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My dad has Alzheimer's and needs memory care. My mom is still pretty sharp and needs assisted living. My mom decided to move to the memory care unit in a companion suite with my dad. Now it seems that this was not the best decision for her and two sources have mentioned that it might be better if she lived separately and was able to come to visit him. How do you separate a couple that has been inseparable for 67 years? Also how do you afford the cost of memory care and assisted living? The plan was to keep them in the same facility but my dad's condition progressed more quickly than expected so they moved to memory care about a year before planned. They are both in their 90s and live 5 hours from me. I am the only child.

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Forgive me - Isn't this your mother's decision to make?

Back up the "sources" [who they?], encourage your mother to step away from hands-on caring and save her energy for visiting, reassure her that taking care of herself and providing the right support for her husband is the best way of preserving their marriage.

As for the money - how are their costs, which must already be pretty high, currently being met?
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I'm sorry that your mom is unhappy. Many elderly people faced with just such dilemmas are not happy about the choices they have.

My mother opted to move in with my brother 21 years ago. She is not happy and has not been for years. Nothing to be done. The girls (3 of us) told her it was a bad idea and to let us help her find something more of a fit. She went with the manipulative brother...and well, that's her bed.

I too, am a fixer, but I cannot fix this.
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Our situation is similar to yours with the reversal of my mom has dementia and my dad has Parkinson’s. We tried to keep them together in AL memory care but my mom was not allowing my dad to get the care he needed. It was her husband, hands off. We moved her to another memory care and sadly had to put him in a SNF. They have been there a month. I take him to see her. She called yesterday asking me to come get her. Unfortunately, neither of them can come back home. We had just been to see them around lunchtime and she didn’t even remember we had come. Dad says he is a lot less nervous now. I know what you’re dealing with. It hurts.
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Others in my family seemed to think that mom with AD and stepdad with general age related decline could live in the same suite, he would provide the majority of the care for mom. In fact, they placed a deposit on a unit without even consulting stepdad.

That idea was quickly quashed as a geriatric care manager was involved. This would have been much more than stepdad could take on and he said so. You need to find a way for mom to live a less stressed and more enjoyable life and dad to get the care he needs.

Stepdad and mom were placed in the same facility, mom in memory care SD in AL. He visited every day and it worked out as best as can be expected.
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Your poor mother.

You'll see lots of threads on this forum bewailing the tendency of friends and family to drift away from both people with dementia and their primary caregivers, and it sounds as if your mother is experiencing a comparable phenomenon. She and your father are now in Memory Care, and there's been some strange loss of belonging to her former peer group. Which leaves her with the choice of moving back "across the tracks" and "abandoning" your father, or staying by his side and separating herself from the community she herself fits with better.

So I can't blame her for feeling pretty wretched about life in general, and being crabby as a result. From her point of view all the available choices suck.

She may also be pissed off and disillusioned at her former community's lack of moral support, and therefore not in the mood to make much effort with them.

And it isn't like there's sunshine and rainbows ahead to look forward to, either.

:(

I think you're right, you can't fix it. What about having a status update conversation with the unit's manager, and seeing if there's anything to be done to relieve your mother's sense of isolation, maybe even ostracism?
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Is this strictly a memory care facility or are varying levels of care available in the same building/campus? I'm wondering because there might be the possibility for your mother to take part in activities with more cognizant people outside the memory care unit.
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You are correct. It is my mom’s decision to make. She willing made the decision to move with my dad to a companion suite in the memory care side of the senior care facility. Now she hates it and calls it her prison even though she can come and go as she pleases. She says that they live “across the tracks” and feels like she no longer fits in on “the other side”. This may not be anything that I can “fix”. It is my nature and profession to be the “fixer”. They are living off the proceeds from the sale of their house. Next year they will need to draw on their reserves and apply for aid and attendance from the VA.
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You mention that your dad is a Veteran. Depending on when he served, where he served are any of his medical conditions considered "service connected"? He may qualify for one of the VA Homes and the cost would be $0 (depending on the % of disability) I would look into this now. He could then be moved to a VA facility if he qualifies...and when there is an opening.... and your Mom could then move into an Assisted Living facility. This would greatly extend the financial aspect of the living situation. And begin the application for the Aid and Attendance now do not wait.
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I have spoken to the facility and it seems as though my mom’s situation is not as bleak as she tells me. Lol. No surprise there. She spends a considerable amount of time on the “other side” with friends. Seems like her biggest irritation is that she cannot have the door code to memory care so she doesn’t have to wait to have the door opened. Lol. I promised my dad that he would not go to the VA home near him. He said he has seen what happens there. And yes we must wait to file again for aid and attendance because they still have too much cash. I think the only solution is to just let her vent but don’t offer solutions. Seems that after a fair amount of venting and complaining she settles down until the next visit. I know it is not easy for her. At 97 I can’t expect her to make a quick adjustment. Thank you for your comments. Sometimes other people’s input can put things in perspective and give fresh vision.
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Your mom says "...calls it her prison even though she can come and go as she pleases. She says that they live “across the tracks” and feels like she no longer fits in on “the other side”." Can she not work on spending more time with old friends from the AL "side"? Perhaps just breakfast and dinner with hubby, and spending the night, thus spending the day with others of similar abilities and having lunch with them?

Although they've been together a long time, during younger years when working, they would not spend all day together (unless they ran a business together), so if she spent the day hours with her friends, perhaps she would not feel she does not "fit in". This may be her perception only... if the others are still a marital "unit". Focus on the singles might help this.
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