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My father has Dementia and lives alone. My sister, her husband and myself all have POA. His doctor says he needs to be placed in a memory care facility. We have kept him at home as long as possible. We don't live in the same city as dad. And have tried hard to take care of him. But at this point he's way beyond us taking care of him.


Once we have everything in place, how do we actually get dad to the facility? He will not get in the car and go with us, he will refuse, he will physically fight us. Do we have to go to the sheriff 's office and have them pick him up and take him?. He has already threaten if we try to remove him from his home he will disappear. He is home bound and can't drive. (I have his car keys). But he may just take off walking somewhere. He has gotten lost twice already.


We are at wits end on how to proceed with physically getting him there. And him not hurting anyone.


What are our options?

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When it came time to move my married friends to a memory care apartment I had found for them, another friend came and took them to breakfast at a nice restaurant in a nearby-town and then to have their nails done at a shopping mall. In the meantime, the movers and I were getting their furniture to their new apartment. We set up the bedroom just like they had it in their condo with the same pictures on the wall, furniture in the same places. We set up their small living room so it was arranged just like their den where they spent all their time watching tv. When they got done with their nails, it was about 2:30 in the afternoon and when they walked in, the husband, who had been so adamant about not needing to leave their condo, saw his favorite recliner arranged just like home and sat in it with a sigh of relief and has been happy ever since. His wife had frontal temporal dementia and needed 24 hour care and the husband with short term memory issues, could not process how she was changing over the past 7 years. The wife only lived another 5 1-2 months before her mind was shutting down and she could no longer swallow.
She was in hospice care by that time and died comfortably next to her husband in the hospital bed we got set up next to his recliner once hospice began. That was in 2015. He is still there and spends most of his day in his favorite recliner watching his favorite old TV shows like Gunsmoke and Mash.
He joins the others on the memory care floor for meals and there are activities he can join in, but prefers not to do so. He is well cared for and happy and not alone. He remembers his wife, of course, and misses her, but understands it's only a matter of time before he can join her again. I am thankful to have found a place that does this care well and doesn't miss a beat. The memory care floor is a locked facility, so getting out is not possible. I have to use a special fob that is programmed to open the doors to enter or leave the floor. I think most memory care facilities are like that, so you don't have to worry about their wandering. I am grateful for how smooth the move went and that our strategy of making it look like home worked well.
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plum9195 Mar 31, 2019
Yes, based on my years of experience this is how it usually plays out when you do things the way you arranged them. You did things exactly right- have the room set up already with familiar things, take them out for something fun then bring them in to their new home. Over 60% of the time this works well. And the staff at the AL or MC know how to handle things when you leave.
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Took my mom over to my sister's house for a visit. Left her with my sister. Then, we moved her bedroom furniture into the care home and set it up just as she had it in her own home. Then we told her we were all going out to a "dinner". The dinner was at the care home. (Unfortunately mom is more confused in the evening so we made sure to move her at that time.) We sat with her for a while during dinner, chatted, etc., then the caregivers took over and we slipped away. Of course I cried driving home .......
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Vickier Mar 31, 2019
Thank you. That's going to be our game plan. Now it's just coming down to finding the right fit for dad.
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Whatever you do, have everything set in stone and in place. DO NOT DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR FATHER - YOU WON'T WIN. Instead hire some suitable strong people who are used to handling situations like this (they are trained to do this) and have them on standby when the time comes and they will "escort" him to his new home. You cannot take any chances doing anything else. Remember, this is the worst that can happen to him - he doesn't want to leave his home and I would not either. But you must have help and not let him know in advance. Just show up and do what you need to do.

You must realize parents have children and it is their obligation to care for them. That is life. They grow up and leave home. They now have a right to a life and if they want to and are able to care for parents who are "off" and gone, that is their choice and their right but not everyone has the mental or physical capacity to take on these extreme cases, nor can they provide suitable care for their parents or ailing spouses. Eventually the caretakers' lives will be destroyed and it will be hell for all concerned. That is why modern society has places to put patients who are too far gone to be cared to and tended at home. Sad but that is the way it is.
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bigsun Mar 30, 2019
Thank you
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This is an alternative answer. If your Father happens to need medical attention (from a fall, or sickness), make sure he is in the hospital for 72 hours minimum...this is a requirement for Medicare because a social worker will be assigned to him and you can then smoothly place him into a rehabilitation facility or directly to the memory care facility. He will be taken by chartered ambulance. While in the hospital, they may have you sign for his medical decisions, you already have a POA. A durable power of attorney lists out specific things that you have the right to be his guardian / decider /finance etc.
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Vickier Mar 28, 2019
Hi, he was recently in the hospital because of a bad stomach infection. My sister tried to get them to keep dad for 72 hrs so we could place him in a facility. And the doctor refused. This is one of the doctors that has advised us dad needed to be placed. You would think after telling us that he would've kept dad the 72 hrs.
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I heard how some friends of mine got their mother in a facility. They had previously arranged with their Mom to take her out for a meal. They took their time and then went for a drive. In the meantime, other family members moved her personal things and furniture to a care facility. On the way back to her home, they went by the care facility and suggested they just look at it. He might resist, but suggest you try it out. It was all prearranged with the facility and after they showed her around the facility, they took her to see a room. Then she noticed that the things in the room looked familiar. It was at that point that they told her those were her things and she was staying. She was mad at them for a few weeks until she got involved in activities and now loves it! My parents willing chose an assisted living home and now my mother claims she did not pick the place (she does not remember because of her dementia), and hates it, but it's the best place for both of them. Her doctor put her on an anti-depressant a month ago, and it has made all the difference in the world as to her frame of mind. Good luck!
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stcroix1970 Mar 30, 2019
From your name I'm guessing you're a St Croix native? :) I lived there back in the 70's and vacation there now when I can. My mother has beginning dementia and we moved all her familiar things to an apartment, then moved her. She has hated it for 3 yrs and wants her house back. It's almost time to move her to a memory care home and I didn't know I could decorate it with her own things. Great idea! The anti-depressant is a good idea, I need to talk to my mother's dr to see if that would work for her. She mainly sits in her recliner and watches some tv. So depressing!
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My MIL had to be sedated and then strapped to a wheelchair after MD said she needed to be in a nursing home permanently. But she had had multiple falls and also had A-fib. Once she was there, she liked having the attention and a minister who visited her once a week. She went in and out of hospice/nursing home for about two years before she died at 90.
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Vickier Mar 31, 2019
Thank you. I truly believe once dad is there he will do so much better!
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I am shocked, disappointed & frankly horrified by the responses here. Most everyone agrees that they should just trick & lie to their parents then cry afterwards on their behalf. I have fought & struggled to keep my mother who has dementia in her home. It IS possible & once you get the hang of it, it's not that hard. If they were a veteran or married to one, the benefits from Aide & Attendence will probably end up covering it. Also Medicare might be able to assist. It just takes a little work kids. Think of all your parents did for you & your conscience!!! If you have questions, need more information or advice I'll stay on this forum though it is very difficult to hear what many people have done or are planning to do to their parents. I stand with all the doctors and nurses who care & are in support of people who do not throw away America's elderly for "their own good" because it frequently is not.
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Vickier Mar 30, 2019
We have been dealing with this for 2 yrs. Again we are not close enough to take care of him and we are now dealing with our own medical issues. You said you have kept your mom at home? Does she live near by? Does she except outside help? Does she walk at night? Is she getting 3 meals a day? On medication? These are the things we are dealing with in regards to dad. Their are days he doesn't remember how to use the microwave. how to turn the tv on,. There is no one available to give him meds on a daily bases. Trust me we've tried to get someone.
He refuses outside help. Even if he did he would forget who they are and wouldn't let them in his house.
Dad is very difficult to deal with.
I don't want to place dad in a facility but do I want him to get lost again? No!! And I'm not willing to take that chance any longer. He doesn't deserve to live the rest of his life alone, depressed, not getting the needed meds and not getting 3 meals a day. He deserves life!
We call and check on him every day but that's just not enough. We go out there once a week to take food, wash clothes and take him out to eat. That's the.only time he sees anyone. He has taken electrical things apart and left live wires hanging out. He's gone through 5 phones because he takes them apart. Which means we couldn't reach him and had to ride out there to make sure he's ok. I have arthritis in my spine and a 2 hr drive kills me. That's one way.
I'm glad you are able to keep your mom at home but I'm dad's case it's just no longer possible.
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See if the Dr would give him an anti depressant med. changed my husband from lion to lamb. After 12 yrs of ALZ I put him in memory care. The first night they said was horrible. Gave him meds to calm. I had given him 2 tylenal pm once w episode & he went to sleep. I did not visit for 2 weeks so he could feel that was home. I felt like that was his first death for me. Not in his bed when I look to see if he was ok etc. he just passed 3 wks ago & was up & walking but God knew it was time so spit blood at er found kidney failure. Gone in 6 days. They will medicate your dad if he gets aggressive which you may not like but remember you cannot care for him & they have a group of people to deal with. Always remember this disease does not get better so I didn’t want to prolong it. Not fair to him or family. I like the idea take him to lunch there & they should flower him w love so you can leave. Pray a lot so all will be peaceful. Go to an Alzheimer’s support group it does your guilt wonders. We meet weekly & we all share in different circumstances. You will gain strength from them.
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97yroldmom Apr 1, 2019
Mlface
I’m very sorry about the loss of your husband.
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As you already have a good working relationship with the sheriff's office, and the people there are already familiar to and with your father, I think it is appropriate to seek their help; more so than it often would be. They know him as an individual and will be able to "personalise" their handling of the event.

It won't be like calling the cops on him. They will be able to use their authority to give him calm instructions that he will follow as a matter of course, without drama or excitement. Discuss the possibility with them and see if they're prepared to provide an escort.
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Vickier Mar 28, 2019
Yes they.know dad very well. I'm calling the sheriff dept.tomorrow to see what they can advise. Thank you for your insight.
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Just to clarify: Does your Dad live within the city limits or does he live on a farmstead that is 5-10 miles from the city and his closest neighbor lives 1-2 miles away from him?

What type of wandering deterrents have you tried? Those suffering with Alzheimer's, other forms of dementia and memory loss have a tendency to wander whether they are at home or in unfamiliar surroundings. They are trying to make sense of the world they find themselves in at that moment. 

A couple of articles about wandering: 
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/how-to-minimize-the-risk-of-alzheimers-wandering-142801.htm ;(Please note that I do not think the suggestion of locks on the outside doors is appropriate for your Dad since he lives alone.)

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/wandering-alzheimers-patients-142875.htm

Visual deterrents such as STOP SIGNS that hang ACROSS DOORWAYS and Black or DARK MATS on the floor that are interpreted as "BLACK HOLES" are a couple of ways to minimize wandering of people with Alzheimer's and Dementia.

Here are some websites (Copy & Paste URL to your browser.) of Stop Signs made especially as visual deterrent for wandering. Many of the signs are attached with Velcro-like fasteners so that you can take them off anytime you want to.  The sign will need to be removed prior to your loved one going out the door. 

https://www.webmd.com/brain/10-ways-to-prevent-wandering#

https://www.alzstore.com/stop-sign-banner-p/0134.htm

https://www.caregiverproducts.com/posey-stop-sign-door-banner.html

https://www.mindcarestore.com/stop-sign-banner-p/mc-0134.htm

https://www.alzstore.com/alzheimers-dementia-wandering-s/1828.htm

“Locator Services for Wandering Alzheimer's and Dementia Patients” Several companies offer (for a small monthly or annual fee) “medical alert systems” for dementia patients with or without GPS. The https://www.alzheimers.net/8-8-14-location-devices-dementia/ website offers a list of 10 Lifesaving Location Devices for Dementia Patients.

https://www.medicalert.org/safereturn “MedicAlert® + Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return®” offers “24/7 Wandering and Emergency Response Services for Individuals with Dementia” offers:  A personalized medical ID with the MedicAlert + Safe Return 24/7 toll-free number; 24/7 emergency response and family notification service (with ability to contact the people you designate to step in and help until you are able to care for your loved one again); Personal Emergency Health Record; Six Steps to a Safe Return magnet; Advance Directive Storage.

Until you are able to convince your Dad to move into Assisted living facility or a Memory Care facility, deterrents and/or locator devices might be helpful and decrease some of the stress and worry that you are feeling.  Talk to your local sheriff and police regarding which company they prefer and maybe set up a locator system for your Dad.  [FYI: One problem is that some people with dementia or Alzheimer's refuse to wear the locator device and you have to hide the device in their clothing or on their shoes.]

Good Luck with finding an option that works for your family.  I know how scary it is when a loved one gets lost.  My Grandmother would go walking in the corn fields around her farmstead and my Mom tried to wheel out the facility doors looking for my brother and myself. 
{{{HUGS}}}
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Vickier Mar 28, 2019
Dad is used to being active. He sleeps all day and does his walking at night. He lives out in the country, no where near city limits. He has a few neighbors near by. That alert us.if there is something wrong. But with him getting lost this past Saturday that was enough.for us.to push harder to place him asap.
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