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My father is nearly 92. Has been is assisted living for 2.5 years. He went in just barely using a cane and now he uses a walker and falls often.


We have brought him out for dinners or family gatherings. However after seeing how hard he had with the two steps getting into my home I stopped having him stay over Christmas eve about 2 years ago since he would never be able to get up and down a flight of stairs to the bedroom. That did not go over well.


This last Christmas he could barely use the walker and required total assistance in the bathroom. That is where I draw the line, I am not comfortable doing that. It actually took two of us for one of the bathroom trips. The second trip was at my assistance as he thought it would be ok to just have me empty his catheter bag in the family room in front of everyone. I have long ago stopped trips to the restaurant because he would pull up his pant leg several times to check the catheter bag in front of other diners.


Next week is his birthday and I plan on getting out of work a little early and bring take out to have dinner with him. Hoping it is nice enough to sit outside. The problem will be Easter. I really don't want to try and bring him over. We don't have a big family so gatherings are small. There aren't a lot of others who can help out while I am cooking dinner. Nor would I feel comfortable asking them to. In addition to having to watch him while he is here I also have to figure out getting him to and from my house. My kids have helped out in the past but I don't even know if they will be at their in laws or our house that day. I have also had on occasion where he has decided he didn't feel well and wanted to go home RIGHT NOW and I had to leave other guests to accommodate him.


How have others dealt with this when they realize taking a senior may not be in their best interest or becomes entirely too much work for all those involved?

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You sit down with him and tell him the truth; you worry about him being outside his facility and falling. Ask him what kinds of things he'd like to do at his AL and make it memorable for the right reasons. Have fun!
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Reply to mmcmahon12000
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Do something nice with him at the facility instead (Easter-themed or not, according to his and your taste) and don't talk about the family gathering. Hmm - if there are stray adult kids around that weekend, maybe they'd even be happy to have this delegated to them? If not, pop over with some hot cross buns on Good Friday, or a stylish gentleman's Easter egg early on Sunday, or whatever fits in with your schedule.

I know it's hard, I recognise the urge to explain and justify, but you don't *have* to tell him anything, you know. Just think of the relief of saying to yourself: "this subject is not open for discussion."
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Reply to Countrymouse
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The assisted living my mother lives in has private rooms for gatherings. Can you maybe have a pizza night for the family or something similar at their AL facility? My mother’s has a whole kitchen area so you can even cook there. Have you checked is there something like that at their facility?
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Reply to Jannner
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I have been in a similar situation with my mom for years now. She is wheelchair bound and I can't get her in and out of a car safely. We bring the party to her memory care facility where she lives with my father. I reserve the private dining room and the facility makes a meal for all of us attending and it feels like you are at home in the dining room. No nasty stares at her while she makes a mess while she eats that we would get at restaurants. We can all just walk away when the meal is over and not have the mess to deal with. My parents love it. We normally do not do the celebration with them on the actual holiday itself. We then have our family gathering separately and don't feel bad not having mom and dad at that since we already celebrated with them. I feel like sometimes people hold onto unrealistic visions of what holidays should be like, and try to recreate them every year. This is just not always feasible as our parents age. Make new traditions that fit more appropriately into their new lifestyle and embrace these new memories. You will feel a lot less stressed if you can let go of the fantasy Hallmark holiday traditions and just enjoy the day for what it is with the people you love.
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Reply to Marysd
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DD31000 Apr 6, 2019
How do you have to get her in and out of the car?
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If Dad’s facility has holiday dinners that family members can attend with a reservation (head count) and paying for their own meals, do that.

You need a break from the stove AND a break from being Dad’s arms/legs/wheels.

Option: Could you order a hot Easter dinner from your local grocery and bring it to Dad? (Along with a few family members?)

In my experience, grocery chains charge a very fair price for 1/4 ham & a couple quarts of hot sides & dinner rolls and a pie. AND they do all the work! Bring a handful of flatware/serveware/cutlery from home, some softened butter and a package of Chinet plates. Voila! You brought the holiday to Dad.

Or maybe meal at your house without Dad, then y’all pile in the car with desserts — and do coffee-n-sweets with Dad?

You can no longer take Dad out due to safety concerns (for anyone in your midst who requires an explanation - and by the way, they shouldn’t.) This is real.

It is no longer feasible for you to organize “field trips” for Dad and prop up his deteriorating mobility. Not safe. Not happening.

If anyone reacts with a pout or a big “but you have to,” ask him or her who’s gonna run the circus while you’re laid up with a broken wrist or a cracked spine? After all, Dad falls and you fall. NOT GOOD. Don’t open the door to that.

Things change.

It’s so, so draining to constantly make things happen for other people.

And it’s OK to stop, when the heroics no longer make sense.

Once you are a caregiver, everyone forgets about your health and your body. It’s up to you to carry that torch.

If somebody thinks “it doesn’t feel like Easter” unless you & Dad are both risking a trip to the ER, that person/people need to step up, shut up or get out of the way.

(((big hugs))) I’m a pleaser, too. 💗 Get tough!
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Reply to BlackHole
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JoAnn29 Mar 31, 2019
I used to be a "pleaser"but at almost 70, I am tired. And you know that say " no deed goes unpunished" I find its true. Whats that other one "u can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time". It really gets exhausting as you age.
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I feel sorry for Dad but its getting too much for you. Moms AL always had a holiday dinner where family could join in. If you rather keep it just family, then ask if you can have an area to yourself and have dinner there. Some of the restaurants now have take out dinners with all the trimmings. Just heat up. Then the actual holiday you can enjoy.

You know Medicare will pay for therapy (supplimental will need to pick up the 20%) with a Drs. order. Therapy can be done at the AL. It may help with strengthening his legs.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Delay and redirect. I'd be surprised if he remembers the exact dates of anything, and really, the dates don't matter as much as the celebration. I'd pick a convenient to you date to GO to the home and celebrate there. As a restaurant diner, I really don't want to see your dad check his urine bag. And Easter - there are enough holidays around then that you can pick one and ask people if they'd like to go visit Dad with you. The group gathering can be his celbration. Just like we don't expect too much out of toddlers or we blame the parents for indulging themselves, you have to consider that your dad is not the right age/level for this anymore. He's tired at inopportune times, needs what he needs and now, and generally has higher needs than others. Make it easy on him to succeed in his social events and have them at his home which is now where he lives, not where he used to live or where you currently live.
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