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I finally put dad into assisted living w/memory care. For one year, my husband and I have taken a daily pummelling by my father. He's suspicious of my husband. He has accused us of so many things. And he has the most negative angry stories that he would tell to us all day everyday. He's been there 8 days now. I haven't gone by to see him, but have checked in with the nurses to see how he's doing. How often should I visit him. The problem is this, when I see him he wants to leave and return with me. I figured that I should give him a couple of weeks to get oriented. I also figured that I would visit thereafter visit at least once per week.

What is suggested.

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When I moved Mom (who does not have dementia) into assisted living, a good friend with AL experience advised me to NOT have certain times I visited. She said to keep it random, when it was convenient for ME. That has worked great for me...if I had started visiting on a strict schedule, she'd be upset if something happen to cause me to miss a visit or be late. I go visit whenever it works for me and call her in the morning to say I'll be there after lunch, or whenever.
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I think routine is best. At first i would only see my mother with another person present. That might be the nurse during weekly assessment or my husband. She behaved better when a third party was there. Now i see her twice a week. On Wednesday when i bring her things she needs, go through photos and have coffee with her. On Sunday my husband and i picke her up for lunch and an outing....a drive or tour of a store or an art gallery or something else she likes. Occasionally when she has been sick in the hospital I will see her daily as an advocate. Then it is hard to get her to accept the old routine when she returns to AL. I try to avoid coming on off days. If she asks for something, i say sure ill bring it Wednesday. Rarely is it truly an emergency need.
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At this stage of life our parents need more care and attention from the young generation because they are mostly behave like as a child. if you can't visit twice a week in AL, they can make a perception in the mind "you don't love him/her"
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I could have written your question substitute Dad for Mom, I agree with what people are saying. Do what you feel best for you, go before a scheduled event so you can control the time and realize that you deserve a life as well. I still struggle with guilt at times but I am encouraging myself to live my life now. You see, my dad has been dead for 42 years, I was 16 at the time, I have been at my mom's beck and call for a large majority of the time. She can be a very difficult person and with the dementia, she no longer had a filter, small as it had been, I was regaled with all kinds of " you ruined my life" stories. As an example, she told people at the assisted living center that I was a breech birth ( I came feet first, was blue, mangled leg with a splint for two months) that "I had put her though hell" while looking at me with a condescending smirk. So give yourself a break, enjoy your life, visit when you can without guilt! Best of luck to you and yours
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Hi. I'm a registered nurse and worked in a Geri/psych unit. I agree with others that everyone is unique when it comes to reaction of patients when they see them. Did staff tell you that he was okay and was enjoying group activities as soon as you leave? I would distract some patients when family members were leaving. Some patients would beg, cry plead to leave. It was heartbreaking for families. I'm sure your familiar with the staff or at least know one staff member who can tell you how he is after you leave. Remember you need a break from all this. You need to take care of yourself and regain "control" and without guilt enjoy your best. This life is only temporary. No storm lasts for ever. We HAVE a body but OWN a soul. Sounds like you are a very loving kind person to have helped as much as you can. Have you established a DNR order for your Dad? It's a private, spiritual decision but I'm an advocate of DNR especially at his age.
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I set down limits of visiting twice a week with my Mom. It seems the more attention you give them the more they will call and bug you to come get them... I hate to say it, but dimentia relatives seem to be like puppies. If you spend 4 or 5 days solid with them, the next few days are hard on them being alone.. For your own sanity, you might need to step away for 3 or 4 days.. If your loved one is in assisted living, you have no reason to worry or be guilty. Take care of yourself first.
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SherylBeth, feelings of guilt are the norm when moving a parent or spouse into assisted living. If they were a kind parent, they never would have wanted you to suffer day in and day out for them. They would want you to make great, loving care choices for them, and care for them but not to the breaking point. So it's OK to enjoy your days away from her. In fact that's what gives you the energy to be present for her when you spend time with her, when you check on her laundry, meds, safety and everything else families do when their loved one is in assisted living nearby. hugs
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If he is in memory care it's a no-brainer to expect that whatever you do will be forgotten the next day. I'm going through mother in Memory Care myself. MC is built to take care of all of his needs. 24/7 supv. Keep him fed, safe and engaged. The greatest words when my mother was ranting, trying to escape, and on the phone was when the nurse said "We got this..".. I was like "really?" Nurse said "Oh yeah, go to sleep.." I was like holy $hit!
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My step mom has been in AL for a month. My Dad and I visit her twice a week. Both are having serious health issues and he had been her primary caregiver at home for the past several years. Since his health crises in February I have been caregiving for both of them.

We waited a week to visit her initially. She understands how difficult it has been to care for her, so she understood we both needed rest. It took me 3 weeks to finally feel "somewhat normal" but I know it's going to take a long time to recover. On my down days.....I really take it easy....barely doing anything but rest.
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SherylBeth, I am going through the same thing with my Dad. My Dad is so lost since my Mom had recently passed, and it was Dad's idea to move in Independent Living/Assisted Living, which was a relief to me.

Even with Dad in a safe place, I still find myself not able to enjoy life, my nerves are shot from this exhausted journey.... plus trying to empty my parents house and get it ready to sell.... and I still haven't made doctor appointments for myself to which I am 2 to 3 years behind schedule, as I still keep thinking the other shoe will drop.

Oh, that guilt feeling is so hard to get rid of :(
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I moved my mom on May 5th, and I am trying to not visit all the time AND not feel guilty about it. I feel like I should go see her multiple times a week...but when I do that, I tend to lose myself and my own life. I want to go back to actually being happy and peaceful, and I find not visiting as often helps with that...except that guilt creeps upon me and I feel bad for feeling happy. Im sure many other people battle this as well. Something inside me feels like I shouldnt be happy or enjoy not worrying about her...that im being selfish and uncaring by having days when i enjoy life again and dont spend the days feeling guilty for not going up there. Sweet mom no longer remembers who comes up there 5 minutes after the visit, so its really just me and my own mind that causes my own suffering.
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I'm currently waiting two weeks because my husband is so attached to me. As others have said, each case is different.
I'm seeing if some good friends can visit for the first time rather than me. He's only been in for one week and 3 days and I'm already having trouble staying away for that long.
I'm checking with staff about every other day. They would know what would work best.
Good luck to you!
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Check with the staff to see if they recommend a visit yet. Staff can also help distract him when it's time for you to go. Plan ahead by phone with the staff. I think I waited 2 weeks... but that might not be long enough, just depends on how they adapt.
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You might try arranging your visit before a facility planned event. For instance, If lunch is served at noon, arrive at 11:15 (or so) and then when it is lunch time, bring him to lunch and tell him you will see him later. (though later may be several days away. ) It distracts him and eases your ability to get away. Good luck.
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Each situation is different. Who else will be visiting him regularly?

Try once a week and see how it goes. Maybe that will be ideal. Maybe three very short visits a week would be better. Maybe once a month along with some phone calls would be good.

You'll discover this by trial and error. And it may change over time.

Just know that there are no "rules" or "protocol" or "guidelines" for family visits, We have to figure them out case-by-case.

I hope your relationship with Dad improves greatly over the coming months and that he enjoys his "independence" from you. And that your life improves dramatically as well, of course!
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