82-yr-old dad’s in moderate cognitive decline. No formal dementia diagnosis but he did suffer a couple small strokes a few years ago, is diabetic and has back/neck stenosis. He insists on living in his 2nd floor apartment that he’s been in for over 70 years.

I have 3 cameras in the apt that help me keep an eye on him, meals on wheels Mom-Fri, cleaning lady 2x/mo, A couple volunteers that stop by Mon-Fri for med reminders and visit for 1/2 hr. I call multiple times a day and stop by a few times a week to visit, do laundry, bring grocery’s, and remind him to take his shower.

He is incontinent, wears Depends but will at times forget to change them (I have 2 reminder notes in the bathroom) and has had some accidents. I’ve seen him dry his pants with a hairdryer and put them back on. While this ‘works’ in his mind, his reasoning seems to be slipping. He will Sit in an 80 degree apt saying he’s comfortable, but will put his AC on if I insist. He doesn’t use the stove, just the microwave, but he seems to like ready to eat cold meals more lately. There are days he’ll just stay in his PJs.

As long as I can manage and help him I feel like he’s ok there, but my hubby feels he needs more assistance and that we are just lucky and dodging bullets. We don’t have the room to move him in with us.

My family (hubby & 20 yr old daughter) will be moving out of state (from NY to SC) in two years and Dad will have no choice but to come with us. I’m his only child and relative living near him (mom passed 4yrs ago). I found a great AL/MC near where my family is moving (just a few hrs away from his sister). I feel that moving him now to AL and then again in two years will be hard on him. Plus the cost of AL where we are now is double the $ compared to where we will be moving to so was hoping to have him stay in his apt as long as possible to save as much of his $ so it will go further in AL/MC when we move.

He doesn’t wander, although he’ll say he walks around the block a few times a week when he really didn’t. He has no car and I have a tile tracker on his cane and life 360 on his cell phone (which he doesn’t always remember to have with him).

I am so torn between my hubby insisting that I move him now and my Dad wanting to stay, knowing that in two years he will have move whether he wants to or not. Having to move him and my family at the same time is a whole other stressful ball of wax!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Regarding the ‘two moves’, most older people end up living most of the time in one room. It doesn’t matter much where it is, particularly if they are bed-bound. Have a look at both places he might go to, and work out how to make them look as much the same as possible. The fact that they are in different cities may not be as important as making them both familiar.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

This is more than moderate cognitive decline. Also dad has many physical issues. He's barely managing in his apartment and only because he has so much help from others.

I agree with your husband. Dad needs to move before something major happens in his apartment. It will be hard on him every time he moves, no getting around that. Expect a drop in cognitive ability each time you move him. That's the way it is now.

Good luck with all you're dealing with. I'm very sorry this is happening.
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Reply to Fawnby

Di27813: Perhaps now is the time for managed care facility living for your father.
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Reply to Llamalover47

Your husband is right.
You are dodging bullets and have been lucky.
2 years is a LONG time. doesn't sound like it, doesn't look like it but with dementia you never know what is going to happen next month, in 2 months or .....
(actually any life is like that you never know what is around the corner)
Are there Adult Day programs where you currently are?
If so get dad involved. That would keep him safe for a few days a week for most of the day. And he would get a good meal and activities.

My choice given the choice of move him now and again in 2 years would be to move him now to MC and yet again in 2 years.
He would be safer now in MC than living in an apartment by himself.
And this would also remove a whole aspect of stress from you.

And when it comes time to move you do not have to move him at the same time you move. You move your household, get settled THEN move him. He will be in a facility, he will be safe and cared for so there is no need to move him at the same time.
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Reply to Grandma1954
Di27813 Jun 14, 2024
Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
I see the advantage of having him in AL/ MC when we make the move and then I can move him down after we are settled.
Your dad has dementia. Most likely vascular, and that is the most aggressive of all the dementias with a life expectancy of just 5 years, so he may not be alive in 2 more years when you plan on moving. I'm just saying.
He now needs 24/7 care and SHOULD NOT be living by himself. Period. End of sentence.
He now prefers the cold meals because he can no longer figure out how to use his microwave.
It's heartbreaking... I know. Your fathers brain is now forever broken and he will only get worse.
It is always better to have someone placed in memory care before they are too far gone, as it gives them time to adjust to their new surroundings and the people caring for them.
I think you are in a bit of denial about your fathers condition and that will only hurt him in the long run.
Please do what is best for him now.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
Di27813 Jun 14, 2024
Thanks for your reply.
Due to the strokes I lean towards vascular dementia as well. After the couple of strokes he had after mom passed Drs told me he had evidence of a past stroke which would’ve been over five years ago, so now this has me thinking how much longer will Dad survive.

Im not in denial per se, but rather trying to fulfill his wishes for as long as I can. I also don’t want to deal with a catastrophe either so I agree with having him placed while he still has the ability to follow direction, has social skills and is ambulatory.
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These decisions are difficult to make. Whenever I am struggling with a decision I get out a sheet of paper. I divide it in half. I write pros on one side and cons on the other side.

I try hard to be honest in my assessment of the situation. I look to see if one side is much longer than the other one and if it is, it’s an easy decision. If they are close, then I will take a deep breath and rethink it. I will discuss my list with people that I trust.

Observing from the outside, I have to side with your husband.

So here’s why…

Pros for placement now:

Your dad has dementia.

You cannot precisely determine how quickly his dementia will progress.

Your husband is concerned about your dad’s safety. He is being more objective because he’s looking at this from a different perspective than you. It’s your dad, not his. He isn’t as emotionally attached as you are.

Your husband is concerned about you. Plus, he would probably like you to be less focused on your dad.

You love your dad and want him to be safe.

You could relax more.

You could concentrate on your immediate family more.

You could plan more, do more. Worry less.

Cons for waiting to place your dad:

One move, instead of two moves.

You fill in the rest. That’s all I can think of and I don’t think that one thing is enough to justify not moving your father.

Best of luck to you and your family. I wish you well.

I know how hard this is. I took care of my parents too.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
Di27813 Jun 14, 2024
Thank you for your thoughts.
I like the pro and con list…I do this a lot.

The financial piece is also in the waiting column which is a big factor.
The facility I picked in SC is not Medicaid, so if I place him now much of his savings will be depleted in NY and I may need to search for a third place in SC if funds run out and I need to find him a Medicaid facility which will not be close to where we are going to live.
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Your husband is wise . Listen to him .

Unfortunately Dad needs 24/7 supervision NOW. He’s drying urine on pants and putting them back on to wear . His brain is not working and you do not know what he will do . My own mother almost burned the house down putting the wrong type of lightbulb in a chandelier. I never thought she could or would stand on a chair to do that but she did.

2 years is too long for Dad to continue in his apartment as is.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to waytomisery
Di27813 Jun 14, 2024
My hubby is Wise…one of the reasons I married him :-)
I’m sorry to hear about your Mom….these are the things that worry me and push me to think I should move him now.
Wow, I do not blame you at all for being on the fence about this, and absolutely torn.

I recall your other posts to us, about the choice in moving two households.

I have to tell you, as an ex RN and as an 81 year old living with an 83 year old, that--and the deciding factor here for me is the mental deterioration--my vote goes to your hubby.
This is a hard-come vote for me.
A) Your own wishes regarding his independence, your worry about two moves and the finances looms big in my mind, but I can easily eliminate the two moves. More concerning is the amount of money he would lose in his ALF in this expensive area of the country.
B) You are looking at TWO YEARS in the future. For you, for your daughter, that is realistic thinking. But sadly, for someone 82 with the physical and --MORE--the mental deficits, it is magical thinking you cannot afford. I think there is some part of you that KNOWS Dad needs more care and this is spiking now exponentially. It is moving forward QUICKLY. I am 81. Partner 83. We know where we are. And we know how very quickly now we will need a move from where we currently live independently. ANY DAY NOW, and we know this and speak of it almost daily. I believe your Dad is no longer safe. And even if OK now with all the checking, I believe this won't last 2 years.

Is this a job thing? A retirement thing? May I ask? Because is there a reason you cannot now move with Dad and get him placed? Or is there even a slight chance he could move in with you SOMEHOW until time to go? Or to a Board and Care until then?

I just thinking that it is better erroring on the side of caution.

It's important to me also to hear WHAT DOES DAD SAY AND THINK?
It is so important that he isn't left out of this equation of your intentions, your choices, your thoughts and your worries.

Boy, do I wish I could give you the answer here.
I would tell you that whatever you choose you are trying so hard to do this right, and if something goes wrong (falls often bringing on the beginning of the end) for Dad and he passes before either of these moves, I hope you will not blame yourself. He is living where he wishes to with your love and support NOW--TODAY.

Yikes. I couldn't wish you more luck. I feel as tho I identify with YOU (My brother had probable early Lewy's dementia and so wanted to continue in his last home, but I think we both knew his balance precluded doing that safely) and I identify with you DAD.
I just cannot come down on one side of the other tho everything "logical " in my "old nurse's brain" is telling me to place Dad now, visit often, keep him safe, then make the move. He will be ready and willing in two years, or he will not.

I sure wish you luck. I hope you will continue to communicate with us.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Di27813 Jun 13, 2024
How I wish I could give you a hug.
Thank you for your most kind and thoughtful reply.

To answer some of your questions…Dad absolutely does not want to leave his apartment. He thinks he is just fine and I can understand how he feels comfort in the home he’s had for over 60 years as his brain is slowly failing him. I can only imagine how stressed or scared he will feel moving to an unfamiliar place.

We’ve been talking with him about moving for at least 10 years … back when my Mom started her decline …and even then he would not move. We’ve talked at great length and gave him many examples as to why it would benefit him but I feel that when the time comes I will have to use a therapeutic lie so that hopefully he’ll be more amenable to move.

My daughter is finishing her college degree in NY and we decided to make the move when she is done. Hubby and I are now retired and we have planned to move to SC for our next chapter. Dad’s wish has always been to stay in his apartment , but his health and safety isn’t going to allow this. I wish we had the room for Dad at our home now but we don’t. I live about 20 min away from him.

I know a lot can happen in two years..but also feel the two years will go by fast. This will also allow me time to downsize his apartment and purge my house for our move.
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