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My mom has early onset dementia and needs more help than my dad can provide but he wants to stay with her to spend as much time with her as possible and ease her transition. This must exist, but I haven’t seen it anywhere.

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My dad is currently Mom's primary care giver and says they WILL NOT separate!  Mom has Alzheimer's and they have been in an independent living community with assisted living options.

It was apparent early on that eating in the dining room with folks who couldn't feed themselves and needed "assisted care" was distressing to Dad.  He made the comment  "we'll watch most of these people die."  He is very compassionate and always willing to offer help; push a wheelchair, cut up food, etc. and doesn't understand why these folks aren't getting all the "assistance" they appear to need.  Some really can't feed themselves.  He made me promise not to put them in AL there.

He recently decided to move them to a small 55+ gated community.  He was so glad to be away from what he considered a place where they were waiting to die.   We looked for an AL or MC place they could have more help with Mom but there were not many choices and cost prohibitive for them to pay for two spaces.  They obviously have different levels of need and Dad doesn't need AL. 

As others have said, it would be very depressing for him to be in an atmosphere where everyone needs so much care.  I think he also doesn't want the constant reminder that Mom is eventually going to be one of those who needs 24/7 care when she can't feed herself and is in a wheelchair.  He does everything else for her; changes her, dresses her, bathes her etc.  She can feed herself but she is just as likely to eat a spoonful of butter thinking it's ice cream.  She is still mobile which helps but she is declining in that respect as well.     

For now, we will have home health care come in and hospice eventually but I don't know enough about in-home care to know if they can stay there through end of life.  It's tough to watch him want so badly to care for her and it will be devastating for him when he realizes it is more than he can do.
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Reply to Dlanz0423
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I found a local senior housing community with a dementia wing. We could each our own apartment, one in traditional wing and one in memory care OR we could use a 2 bedroom apartment in traditional wing. It had kitchen, dining and living room in center with bed and bath on each side. They told me another couple had done this. They eventually hired someone to stay with husband at night and he always went to day program in memory care wing.
So ask around. Many places have options.
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Reply to Smallchange
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Ask around - I know that some have rooms that join by a door so each is assigned a room but when they have 2 they usually set it up with beds in 1 & den in other - they would both have a bathroom this way however others each have a separate room but go back & forth between [this is good when they have different sleep patterns]
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Reply to moecam
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When I was made DPOA for two married friends of mine--the wife with frontal temporal dementia and the husband with memory issues--I started visiting assisted living places. Most of the newer ones just had one small room apartments in the memory care section. Only one place had a choice to two bedroom, one bedroom or efficiency apartments on the memory care floor. They had just converted the assisted living arrangement on one floor to memory care. My friends had to go together because as soon as they were apart, the wife was looking for her husband. When she started to wander at night and walked into the next door townhouse looking for her husband, she needed 24 hour care and it was time to make the move. I had selected a one bedroom apartment for them and the day of the move, another friend took them out to breakfast in a nearby town, then to have their nails done. In the meantime, others of us moved their kitchen, bedroom, and den furniture to their new apartment and arranged it just like their set-up in their townhouse. When they got there around 2 in the afternoon, the husband saw his favorite recliner facing the same tv and the same couch, tables and lamps set up the same way as before. He sat with a sigh of relief and has been happy there ever since. Not once has he suggested leaving and going "home." For all intents and purposes, he is in the same home as before, only with amenities, like meals just down the hall and people to eat and visit with. And I found a place that gives excellent care to Jim and advice for me, since doing this is all new for me. The wife only lived another 5 months before her brain was just shutting down and she could no longer swallow. She was receiving hospice care at that point in the same apartment and died peacefully and comfortably. The husband continues to happily Iive there as before and feels very lucky to have good physical health and everything being taken care of. I take care of all the financial matters and monitor the health services he gets every month. Whenever I have a question, the building health people have good answers for me. So, it has worked out, but my friend's dementia was more advanced than your mom's probably is. This isn't cheap at some $8600 a month, but I was told that once they had paid 18 months at the regular rate, the facility would accept whatever public financing was available, so they, and now him, would never have to leave.
Good luck with this care! I have felt very fortunate to receive the help and guidance I have gotten in taking on this responsibility. My best wishes for your success, too!
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Reply to JohnnyJ
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Yes. Be very careful and read the fine print.
In my home state of AZ, they are very popular. Many provide, depending on one's needs, a small condo type setting to something like a 1 bedroom apartment.
The one my grandmother was in started out really great (cost an arm/leg as it is located in Ftn Hills, just NE of Scottsdale).
At the time, these "condos" were a separate building next to the totally needed assisted living facility.
They had a beautiful library with cherry wood paneling like one would see in a very expensive McMansion setting.
Movie theater with a small concession stand, ice cream parlor, billard room just off the library, stylish dining room.
The area Grandma lived, the setting was just like an apartment building. The doors were inset, not flush with the exterior wall, beautiful wood molding, door bell and 'mailbox'.
The interior had a small foyer, a sitting room, kitchenette (only microwave for safety purposes) very nice size bedroom and of course wheelchair accessible bathroom.
Ggrandma was allowed to bring some of her furnishings to make it "her" home as well as pictures.
When a resident living in the condo building with their spouse needed more assistance than the spouse was capable of doing, again depending on the need, the 1 spouse could still live in the condo while the other may have the need to be moved into the 1 bedroom apartment.
As the other spouse became more in need, they would move in with their spouse who may already be living in the apartment.
When things become worse, then the resident would be placed closer to the medical area....not as nice in appearance because of the medical needs.
This residential facility was contracted with the Mayo clinic/hospital too.

My Mom/step-father are in an assisted group home.....very nice, staff is great, does NOT SMELL like an assisted living facility! They have the "suite" as generally couples don't live together in a group home.
We had my step-father move in because he has Alzheimer's but it didn't appear to be like Mom's. That was done in May while Mom was in the hospital. We had Mom placed there after she was discharged.
This group home allowed their dog Lady to live there too as Lady is like a service dog for Mom. I have to pay, but worth it, for the doggie door that was installed and vet bills; otherwise they are living in a studio apartment with all of the services, even better than nursing homes.
Mobile Doctor services, dental, hairdresser, game days, movie nights, laundry and home cooked meals served family style.
One would never ever think from the outside that it is an assisted living group home. The landscaping etc hide the actual use of this huge gorgeous home converted into an assisted living facility.

So, yes there are places where spouses are able to stay together.

Do your homework! There maybe some very expensive hidden costs involved!
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Reply to dkentz72
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Interesting subject. As long as the partner doesn't interfere with the care of the patient.
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Reply to Cats4Ever
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I live in a Brookdale assisted living that also has a memory care section. We had a nice two room apartment. They told me he could stay with me unless he became violent or started to wander. A man we knew here stayed in memory care with his wife -- the rooms are large enough for him to have a sofa in there where he slept. In my case, my husband passed away without having to move to memory care. I am in a studio apartment now.
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Reply to amott6
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Yes.

A friend of mine had both her parents in a Memory Home. Her father didn't need the Memory Care but her mother did - and the home allowed them to stay together.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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Persons with dementia need a lot of supervision. It is very stressful for the caregiver. As much as dad might want to be there 24/7, he will need respite care. Anyone would. So the same facility different sections, might be a good way to go. If it's a memory unit, the level of interaction of the residents tends to be rather sparse. Dad might really need the ability to have interaction with others to maintain his own self. Visiting a memory unit with a view of dad's status might give you insight into evaluating the situation from the purpose of each of then individual needs of your parents.
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Reply to maryqesq1
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nature73 Jul 31, 2018
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Yes, there are several senior couple residence that services memory care However, it depends on where you live. Try googling Assisting Living for Couples in your area.
I hope this was helpful.
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Reply to BarbaraR2018
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Yes. It isn’t uncommon. In fact, other than expense, I often wonder why more couples don’t do it. They drift slowly into such isolated lives by staying in their houses.
If mom has no negative or dangerous behaviors, they may do just fine in AL rather than much more expensive memory care. Dad can always move out if it doesn’t work and he will have gotten mom settled in a place that will give her much higher quality of life in the long run. The important thing is finding an AL that’s lively enough for your dad. It’s a very wide spectrum in that regard.
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Reply to IsntEasy
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My dad lived in an AL facility that also had a locked memory care unit. There were a few couples who lived there with one of them having dementia. Some lived in an apt., some had one spouse in the locked memory care and the other in an apt. The couples were able to spend time together. There were also people there in their 60’s who had dementia, Parkinson’s, etc. You may be able to find such a situation for your parents.
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Reply to Ginach
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It can cost between half to 80% of the resident. You have to shop around. Some places have 2 room apartments. Depending on the situation, some couples live in independent living and hire caregivers for part of the day
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Reply to MACinCT
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Assisted living even if dad lives with her is not going to be sufficient care for mom for long. If dad were to move with mom I would think that he would soon become seriously depressed and realise this living situation was not a good idea.

Was this his dad's idea? He is only in his 60's.
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Reply to gladimhere
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It does exist. I see couples living together all the time in A/L’s. I have no idea how much they charge for such an arrangement though. As long as they are only caring for one person, I can’t see why it shouldn’t be at the lowest cost. Getting their clothes washed is a separate charge anyway, and there is dads food costs which is billed out at $6 a meal or so. If the place has a kitchenette, then he can save money by shopping for himself for some meals.

As as long as they are caring for just one person, it might not be too much more for him to stay with her 24/7. The problem will be the closet space.
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Reply to Rosemary44
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I echo what others have said.
If they move into Assisted or Independent Living they can stay together, your Dad can get the extra help he needs to care for Mom. And as your Mom declines she will be more comfortable in the facility where she is.
If they are in AL or IL if your Dad wants to go on an outing and your Mom is not up to it they could care/watch her in a Memory Care wing (Look for a facility that will allow for all transitions) this will also get her used to that part of the facility and it will get Dad used to leaving her and doing things on his own.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Be aware that the fees increase when two people reside in a unit whether AL, OR IL.
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Reply to Harpcat
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Judysai422 Jul 31, 2018
The article you referred to is good in general, but depending on where you live, does not give a full picture. My parents are in AL in a double unit: a studio and 1 br combined. They pay for both units, but all service levels are included. My mom gets AL services, while my dad refuses (we will see for how long). They can eat in either the AL or IL dining room and my dad can interact with people in both. There is another couple doing the same thing. If there was a MC unit on site it would have been even better as Mom's needs increase, but that option does not exist where we live. Finding 2Br 2 ba apartments are a challenge. Problem with 2 units is that mom wants to be with dad at night. Long story short, it is critical to check out all possibilities and compare.
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I would try to keep mom home as long as possible with caregivers coming in to help and give your dad a break. How long ago was mom diagnosed?

Your dad must be very devoted to mom for him to consider facility living while still in his 60's. May be the entire family would benefit from the involvement of a family therapist, social worker?
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Reply to gladimhere
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If you are private pay I wouldn’t skip straight to memory care because of the costs (unless someone say it’s necessary) - it’s possible to start with assisted living. My dad was worse than my mom when they moved to AL. There are lots of couples that reside together. One usually needs more help than the other. Being a couple, AL charge for the apartment. And then separate care fees for each person.

Does your dad want to help her transition and then move back home after a couple months?

my dads Alzheimer’s was bad but he never got moved to memory care. Probably because he couldn’t walk well and pretty much stayed put
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Reply to wally003
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She’s not much of a wanderer. She tends to stick close to my dad and struggles to be alone or with anyone but him at this point. It’s also tricky because they’re both still in their 60s and she associates care homes with my dad’s 90 year old Mom she now can’t stand...
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Reply to SarahAshley
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My parents both live in a memory care but they both have dementia.  Their memory care facility requires all residents to have some form of dementia.

My parents were able to live in an independent living apartment with caregivers and me helping out before my mom started to get dementia as well..  When they both started to slip.. there was no way they could stay in that living arrangement.

If your Dad  is still with it and your mom has early dementia... possibly that arrangement would work.. for a while anyway.
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Reply to katiekay
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Is she a wander risk? If not then she may not need a dementia unit and they may be able to accommodate them in AL.
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Reply to cwillie
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