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Hi everyone. New to this site! Glad to have found some potential support! My dad with fairly advanced Dementia is in a nursing home and VERY unhappy. He tells us his family has abandoned him and no one comes to visit. Yet, every day someone is in there visiting him, sometimes multiple people per day! He seems to forget that people visit him. What is the best way to handle this? It breaks my heart really. He wants to go home, but he can't be cared for at home and I've tried to explain that to him but as you can imagine, he doesn't really process it. Would love any feedback or thoughts.


Regards,


Margaret

Your hubby is right in not wanting to bring dad home. This sounds callous--but at this stage, likely he'd be more "work" than any positive results you'd see.

Your DH may seem unfeeling to you, but he's actually being "smart". Very few people here would encourage you to further upset him by bringing him to a
'new norm'.

This is your DH's father, not yours.

Perhaps a geriatric psych work and some meds to help him cope with the depression/anxiety. They aren't miracle cures and may not even be right for this situation, but a baseline evaluation never hurts.

It also is likely VERY HARD for your DH to deal with his dad's decline. I know my Dh has never accepted his dad's death--still thinks maybe we should have explored more kinds of TXes. This is HIS problem to deal with--and he has to find a way to wrap his brain around it. ( And dad has been gone almost 15 years).
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thank you all for your great ideas. I am seeing more of a decline with my fil just in the last couple days along with the desire to live. I am really feeling guilty about having him in assisted living. I took him to his coffee shop Wednesday because I was going anyway and I thought he would enjoy it. Then I took him Thursday. Thursday one of his friends said that he has been saying he wants to pull the blanket over his head and not wake up. She then said that since he has been there he has lost the will to live. It’s also so hard because he can seem his normal self and then when he finds out he can’t take the bus it adds to his depression. How do you get through this. I want to just bring him home. I try to talk to my husband and I ask him why he just doesn’t want to deal with his dad. Once again if assited living calls me for anything he seems like his dad is a bother. Please don’t judge but he actually said that his dad is just a miserable old man. Then I try to talk about how his dad is-well he should have planned for his retirement better. I just want to make everything better and i know i can’t.
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Thank you all for all these great ideas.
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yes, the same with my mom, she is saying me that i am rarely visiting, and i am almost every day there, and as much as she was happy to see her son, she forgot about this next day. Fortunately for me, for now, she is not asking go home, but she constantly saying I am dying without you and that's breaking my heart and increase my guilt. I was caring for her for 13 years and its this first year when my health decline and her dementia increased that after hospital she is in NH...really hard situation, I dont have a solution, only compassion.
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gmcrook Jan 8, 2019
Thanks poetry. It’s so so hard. Thanks for your compassion, and same back to you.
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Oh, I am so sorry to hear this about your dad.

Sadly, there's not a lot you CAN do. Their memories are as fleeting as a summer storm. Daddy would be very engaging while I was THERE and I could go back the very next day and he didn't remember a thing. He seemed a little baffled by it, and at time was teary or frustrated-- and all we could do was try to divert him from "remembering" to something happening "now". He loved the Nat'l Geo Channel and we'd turn that on. The programs settled his brain a lot. So much he had lost--this brilliant mind--and heart breaking to see.

If he didn't want to, we didn't try to remind him of all he had "forgotten". We just went FORWARD and didn't dwell on the past, as his memories of the past were gone, for the most part.

If he became agitated about the memory loss--we did start using Valium cream rubbed into the thin skin of his forearms. This settled him down well. (By this point he was in Hospice, but I am sure his doc would have been OK with it sooner). And if I rubbed the remaining cream into my hands (as you do when you lotion someone else-) I'd have a pretty peaceful afternoon too!

I consider myself lucky in that he remembered me to the last day of his life--some of my other sibs--not so much. That's precious to me.
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gmcrook Jan 8, 2019
Thanks Midkid. "we didn't try to remind him of all he had "forgotten". We just went FORWARD" I really like that. Very helpful. It's hard to know what to talk about sometimes. I struggle with talking about the past because it feels sad TO ME! I would much rather be in the moment and look forward so thank you for helping me understand that. Also, you mention your dad remembered you - he still remembers me but not sure for how much longer. When someone asks him how many children he has, he can't answer. He struggles when pressed to remember the name. But he seems to know who I am! I hope I don't lose that. Thanks agin.
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Hi, Margaret and welcome to our forum. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this. I discovered once that the “home” my mom wanted to go back to was her childhood home of the 1920’s. I was even invited (by her) to sit on the porch with her, their dog and my grandparents. The worst part is, as you’ve found out,that he cannot process explanations that “Jim, Dan and Bob all came to see you today, Dad!” He doesn’t remember they did. Redirect, change the subject, bring his favorite lunch and eat with him. That’s what I did. I know how sad and frustrating it is. That’s what makes this disease so awful.
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gmcrook Jan 8, 2019
Thanks Ahmijoy. "Redirect, change the subject, bring his favorite lunch and eat with him." That's really good advice and what I've been doing instinctively. Glad to know that I am on the right track. I will share with my mom who is struggling with this whole thing too.

Dementia sucks.
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