Is there a way to help him understand this is permanent? (he is 86, diagnosed with ALZ 8 years ago, I am 20 years younger, we have been married 35 years) He is physically functional, can still bathroom, (though sometimes incontinent) shave, shower himself, but when at home, he frequently did not remember how to get from one room to the other, and sometimes didn't remember who I was, asked me to call his wife to come get him to take him home. I work from home, but have to take 2 - 3 business trips per year. I have used respite care before when I traveled for business and he didnt like at first, but got used to it and when I bring him home, he usually says something like, "they were nice to me, I'd go back there!" This MC facility is less than a year old, he has his own room, I decorated it like our room at home, and they are very nice to him, seems to be a very caring place. But for now, it will be permanent, and I don't know how long I can keep telling him I'm traveling, he keeps asking when he can go home. At the MC facility, they told me not to visit for 2 weeks to a month. I was so worried about him, I went to see him after the first week and have been going twice a week. He seems lucid sometimes, calmer and more accepting in the daytime, but frequently completely out of control with questions, being irrational at night when sundowners sets it. (Why did you do this me, when can I go home, I dont belong here, etc) and I worry so much that Ive made the right decision. He retired over 20 years ago and Ive done everything thing for him, waited on him hand and foot, (My choice, Im not complaining about that) but he is SO dependent on me now. How can I tell him this is permanent? I feel so sad for him, I know he is lonely. His friends will be able to visit him there, the MC facility told me they think its ok now for him to have visitors; His 3 adult children, all in their 60's so they are not kids, are not much help, they all live out of state, and his oldest daughter has not spoken to me in 6 years. She has never once asked me how her father is doing, his condition, etc. I guess she learns about him through the other kids because I do talk to them regularly. But I also send updates to his children by email, primarily for her benefit. I retired four years ago, but felt that I could not sustain keeping him at home much longer without losing my mind as well, so I went back to work to afford his memory care. This whole situation is killing me with sadness and worry, I really just don't know what to do.

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If he has been formally diagnosed, his cognitive capacities are already unable to contain the sustained consequences of his situation, so permanent-temporary-here-there just doesn’t mean to him what you may be thinking it means.
He has not been in his present surroundings for very long, and you may begin to notice fewer unhappy comments as he adjusts to seeing familiar faces among his caregivers, but even as that happens, he may continue to make breakthrough comments about his past.
If he admits to liking his respite experiences it would seem that you've found a pleasant and comfortable placement that at least at some level he accepts.
He may also begin to make friends among other residents, which should also help him feel more grounded.
You fell in love with him 35 years ago, you’ve seen him through his diagnosis, and you’re striving to bring him comfort and peace in his infirmity.
We all suffer when called upon to make these decisions on behalf of people whom we love.
Console yourself with the knowledge that you are still giving him from your heart, what your mind knows is best for him.
Helpful Answer (19)
Reply to AnnReid

My mom’s been in MC for 3 months. She’s very mobile, like your husband. Since her short term memory is extremely short, when she asks what she’s doing there, I tell her she’s getting physical therapy for her balance (she’s developing balance issues). She may ask this question 5-20 times during my visits. When the sundowners kicks in and she gets hysterical and wants to go home, I tell her I will pick her up in the morning. That settles her somewhat. By the time she has settled she has completely forgotten everything. I just keep repeating my answers as many times as needed. It’s called “therapeutic lying,” and it is done to calm and soothe agitation. It works for my mom. Best of luck to you. :)
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Reply to Marisky

It sounds like this is for the best, for both of you. He may not really be able to understand that this is permanent - and does he really need to? Perhaps you should follow the advice of the staff and not visit for a bit so he gets more used to the facility, for his own good. If he gets more used to the place and gets properly settled, maybe he'll be happier and you'll be able to stop feeling so guilty.

You have given him a long time as a caregiver and that is a TOUGH job, no matter how much you love the person.
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Reply to againx100

This post was extremely timely for me. I'm getting ready to move my mother to memory care. I'm fortunate that we have a wonderful place with staff that I trust. My dad spent nine months there before he passed away. I'm worried about mom because she is much farther down the dementia road than he was. But she desperately needs medication management that I can't provide. I keep reminding myself that the staff are trained to handle people like her and I already know many of them. They loved my dad, so I know they will take good care of her. It's still so hard, though. Reading all these responses has been helpful for me, too.
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Reply to debbye

You have done the right thing, and the only thing. There may never come the day when he says to you "I am happier here than I was at home". Gently explain to him that this is now the way it must be, that he does have these problems that you cannot take care of or change. He may not be happy about it. There is no way to make this a happy positive event for him. Accept that he may be angry and he may grieve, and that these things may come and go. I am going through much the same thing at this point with my brother in assisted living. Some days I feel he knows that this is best for him, and he speaks of "Taco Tuesday" and what is happening around the place. Others he speaks of going home in the fall. And I never know which attitude will prevail on any given day. There just isn't a way to make this easy, pretty, good, positive. It is a "do the best you can " and "This is a good day" or "This is a bad day". The very best to you. At the assisted living where my bro is, when I was talking to one of the very nice people who work there, I was told that guilt is what they deal with all the time. That they see the suffering of families every single day, and it breaks their hearts. Best to you. And remember, the better your heart, the more you suffer. Those who don't care? Well, they don't care. Get help of a license social worker who deals with these end of life situational issues so that you can comb through your feelings, and get the beginnings of working toward acceptance of something you never wanted and cannot change. PLEASE be good to yourself.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
1nephew Jun 20, 2019
What a beautiful reply. I agree wholeheartedly, with all you said!
I can so sympathize with what you're going through. Two years ago I had to place my own DH into Memory Care, since he had FTD and tried (quite suddenly) one day to commit suicide. It was for the safety of both of us that I had to find a facility for him. (Prior to this, I had to quit work because of his wandering. . . ) It nearly killed me to place him in any kind of facility and there was plenty of guilt that went along with it, even though it was totally the correct thing that had to be done. By the way, he SHARED a small room with another person, and this cost over $8K a month. I too had the heart-wrenching questions about 'why am I here?' and 'when can I go home?' He was completely physically fit - except for the FTD - so he got to be a challenge for the staff since he was so mobile (I.e., alarmed doors never phased him as he would try to leave the facility on his own. He even somehow managed to cut off his wander guard bracelet a couple of times too.) The whole thing can indeed consume you with sadness and worry. While in the facility, I visited every single day and was glad I did. As hard as it was to see this intelligent person become so different from the person he used to be, I had to essentially become his advocate, as there was no one else.
He was there only four months and his FTD was so aggressive that he passed in October. We were 15 years apart so what I thought what was going to be our 'golden years' has now become a time that I'm alone and never expected to be at least not now. The best thing you can do is to stay involved with what's going on with him day to day and to know that you have done the best you can for him. Though I know in your heart it's an extreme pain that no one else can possibly know.
Best of luck to you. This is one of life's most awful paths that some of us are forced onto.
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Reply to RainyDay51

This is so very common.
You are not alone.
In my experience, the best results are just to visit him regularly during meals and activities. During those times, the mind is on the moment .

Hope this is helpful.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to vmetoyer

My aunt was told "When the Doctor says you are strong enough or another excuse". Repeat as needed. No need to tell him it is forever.
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Reply to MaryKathleen
jacobsonbob Jun 28, 2019
This is basically what my sister and I said to our mother when she asked how long before she could leave the nursing home: "when you are stronger". She was getting some physical therapy but gave up on it, and then soon after becoming bedridden (which she has now been for 5 1/2 years), she quit asking this question.
IMO you have done the right thing, he is where he needs to be. Don't beat yourself over the head about having to place him. Most of we caretakers are not clinically trained and have just been treading water. I would sit down with him and explain that you want to have him properly cared for and that you cannot do that. Get him involved with the activities, help him to settle in to his new surroundings. Continuing to give him false hope will just make this transition more difficult. I wish you the best!
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to DollyMe

I have nothing sage to add. I think you’ve been amazing, and have done the right thing for him and you. The RIGHT and best thing! I just wanted to show my support. I like the work trip thing, good thinking. God bless him and you.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Zdarov

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