I've finally come to terms with the idea that I can't do this by myself and my dad is probably ready for AL. I took a step today and visited one. there are no LTC beds available and she informed me that IL Medicaid is currently 8 mos behind before they get to processing an application. I am exhausted from the constant worry, the constant heartbreak of watching him, and the guilt when I have to leave him alone at night because I can't take anymore. My sister has been AWOL the whole time - sometimes I feel like dropping him off at her house and disappearing from this area forever and let her figure it out.

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We stay at McD's from 7 to about 9-930.

I'll try - it helps to put it out there somewhere --- I don't know anybody else going thru this right now. It's the weirdest thing - I feel busy all the time but yet I'm killing time for hours at a time. I drive to my dad's town every day and get him before breakfast. I take him to McD's where he's been going for 23 years everyday when my mom died so that he can see people he knows. He doesn't interact with them much but it's less stressful for me when there's a diversion from just me. Then I take him to his house where he's fine for a couple hours. I either go sit in the library (Sundays it's the hospital lobby since library is closed). I go back to his house around 11-1130 and we go out to lunch in some local family restaurants near his house. I live too far away to go home. Sometimes I go to the park and take a nap in my car but now that winter is over, it's too hot to stay in the car with the windows up. We eat, then we go to some store or another and just walk around, usually to the grocery store also or I drive him thru where he grew up which is the next town over. Then we go back to his house and either watch tv, but lately we've just been sitting on his porch. I have an ipad and/or I'm crocheting. I get him set up for dinner and then I come home. I've got ADT there and any time a door opens to the exterior I get a text message on my phone. I can either watch him or the doors live 24/7 if I wanted to or every time a door opens and I get that text message the cams on the doors record a 30 second clip which I can watch in order to know if someone went in or out. He hasn't started wandering or anything but I'm prepared for that. When I go home at 5 and between 830 when he usually goes to bed - he'll open doors 40-50 times before they stop. I've stopped watching the cameras full time because it's just too painful to watch him talk to himself, keep shuffling thru papers, etc. The whole idea of getting the cams was so I could come home and get a break from the sadness of it. Then I get up at 5 and do it all over again the next day. I don't take much time away from that routine -- by the time I get home I'm too tired and emotionally drained to do anything here so I don't do anything but wait for the doors to stop opening so I can go to bed.

I don't have any answers for you, unfortunately. I wish I could help but I am not knowledgable in this area. Can I make a request, if you have the time, but only if you really do have the time, could you post though this process. --explain as you go on here what you are doing and how it went. So many caregivers are going though what you are or , like me, may be in the future and if you could share your experiences it would be really valuable here, I think. But only if you have the time and the energy.
Blessings and hugs to you and your Dad ( sister gets a kick the pants!)

1) Visit other facilities
2) Get Dad on the waiting list of places you consider suitable
3) Start the Medicaid application process
4) For your own sanity, let go of things you cannot control, like your sister's decisions
5) Contact the Department of Aging for ideas of what you can do until Dad is settled in a care facility

It should feel a relief to at least have a decision made. I wish you strength as you go about implementing that decision.

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