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Mom left us 2 girls a week ago to deal with it. We never wanted to have to put our dad in a facility, but he is a danger to himself and all others as he thinks EVERYONE is out to kill him, including us.. he doesn't recognize any of us anymore. We have a VERY busy highway one block away and if you even so much as go pee he's gone and we have to hunt him down. He is a danger to everyone including himself. We are currently looking for a facility to put him in. In the meantime he's running away from us every chance he gets.. how do we keep in him the house without having to dope him up with Xanax? They changed his medication to Trazadone, but he spits all his pills out no matter how we try to get them in him. Has anyone had better luck with one or the other of these meds and what is the best way you have found to get the pills down him. We have crushed the pills, putting them in shakes, ice cream, etc.. but can't keep him from spitting them out... any help would be greatful.. I;m afraid the cops are going to get involved before we find a home as one had to bring him home the other day when he get out... Please help if possible....

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If he likes jam on his toast, jam is a good way to cover the taste of crushed medications. However, I agree that he is not safe at home, nor are you safe with him.

Adult Protective Services needs to know about this risk It's possible that they can bump him up higher on a list for a care home. Please update us on how you are doing.
Carol
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Here's some advice I received from a retired nurse when my mom was still at home. Call 911 and have him taken to the hospital. She told me about the hospital in my area that has the best "geriatric psych" department. (You can ask the ambulance driver to take your dad to the hospital of your choice. You probably want to do your research first.) They're able to "regulate" people with dementia- related psychoses and send then home with meds. He'll probably be in for a couple of weeks. This will buy you time.

You have the right to refuse to take him home and the hospital social worker WILL find a facility for him. In doing that, however, you may be giving up the power to choose. Depending on your area, there may be a shortage of beds. The hospital will need to have him admitted to the first available choice. That may not be where you want your dad. So I would begin touring nursing homes in your area. Some are definitely better than others. I remember when I was looking at nursing homes. It was such a daunting task. I had no idea how to evaluate them. Then a social worker gave me some really great advice: when you're there, pay attention to how you feel. Do you get a nice feeling from the place? How does the staff appear to treat the residents? How does it smell? Do the residents look clean? Relatively happy? How attentive are the staff? Do the people working there seem like nice people? Do they look like they're on top of things or tired and lazy? You'll know. Other than that, staff to patient ratio is huge. If they are understaffed, the care will not be good, no matter how skilled and caring the existing staff is. The medicare and medicaid site has info on staff to patient ratios and alz.org has a list of facilities that have a secure dementia unit, which you'll need. I would pre-determine which nursing homes are acceptable and which are not because if you leave him at the hospital, this could move very fast, which is a good thing. IMPORTANT: don't let anyone bully you into anything you're not comfortable with. Know your rights. Good luck. Please keep us posted. I could write a book on finding a nursing home for your loved one with dementia, but I shouldn't dominate this thread. Any other questions, please ask. The community here is a wealth of information.
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I think i would see the police as your allies here. If your father gets picked up and taken to the ER, you can and should refuse to take him home, as clearly he can't be kept safe there.
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Sheri, I had essentially the same problem, also in Orlando. In your father's case, his physician needs to report him to Adult Protective Services. Orlando Health has a geriatric services group and David Smuckler, MD is board certified in geriatrics and the head of that division. When APS gets a letter from a doctor, they pay attention. Start touring the dementia units alone. Tour at least three. Escaping or 'exit seeking' is one of the things that Assisted Living facilities don't put up with, so may as well get him started where he needs to be which is a dementia unit. I know there are some nice ones in the Orlando/Chapel Hill area, I've been to them.
At the rate this is going on, he is going to get away from you. Take several good pictures of him, be sure you know who his dentist is, for locating him if he gets lost. You cannot restrain him, but I did put a howeler on his bedroom door. This is a little gadget you get like at Radio Shack that you put on with enclosed super sticky tape. On the outside of his bedroom door. When the connection is broken, like when the door is opened, it sets off a very loud shrill tone. He's free to open his door, but you will know it. You can use it on any door and turn it off/on as you need it. This is a temporary measure until he's safely placed. If he gets away again, call the cops to find him using the pictures you have. Also, you might maybe take him somewhere to get out in the open when the weather is nice, so he gets some walking in, prior to the evening when most elders get worse. You are in a tough position and I really feel for you. Hang in there.
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Another thing you can try is taking his shoes all away from him: slippers, flip flops, shoes, even socks if necessary. It will slow him down a bit. You can have him wear clothes that he would not be seen out in public in (gown, nightshirt, boxers, whatever). But you cannot sustain this level of effort and anxiety for very long....
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Being new here I wasn't sure how to update how my dad is.... I'm hoping this works as I don't see the other things I was trying to write back.... I will go back and edit it if I can so it doesn't like I"m an idiot!! LOL! Daddy is losing his mobility/speech and bodily functions very quickly. SO much has changed in the one week my mom has been gone... My mom went and toured an Alzheimer's Facility today and loves it, so I am going to see it Monday myself. I know she needs to look at several other's before of choosing, but she's set on this on already... I was a nurse in the 80's & 90's and worked with mostly Alzheimer's patients myself and took care of my granny (my Dad's Mom) for several years. The entire family on my dad's mother's side, ALL had Alzheimer's.... Guess what the 3 of us girl's prognosis probably is..... Anyways, my Dad fell twice on Thursday. Luckily he didn't hit any furniture corners or get any gashes or skin tears, etc... It's GOING to happen though or he's going to break a hip or something. So.... I called his doctor's office to see if they might have any chest restraints so I could be sure he wouldn't fall.... Nope, they didn't have any.. So I called the local fire department which is on the same street we live on and they also don't have one... Me, not being able to work and living here with my parents couldn't jump in the car and run and get one, so I had to think a bit and decided to use the ties that go around your robe... I put one under his arms and one around his waist and had him sitting in his rocking chair. It worked for hours!!! I was so happy! So I left my sister in care of my dad to take my mom some clothes and her bible and then I get a call to get home ASAP because my dad had pushed himself back so hard trying to escape that when she came in from being in the bathroom for 5 minutes, he was on his back, half in and half out of the closet! Luckily I had the knowledge how to place him so he wouldn't hit his head, etc before I left so he did go backwards and wound up not hurting himself physically! And luckily I was only a block away when she called. We actually both ended up laughing so hard, even though it wasn't really funny, but it was better than all the crying we've done in the past few weeks! So, tomorrow starting upon awakening in the am (it's going on 3 am now), I am going to start decreasing his medication. And since I know how to restrain him, I want to make sure that it's not the meds that are making him drop so fast! Make sense? They have changes his meds so many times I have to make sure in my own mind that it's not us just giving him meds that might be keeping him in a stupor, and that it IS the Azheimer's. Make sense?? thanks to all of you for the kind words of wisdom... I wish you all the best!!! Sheri
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