Is there anything that will make putting my husband in Assisted Living a bit easier?

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My husband was diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimers in 2007 and is now progressing quickly. However, making it hard for me, he is still physically healthy, able to appear normal for a little while, go out to eat, use the bathroom and shower himself if I lay out his clothes.
But he is terribly confused! Sometimes doesn't know me, thinks we are in a hotel, and asks the same questions all day every day. He sees people that aren't there and is extremely paranoid thinking he's been robbed, or that someone is trying to get in the house and kill us. These are just a few of the many things he does.
So...at the advice of friends and family, I found him an AL that is very nice and he went for his first 4 hours yesterday. I thought it best to do a few trial times and put him in permanently on June 1st.
But after yesterday's 4 hours, he doesn't like it. Said I was dumping him off and why don't I just slit his throat when he's asleep!! I feel like forgetting it and keeping him at home but the people at the AL said I've actually waited too long and he's completely dependent on me. I know he does depend on me and won't let me out of his sight. Can't even go to the bathroom without him being outside the door.
I'm so tired, nervous about all this and I just don't know how he can stay there hating it so much.
I'm beside myself trying to do the right thing. But when we are home he is driving me crazy and I feel badly how I answer him. My patience is very thin....
I'd like to hear from others who have had to put someone in a home with a bunch of strangers and walk away.
Carol

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Thanks you Anne1017, I'm hopeful that the medication will calm him down and make living in the facility less stressful for him. He's much worse now than even a couple weeks ago. The increased dosage of Xanax seems to be working okay but he's still very paranoid with the craziest stories and fears about our safety.
He did run away a couple days ago and was found by an AL that's about half mile away from our house. Fortunately I had my phone number in his wallet and I was able to go pick him up.
I'm planning to admit him to the AL a week from Monday after the first appointment with the memory Doctor. These seem to be the hardest days!

Thanks for all the comments and support...
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Oh my Carol! Are you sure that your husband is a good candidate for an AL? Do they have a policy on how they watch the residents? I would think that if they had a transitioning to care visitor they would want to be overly careful ...this does not sound like a very good situation. I know, from experience, that any and all types of facilities can differ...and you just never know until you start to get involved. Maybe adjusting his medicine will help, but make sure you are not overmedicating . I think we all are aware that some facilities just medicate to control the client. Are you able to get any in home care so you can get a rest? Do you think your husband will continue to present the issue of wandering or eloping? If so, you may need to find a community that has lock down. Yes, we had to do it with a MIL...not a happy situation. We had to stay away 6 weeks and she was never happy. I also hope that you have some help, such as family, in these decisions.
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Well, a new development has occurred. Today when I left him for the 4 hours, he climbed their 8 foot fence and went out in front where there was busy traffic. He didn't try to cross the street but I think I drove up shortly after he got out.
I was shocked to see him outside and in front of the AL. And I dont know what they are going to say tomorrow. They might say they can't take him there. I don't know what to expect!
He had all kinds of stories about the people being killers, bodies were buried in the yard and just plain crazy stuff.
Maybe he does need some different kind of medication and I wish that appoint with the memory doctor was a little sooner than a week from Friday.
Guess I'll find out more tomorrow when I take him back for another 4 hour trial.
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That's great Carol. That memory clinic sounds awesome! I wish we had one around here. It sounds like he will get the care he needs and you will be getting the support you need. Take care.
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I do have an appointment for him with a local memory care physician. She was recommended by the AL and she is well known in this area for specializing in alzheimers. She started the "memory "clinic here a few years back.
I'm thinking after we meet with her and she becomes his primary care physician that she will either change or adjust adjust his medications. At least I'm hoping this will be the case and I'll certainly ask her about something that is more effective.
Thanks again...you are right on!
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That's great if it works Carol.

I'm no expert, but I would explore a different med if he wasn't responding to the med he's taking. I've never heard many positive things about Xanx and dementia patients. My cousin has taken it, but it wasn't very effective. Is it working for him? If not, I'd pursue a doctor who has experience with dementia/delusions/anxiety and/or get a referral to a Geriatric psychiatrist. I would make this a priority, because once he's in the AL, his behavior will be an issue if he's having difficulty.

I hope you know that sometimes things do settle down and you are able to relax. That happened for me. However, my loved one did go on a daily medication for anxiety/depression and it made a huge difference with her. I things work out well for you and your husband.
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Sunnygirl1, thank you so much!
I did get my hubby a prescription for Alprazolam (Xanax) and the dosage has just been increased to help with the transition. Everyone is being so helpful to make this happen.
When it comes to visiting, they have suggested that I stay away for about two weeks when he goes in permanently. I'll probably find that hard to do as will our kids but I can see why that would be best. In the meantime, I'm leaving him for 4 hour trial times before his admit date of June 1st. Hope that is a good way to help him be a little familiar with the place. Although, he remembers nothing about it after I pick him up.
Like you, I'm hoping I do look forward to my visits. I'm sure it will be much better than it is right now because I'm so irritated and upset to have any nice times with him anymore. We've been married 58 years and I still try to have conversations with him that end up being ridiculous. You'd think I'd learn he can't do that anymore...haha!
I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question and you've given me hope that he will adjust and do just fine there.
Thanks again...

Carol
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Thanks freqflyer, but we just don't have the income to do what you suggest. I have interviewed with about 3 of them and had tours but the total cost is much more than our income. But you are correct, it would be the perfect solution.
We are on social security and a small pension so it's just not an option for us.
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You've been caring for someone with dementia for a long time. You must be very exhausted and drained. The mental strain is indescribable. I don't have the years of experience that you do. I can barely imagine. I do respect your devotion. I think it's vital to place the loved one somewhere where they may get the care they need when the time comes. It sounds like you are doing that. I can't imagine that it will be easy if you are not comfortable with it, but I would consider all the things that should assure you that it's the right decision.

First of all, it sounds like he's been having anxiety and enough delusions to make him miserable. You say he's paranoid and has disturbing delusions. These things can make it dangerous for him and those around him. Plus, it must be so scary. I would discuss this with his doctor to see if medication can help. Often meds can treat these things and bring the patient peace of mind. To me, mental anguish is as painful as physical pain. He might adjust better in the AL if he wasn't so anxious.

Once treated, he may be more comfortable in the Assisted Living facility. He may never say he likes it, but he will grow accustomed to the schedule and the people there who will care for him.

Due to his mental condition, I would take care to not let his reasoning guide my decisions. He has no idea how much of a challenge his care is. If he did, he wouldn't likely impose that on you.

Most places have advice and guidance on how to help the resident adjust to AL. When my loved one went to her first place of regular AL, I visited everyday. It didn't go well. She liked the place, but wanted to come home. When she moved to Memory Care AL, they asked me to stay away for 2 weeks and I did. It went well and she was as content as could be. She loves the place and has no memory that she has another house. The progression of the disease often causes the person to stop asking about leaving.

After my loved one entered Memory Care, I actually looked forward to our visits. You can focus on just being together, listening to music, watching a video, sitting outside, looking at photos, without all the responsibility of around the clock care. You get the chance to recharge your batteries when you leave with the knowledge that he is safe and secure. That's been my experience. I realize there are differences when it's spouse involved.
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Carol, any possibly finding an Independent/Assisted living combo.... where the two of you would live in an 1 or 2 bedroom apartment w/full size kitchen, living room, bath, and still be able to have assisted living options? I know it would be expensive, but something to think about.

My Dad has an independent living apartment.... housekeeping comes once a week to clean and do linen/towel service.... and you get dinner in the main dining room menu style, or opt for all 3 meals in the dining room. Dad has the option of medicine management, and option for wake-up/bath options.

The residents go back and forth between the IL building and the AL building depending on the activities.
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