I think my dad is driving the care home crazy, but I cannot see one single thing they've done to accommodate him. I don't know what to do. - AgingCare.com

I think my dad is driving the care home crazy, but I cannot see one single thing they've done to accommodate him. I don't know what to do.

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This is my first post but I've been relying on this site for over a year. My 82 year old Dad (Alzheimers) was transferred from a nursing home where he'd had no issues for 8 months. The new home, which we thought would be better, has turned into a disaster. After one week, they had to call the police and the ambulance because he'd wandered off and became physically combative when they tried to bring him back. A whole day in the ER, then he was discharged. It happened again the next day. He was on the geriatric psych ward for a week. He went back to the care home, and put on a secured floor. We thought the problem was solved. Two days later they called an ambulance again because they couldn't deal with his agitation. He's now in a different hospital, and for the first time it appears we're dealing with "sundowning." Now he's on a cocktail of meds and the entire situation is beyond appalling. We are getting the distinct impression that the care home doesn't know what to do with him. He was a professional athlete and requires daily exercise; they tell me I have to make arrangements for this. I try, but I have 3 kids and a job. In Canada, we have established rights for residents in care, including the obligation to design "a routine around the specific needs of the patient." I see none of this happening. The other patients are in wheelchairs - my Dad moves around like a man in his 60s! I feel he's being punished for being in exceptionally good physical shape; unfortunately his body has outlived his mind. When he talks it's word confetti and he's reverted back to Italian. Luckily my husband is able to somewhat make sense of what he's trying to convey. Regardless, my Dad is frustrated and frantic and I don't know what to do. Can the care home refuse to take him back? I think my Dad is driving them crazy, which is understandable but I cannot see one single thing they've done to accommodate him. They just call an ambulance! And then the hospital does another round of "evaluations" and "assessments". It's ridiculous. This feels so cruel... Has anyone dealt with this? What is going to happen to him? I'm envisioning my father spending the rest of his life drugged and restrained on a geriatric psych ward. And all because he feels like a caged animal. God this is awful...what a pointless ghastly existence this is for him.

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Your sister is an idiot who paid no heed to the extreme unwisdom a) of fixing things that ain't broke and b) of disrupting the good, established routine of a person with dementia.

If you can reverse this error, do. Call the previous facility, the one where he had no issues, and see if you can get them on board. Resettling him may be problematic, because where he had no issues he sure as heck has at the moment; but it may be that knowing him that much better they will be prepared to give it their best shot. It's got to be worth a try.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I would try not to feel too bad about your decision to move your dad. You had no way of predicting the future and also, keep in mind that dementia progresses and your father could have been bound to become more agitated, regardless of where he was. His condition and behavior may progress to different levels as his condition progresses. He may do fine if moved back to the other facility, but, maybe not. Plus, now that he's wandered off the premises, he may be required to stay only in Secure facilities now. When my LO began to wander from the regular AL, her doctor ordered Secure Memory Care only.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Does the old place have a waiting list? If so get him on it.
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Reply to smeshque
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We transferred him because my wingnut sister wouldn't stop harrassing my brother and me; she was convinced that he was going to "die of a broken heart" if he wasn't around other Italians. Why we ever listened to her is beyond me...I should have my head examined...maybe I'm becoming demented. Moving him was the worst thing we could have done and now they have no space for him at the old place. My Dad is in a hospital for no reason. He was on no drugs - now he's on ativan, zopiclone, and various other meds. The new care home says, "We need to wait until he's settled..." What does this mean? It means drug him to the hilt so he can "fit in." I feel defeated. I am so mad myself...I did this.
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Reply to Vancouver5
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Similar for my mom. There was no combo of meds that would work for her. Eventually she was kicked out of the first facility. Hospice had recommended a smaller care home which worked out well, though mom was pretty heavily medicated to keep her comfortable and herself and others safe.

A friend's wife had very serious behavior issues. She was constantly eloping. The only option for her, meds did not help, was the state psychiatric hospital. She received excellent care there.

Why did he transfer from the old place? I am a believer in it it is not broken so not attempt to fix it. It is very hard to find the right med combo and a facility that will work well for the patient. There is an adjustment that has to be made by all involved. The facility is included. Sometimes there are residents that require too much staff time as they have others to care for. My mom had to have a private caregiver to keep track of her and to provide additional stimulation to keep her engaged. Maybe give that a try. The cost was on top of the facility cost and sometimes necessary.

Many facilities have physical therapy clinics within them. If there is one is there an option for dad to use it? Maybe some weights would help?
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Reply to gladimhere
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My heart goes out to you.

Could he go back to the first facility, where he had no problems? Do they have a secure unit or floor?
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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Get him back into a psychiatric facility where they can get the meds right. Not sedated, but at least not agitated.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Why was he transferred from a nh with no problems to a new one?
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Reply to smeshque
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