I know it’s going to be an adjustment for him and I am worried about that. He also doesn’t eat on an American schedule. He is from England so he eats lunch at 3-4 and dinner at 8 and then there is all the cookies he eats. He can have a refrigerator for his drinks but as I am writing we are not getting him groceries above what he gets with room and board. I mean I won’t let him starve. Then I am worried because the place is about a mile and a half away from our house. Just last week he got mad and took off at dark for two hours. How often should we see him? Like I said I can see coming home and he is in our yard again. Lee was really upset two nights ago about the mess he is making. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. thank you 🙏

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Hi, Staff. FIL being a flight risk is something you absolutely need to tell the staff at the AL and make sure it’s on his chart. I wouldn’t visit at all for a week. If you want to check on him, call the nurses station and ask how he’s doing.

Remember, Lee’s dad is there to be taken care of by the AL staff. They aren’t just filling in for you. Don’t fret about the meals. He will adjust. Your job with him is done. He’s going to be lonely, angry, feel sorry for himself, beg to come back home, etc. Don’t apologize to him. Don’t buy into it. Be kind and loving but firm.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Ahmijoy


I'm not sure what your FIL has been telling you about mealtimes in England, but if he likes having lunch that late, and that's his story and he's sticking to it, well...! Fine, I suppose?

I should have a word with whoever is handling his admission at the ALF and go through all of your questions with them. Remember, they do this job week in, week out, and settling newcomers in nicely is all part of their routine. Don't load him up with extra food, he'll adjust better to the new menu if he's hungry - after all, "a pinch of appetite is worth a pound of seasoning."

Hint: if he misses biscuits terribly, this is a good time of year to order presentation boxes of them for his Christmas gift. What are his favourites?
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Reply to Countrymouse
Staffbull18 Nov 4, 2018
actually he loves anything sweet right now. we did find licorice allsorts. i just have to step back now and let him get settled. it just doesn’t seem real. i don’t know if we will know what to do with ourselves if we have time alone. thank you all i will keep you posted.
Hopefully the AL has lock down. The front door at Moms was a keypad you need a pin number for. The firedoors could be opened after a few seconds but an alarm went off to tell staff someone went out the door. I am not big on not visiting for a week. He may feel abandoned. Maybe get him settled and sit in the common area where other people are. Take him on a tour. Explain he now has a room to himself and people to get to know. Activities. If you can wait till lunch or dinner (depends on when you drop him off) use that time to leave. Give him a couple of days and then visit. Be ready for him not to be happy. You may want to keep the visit short.

Usually ALs eat at 8, 12 and five. Snacks are given in between. Moms had birthday parties. There are state regulations on how much residents are fed and believe me its more than I can eat. Lunch is usually the biggest meal. I wouldn't worry about stocking up his room with food. Maybe drinks in the frig.

Please do not allow him to talk you in to coming home. He needs to be used to the AL as his Dementia progresses. It will then be a familiar place.
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Reply to JoAnn29

My dad was in AL and they couldn’t leave unless they signed out and a staff had to unlock the door. Yes, you can expect him to have at least a 3-6 month adjustment period. And he may rant and rail how he hates it. This is normal. No it isn’t easy to take BUT if you realize it’s not unusual then you can handle it. Just empathize with him and listen. It doesn’t sound like he can be reasoned with if he has dementia. You need to know how to keep your boundaries.
It will take time for him to fit in, make acquaintances and relax. I disagree about not giving him a stash of some of his favorite foods. I know it’s normal to worry about all this. It’s like sending your child off to college. But try to put it in perspective...he’s an adult and he will not die of starvation.
Be sure his rooms there look similar to the spaces he inhabited before so everything is like he’s used to.
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Reply to Harpcat

I ended up getting my dad a 1 cubic ft fridge for his room, small enough to sit on a nightstand. He didn't always like the food served and wouldn't eat, so I felt better knowing he could have a sandwich. He also liked sweets, so I could send homemade desserts and know it would be safe to eat when he and his roommate got to them.

I did have to clean it and his food drawer out weekly or it was a fright.

He never kept much but it made him feel more secure having the ability to eat if he got hungry. The quantity was not always as large as it should have been and they thought he should be forced to eat more veggies, he was in an AL care home that could accommodate 8 people.

I would give him some cookies or cupcakes for his first week, be sure and send enough for him to share, food is a common denominator and a great ice breaker.

Play it by ear and roll with the waves. It will take time to get him settled with all of his comforts in place.

He will be fine, good job.

Enjoy your special 50 celebration for hubby🎂
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal

I meant the table can be changed not charged. As this part of life in AL is important and frequent I would try to find out ahead how residents are seated at mealtimes. A truly negative resident can monopolize the mealtime. It can get very petty which adds stress. When it is positive it provides a sense of belonging. I will always remember bringing my mother home from a medical procedure which took the whole day and us being greeted by 2 of her table mates expressing care and concern. When one of those women passed on some time later I thought back to that day I still remember vividly. This was in her first AL. Other than that we have been much happier in the second one.
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Reply to Riverdale

Unless he is still very aware of the immediate geography then take him a long way around & tell him that you are farther away so he doesn't take it in his head to visit - also if/when you pick him do always do the long way - if you forget & he says that it is short tell him he dozed off a bit so missed some of the ride

Walking a mile for an English man is nothing so tell him it is 10 miles or whatever you think will be best

He'll adjust to eating but may take time - tell him that supper is actually high tea & that eating late is not encouraged at his time of life so main meal is now high tea & there is just a snack at dinner time - bring in some desserts etc for the first bit until he gets with the new schedule
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Reply to moecam

Dinner in Al will be what he is used to as lunchtime. Then most usually are able to provide snacks such as fruit, possibly a sandwich, maybe cookies. He could have those stored in his room. Hopefully food will prove to be the least of your concerns. No one starves there. He could skip a meal such as breakfast if he chooses. Mealtimes are when residents are hopefully social. My mother has been in 2 in different states. The first one had everyone assigned to the same table. Many became caring of each other. The present one does not insist that residents always eat at the same table but they tend to do that. There are always stories to report. Not always all positive but some are. I would find out how the AL deals with mealtimes and ask that he be placed or directed towards a situation that he is best suited for. They can be charged if it is a negative situation. Wishing you the best.
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Reply to Riverdale
shad250 Nov 3, 2018
Sounds depressing.
Is this his choice to move to AL?
All moves are difficult.
Was he living on his own? or with you? Either way will be a difficult transition. From being in a small group to being in a "community". But he will get used to it as we all get used to change.
Most AL will have some snacks or light meal that he can have, or take a meal from the Dining Room and bring back to his apartment. He can then eat it when he wants to.
I am sure he will get used to the schedule that they have particularly when he makes friends and they all go to the Dining room together.
Since he is in AL not a Memory Care unit he will be able to leave at anytime so if he knows his way around you can expect to see him in your front yard. If he tends to wander and if he does have memory problems maybe AL is not the right choice.
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Reply to Grandma1954

thank you all for your suggestions. the first night he sent my husband an email saying that he can only shower once a week abd he has nothing to drink. we still had to bring his tv so i talked to the staff . they said they needed to check with me about the shower and how safe it was for him to to do it himself. i cleared that up and they told us to get him a water bottle and then we brought his ice drinks. they just fill his bottle up . he is still on the kick he is a vegetarian. ironically , he ate a bologna sandwich. we told him he needs to eat lunch before he goes to the coffee shop. today we had to meet with his caseworker and i guess he was talking with some people last night. they moved the tables together and it seemed to work for everyone. however, today he told the caseworker that these senior citizens don’t talk much. i think it’s going to be okay. the sheriff department is putting a bracelet on him and with it getting colder he won’t want to be outside. i will say yesterday was emotionally exhausting . then this morning i went to wish my husband happy birthday and he was kinda down . it’s hard having to place a parent in a home. i feel numb myself. this doesn’t seem real. anyway thank you all for supporting me through this journey with my mom and my fil.
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Reply to Staffbull18

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