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We recently moved from Pa to Las Vegas. Prior to the move my Dad was in a Personal Care home in PA... A warm loving gentle man that everyone loved! Very Sweet and easy going.. when we first moved my Dad an 84 year old man who has Dementia/Alzheimers lived with me in my home for 2 months. We just placed him in the Nevada State Veterans home late last week... he was fine until this morning when I got a call that he woke up very confused, agitated and was yelling and being very mean to the nurses... THAT IS NOT MY DAD AT ALL!!! I drove as fast as I could to get there and within an hour had him settled down and happy and comfortable again... I stayed with him several hour and called twice and got a wonderful report each time... The gentle sweet man was back to himself... However I am very un-easy and un-settleld... Is this a normal thing to happen in this type of situation? I just need to know that this was an isolated action which hopefully won't happen over and over...Any input to give me my sanity back will be greatly appreciated!!

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Purr,
My mom was in respite for two weeks two years ago. Her doctor had prescribed xanax to be used at night when needed. Per sis POA instructions they gave it to her nightly. There was a tremendous amount of anxiety in my mom. There was one night that mom became extremely agitated, did not understand where or why she was there, and why she couldn't go home. Then started throwing things when I received a call from her hubby asking what he should do. I told him hang up the phone, push the call button on his wrist and I would call the front desk.

This is the night that he told the nurses to skip the xanax for that night. He did not understand what it was for. Nor did he understand that the call button was for ALL emergencies, not just falls or other medical type things.

Does you dad have any medication to take? If not, you should certainly have the doc prescribe something. Moves are very difficult for those with dementia, as it is my mom does not know she is in her home of more than 50 years, much less what city she is in. I cannot imagine how unsettling it must be for your dad to have no idea where he is. Try medication, it will make him feel better, and be much easier for the caregivers. If he disturbs the fragile balance in the home they may ask you to move him elsewhere. Then you would be starting all over again.
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I wish I could offer some comfort but my first thought was that there's just been so much change in your father's life that he's disoriented, confused, and probably scared. At his age, and with dementia, simply moving across the country is trauma enough, but to then be placed in a facility away from his daughter would only compound that trauma.

When my mother was in a SNF, I saw confusion and denial about returning home. I also saw Sundowning. It was so difficult for some of the people to orient themselves to the SNF environment, and that was a significant issue to those who knew they would never be leaving.

If you spend as much time as possible with your father, that might ease the trauma. And use music and pet therapy as much as possible. Take a portable cassette player or I-pod or whatever and play his favorite music to soothe him. Bring photos of something that's familiar to him and keep them in his room.

The other thought is that something happened at the VA Home which traumatized or upset him. Some VA homes don't have the best situations. When he seems to be calmer and not confused, you might try to gently raise the subject but be cautious as it may upset him.


When I took the Creating Confident Caregivers course, our team leader asked us to participate in a simulated dementia environment. We were asked to imagine ourselves driving home in wintery conditions, on a slippery, packed freeway, with traffic just inching along, defrosters not working well, windows fogging up, passenger talking constantly on trivial subjects (and getting on our nerves), and then looking in the rear view mirror and see a semi-truck barreling down in back of us (and likely to hit us).

That kind of high stress level is what people with dementia, and especially Alzheimer's deal with constantly. Imagine then that anything else would compound that anxiety.

Make your father as comfortable as possible, go with him to activities, have meals with him, and make sure he has a cell phone so you can call him every night to wish him good night.

I wish you success and hope that your father can adjust to this new living situation, and also hope that others will see something I might have missed to offer you more comfort.
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A friend's brother has same diagnosis, and is described as fun and easy going. Just recently his wife had to put him in a home where he could be observed as he is a wanderer. They got a call about similiar behavior, the staff explained that is was his reaction to confusion, and would most likely occur again. It's very difficult to see the progression of such a horrible disease. Best of luck to you and your dad.
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