Sunday was my wake up call and a huge reality check!

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I left Bill in Mass on Easter Sunday because I was sick and I am allergic to lilies. There were at least 200 lilies in church. It was beautiful. I said, "Are you sure you will be alright" "Yes, I'll be OK." I assumed he would be. He has gone to Mass every Sunday for 78 years. He left the church in the middle of Mass and couldn't find me so he decided to run home on a 4 lane highway. He ran for over a mile until he fell, hit his head and ended up airlifted as a John Doe to a Shock Trauma center two hours away from home. I didn't know where he was and ended up driving for about 4 hours searching for him on Easter Sunday. The moral of the story is to get a Medic Alert Bracelet for Alzheimer's patients. It has a trick catch so they can't get it off. He threw away the first one I got for him. The Medic Alert is on a national registry so he can be found and the next of kin can be called right away. Now he is in the hospital with a concussion and I am sure he has lost about a year of time. He knew me until today. He called me his sister's name and he was hallucinating and grabbing things in the air. Don't let this happen to your loved one. I am so sick that now I am going to have to put him in Rehab and pray he gets well enough to come home!

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Thanks. He went on Friday. The bus picked him up and brought him home at 3. It was such a nice day that I felt guilty having free time to myself! But I will have to get over the guilty feeling. I know it's good for him to have some outside stimulation and activities to do. When he is at home he does nothing but sit in front of the TV, and sleep. So it was good!
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I have read here in which the posters would struggle so hard to get their parent up from bed, dress up and get ready for day care...even up to 90 minutes of continual struggle. The parent finally gets to day care. When the poster goes to pick the parent up, the staff says that she enjoyed herself so much with the activities. I agree, it's part of their dementia dealing with memory loss. They enjoy the Now but forget the past events.
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You can also kind of go and watch if you are uncertain. There is a problem with that, though, and it's that your presence can be a distraction to him. My mom's memory center said that we're welcome to visit but to just keep in-mind that being there can cause a disturbance in the routine.

If you think about it, this is our chance between the caregiver and the person we're caring for to have a little break from each other. In fact, to make it totally separate, Mom is now using the senior ride service so there is no separation issue when I drop her off as I'm no longer dropping her off. She's terrified of missing her ride, so I do wait by the door with her for it and watch for it with her, but that's still not too bad for us.
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Thank you Geo123. He said it was just OK. So I was glad to read what you had to say. He did not complain so that was a good sign, I think. I am glad you wrote that to me. It is good to know and I can always check in with the caregivers. Thank you so much!
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My mother's memory center told me that they have people that just love coming and enjoy all the activities but who immediately forget they enjoyed their day and insist they're not returning. So, if he says he doesn't like it, you might want to ask him to try it for awhile and do a review with the staff after some period.

My mother only has mild memory loss but immediately forgot most of her session. The director of the center and I were glad to see Mom and another female patient become fast friends. But when I picked Mom up to drive her home, she didn't remember her new friend nor any of the activities. She just remembered it was all pretty "silly" and pointless. Seriously, I saw it with my own eyes how she lit-up at making a new friend but she didn't remember any part of it afterwards. So, it's just something to keep in-mind.
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It is 3 months now since the Easter incident. Bill has recovered pretty well. He was in Rehab for three weeks and is now grateful to be home. He became stable on his feet right away and then seemed to get his mind back the next day. They kept him for a few days and then he had a bleeding ulcer and was sent to a local hospital for tests and treatment. After three days he returned to Rehab. He remained there for three weeks total including the hospital trip. Now he is home and doing as well as could be expected. His mind seems to be going backwards more quickly now. I see him losing little skills every day. But he is in his 9th year since I noticed the change in him. I have two safety bracelets for him now plus a home security system. I have installed locks on all my closets so I can lock dangerous substances away. Today he is starting at a local day care system for one day a week. I am praying that he likes the change. It will have breakfast and exercise in the early morning and then another activity, lunch, another group activity and finally a snack before he comes home on the bus. I am hoping he will really like the activities. Instead of sitting at home infront of the TV all day and nodding off all day.
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Katiekat, your post did sound a little like 20:20 hindsight. Once you know you've got a wanderer, then you know; but not everything is predictable and not everyone with dementia goes walkabout. Wamnanealz, hope he gets better and you get over the shock - the stuff of nightmares, poor both of you.
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katiekat, you sound just like my granddaughter who also accused me of being a bad caregiver. I was sitting outside of the door where we always come out. He left by a different exit. No, I never should have left him. It is just that Mass gives him such pleasure. I didn;t want to deny him. He had never done anything of this nature before. I was very sorry it happened, but that is hindsight. I did not realize he had the mentality of a two year old until this happened. He had been covering very well! And I was not out having a good time. You are accusatory and I resent it.
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My question is this. If you know they have Alzheimer's and are prone to wander, why do you leave them unattended? Why not take him out of the church with you or sit outside the door and wait for him? Would any of you leave a child alone in a church or on a bench while you shop? Same thing! I don't mean to be accusatory but you have to keep in mind their childlike mentality.
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Flyer, I understand. I have some major struggles I'm working through as well, and I doubt they'll ever be resolved. We have to pick and choose our battles, ones we can at least survive if not win.
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