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I am worried that my DH will not settle down in permanent care. He has his phone and calls every half hour. It was the same with his two previous respite stays


This is because with FTD they don’t forget and DH is also obsessive. Staff have advised me not to answer phone or visit for at least a week but I know this will not stop.


Has anybody experienced the person in care never settling in? I would appreciate advice

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This isn't something I've dealt with personally, but from observing the people my mother lived with at the nursing home I know that many of them never "settled in". The thing is, I don't think it was possible for those people to be settled anywhere, they were lost and seeking a world that was a creation of their broken minds that didn't exist in the real world. Sometimes you have to be satisfied with fleeting moments of happiness, or at least periods of stability.
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Reply to cwillie
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While your father is phoning every half hour, all he is thinking about is the next phone call. He won’t settle in until he stops interacting through phone calls. So you have to stop answering for his sake, because he won’t stop. Many places even recommend not visiting for two or three weeks, to help the person settle in. And there are many posts that say they have watched their LO secretly, and the LO is joining in with other people and activities quite happily until they notice who’s there, and then all the complaints and demands to go home start up. That’s probably not the case now with your father, because phoning seems better than even looking at what’s going on around him. Good luck, and know that you are being ‘harsh’ for his sake, not just yours.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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After 3 1/2 years in memory care, my near 96 year old mom still says “take me home.”

Some will say they’re longing for their childhood home, but this is not the case with her - she knows her address and used to draw a map to get there - recently she said she just wanted to be in her family room so she could read and watch TV

Yes, it breaks my heart - but she’s immobile and often is a 2 person assist - there’s no way I could do it alone at home which isn’t fit for a wide wheelchair

dementia is a long tiring journey for everyone - I tell myself all the time - buck up, it could be worse
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Reply to MsMadge
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NeedHelpWithMom Aug 7, 2019
There is no way you could handle that by yourself. You’re right. Whew! Caregivers at the facilities have a tough job.
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I'm far from thinking this is going to help, Panda, but you're bringing to my mind Laura Linney's character in 'Love, Actually' taking endless calls from her brother to the serious detriment of her work and social life :(

Do you mind if I think it through in type?

What are you worried about?

The impact on him, what he is experiencing in his head when he makes these calls?

Does answering or not answering make any difference to HIS wellbeing?

What are you hoping will happen - that he will form bonds with the people in his care home and loosen those he has with you and his son? How would you feel about that if it did happen?

I'm sorry, I'm just firing questions at you. But it seems improbable that you can alter *his* behaviour, so that only leaves your own. I'm hoping that thinking through what you can realistically do/hope for and what you can't do however much you'd like to will help you decide how to respond.

What discussions have you had with the people taking charge, and how much confidence do you have in them?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Lyecats Aug 9, 2019
What an excellent response! I have a similar situation with my mom, in that she doesn't settle in, and I jump through too many hoops trying to be the perfect child (or maybe perfect co-dependent) to make her happy. She doesn't have dementia but her degenerative brain disease makes her unable to walk or even really move. However she manipulates those who seem to like her into chasing her bunny trails of needs. She finds fault with everything and yet excuses herself from being held accountable. I'm tired and not liking how I feel about her these days.
after a stint in the hospital from a fall I was told she could no longer live in an ALF so she was placed in a skilled nursing facility. This one I found through referral is nice, smells very clean with lots of staff and therapies. In any group there are always personalities that aren't going to gel and it takes time to understand a patient. So I think its going well. I'm there every other day it's close to my home and so much easier for me to drop in for a visit. After only 6 weeks of being there she just told me she wants me to find another nursing home for her to go to.
Just yesterday I decided to let go the leash and let her make a mess of things all by herself by engaging others who have no clue what they or she is doing. She will eventually alienate people - but that is her MO. I don't need the constant stress she brings.
Thanks for the writing out loud the steps to think through. Glad I read this thread.
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Stop answering his calls. He no longer uses the phone properly and the battery will run out sooner than later. In the event of a real emergency, the residence will call you.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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As you said, this is obsessive compulsive behavior as much as anything else. As long as the calling gets a response it will likely be done at all hours. I would do as the staff requests. This is the only hope of some settlement into the new situation. DH isn't in control of his behavior and reactions. You will have to be. It will hurt, but I cannot see another way. Wishing you luck and hoping you will update us.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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My mother had anxiety episodes, would call relentlessly or leave upsetting messages. Maybe ask Dr for a medication that wud help the OCD behavior (& assist ur hubby with adapting there). I'm sure the Dr has ideas. Otherwise, gotta send the calls directly to voicemail, as I did. At nite, I turned my phone completely off. Hope things get better
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Reply to Tiger55
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I have to agree, don't answer the phone. If there is an emergency, the home will call you. Being a helicopter caregiver is not the answer. I was going to recommend taking the phone away, see that this is in process. He may never settle in, you just may have to accept this.
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Reply to DollyMe
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NeedHelpWithMom Aug 7, 2019
Don’t take his phone away. He may freak out.
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As with FTD his behaviour is always going to be repetitive, I suggest you take the advice of the staff at the residence and become unavailable - they are willing to deal with the results of that. As long as you answer the calling will continue the only way to stop it is to remove phone or you stop answering. He will never settle anywhere when he thinks he can get hold of you and change things - which he has managed to do before.
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Reply to TaylorUK
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Both of my parents never settled in. They hated both IL and AL. Nothing was ever good enough. They never made friends and never participated in any activities. I finally had to put my phone on silent during the evening and morning to deal with the 3am phone calls. Hang in there and continue to set healthy boundaries.
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Reply to mikejrexec
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Gerip1092 Aug 13, 2019
My mom stopped using her cell (forgot numbers, even though they were programmed in), and she started asking the nurses to call me. I have my number & my 2 brothers posted on her wall. She would be all sweet to get them to call me & they she would get on the line with me & ask if I would take her home and when I said NO, she would get mean & cry... I could not deal with this while at work. I asked the nurses to stop calling for her unless it was an emergency. She would only have them call me, never my brothers. Mom would not remember when I brought it up to her. She may never settle it, but I know it way the right thing for her safety, care & for my sanity.... It seems selfish at first, but it is not... You deserve a life too, they have lived theirs, it is unfortunate how it turned out, but none of it is our fault... Getting them the best care possible is something we can control.
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