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No other family is available. I’m very concerned that my job schedule will prevent me from visiting more than once a week and even then, it will be on my only day off. There is no other family or friends to carry this load of visiting my dad. I’m very concerned that my job schedule will prevent me from visiting more than once a week and even then, it will be on my only day off. ad. I worry that I will have no down time if I must give up my only day off to go and see my dad. Please understand that I love my Dad and want to visit but I think that every weekend is going to be too stressful for me. I’m very concerned about finding a balance, and my employer is unlikely to give me any schedule flexibility.

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Since you have been on unpaid leave from your job and are now back at work (I’m assuming), you need to stay in your boss’ good graces. Don’t ask for time off to visit Dad.

Dad’s welfare no longer is your responsibility. He has three shifts of staff and his needs are being met by them. Does Dad have dementia? If so, you could visit every day and he might not even remember you were there. If not, you can explain to him that you have resumed working and you will visit when you can. If he has a phone, call him. Keep track of him by occasionally calling the nurses station and ask how he’s doing.

When you do visit, you are not obligated to spend all day there. Go at a meal time and eat with him. I used to bring fast food for my mom. She loved it. If the facility has programs for their residents, encourage him to participate.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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If you want him to know you are thinking about him when you can’t visit, you could buy a batch of postcards and stamps, then send one off to him every other day. It’s a cheap and easy habit to get into, and it can be surprisingly effective. You could get a pin board for his room, so he can see them all. They don’t get forgotten like phone calls do, and staff often talk about them.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Judysai422 Nov 12, 2018
Amother idea is to get an e-picture frame if he has Wifi. You can shot him pictures and video and even voice message to stay in touch. We got one for my parents and the whole family emails directly to her frame whenever they are doing something.
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Just do what you can. You're going to feel guilty no matter how much or how little time you spend with him. Fifty years old is too young to give up your free time. Maybe spend a full day with him once a month, or 1/2 day twice a month, whatever works for you. But give yourself plenty of time to enjoy your own life.
Were you able to get him signed on for Medicaid?
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Reply to sudalu
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CJ, your profile says that your father's money is about to run out and the only option seems to be a Medicaid-funded Nursing Home? How long has he been in the ALF?

I don't mean to dodge the question here on this page, but isn't resettling him a bigger issue than long-term visiting schedules?

In any case you must be extremely stressed and I'm sorry for it. One foot in front of the other has to be the rule at least for now, and if that means skipping visits because you need to unwind then so be it. There are always phones for you to send him your love and check up on him.

No family, no friends, nobody except you... are you sure? Try Googling 'befriending volunteers' in the area, or look up any churches or associations or clubs that he was a member of. Seek and ye will find and all that.

But meanwhile, if you fall to pieces your Dad won't have anyone at all. So take care of yourself, and please let us know how you're doing.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I was responsible for two parents in the same town, but different locations as well as maintaining their home where mom lived. Talk about spread thin. My dad, who was in a nursing home, had good hearing and good memory. He definitely needed visitors and intellectual stimulation. To supplement my visits with him, I used to read aloud to him over the phone. We read chapter books, history books, short stories, you name it. I kept the laptop handy because there were always side discussions and questions that needed answering. As I read, I could be lying down comfortably on the couch with a cup of tea handy. We both loved those phone visits. On the weekend, I would try to take him out of facility for lunch or a ride in the car. Those outings usually involved picking up mom first, so in total, with my drive over there and back, at least 5 hour committment. If I couldn't see him (I was under the weather or a scheduling conflict), those phone visits saved the day. Dad was also able to call me whenever he wanted. He knew to call my home landline, not my cell, so he knew that he wasn't interrupting my work or sleep. He also knew that in an emergency, the facility could reach me any time, any where. My mom eventually ended up in facility. She was slightly hard of hearing and had short term memory deficit. We read too, but kept it shorter and sweeter. She loved hearing me read about the movie stars of the 30s and 40s, poetry, and some of her favorite children's stories as well as singing! You can make these phone visits rich and meaningful. In the old days, people used to write to one another quite frequently. Try sending dad a little something to arrive the middle of each week. A simple note with a funny cartoon, for example. Maybe, he'll write back:) Last suggestion, does he like to play chess, checkers, cribbage? Maybe you can find a local teen to meet with him once a week for a game or two? Check with the local high school guidance counselor. Students are often looking for ways to volunteer (for national honor society requirements and the like).
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Reply to lynina2
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Pace yourself for the long haul. Yes in a perfect world you would visit a lot. That's what people make us feel we are supposed to do. Like someone else said, you will feel guilt about the situation no matter how much you visit. I had to put my dad into memory care ALF almost 2 years ago. I am 51 and my dad was only 78 when he moved to memory care. Like you, I typically work 6 days a week. I know that I will likely be working at this pace for at least another decade. I know there is a possibility my dad will still be alive for another decade, and a probability he will be alive for at least another 5 years. I am an only child, there is nobody else that can take responsibility for him. My mom was unwilling to care for him and she is a whole other can of worms I have to deal with. JUST DO THE BEST YOU CAN. STRUCTURE THE SITUATION IN A MANNER YOU CAN HANDLE FOR ONE YEAR, TWO YEARS, FIVE YEARS, ETC. Take time for you, WE, TOO, ARE NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER!! Make time for what was important in your life before. My good friend's husband died suddenly at age 60, and my friend (only 54), is so regretful that she was so tied down taking care of her 87 year old mother, that she and her husband gave up things like weekend-getaways for the past few years. They thought they had time to do that "after Mom passes away", but mom outlived husband. So sad.....
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Reply to Upstream
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There is not 'rule' for how often you visit family. Some families see each other weekly, others years will go by between visits and most are in between those extremes.

You know that Dad is taken care of by professionals. You could ask the facility if they know of any groups who will act as friendly visitors. Mum used to belong to a group who volunteered with visit seniors at a local nursing home who did not have anyone to visit them. Each volunteer was assigned to one or more residents and visit on a regular basis.

Also let his old friends, workmates etc know where he is living, they may go visit too.
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Reply to Tothill
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Hi!  We must do what we need to do and move forward without guilt or regret.  Is your dad Tech Savvy?  If so, perhaps you can augment your visits with face-time phone calls, Skype, Facebook Phone Calls or something similar?!  If dad isn't teach savvy, perhaps you can teach him how to use technology on your next visit, to bridge the gaps between visits.  As you show him, you can write down step-by-step instructions that will help him when someone is not around to help him access communications.
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Reply to YiannisKori
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CJ I've got similar. I visit when I can but I've got work, young kids, wife with health problems then its difficult at times. He lives 30 mins away so even a short visit is 2 hours gone.

He always wants more. Its difficult sometimes.... BUT at the end of the day you can only do what you can do.
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Reply to paulfoel123
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I know just how hard this is, my mother was in an assisted living center (memory care unit) while Dad was in the hospital, completely worn out, after caring for her alzheimer's for way too many years on his own. They hid this from my sister and I, and we didn't realize until mom was agitated on the phone with me one day and handed the phone to her dead brother---aka my dad. She had a stroke the week after and never went home again. I struggled to maintain a balance of sleeping in the hospital with my dad at night and going to visit mom (she still knew who we were) but was up and down on moods, and working, and taking care of my own 2 kids and husband. Dad got better and then I went to live with him for 3 months, 25 miles away from our home, while visiting my mother as much as I could, and getting my family to come visit us at Dad's as much as they could. This was a circus! Dad eventually got too ill, went back to the hospital and subsequently to a rehab center. Mom escaped from the memory care unit and then we moved her to another one. All the while, my sister was "too busy" to come relieve me. Dad came to live with us for 2 days after the rehab center and passed away. That was April, 2013. Mom moved to another memory care unit and after 2 weeks, fell and broke her hip. We then moved on to clean out their home and 2.5 acres of crap to try to sell it to keep mom in the assisted living center. At this point she was sleeping alot. We finally sold the home after at least 40 hours a week for many weeks of moving, cleaning, selling and storing CRAP. I still tried to visit at least once a week for even a few minutes just to observe the staff and their care of my sweet, lost mother. She passed away in December and then the letdown of the whirlwind that had happened over the last 13 months hit, and I became emotionally and physically exhausted. I am sorry I wrote so much, but it has been very therapeutic! All that said...... pace yourself. Take time for yourself as well as your dear dad. And remember, he won't be here forever. Good luck!
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Reply to Becky66
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