Sometimes I just wish I could pull Dad out of AL. I can't detach.

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...because it's more Unassisted Living. I swear that for $5K a month, things should be taken care of, but I find myself having to follow up on WAY more than I'd like to. I've tried almost every alternative in the book, and much to my dismay, Unassisted Living was the best option. I chose AL because it was the best option. Him living in my house was a disaster, and I was afraid he was going to burn my house down. Independent Living didn't work because Dad doesn't have the capacity to manage 24 hour oxygen, meds, etc. with his sight. A small solo apartment with overnight help 3 nights a week was horrible. They were "ghetto" chicks that ate up his food, spent his money, or didn't show up at all because they were in jail (I'm not kidding about the last one). AL was my last, though expensive, resort. At least there 1) he got breakfast 2) the adult day center provides free transportation to and from three days a week, and the AL staff can at least handle Dad's insomnia, constant complaining, and medicines. However, I still feel like I have to be way more involved than I would like. If the TV breaks, Daddy calls. He complains CONSTANTLY about the food (because he wants me to bring it every night). Dad's cable isn't working and the cable company says its for non payment HUH? Cable is part of his rent!!! So now, I'm at work worrying about what's going on at the Unassisted Living place again... productivity shot to hell!! I can never know if the lazy evening staff (one of the CNA's is downright mean) is doing their job, and sometimes I think I should just save the damn money and rent something one level and pay help to come in again (maybe at a higher price point to weed out the bad ones). That would mean I would once again have to cover overnights, but if I'm constantly having to follow up on dumb S*** why not save the money? I HATE feeling like I still have to intervene when I pay a freaking A**load of money to NOT worry about this stuff. The staff, in an effort to help, started automatically sending food to Dad during meal times, and he's biting everyone's head off because he feels like their forcing him to eat. Guess who gets an ear full... Is it ok NOT to give a flying flip about his stupid eating habits anymore? Seriously! I'm SICK of hearing about this. I'm at a point where I don't care if he eats or not. I've bent over backwards and he's only happy when he gets his way... Translation: me bringing him what he wants when he wants it. AARGH!!! It's cold and rainy out today, and I so do NOT feel like driving 45 minutes to visit an old grump who is never happy. I just want to go home, have a glass of wine and cook something I want to eat for a change. Yep... one call from Dad, the AL or hospice never fails at putting me in a VERY bad mood!!!!

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I was just in a very similar situation with my dad. Every time the was a problem, the place would call me. I realized I was the assistance in assisted living. The place was really messed up and my father's stay there ended when they called the cops on him for expressing his anger at wanting to leave the grounds.

I had him live with me for a week and then put him in memory card. The cost is outrageous, $8k, but they are really well staffed and never call me with problems. He doesn't like living there but it's as good as it is going to get at this point.

I've come to realize that there is no way to keep my dad safe and happy. It's a hard, sad realization but it's the truth of the situation.

As absurd as $5k a month is for care, you may have to spend more to get the care he needs.
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Tinyblu: That's great to hear!
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What a great start, Tiny!!!
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UPDATE: I have been processing everyone's advice (which is AWESOME by the way), and working on a "detachment game plan" compliments of my life coach from the EAP.

By January 2018, I'm going to have the staff and myself acclimated to a much less involved Tinyblu!

I loved the idea of having a meeting with the AL Staff and Dad so that he feels involved. Maybe if I can sit down with the dietician and Dad so he can explain directly to them what he needs, his attitude will change. If not, he's just going to have to deal.

Something the life coach said made sense to me. When I was a child, there were several things placed on the table I didn't "like", but Dad didn't run off and make something I preferred. It was "eat it or go hungry"... and eventually those green peas or broccoli would magically disappear.

Everyone is right. I give dad fuel to add to the fire by jumping through hoops every time he complains. I'm going to ask for a meeting so Dad can tell the staff from his own mouth what he wants and how he wants it. I'm hoping this will be a happy medium.

- He complained when the staff automatically brought food because he felt like they were forcing him to eat

- He gets testy with the staff when they ask him if he wants to eat (basically to remind him it's meal time) and refuses food if he's in a bad mood

But then I get an ear full and naturally worry (codependency at it's best) and try to swoop in.

I get it. He's not starving and he's not malnourished. I have to let this go.

I'll keep you posted.
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Tinyblu: Learn by your own words and "detach," e.g. not to be bringing him so many meals, etc....that's crazy.
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Inform your dad you have been put on a very special diet for your health reasons & for the same health reason you can't cook twice - then start bringing in things he hates - if he hates liver then it is a main stay of diet, if he hates chicken with a sauce same thing - you get the idea - you may hate it to so just cook it a few times for him & when he complains says 'well you just get it a few times but I have this everyday & I hate it too' can you do tears well? to put icing on cake -

Then he will pull the plug not you & when he gripes about food tell him he is lucky he doesn't have to eat what you are - can say you envy his food at AL & he may preen over this - there is more than 1 way to deflate a wind bag

Programme your phone to hold calls at certain times from his number but allow the nurses' number through - start small & increase as time goes by so that you get his calls when it is best for you - take care of yourself before you really get sick - remember it isn't whether the glass is 1/2 full or 1/2 empty but is there something to refill ... lol  be that water or wine
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I can empathize. So, this may sound harsh, but stop answering the phone! Tell the AL that you are busy at work and to please keep an extra close eye on Dad. Then, let them do what you're paying them for. He's safe and it sounds like he will complain regardless. Set boundaries. Decide how many times a week you'll talk to him on the phone and how often you'll visit. If the AL is truly inadequate you will know soon enough and you can move him. Take charge. Good luck.
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Then speak to the manager of the AL.
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My 91 y/o mom lives in an ALF and complains continuously......to ME. To THEM, she's a saint and a blessing; to me she's something else entirely. She calls me with overly dramatic issues, and when I call the ALF to check on her, what do you know, she's FINE! They save their worst behavior for their children, my friend, so be aware of that and back off. That's what the RN in charge of mom's ALF told ME to do, and that's why I'm suggesting it to YOU. Guess what? The folks won't die from a lousy ALF meal, yet we're running over there to 'fix' it for them every 15 seconds!! I try to take mom out once a week for a 'decent' meal, and I call over there 1-2x per day. I'm trying to cut the 2x a day down to 1x a day, because in reality, she does not 'need' me for much of anything!! Once you agree to detach from this situation, things will get a whole lot easier. Remember that it's not YOUR place to make HIS life perfect; that's not going to happen no matter what.
Best of luck!
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Understand your frustration. Take care of yourself. I think calling is a good idea. Maybe try to find a closer place to you. My dad is in a nursing home 5 minutes from my home and that is such a blessing. The place is ok, his needs are met, but being able to visit often, sometimes just for a half hour, is good for me and him. Good luck.
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