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Dad's a big guy with Parkinson's and dementia (lucid prob half the time). The last time he was with me (for six months) was a last-minute decision, and with very little help, all while still dealing with his real estate and family drama. Just wondering if it would work out better if I had time to set everything up. The family drama is pretty much over, and the real estate has been sold. He's been in memory care 7 weeks.


Has anyone sent their loved one to a facility for awhile and then brought them back home for a second try?

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Lots of good stuff from all of you, so I thank you. Everything is all set here, so I could def do it, but... I realize now that I might not be able to do it for very long. He will continue to decline. I visit every day, except one Saturday a month ago, and I just got back from a 5 day trip. I will go tomorrow and take him the treats I got him, and I will work toward making it a more meaningful visit for both of us. Thank you again :)
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You know more now than you did during your first attempt at caring for Dad at home. That is the good news. The bad news is that Parkinson's and dementia both continue to progress. Dad is more impaired now than he was then, and will be getting even more so. Family drama and administrative issues do take up a lot of time and energy, and that is behind you now. But there are likely to be health issues on the horizon that will be every bit as draining.

In our family our goal was to see that our mom had the best quality of life that she could, given her impairments. First we arranged for/provided help for her in her apartment. That probably gave her a couple of more years there. When that was no longer safe my sister (who had just retired) took her in. That lasted about a year. Both Mom's dementia and her mobility declined and we placed her in a nursing home. After a period of adjustment she thrived there. She became wheelchair bound and it took 2 people and a lift machine to transfer her, but she and the NH took that in stride. I think you want what we wanted -- the best quality of life possible, under the circumstances (and, of course, the circumstances are beyond our control).

It sounds like your Dad's circumstances may make his best shot at life quality in a good care center. Obviously that is hard to tell from the little you say. But I wonder if there are ways you could try to improve his life quality right where he is? How often do you visit? What do you do with him while you are there? While he is lucid much of the time there are still many opportunities to interact with him in meaningful ways, no matter where he lives.

I THINK (who knows for sure when you're not in the situation) that I would give it more time for Dad to adjust, and observe carefully what kind of help he really needs. Is he up during the night? How often? Can he transfer easily from wheelchair to bed? Is he incontinent? What kind of help does he need in the bathroom? How about showering? Don't rush into decisions until you have a pretty clear picture of what is involved.

My son was wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident. They would not discharge him from rehab until he could transfer himself. He lives in a charming older home with a bathroom in which a wheelchair would not fit. They got a bedside commode. His situation was very different than your dad's in that he was getting stronger and stronger and was expected to fully recover. He did, in about 6 months. Your dad is expected to get worse and worse. That is a very, very different care situation.
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I wanted so badly to be able to care for my dementia Mom in my home. I had this vision that it would work out, I would have caregivers come in and help out while I worked and took care of business, when Mom wanted a little privacy, she would go down in her room and read books etc.

The reality is that it didn't work. She never wanted privacy from me...I was a "slave" to her waking hours, the minute I heard her wake up, I had to drag myself out of bed to make sure she could find what she needed, to make sure she didn't let the dog out to pee all over the house, to make sure she didn't get hurt in the kitchen (she had no idea how to operate even the coffee pot.) And the day just went from there. She shadowed me, was unhappy if I was out of her sight for over 15 minutes, I could barely squeeze in a shower without her banging on my door. I had to tell her when to shower, I had to inspect the bathrooms for signs of her doing her business, because she certainly didn't clean up after herself. I had to remind her constantly to shut the door when changing, my 17 year old son certainly appreciated the "shut door." I had to tell her to go to bed, she would have stayed up all night watching tv with me if I let her. I had to make sure she took her medicine, I had to argue with her about taking her medicine, I had to argue with her about not driving, I had to argue with her about taking a short walk in the neighborhood....and neither one of us was happy. Neither was anyone else in my house.

One night I "tucked" her into bed. I was just making sure she had what she needed and could find her stuff, and she asked a question that had been asked about 50 times that day, and in my exhaustion, I told her, "Mom, I just want to go take a shower." and she threw her clothes across the room, stomped her feet and yelled at me to leave her alone. I knew right then, that it wasn't working out and pursued the Memory Care option aggressively.

I still have guilt, but I had to recognize my own limitations and that just because I wanted things to work a certain way, didn't mean that they were. Additionally I was a mess emotionally, I lost weight, couldn't eat and started taking anti-anxiety medicine.

I didn't even have the physical issues that you will have to deal with, so I couldn't even imagine how much harder caring for a loved-one would be once you throw in the wheel chair and physical size.

I'm assuming these are all things you have considered. What went wrong the first try that you think you can handle better with a second try?
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Talkey
I understand your wanting to make dad feel better- every time I leave mom's facility I feel badly

To take care of someone at home through the end requires a lot

Do you have the extra room with wide doorways and an accessible bathroom

If dad is a big guy it will probably take two and a hoyer lift to raise him once he's bedridden

Give it some time - it can take months for folks to adjust to memory care
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