Last Spring my 89 year old Dad made the decision to move he and my 90 year old Mom to a retirement apt. Their meals are provided for them but they do have to go down to the dining room. While there is no doubt my Dad can handle all of this, I am wondering about my Mom. She is fine in the apt. surrounded by her familiar things. But after 4 months still thinks she is in a new place everytime they step into the hall, has no idea how to get to the elevator and dining hall etc. He has to tell her where to go the whole way and guide her throught the salad bar and orders for he. IT is getting drai ning on my Dad but better than the house where he had all the household chores and cooking to do. He had mentioned to me twice now he doesn't know how much longer they will be able to stay there. When I ask why, he says it's Mom, she still doens't know what is going on.
I wonder if asst. living would be better? I know he would not want to be seperated from her but there is a dementia unit down the street also. Would asst. living provide him any relief from always having to tell Mom what to do or would he end up still doing it? And end up feeling more confined, something he himself doesn't need. We kids don't live close enough to provide much with relief with help.
Many ALFs have memory units in them, so if you have one of them nearby, that is also an option - then he could visit within the building. This change will be hard on your dad, and your mom will notice the different apartment, but since she can't form new memories very well, she shouldn't notice the difference too much. It's good that your dad recognizes that he can't keep doing this. If he doesn't get relief, your mom may lose him all together. Please look at some changes.