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I have been caring for my dad for 7 years in my home. He had 2 strokes and was unable to live alone. over the years he has developed dementia. I needed respite care for him to take a much needed vacation. took him to nursing home, very next morning, was called to come and get him because of his disruptive behavior. He had never displayed this kind of behavior before. Finally found nursing home with a dementia unit,(wonderful place), he had behaviors there, combative and would not cooperate, the facility is trained for these types of behavior with dementia. I did get a short vacation thanks to them. upon bringing dad home his behaviors continued, unfortunately, I had to face the fact i was not able to continue care at home. My dad is 93 and i am 60 , we have always been close, and this was the hardest thing in my life to do. He is back in the same facility , doing ok so far, except when i go see him he gets upset, and says why am i here. The guilt of having to do this is tearing me up, how do i get through this? I put myself in his shoes , no family around, dont understand why im here, sharing a room with a stranger, missing the little dog. I cry everyday thinking about this situation. Please help.

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Bring him little things he still likes when you come to visit, do a little chore for him. Stay involved. Hey, it wasn't your plan that he would become ill and develop dementia and it is no one's fault he developed unmanageable behaviors. His shoes are not your shoes - he might not really feel all that much better anywhere else than where he is, for one thing, and the things that will make his life better may be different from what you'd think they are. I had to learn that with my mom, and find out by trial and error what she still found enjoyable and what no longer floated her boat, and it would change sometimes too. Do what you have always done - you have done what you can; it is a hard fact that what we can do is not what seems ideal, or it can be done a a while, but cannot be done indefinitely. Sorry you are in this boat, but you will at least find you have great crew-mates on here!
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Dear Vera, I so feel for you. Your dad doesn't understand much anymore, it sounds like. Loosing one's brain to dementia must be awful. Watching it happen to someone you love sometimes feels worse.

Guilt is appropriate in a situation in which you've done something wrong. So, what did you do, objectively. You found dad the best care possible after 7 years of caring for him "by hand". It is a well established FACT that no one person can care for a dementia patient alone. You did it as long as was humanly possible (longer, probably ) and then you got him the best facility care possible. In my eyes you did nothing wrong. But I can't imagine this makes you feel less guilty.

How long has he been there? Not long , I'll wager. He needs some time to settle in. Can you bring the dog to visit? When he asks why you're there, he's really asking, not trying to guilt you. "I came to visit, Dad, because I love you". I hope this all works out as well as can be expected. Please take care of yourself.
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I'm so sorry. It was similar with my Dad. Mom cared for him for years but when he started falling (three times in the bathroom, even with grab bars, walker, etc.) we knew that for his safety he had to move to a memory care unit. Horrible guilt. To this day. But they knew how to care for him, especially when toileting became an issue. He hated it but he'd forget the next minute. It was best for him. When we knew it was toward the end we tried to get home care so he could die at home but we were too late. He died peacefully in his sleep as soon as my Mom left the room for a break. He knew! My brother was there, though. Anyway, you can only do so much. Think about his safety and yours. In the olden days, people only lived to 35 (Roman era). And 60-65 in the first half of the last century when we were growing up. I guess I would say that in addition to safety, focus on the happy memories, and the happy moments when you have them. You have been a blessing to each other, and you are both human. You're both doing the best that you can with what you have. Wishing you peace of mind and good memories.
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It sounds like you have found a good place for him where they can manage his behavior. Of course you are sad that his life will inevitably end this way, and you are grieving his decline and adjusting to the changes in your own life now that he is no longer in your home. Guilt has no place in the equation! Guilt implies you have done something wrong, and it sounds like you have done and continue to do your best for him.
It may take him a little more time to acclimatize to the change. And remember, with dementia there may come a time when even family become strangers and home is a place they can't ever seem to find no matter where they live.
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