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He was found walking aimlessly down the road close by. He was admitted on Monday and refuses to stay. The sister has asked for stronger 'anxiety' medication and decided by herself to give him a pill from another patient, which I find disturbing. Our doctor phoned them this morning and gave a script for same or similar after the sister asked for it. I feel they are there to deal with these issues and should by now already have the experience in knowing how to handle patients who resist. I was shocked to hear that he could have slipped out and would have thought that they have the elderly monitored to an extent. They told us that men are more difficult than the women.
It is very difficult for us and we don't want him back possibly worse than when he went in, if they say they cant keep him. We are worried. Any similar experiences?

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It is all one could hope for, that they have everything they need.
I was told today that everything is fine with him, but I also know he will look for ways to slip out.

Today it's been a bit about me. I felt bad almost all day about him being in a NH . I thought he just wanted to be surrounded by family and not strangers.
This is not easy.
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Nobody tells us that we have to redefine what acclimated looks like and means for the individual. It might not ever be like it would if you or I moved into a new apartment somewhere else.
Some lucky folks do adapt, and boy am I jealous! Some will eventually get there in time (many months). The period of adjustment can be very, very long, and the final adjusted stage may not be exactly what everybody had in mind, based on the infomercial in our brains!

I had to stop looking for happiness or signs of contentedness from my mom. Safety was the most important thing. Then making sure she was getting her meds and eating enough, reasonably clean, and that's it.
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I'm so glad I got to speak to ALL of you. It's been a tremendous help. Thanks for the link Sandwich42plus.
Sunnygirl & ba8alou I will definitely take issue with the doctor about an anti-depressant. My dad is the same. he told me yesterday that the place is strange and the people don't greet. Well he threw a few tantrums and now half the residents ignore him.
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Seen, I know that most of us are loathe to put our parents on lots of medication, but in the case of my mom, as with Sunday's cousin, some antidepressant meds made all the difference in the world. My mom no longer weeps for hours with a look of terror on her face, crying that she's a bad person. Peace of mind is what you're aiming for.
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One thing that I can offer is that while every one is different, Cymbalta really made a difference in my cousin's mood. Before she went on it, she was very agitated. She seemed to always be on edge and worried. She would often say she had done something wrong. Of course she never knew what it was. She also complained about her roommate a lot. She was just very discontented. She looked around a lot and couldn't seem to relax.

Since she went on the Cymbalta, she has been quite different. Granted, I did move her to a Secure Memory Care Unit, and they do know how to deal with her better, but it's more than that to me. Her attitude is much more care free. She doesn't blame herself anymore. She is pretty positive about everyone and has no issues with her roommate. She eats better than before and is generally doing better. The only thing now that bothers her is missing her deceased parents. Once in awhile she'll say there are some people you can't trust, but she isn't obsessed with it and she doesn't seem to be very bothered by it. Of course, she has no details about it.
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Google Teepa Snow Senior Gems. She has great education on the phases of dementia, so you can prepare for what's ahead.

The thinking processes/reasoning of a dementia patient are NOT the same as for me or you. You can't assign what you would mean if you behaved that way, to what they are doing. You really have to understand it in context of the brain degenerating, and different parts of control eroding away.

Some people behave as if they are in the past. Some become combative and agitated. It can really depend on what kind of dementia and other problems are going on.

youtube/watch?v=eBrY9v391L0
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Sunnygirl, gosh I didn't even think of it in that light. It must be sad for them if in their mind it is fresh. How painful. Ugh...one often just don't know what to do.
My dad is on a calming pill, not anti-depressant. I might have to speak to the doctor again. Not too happy about him taking so many pills.
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My cousin now speaks of how much she misses her deceased parents every time I see her. And the staff tell me she speaks of it in the Memory Care Unit to them often. I've read that their memory of their parent's deaths is fresh and they think that it happened recently, even though it may have happened 20 years ago.

I'm not sure if it's a phase or if it will continue until the end. I can't imagine how sad she would be if she wasn't on antidepressants.
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Sorry, meant 'definitely NOT for the fainthearted'
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Thank you for all your responses.
Geolin6, I totally agree. It must be difficult for any facility to deal with dementia and a strong personality. Definitely for the faint-hearted. My dad acts like 5yrs when he throws his tantrum and stubborn as a mule.
Pamstegman, You're so right. Just yesterday the snr nurse said that he is now no longer considered 'early-dementia and is now in the advanced stage.
CFCRochester, yesterday we were also told that he speaks of his mother who died fifty years ago and his late wife who died 5yrs ago and that he wants to go and see them. Might even be my mom who died 13 years ago, not sure. You're spot on and I almost didn't believe the nurse when she told me.

He went on so bad last week that my sister almost took him with her. I had to tell her if she did that, she could no longer rely on my 100% support. When he lived with her, she complained all the time and I did the trips to the doctor, hair salon, nails, outings etc. But why do we feel so bad, he was after all a part-time father for most of our growing up lives. It is exhausting, I repeat.
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Apparently they have and do deal with 'mental' patients but not on a big scale. My dad is functional, but is extremely stubborn. They now watch him all the time and have worked out a program and seating arrangements for his security. I understand what you're saying, but the closest facility for mental patients are not suitable in many other ways.

That said, we were told we could visit yesterday and I didn't think it a good idea, but my sister felt we should go and we did. Was I sorry. My dad looked well taken care of, but did he perform. He started raising his voice and he insisted that he wanted to go home and threw such a tantrum to the point where I just walked out and he wouldn't let my sister out of his sight for half an hour before she could give him the slip. It was terrible and embarrassing. Half the other residents now ignore him. We are just hoping that they don't ask us to take him back. The senior nursing sister now goes out of her way to help. I think it might have been the reason she initially felt 'desperate' to calm him with the 'un-prescribed tablet, which he now have a prescription for. It is exhausting.
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Since a fall in September, which caused traumatic brain injury and vascular dementia, my 90 year old father has been in two hospitals , a nursing home and now is in a secure memory unit facility.He has had the "escape" mentality since being in the nursing home. They said they couldn't keep him secured in the home (he got through one door and was headed out the outside door when they found him) and recommended we look at assisted or memory care facilities. Now he is in this memory care place and they too are having a difficult time because of his anxiety, " I have to leave" attitude, aggression when he is helped(toileting, dressing, etc) and not sleeping. Hospice is involved but this continues to be very difficult for him and the caregivers.
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I am going to visit a facility tomorrow that actually combines skilled nursing and memory care. It is the only facility in my area that actually has them togeter like that. The philosophy, if you need memory care you will also need some level of skilled nursing. They split their residents up into groups of similar levels of memory loss and plan daily activities based on that. Naturally, they are a bit more expensive than assisted living type memory care. But, a very interesting concept to try to keep them in the same facility, without having to move them. We have been looking for a continum of care because at some point skilled nursing is probably inevitable. It is a "Christian Living Community".
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It sounds like your Dad is behaving very normally for a person with dementia. I'm not sure why the facility is having problems taking care of him, or why they keep calling you every time he soils his pants. It sounds like they are not equipped to handle him, and usually your state's laws will dictate he must be placed at a higher level of care.

If he does need that higher level of care, then you might want to look into Home Care. 24/7 home care is about the same price as a Skilled Nursing Memory Care facility. 24/7 Home Care CAN give him that one on one care which a Skilled Nursing Facility can't possibly give him.

One additional thing I want to mention, when he says he "wants to go home" he is not really talking about the home where he currently lives, or even the home where his children grew up. He is talking about going back to the place HE grew up, the place where is Mother and Father live, and the place where he feels safe... and of course that place no longer exists.
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So sorry to see your Dad declining rapidly. He is beyond Assisted Living at this point, both due to pooping his pants and his desire to escape. Look for a facility that can handle advanced dementia, he is at that stage.
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Also have to say I stayed away for 2 full weeks when I first brought my dad to the facility. When I came back after that he had all his things packed to go home. Sadly I had to remind him that he was staying and not coming home. Caring for our aging parents is not for the faint of heart.
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My dad needed to be placed in an assisted living locked memory care unit and was very unhappy there in the beginning. It took many months before he settled in. He was angry and even threatened to harm himself once when I was visiting. Now he has settled in and is happy and loves the routine and structure. Somehow in the first month there he discovered the door code lock and let himself out. I found it written on a piece of paper he had although it wasn't in his handwriting. He was quickly discovered missing and the lock was changed. I totally understand your concern about being asked to leave the facility. I had that concern for quite a few months especially when the director of the facility would call me about inappropriate behavior from my dad. I just keep reminding myself that he was there because I was no longer able to care for him at my home. The best thing I have done is visit weekly and come on different days at different times. I've gotten to know all the staff and I've come to find that although they have handled many different people, they can still have a learning curve when you mix dementia with a strong personality. I can say that time has allowed me to trust that my dad is where he needs to be and I know now that the staff also knows that as well. Give yourself some time to get used to it all. Blessings!
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Conversation with dad's doctor. Sorry, auto correct got me.
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All Assisted Living Facility's are not created equal. If he is an elopement risk you need to look at a secured unit for his safety not a general ALF. He will probably have issues in the beginning that would be expected. It will take time for him to settle in. Thru this time he may need the help of additional medication that can be stopped at a later date. Do your home work before picking a facility pick the one that will fit his needs at the time and in the future.
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Seenypa, THE NURSE INSISTED? Were you told that by the doctor? Did you witness this!.? There is something very wrong with this picture.

As the poster above says, facilities that specialize in dementia have ways to keep patients safe and calm that don't involve unneeded psychiatric drugs. You need to have a cover satin with dad's doctor, alone, about what your dad's needs are and where they can best be met.
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Seenypa: based on your descriptions, you need to move your Dad as soon as possible. The facility is not set up for caring for a 'runner' and broke the law giving him an unprescribed psychotropic medication. Never mind him escaping....that can be fatal. You need to look for a *dementia* unit. It's not just how big the gates are, or how many; it's how the staff have been trained. Dementia unit staff know how to work with people who are stubborn and who have hygiene issues. If there are no dementia units nearby, then you may need to travel outside your regular area to find one. Dementia units have a series of tricks to keep the entrance/exits secure. A good care unit would never give one patient another patient's medications. That's a lawsuit waiting to happen. Good luck.
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Seenypa, the sort of secure facility you seem to be describing sounds like an assisted living to nursing home - secure in the sense that bad guys, as another poster put it, can't get it. Which of course is necessary. BUT, your relative seems to need SECURE Facility in the sense more of psychiatric hospital lockdown. The issue isn't about controlling outsiders, but controlling your relative. Are there any psychiatric nurses or other professionals there? A regular assisted living and/or nursing home is not set up to deal with mentally ill people.
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That is so sad, but if its advanced dementia as in alzheimers that happens, except my dad did know my nephew he was living with and it's only been a few days. Fortunately he still recognises both me and my sister. He was diagnosed as early dementia, so wasn't that far gone, except his conversation became minimal.
I may be wrong, but I do believe that they knock the uncooperative patient into some sort of robotic-mode with strong meds. I asked our doctor to prescribe Azlam .25mg, a low doze for possible anxiety and the nurse insisted my doctor prescribe Rispedal, which totally transformed him into subservience. It's very hard when you see the 'instant' difference.
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Agree with ba8, not recognizing a nephew would not be at all unusual. If I am fortunate enough to have one of my sisters pick mom up at day care, she does not recognize them as her daughters. Even at home she now does not know who they are all of the time.
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See, I think one thing to remember, if I'm reading your post correctly, is that the facility calls to inform you, not to request or demand your help. If they are asking you to stay away, it seems like that is a good sign that they believe they can work with him. Great news that he was enjoying himself. That he didn't recognize a relative out of context is not at all unusual.
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Yup, cannot win. But you have to trust in the decision you made on this facility, stay away, and give them a chance to do their job. I know it will be difficult as everything does when that guilt begins to pervade your brain and senses. Trust your decision.
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Gladimhere, we were told to do the same by our doctor and some facilities we visited, but this one plays it by ear and now also asked us to not visit again so soon. I've also read it on here, which helps. I think you are right. It is hard though :). It makes one feel a little bad. Cant win.
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Seen, in my area many facilities ask family to stay away for two weeks so the new resident can better adjust. I would wait longer than a few days.
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Today we had a hair raising experience. My nephew took my dad's tv to his room and my dad didn't recognise him. This came as a shock as my dad lived with him and his mom. He thought my dad was drugged and he said the room smelt bad. My sister and I rushed over there in a huff and puff, only to find that my dad had by then joined the Xmas party in full swing and seemed fine and chatty, except that he kept repeating that he wants to go home. We went to his room and it was being cleaned and sanitised.
The home phones us all the time, when my dad soiled himself, or when he refused to eat. They have an open policy and keep the family informed.
We thought things looked better again today and the staff nurse and manager are happy to chat and answer questions. I think it might be better for us to stay away for a few days, after seeing him looking ok today, and give him time to settle in. They keeping an eye on him now that all the staff know him and I hope he will not be able to slip out again.

Thank you for all the support. Really appreciated :)
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Seenypa,
I get your concern about the place giving up on him. I worried about that too. But, your dad's behavior is not that unusual. If he acted normal and was cooperative, then he wouldn't need to be in their facility. Being resistant to care is not an uncommon thing. That's why the staff in Memory Care Unit's are trained to work with them.

I always felt that if they couldn't handle the patient, then there is a place who can. I"m not a professional, but there are people who are and who can get uncooperative patients to accept care. It may take a little time, but that's how they learn to deal with the patient.

I wish you the best and I hope this place works out well after they get through this adjustment period. I would still insist on that meeting. They need to have the director, nurse, med tech, and any other person who is involved in his care present. They should have the notes, records, etc. to review and explain what has happened and what needs to happen now.
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