What do you do when you see your Dad crying in his new surroundings?

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My sister and I looked around for a long time to place my dad in a good facility. She works full time and I am not in a position to take care of him but have given her 100% support by doing external duties for him.
He was diagnosed with early dementia, but unfortunately it has progressed and he suffers a prostrate problem causing him to soil his pants from time to time, which my sister found extremely hard to cope with, even with her daily help.

He was placed in the facility two weeks ago and at first threw a tantrum when he first saw us. Now after the Respidal he is on, he is a lot more subdued, but he cried yesterday when he saw her whilst I remained in the garden area for fear of him really performing if he sees me. He is very heartsore that we did this to him and we feel so very bad and at a loss. We are thinking of ways we could take him back, but haven't yet found a solution to have him taken care of full time at home. Has anyone had a similar experience or any suggestions that might help to ease the pain both my sister and I feel.

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Babalou, I know what you mean. Today again, he immediately recognised my sister and became very verbal about him wanting to go home. I find it very strange that he was meek as a lamb yesterday and today very verbal. I know dementia can be erratic, but I also think it has something to do with the meds, which may be given at different times instead of the same time every day . I will have to have a word with the medical staff.
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Seenypa, you should certainly talk to the doctor about how much of what drug they are using to combat his agitation. But I'm not sure that any drug would cause him to "forget" who you are. That just might be the dementia advancing. Others on this board are much more knowledgeable about such things.
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I stayed away after the first visit for 2 weeks, while my sister visited. I was however more prepared when I went today. The sad part was that my dad had dozed off in a chair in the lounge and didn't recognise me at all when I gently woke him. I stayed on for another half an hour to chat, and in all that time he just smiled, nodded and was so polite, only because to him I was a stranger. The drastic sudden change in him is because of the drug and I resent it. He has dementia, but as I understood it and his doctor diagnosed, and, with me seeing him two to three times a week before the move, he was very lucid, and present, 65% of the time. He is now totally 'out of it' and the fact that he didn't recognise me, feels completely wrong. We wanted him looked after, not drugged into a coma. He has a prostrate problem, very common in older men, and isolated from dementia. Once he gets flushed when the prostrate is swollen, he is ok for 65% of the time. But seeing him today in zombie-mode, was painful. I'm going to have a word with his doctor on Monday about the meds he is taking. He is so meek and so very unlike himself. I may be wrong but I don't think he should be stilled to the point of being voiceless.
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Let me comment on the idea of outings. Sometimes they may turn out fine, other times they may not. The only outings I took my loved one on were mandatory, due to doctor visits and when I drove her to her Memory Care unit. Some went fine, but some did not.

On one doctor visit my cousin seemed fine and she repeatedly asked me if we were returning to where she stayed. She kept begging me to not leave her at the doctor office. She was intent on returning to the Assisted Living facility, however, when we pulled into the parking lot, she asked why were we stopping. She didn't know where we were. I had to explain that her room, bed and clothes were inside this place and that we had left there a few hours earlier. She was quite distressed and it was tricky getting her to go inside. Once inside, she asked to see her room and then she grew accustomed to the place and relaxed, but it was scary. That happened a couple of times. If she had flat out refused to get out of the car, we would have been in big trouble.

I would use extreme caution with outings when the patient is unhappy and ambivalant. Try to understand that what your dad may experience on an outing now is not what he might have experienced before dementia. He is not thinking the same way and may not appreciate the same things anymore. Is the possible benefit worth the risks? Unless you know the answer to this question I would use extreme caution.
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Seenypa, stay away for at least two weeks! California the social worker daily if you feel the need.
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Stay away for two weeks. If you get that antsy "I should be visiting" feeling, just CALL to ask how he's doing. Staying away feels wrong, but is a key factor in adjustment time.
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Chicago 1954. Thanks for those titles. My dad does not adapt. he is as fixated on and about things like they're cast in stone. I visited once and thought I should psyche myself up for the next visit.
Torn between visiting and staying away.
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Your dad will adjust. You need to give him time and stay away longer. Let the staff work with him. (My mother is 95 and in a NH. MIL is 92 and in ass't living.) You may be making it more difficult on your dad by dropping in.

If you and other family members are getting old enough to qualify for senior coffee at McDonalds, I think that the facility can care for him better. There are things to do, complete meals, showers, and exercise.

Besides, many times the patient outlives the caregiver. That happened in my family.

Read Coping With Your Difficult Older Parent and another one called The 36 Hour Day. They both spell out caring for the elderly pretty well.

Good luck and I hope he is adjusting and is just playing you for sympathy. (It happens.)
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Sunnygirl1, I needed this wakeup call. I got exhausted just reading through your list of things that he would need, which we are aware of and provided, but need to remember.
I think it's the 'early days' syndrome where we feel some guilt and or adjusting to yet another phase.

Ba8alou, good to know that we're not the only ones facing this. He will just refuse to get out of the car.
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I don't fully understand feeling guilty for placing a loved one in a safe place where they can get the care they need.

I suppose that some people may feel sad that they are not able to make their loved one happy and that if they kept them in their home, attended to their medical problems, changed their soiled clothes, prepared their meals, provided them with physical therapy, talked to them constantly, kept them from hurting themselves around the clock, provided their entertainment, and responded to every wish they made, that they would make their loved one with dementia happy. The problem is that even with all those things, the person with dementia is not going to be happy for long. The deterioration continues and the person will often cry, lash out, complain, become unreasonable and resistant. No one can make them content and blissful throughout all the stages of dementia. It's a fantasy if you think that can happen on your hard work.

I think that if you can understand that no amount of care can make them happy as you imagine it in your mind, you might grow closer to accepting your loved one's behavior.
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