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Dad is 88, a retired pastor and missionary. He had a heart attack 1yr ago and I came back to help and ended up renting a place so he could move in with me. He's now fragile, with my job, I have to relocate and put him somewhere that is hopefully safe...I feel the worse guilt ever and while his in a rehab facility from a fall, he feels he's coming back home with me and it will not happen. I feel like I'm now the patient.

We had to do the same thing with my dad after he fell and was recovering in a nursing home. My sister created a table to compare places and ask questions. I can send it to you if you want!
Debbie
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This must be terribly difficult for you. You can’t lose your job and your father wouldn’t want you to.

Find a nice facility and visit when you are able to. Ask clergy to visit him often. That will be a comfort for him.

Best wishes to you and your family.
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Dear "mydaddy1900,"

I know that your in a difficult situation and one that is distressing to you as well.

I think sometimes as caregivers for someone we deeply love, we find ourselves feeling guilty because we feel like we've let them down or failed in the ability to keep them in the place they're accustomed to. Change is often difficult even in the best of circumstances.

My mom is 95 with Alzheimer's. What helped me with the potential for feeling guilty when she was in a rehab facility for three weeks after surviving severe dehydration and COVID and knowing I would not be taking her back to her previous ALF apartment, I made the decision to tell her what I was doing. A lot of people disagreed as well as a counselor I spoke with from the Alzheimer's Association. But, I know my mom BEST. I know she would have wanted to know. So once a placement agent found a very nice facility for my husband and I to move her to so we could have her in memory care where she would have better and more care, when we did window visits 2-3 times a day, I would tell her we found a great new apartment for her. Each day I told her the plan and gave her a few details i.e. it's a private one-bedroom apartment, it has two windows that we can visit her at, there's no neighbor on one side so it will be quiet. We told her we would be with her every step of the way. When the day came to be released from rehab, I made sure we arrived before the medical transport van. Once the rehab and transport people brought her outside, we were standing nearby waving and reminded her we were following her to her new apartment which we did. This was helpful for both of us and kept a lot of guilt at bay. Did I feel guilty? A little, but not nearly as much as I would have if I never said a word and just took her to a new facility. She did very well and once settled in, there was a sense of relief. I think when we feel like we're hiding or keeping something from our loved one, is when we're more apt to feel bad. We kept open dialogue the whole time. This is our experience. I am not telling anybody else to do this. Everyone has to make their own decision for their own situation.

Personally, I think your dad being a retired pastor and missionary has probably dealt with many families through the years who have gone through this same type of situation with their loved ones and he would be most likely the type of person to be understanding.

I pray you will find a great place for him and have peace in your heart when you make the final decision as to where he will live.

Best wishes to both you and your dad!
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As your father is a retired pastor and missionary, I agree that it would be a great idea to find a facility of his religious persuasion. With luck he could help to conduct services, feel that he has ‘come home’ emotionally, and that he is still doing his life’s work. You can say that 'they need him', which may help both of you to reconcile yourselves that he is not coming back to live with you. Very best wishes to both of you, Margaret
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Please don’t feel guilty. The only person judging you is you. It’s no one else’s business. If you’re unhappy, you will not be a good caretaker. You will resent it more. Think of it as giving him independent space from you. He is an adult after all and so are you. Visit him as much as you want to or need to. Good luck.
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In my opinion, you really shouldn't blame yourself. You are not doing anything terrible. You can visit your father every day if you want. The main thing is that you send him to a quality institution, where nurses can look after him and where he can find new friends. Very often in such places the environment is not very pleasant and old people very often experience very great stress in such places. And in my opinion this is very wrong. Nursing home should be cozy and pleasant, for example, a memory care Minneapolis service in which an old person can find new friends and a cozy place to relax. This place looks more like a hotel than a nursing home. I think that it is very important for any old person not to experience stress. And that's the only thing you need to worry about.
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Check the non-profit religious facilities. They tend to be more caring. They may not be the fanciest places, but that is not important if the care is there.

Take the time to really research the places. Be careful about online reviews, they can come from questionnaires that make them very misleading. Talk to residents and their family.

I know that restrictions change how you can do all this, so you have to figure out how you can do it in the current situation.
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Thank you so much for that...I'm working on the guilt part daily.
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Guilt implies you did something wrong, which you didn't.

Placing dad in a safe environment is love, and you have nothing to apologize for.

He can fall in your home, or a Nh or anywhere. Actually, he's probably safest in a NH. He'll adapt and probably be happier when he has other old dudes to talk to.

Being aware that his needs and care require more than you can give is a sign of strength, not weakness.
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