital felt might be cancer. Turned out it was a thickening in the top of her stomach. Appt every 6 months, no change so I asked to go for a year, no change so I dropped him. Once Mom could not carry on conversations or take instruction, I stopped the neurologist. Her Thyroid doctor felt that she had stabilized and felt the facility doctor could have labs run regularly to check levels. If changed drastically, then he could call him. Specilist are OK, but once the patient stabilizes and you know what meds worked, the primary can take over. I found the NH Mom went to was my best decision. She was 89 in the last stage of Dementia. Her foot doctor came there. One of the doctors was the backup to her primary so he knew her. They had a Dentist and an eye doctor who came in for check ups. When I saw the residents were clean and no smell, I allowed her laundry to be done by the facility. All I had to do was visit and I only did that 3/4 times a week. Wish I had done that instead of the AL. The NH kept the residents occupied alk day.
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I also had two parents both with dementia in assisted living. Mom died in April. In hindsight I should have separated them. They fed on each other’s delusions and were in a constant state of agitation.

Dad is much better now that mom is gone, resting and eating well. He’s in memory care now.

There were some sweet demented couples in the same facility who did just fine together but my folks needed space.

I would also recommend pulling back quite a bit. I found that if I hovered around I represented all memories of home, the past, better times. Elders need to learn their way and adjust.  

I signed my folks up for the in house doc and med service. At their age with all the medical demands from various docs for appointments and follow ups it was ridiculous. Also used in house pharmacy.

You can’t fix this stuff. Resign yourself to that fact. It’s time to land the helicopter.
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101,
I sympathize with you. My mother's facility called and said she was getting low on one medication. I got it within 2 days and delivered it. Two days later, they called AGAIN and said she was getting low on another medication!!!!! Couldn't they check all the prescription bottles when the first bottle got low? Aaaahhhhh! (screaming and pulling out hair)

You need to set some BOUNDARIES!!
Get a book on it and learn how to say "no". You have them in a facility so THEY can take care of them, not you. Sit down with the Director of Nurses and have a chat as to what you can be called for and what you think the facility should be able to handle. (For instance, they should be able to separate your folks in different rooms without your intervention.) Make it clear that they are to handle "petty" problems "in house". You can have a standing request to only call for emergencies. As for what constitutes an emergency, get her to spell it out. Some ER visits can be avoided.

Is there anyone else in the family that can do some of what you're doing? If yes, tell them they need to help out and do_______. There's no glory in being a dead saint.
It's actually bad for your health to be so wound up and involved. You need to step back and "just say no" when little things come up. Tell them you will contact your parents by phone and not to have them call you (if that's a problem too.) Sometimes, with your folks, you have to turn off your hearing. (Ignore complaints, etc.)


Demented parents are like little kids. We "make" little kids take naps. We don't give in to their tantrums in the store. We have to "manage" our folks sometimes the same way or (as you are finding out), we will be run ragged.

There is no sense in trying to explain any of this to a dementia sufferer but try to not go there so often. Let this facility learn how to handle them. Visiting twice a week seems plenty.

In the end, you may have to switch them back to the first facility (if this didn't happen so frequently) to get some peace.

How is it that OUR folks escaped the caregiving of THEIR parents but WE are going mad with the constant needs?

Good luck. As the dementia wares on (sometimes) they calm down.

shakingdustoff,
South Florida sounds like the devils chambers for the elderly. Glad the other 49 1/2 states have better facilities.
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Basically there is no good solution, just some avenues to take. I guess every family does what seems to work out best for most parties involved. Unfortunately, when there are 2 people with dementia thinking they are just fine, the task of their well being falls upon others. Safety, health and finances all play a part and sometimes happiness doesn’t get a high priority. So either 2 can go down with the ship or all 5 of us will trying to make the 2 happy.
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I’ve had the experience of keeping them at home and round the clock care is $600 per day. It’s all private pay and keeping the folks at home was no better.
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Thanks Frequent!
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Alzh, it is so very common for those who live in Memory Care to tell their grown children that they are miserable and want to move. It seems to be the norm.

There have been grown children to have gone to visit their parent(s) during times that their parent(s) didn't know they were coming and found their parent enjoying an activity and chatting/laughing with the other residents.  Ah ha, not so miserable as they say :O

When my Dad moved to senior living, one thing I did was cut back on visiting him to once a week for an hour, that way he could become adjusted to where he was now living, and giving him the independence that he really needed without me being under foot.

My Dad could budget for a private caregiver so he brought along the caregiver he had when he still lived at his house. Thus, she took Dad to his doctor appointments, and to get his haircuts. Anything else I did the driving.

I know how tiring taking both parents to doctor appointments, it seemed like it was every other week, anyway it felt that way. Then sitting in the waiting rooms, filling out new forms to which I finally learned to just write across the page "same as last time". For my parents primary doctor, I got back to back appointments. Got to a point where I didn't even want to see my own doctors.... [sigh]. And when driving my parents home and listening to them talk about their appointment, it made me wonder were we all at the same appointment !!!
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