My FIL, dx with dementia 7 years ago, has been living with us for about 9 months now. His last dementia test he scored 5/30 and he has severe macular degeneration.
His care was very manageable until the last few weeks. My husband and I had decided what behaviors would trigger a move to MC and I believe we are there. No UTI or other physical causes.
He has had a skin picking behavior for the entire time he has been here and earlier he was ok with us reminding him to stop, putting lotion and neosporin on the sores, clipping his nails, but he is really fighting it now. Plus, it is non-stop now. I have tried leaving it alone, but he is making so many sores. If we put on a bandage like liquid skin or tegraderm, he rubs his face so hard it is bruising.
Also, he did not know who I was the other day. He acts like he doesn’t know who I am more and more and seems leery of me.
Up until last week he was walking our dog. It was nice, and the dog would always pull him back home. But the dog doesn’t want to walk with him anymore. The last time he walked him, I noticed the poor dog was laying down and being dragged by my FIL. That was how much the dog didn’t want to walk. My FIL hollered at me that it was my fault, (his thinking was bizarre) he was very angry at me and the dog. I’ve been keeping the dogs away from him since.
He still walks but it is more up and down the driveway then comes back and sits on the curb for hours.
He has been okay with taking his phone (it just has 3 buttons to dial his kids, me and 911), it also has GPS. I always makes sure he has it. Today, he got very angry when I handed it to him.
Then later in the afternoon, he tried to go out when I was napping. I had the door deadbolted so he wouldn’t go out without my knowing, and he was screaming at me that it was locked. I opened it for him, and he said he was just going to sit on the porch, but he started up the street, I started to follow but it started raining and he came back.
I believe he is a flight risk at this point, he doesn’t seem to know who I am, doesn’t want me anywhere near, and avoids me, accuses me of taking things, like accusing me of putting the wrong clothes in his drawers, accuses me of getting his meds wrong (all we did was add Claritin to his morning meds). When DH comes home from work he is not doing these things, he is happy and conversational with DH and becomes sullen and pouts when I come in the room. Fortunately for me, my husband and son have both seen him lash out at me so they what is happening.
He treated my MIL’s caregiver the same way when she was dealing with cancer and chemo, he really treated her badly, but my MIL loved her and she took wonderful care of both of them, even though she was mainly there for my MIL.
I believe it is time. He can still handle his toileting, bathing, grooming and such (if we set his clothes out). DH seems to agree but hasn’t made any moves forward in placement. I have heart issues and this is becoming a little more than I can handle.
We have picked out an excellent memory care place, just a few miles away. They have a “socially distant” outside BBQ picnic there this weekend and I was so hoping that we could take my FIL there to at least see the place. They have a lovely, safe courtyard. DH doesn’t want to go.
So, how do I manage this in the meantime? DH does not want me to stop him from walking, I cannot follow him around all day outside, because of my own health issues. He spent a total of 6 hours outside roaming today - got mad when I took him some water. This is not sustainable. His downhill progression over these past few weeks is scary.
I don’t know what to do to keep him safe. I have talked to DH and he says it may be a month or two before he’s ready to place him, he really wants him to go to my BILs house a week at the end of May so they will see his behaviors. I don’t know how we will make it that long. He refuses to consider a daytime caregiver/sitter until he can be placed.