The stars have finally aligned and after 3 months of work, I got a call today to say I could take my dad to the SNF tomorrow. Now I'm looking for advice on how to handle the move.
My dad is unlikely to go willingly (I have guardianship) and so I've not told him this is about to happen. He also wouldn't remember if I did or he would get agitated and stay that way even though he'd forget the reason why.
Unfortunately, I have to go to the pre-admission meeting first and meet with the staff to create his care plan. The SNF is 25 miles from where we live and my sitter is unavailable, so my plan is to take him with me, but rather than have him sit in the SNF during the meeting, a friend has offered to stay with him at a nearby restaurant and have lunch. After the meeting, I will pick him up at the restaurant and drive him to the SNF.
At some point I plan to tell him he is there for rehab - he's been very weak lately and a PT has been coming out twice a week to work with him so this seems like a reasonable thing to tell him. If he gets upset or refuses to go in, I plan to tell him that he has the choice to do it there or at the hospital (he hates the hospital) - but I don't know if I should do this on the drive from the restaurant, in the parking lot, or once we've entered the building.
I know some people think you should explain everything as you do it, but his dementia means this is a conversation we'd have over and over and there's a very good chance he'll get agitated, angry, obstinate, or all. I think telling him at the last minute is the best approach.
I know he needs to go because his health and the dementia are pretty bad and he can't look after himself and I've almost exhausted myself in the last 3 years of caring for him, but I know he's going to be pitiful to leave behind.
Does anyone have any advice, tips, tricks for making this easier for him?