I have just had to put both my parents in assisted living/memory care. My mom has Dementia and my dad has Parkinson’s. She refused to let anyone aid in his care, even going so far as hitting a nurse for trying to help them. She refused to let my dad call me to help him, as well as other family members. After my dad being hospitalized from a fall almost a week, refusing rehab, sending back a hoyer lift, refusing a hospice bed, etc., we were told by an RN with the home health agency we had two days to start pursuing guardianship to get her out of the home or she would take other measures. We were able to persuade my dad to go to rehab and my mom agreed to also go to “help” him. After hitting 4 nurses, the dr sent her to Geri psychiatrics for 14 days. We moved my dad first and had no problems until we moved my mom there. Now he is calling me saying they want to go back like it was before at home. It breaks my heart but drs have told us they can’t come back home safely. I feel like it is my mom more so than my dad. She nags at him continuously and gets him so frustrated. Do we cave to their wishes or leave them there? Do we separate them because of her “jealousy/possession? They want to be together and have been married 65 years but can’t get along when they’re together. We don’t think they’ll live long if separated but just don’t know what to do. When he was home he’d say mother doesn’t help me. I just don’t know what to do. This is breaking my heart.

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It sounds like your mother is fixated on him, but, if she is hitting staff and preventing her husband from getting the care that he needs, then, it's a serious problem. When people are a danger to themselves or others, then they can't call the shots, imo.

When my mom was in the Geri psychiatric ward, they both were asking for each other and wanting to be together. We offered to let him come home and her go to memory care but my dad wants to be with her. They have 2 rooms side by side and he slept in her bed rather than in his hospital bed. There just seems to be no solution. Has anyone else dealt with a similar situation, and if so, how did you find a solution that is best for both of them that is agreeable to both.

I agree about trying to get your mother stabilized. Sometimes, the medications need adjusting and some just take time to have full impact. I would also keep in mind that there may not be a way to help your mom be agreeable and cooperative. I would consider just how challenging it is to live along side a person who has dementia. Often the symptoms are very challenging to handle. It can strain the patience to deal with this behavior even for a few minutes at a time. The magical thinking that things can return to normal is just that. It's not realistic. 

I'd work towards protecting both parents, but, it might not be possible to meet their goals. I'd focus on protecting dad's state of mind and safety, as well as that of your mother. If they were both really thinking clearly, they would not surely not want to hurt the other or the staff. Nor would they want to cause you, their precious child, worry and pain. Based on what I have observed, having a person who does not have dementia, living in a facility with a person is severely affected and agitated, is concerning.  I would strongly discuss how negatively this can affect your dad.  The other person ends up trying to take care of the other one and this is a full time job.  It's just too much. I can understand how your dad may be exhausted and exasperated. 

For me, the guilt would be if I chose to allow my parents to be in a situation where they were not protected and cared for. I hope you can find some answers that work for you and that you can find some peace.

You poor thing.

I should call the psychiatric team and see if they can have another go at getting your mother better stabilised.

Meanwhile, rather than giving your father a concrete no about the going home point, instead ask him to give the facility time to get past the teething troubles, and reassure him that this will be the best option for both of them in the long run.

Is there any possibility of their "living together apart"? The ideal might be if your father can reside in the ALF section and visit your mother daily in the memory care unit, but also be able to get away and leave her in safe hands when she becomes argumentative or distressed.

You absolutely have done the right thing, by the way. I hope things will begin to run more smoothly for you all very soon.

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