I got my dad into a dementia unit today and feel sick to my stomach. How long does this last?

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I've cared for dad 24-7 for the last 7 years. I have taken care of dad every day for the last 7 years. He was living alone until he got a virus and had to go to the hospital. We got him to a swing bed facility and I was told not to be there or let him see me. This evening he had a nurse call me and put him on the phone. He couldnt remember my name but knew my voice and wanted me to come get him so he could go to work with me like he has for the last 7 years. I told him i was sick and couldn;t. He almost started crying. I am dying inside. How do I cope with this as everyone says it will get better but I feel like a traitor to him. My family and I have not been anywhere together for the past 7 years because I could not leave him or take him. Lord God someone tell me how to handle this.

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I feel for you. I moved my Mom in January to Assisted Living in IA from her own home in AZ. She has no idea how much it costs and she is paying for it. I am her POA. She is very lonely and I cry everyday, but I know she is better off there than with me. Your Dad seems more advanced, but try and give it at least 6 months. I think you will see it will get better for both of you. That is what I am trying to do.
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Mom is in Assisted Living with additional contracted services, this after she had caregivers for six years including myself for the last three. She was a terrible patient to care for. She cried when she visited the assisted living facility six years ago so I went the caregiver route. Today, after six months in assisted living she is fine, better than fine. The gerontologist who sees her every week and the nurse who sees her several times a day to administer her medication have changed her medication so that she is a much happier person. I now have recovered physically and mentally enough to visit two or three times a week, and Mom is very appreciative. Mom, the other residents and I all have a good time for the length of the visit. I might sing with them in their activities, dance to the 50's rock music and Mom would join me to the applause of the rest of the room. I was able to finally involve another member of the family who brought Mom's photo album from the late 1930's and is now copying the crumbling pages to publish into a book for her which will preserve the charm of the album and allow her keep it with her. When I was caregiving, NOBODY came near us. You are out from under a considerable weight. Resurrect yourself (more help on AgingCare Caregiver forum), and find your funny. Bring it with you when you visit and become the life of the resident's day room. It really doesn't take much to get them interested and excited.
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Try to look at the bright side of it. You still have your dad, he's not physically with you but you can still see him, talk to him and make sure he is getting the best care available. I just lost my mom 4 months ago and I would give anything in this world to have that. Use this time to reconnect with your life and you can still be there for him. I know he wouldn't ever want you to have to be there for him every minute, he doesn't understand it now, but you know in your heart that he used to. He raised you to be a kind loving caring person and you have shown him that everyday and now you are having to do it a diffrent way but the love is still there. I know you hurt like hell right now and my heart breaks for you. Just tell him you love him everyday, I miss that.
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Bless your heart. He needs to acclimate to his new surroundings. You will adjust, too. You are a wonderful son. You are doing the best for your Father considering his health, and you are taking care of yourself and the rest of your family.
Breathe deeply and get your bearings. You did the right thing for everyone. Hugs:)
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Your situation is very, very, very sad. Remember that it is the dementia that causes this situation. It is Not Your Fault. You can't fix the dementia. You have given your father seven extra years of being outside of an institution. Be glad for that. After he settles in a little better, visit him often, advocate for him, continue to show him love. You will still be his loyal and loving son, even though you can no longer meet all his care needs.
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What I have to keep reminding myself it that "everyone is where they need to be." It doesn't help much, but you are not alone. I will pray that he readily accepts his new facility.
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