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My dad has been falling a lot at his home and his dementia is getting worse. He is now in a rehab/nursing facility and looks very well. He wants to come home but the doctor says he does so much better there. When he is home I run to his house frequently to give him food and his meds. I cannot be there 24/7; it is completely draining me and I am getting so sick physically and emotionally. I have a brother who helps me a lot and a sister who does absolutely nothing. I don't know whether to leave him there or try to bring him home again. This is the third time he ended up in the rehab/nursing facility in a year. He does not quality for a 24/7 nurse at home.

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Please understand that this is a hard decision to make but usually, well for me anyway they get over it and thank u in the end!!!!!
I find it hard to manuever around here on this site sometimes, especiallly without my three cups of am coffee!! Its 4am here where I am in Florida and already up and starting my day!!!! I wish I had the time to sleep in and not have to make luches for hubby, worry about moms medicaid, and just in general go on a freaking vacation!!!!! I need one bad, also take a look at my profile its under susant8403
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YES< I couldnt have said it better myself, that is just what I do!!!! my mom is an artist, I brought her canvas, paints, brushes, etc.............now she is painting again which she never wanted to do at home, she just wanted to live like a vampire, all the blinds closed, depressed, atrophed, and not wanting to take care of her hygeine anymore! I couldnt do a thing to change it, but things got alot better once I made the decision to put her in a skilled facility, unfortunaltey, assisted living didnt work for her! she broke 4 ribs and a finger, got pnewmonia, and nobody cared or watched over her at all! Now its a whole nother ballgame!!! What a difference in her attitude! amazing!
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I would say judge by what his doctor says and how bad his decline is. Can he live alone? Does he brush his teeth and bathe? Can he fix himself something to eat or take his meds properly. Perhaps a caregiver that comes at least 3 hours each day would be helpful? I have a caregiver that comes 4 days a week either 3 or 4 hours a day. It gives me peace of mind that someone is there taking care of food and bathing. I then have the ability to come over after work and then weekends to take up the rest of the caregiving. My mom could not really be by herself that much alone anymore. I am glad I started with a caregiver that came just 2 days a week in the beginning and now have expanded to 4 days. It also helps to have a gentle and quiet caregiver who wants to do a good job.
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The best way to not feel guilty is to stay INVOLVED in his care. So many have responded on how to check in on your Father, and to do it unannounced. These are good tips.

Get to know the staff and the volunteers. Tell them about your father, his likes, concerns, fears, HOBBIES, etc. The more they know about their charges, the easier their lives are.

Make sure you have some SAY in your fathers' care. If you are not his healthcare proxy, make arrangements to become it. If your father needs help, you can help him. Without it, the doctor only needs to deal with your father. If the facility has CARE PLAN meetings, attend them, or ask for one.

Stay involved, know the staff, ask questions about his care and your guilt will be lessened. Not all facilities are what they seem and some are better than others. Find out the 'rating' for the facilty your father is in, and if you see anything that raises your suspicions, talk to the proper personnel about what you saw.

God bless you and your father!
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I placed my mother in an assisted living facility against her will and she was absolutely miserable and so was I. She hated me for placing her there. I didn't know what I was going to do but into her 5th week there she started to enjoy being with people and socializing....It took 5 weeks and now she is happier than she has been in at least 5 yrs........Luckily I found a facility that is very loving and caring...she now thinks all of the people living there are old friends.. It has made her life so much better than being home alone and I know she is now in a safe place...
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Tell yourself this: He's doing well because he has full-time professional care. If you bring him home and he starts going downhill again, THEN you will feel more guilty because you "didn't do enough." Visit often and keep your eyes peeled. Use your nose as well as your eyes.
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DanielRomero,

I'm not sure we feel guilty only because we care. I think we feel guilty for placing someone in the nursing home because of what a loved one may have had us promise them about their senior years or programed us with enough fear and or obligation that if we do anything different from what we know or think they expect, of us. Sometimes, I think we feel guilty for having to swtch roles with our aging parent instead of taking the easy but less helpful route of relating to our parents as if we were a child again. Sometimes, the unthinkable solution is the only reasonable one there is to make. If you have done all that you can do, then all you can done is enough, and that is fine.
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Dont know if this will help there are befriending services where people can sit with your Dad whist family not around. It might be worth ringing social services in elderly care to see what's on offer in your area. I do understand where you are coming from had to have my own mum put in nursing home and its a killer also im x senior health carer in elderly care.You could also try to advertise privately, but if so make sure they come with excellent references.I am now going through problems with my elderly father after a minor stroke wont move out chair refusing to wash and dress or shave or shower wish you best of luck hope it helps.I have worked the homes good and bad word of advise when you walk in take one long sniff if you can smell stale urine or feceaces , walk straight back out.If your Dad still in rehab your rights are to read his care plan to see what care package he has and see what meds he is on DEMAND IT!! THEY ALL SAY I WANT TO GO HOME ITS HEARTBREAKING.obviously he is better off at home if you can cope also social services do do homecare good luck!!!
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Tweeite1016, You are not alone. I think most of the people on this site feel some kind of guilt. Whether it is for placing a parent into a rest home, or not doing enough, not visiting enough, not calling enough, not being patient enough. We wish things were different. I am not sure if the guilt ever goes away even after they are gone. Just know you are not alone and you did not create this situation. And you can only do what you can do. I try to imagine if I was the person in the nursing home would I want to be a burden to my family and I hope not. And there are people around all the time so your Dad is never alone. My mom was alone and started falling down and wasnt eating until someone visited and thats when she got worse quickly. I feel bad for not taking her in but I know after spending few weeks with her I was a basket case and wasnt giving her the care she needed. Our hearts go out to you.
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Does he really need 24-hour nursing care? If not, maybe you should considered a small assisted living facility or residential care home? It would be less "institutional" and may provide a home like setting. The ratio of caregiver to resident is usually better and there may be less staff turnover. The availability and cost vary depending on where you live. Best wishes and don't be so hard on yourself. You are trying to do your best!!
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First off" NOT" all nursing homes are the same. You must research them and see for yourself what they are like. I had the same decision to make 4 months back . Only thing is I had no support what so ever from my brother, and so the buck stopped with me. Did I feel guilty,yes,BUT I knew it was for the best. First off I couldn't provide 24/7 care for her,nor could I or her afford to pay for it. My Mom has mild dementia and other physical problems as well. Good luck and please don't feel guilty. I visit my Mom often and also bring her here for a few hours a week. It will be and ajustment for both of you.
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Never an easy choice and you only feel guity because you care. It sounds like you've thought it out and are doing what is best for your dad and you and your family. You gotta let the brain tell the heart that the move is what's best for all...you can still visit and take him out...
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Please pardon my typos, tweetie. Am more than a little tired today.
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I am on the side of Sylvester18. Without actually knowing what the status of his abilities, which are: feeding, swalllowing, bathing, going to the potty, sitting/standing/walking, I hestitate to give you a final answer. If at all possible, is it recommended by ANYONE that you find a caregiver who will come into the home during the day and early evening to do these tasks, such as cooking/meal preparation/ helping him to eat, bathe, and go potty? A Nursing Home would be my VERY LAST CHOICE> Remember he won't be around very long, and you want to have him enjoy his last months of life, don't you? When you come over to visit him, you can get out the magazines, turn on the TV, read the newspapers to him etc. but the daily care is hard. I recommend a caregiver.
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I worked in the nursing homes for years and worked with many families in the care for their mother or father and I now I take care of my mother at home 24/7. Keeping him at home or the nursing home has pros and cons. If you keep him at home it will help greatly if you have POA and the financial ability to do this and this means hiring extra help so you can take a break or it will be very though. In the nursing home there is no way you know if he has good aids and nurses around him . You may get an aid or nurse that's great one shift or day and not the next. I suggest this coming someone who knows if you find staff you like that's fine but keep them quesing don't tell them or show up at the same time everyday. If they know this they can get ready for you and play the part of a good nurse or aid. Some staff are great actors so when you are there they play the part and when you leave they go back to sitting or on one more break. So don't let them know everthing and some families do they tell the staff every detail of there life. So I say if you have to place him in a nursing home that's ok but keep them quessing.
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His condition sounds like thats where he should be, dont feel guilty about something that isnt your fault, my mom has been falling for 6 years now, and finally we got a diagnosis, if he is falling, and it happened when u were not there to help him, then u would never forgive yourself!!!! If u are already an emotional mess like I am, then dad needs to stay where he is, he will be watched and taken care of 24.7 and that what it sounds like he needs, nothing to feel guilty about, you are making a good decision, for your dad who it would be dangerous to leave alone, he could get hurt!!! you are a very caring daugher who is battling with yourself with guilt, and I did the same for a long time,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,just be there for him, visit when u can, and take care of him and yourself by keeping him safe! You will be proud in the end believe me!!!!!
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One thing that may also help you in making a decision tweetie, is remembering that dementia symptoms generally don't fade away. Generally the symptoms of dementia progress making independent living more complicated for the person who has dementia. Better to not wait for an escalation of Dad's dementia symptoms before you take care of the issue before you now. Good luck!
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Hi, tweetie1016. Not an easy choice you are facing there. On the one hand, even though your Dad has asked about his release to home status, nothing in your sharing suggests that he is not doing ok otherwise. That, alone, is a blessing if you have found such circumstances in long-term care. May caregivers yearn for safe and ethical nursing home facilities for their loves ones. Before you decide whether to allow your Dad to return to his home, or not, you may want to think some more about the in-home circumstances you have described, where your Dad has fell more than once. If it has been a recurring health and safety issue for him, what is the likelihood that it will happen again? If it is more likely than not, then independent living may pose a direct threat to your Dad's health and safety. This is not to say or mean that he won't fall anyway if he is in a nursing home, but in a nursing home staff is better equipped and trained to manage and respond to resident falls. Unless you are a nurse, or allied health professional by trade or background, once your Dad starts falling again, you are simply a devoted daughter who is exhausted and already spreading yourself way thin as a part-time caregiver who worries about your Dad's safety when you are not around to supervise him in-home. Three rehab visits in a year may not sound like much to some caregivers, yet even one visit to a rehab facility in a year is emotionally and physically draining for the patient and just as much for a family member who is the primary caregiver. Between your brother's support, your thinking about what would be the best care for your Dad at this stage of his life and declining health, and a nursing facility that seems to be the right environment for your Dad, your Dad may be in better shape than ever.

Still, I know it is hard. It is a decision I never want to have to face, but when or if the day comes for each of us, it is clear when a caregiver has done as much as he or she possibly can. Don't repress the painful emotions you are feeling at your Dad's current situation. The only way through painful emotions is to allow ourselves to feel. Nothing wrong with crying, and I say that from my heart and personal experience. Think it through as long as you need to and time allows, then do what feels right for you and best for your Dad. May God bless you both. I know you'll do the right thing. Your careful deliberation and sharing shows that you are not about to rush into anything for yourself, or your Dad. You are both fortunate to have each other. Keep sharing. Sometimes sharing helps us to make sense of where we are and where we may need to go.
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If your Dad is still able to be at home at all, he NEEDS to be. The nursing home staff will drain him of every ounce of desire to live...they do not want the patients to walk around if they are able to, they want them as drugged up as they can be so they stay in bed or too dazed to get up out of a chair to walk somewhere. You and your brother CAN handle the load if you work together. There are many people on this site that are alone in this, such as myself, and have no help from siblings whatsoever. I placed my Dad in a "rehab center" and they stole his ability to walk from him. He was to go there for rehab, occupational and physical therapy, he was able to walk somewhat when he got there, and immediately they placed an alarm on his bed to go off if he got up to go to the bathroom. I am suing the place because there were 4 bedsores on his body that I knew nothing about, don't do what I did, it is a horrible thing to have to carry around everyday knowing MY decision to place him in a nursing home, which cunningly neglected him, caused his eventual demise. It has been 5 years and I still miss him everyday. Please, please, if you HAVE to place him, roll him over and check hi body from head to toe every visit. AND , visit very often, everyday if possible. If he has dementia, he has no memories , no people he knows at the facility, in my opinion, at least at home, there are rooms, pictures, memories he can still hold on to. It's a hard road to travel taking care of a loved one, but NOBODY will take care of your loved one like YOU WILL.
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Probably his doctor should explain to him why he cannot go home. Then you could remind him that is what the doctor said.

While I'm not a therapist, I do suggest people get help with their feelings of guilt when they find themselves overwhelmed or imobilized by it.
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One more note, let your father KNOW you're doing your best to keep his safety in mind. Tell him you are worried about his safety at home and ask him how he feels about falling and if he truly feels safe on his own. You might be surprised by his response!
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It s so heart wrenching to place a loved one in a nursing home even for a short term rehab. I went through the same guilt as you are going through. Just remember that he is in a safe place with people around him. Obviously he is not safe at home so this IS what is best for him. All residents want to "go home" but it's just not possible always. Frequent visits and paying attention to the care he is receiving is important and helps alleviate much of the guilt but it's still difficult. If you feel he is not receiving the care he deserves, speak with the care providers to let them know you are there! Things got so much better for my mother when I spoke with the nurses and aids frequently. Honestly, my visits to the nursing home are more relaxed because I don't have to worry if she is eating or sleeping because the facility takes care of that. I have learned to enjoy seeing the other residents that crave a smile and a hello when I go to visit. Make the best of your visits and take time for yourself! You are doing the best you can with what you have at this point in time! (my mantra) Good luck!
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I understand how you feel. I've recently had Mom in a rehab facility for only one week due to hip surgery. The experience was a very difficult one for her and for me. I would suggest that you leave no leaf unturned when it comes to finding the kind of at-home support he needs. When it becomes impossible for him to live in his home (maybe at this point?)begin to think in terms of having your dad admitted to a rehab/nursing facility for HIS OWN SAFETY.
I hope this helps.
K
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