Has anyone attempted to care for their loved one at home?

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I know this is a stupid question, but here goes: My husband has Alzheimer's and had a crisis six months ago prompting us to move him to an assisted living. Now his behavior is getting better with medication but he is still not adjusting well to the place. He is not happy there. He looks depressed all the time - and not because he is doped up by some medication to keep him sedated. He told me he is sad and misses home. I fear that his depression will lead to deterioration of his mental health and then physical health. I am wondering if he is better off at an adult day care center with medication management and lives at home with me. I am also thinking of installing a fence all around the yard with locked gates so that he cannot run away but still has access to the outdoors. For evening, I plan to hire a night home aide to be an "insurance policy" in case he gets up in the middle of the night. The aide then can talk to him and keep him company. Believe it or not, it is less expensive doing it this way than keeping him inside an AL. He is very tactile and loves to hold my hand. This way, we can do that at anytime. At AL, we can only do it when I visit him.


Is this a good idea?

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What a caring and loving soul you have!

I think you probably don't know how hard it will be in the future. You know he isn't going to get better....no one survives old age.

I did exactly that for both of my parents. But... they had the resources to have a caregiver for 10 hours everyday. (One for each of them). The total burden was never on me! The overnight shift was often very tough on me...but, I had respite every single day! Probably the only reason I didn't sacrifice my own health or sanity.

As hard are it is, try to get him to settle in. Make new friends? Be involved with activities? Bringing him home without the resources (people) to help will sooner or later make that burden too much for you.
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If your general question is "is it possible to care for him at home?" the answer is yes. I have many families that care for their loved ones at home through all the stages of Alzheimer's disease. It is not easy, and a lot depends on your own health and stamina. Every case of Alzheimer's is different, some people get aggressive and agitated others never do. I think it is important to follow through on your plan to use adult day programs and a night aide to help.
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Worriedspouse, so much depends on your husband and how he would do at home. Some people with dementia do fine at home, while others have more problems. People with a tendency toward violence or wandering are harder to keep at home. Those who are peaceful in their confusion, or at least not violent, are easier to keep at home. Both of my parents have remained at home. My father sat in a chair at the window for the last 15-20 years of his life. My mother has sat in a chair in front of the TV for the last 10 years. They both were/are able to toilet themselves, although there are many accidents, so they have been able to stay at home. It does require for me to be here all the time, so it isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination. If you are able to be there and he is not too difficult, then yes, it can be done. If the situation changes in the future, then you can change the care plans.
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In the upper left hand corner of the website you will see three white horizontal lines. Click on those and the search menu will drop down. Type in keywords like "Alzheimer" "home care" "spouse" etc. and read. This entire forum is filled with people who have attempted what you are considering.
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PM me if you have problems; I'll contact the local office and find out if it's still available or available from your local chapter.
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Wow! Great advice. I'll look into getting the DVD from the Alzheimer's Assn.
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Kudos to you for considering the best needs of your husband!

I think there are some issues that you might want to explore first and as part of home care. Was there a specific cause to the "crisis" which prompted/necessitated care in a facility? Could that situation happen again, and if so, how would you handle it? Would it be necessary to get care again from a facility? Or can you implement procedures to address another crisis and be prepared the moment it occurs?

Beyond that, is there any indication of what stage his Alzheimer's Disease is? Early, mid, late stage? Are you familiar with the changes that can occur in the later stages, the combativeness, disorientation, and more, and how will you handle those when/if that happens?

I think what I would do is identify all potential issues, develop countermeasures, and make an assessment from there if you want to and can, with support as needed, undertake this challenging journey at home. Create your own emergency management plan and set in place anything you can now so that you're prepared if the occasion arises.

You might also contact the local Alzheimer's Assn. and ask if you can attend or get a DVD (if you have a DVD player) of the Creating Confident Caregivers course. I went to one a few years ago; it was well worth the time, and it was free. Although I'm not dealing with Alzheimer's now, most of the issues, discussions and solutions can be applied to caregiving generally. It was definitely worthwhile, and I'd like to take it again as a refresher course.
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