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My father was exhibiting worsening dementia. He lived with me for a while and then ended up in the hospital in July. He was in 2 rehab places and back in hospital one more time. I didn't feel that I could handle the worsening dementia - he was totally helpless and my health isn't good and I was afraid I couldn't give him the care he needed. I found a wonderful memory care facility that has excellent ratings in our area. There are all types of care given that he needs - nurses, visiting doctor, therapy room, barber shop. He was using a walker and barely able to walk. Now all of a sudden he has made excellent progress - he is even writing notes for himself and is telling other people what to do. 6 weeks ago he could have never done this. The Dr. said he is doing so well because of the schedule not only for meals but for his meds - diabetes and thyroid are being done the same everyday. He said he would decline if we moved him out because it takes a small army to have my dad at his capacity today. My dad is very demanding and wants things done now!! I'm trying to believe this but it still bothers me that maybe he doesn't belong in a MC anymore. I wouldn't want to bring him home and have him deteriorate back to what he was when he lived with me.

ebgranny, one thing you need to keep telling yourself is that dementia will only worsen over time.

Unless you are with your Dad 24 hours a day, you are not seeing everything that goes on. With my Dad, I didn't realize he was "sundowning" until the Staff brought that to my attention saying it is now time to move Dad from Independent Living over to Memory Care. It took me totally by surprise. Yet, I rarely was with my Dad after 4pm and that is when the sundowning was happening.

Whatever you do, do not move Dad out. If you did and there came a time that he needed to move back to Memory Care, you might find a very long waiting list.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Don’t second guess yourself for what you have done for your father. Listen to his doctor, and believe what he/she is telling you. You cared for him as-best you could. It was your love for him that helped you make the decision to place him. It’s never an easy decision. We all have second thoughts and feelings of guilt over whether we did the right thing. You did. Leave him there.

There is no cure for dementia. Patients may rally, but the disease will once again rear its ugly head you will again be forced to place him.

Have faith that that you’ve done the right thing and can now mind your own health and well- being.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Sounds like you dad is thriving! Thats wonderful! Why would you want to risk reversing his gains? Remember they are only temporary. Enjoy the good days while they last.
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My mom also thrives in memory care after 9 years deteriorating living by herself and less able to care for herself. MC provides a healthful environment with good nutrition, activity, and nurses and doctors who deal with elders and can readily address issues. I sound like an ad but it was a lifesaver for me and mom is content—yes, she often says she wants to go home but I hear that with all the residents. Mom has dementia and I know this won’t get better—so she is in the right place. Don’t let your own guilt about dad get in the way of what is best for him and you.
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Reply to Sunflo
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This is my first time posting on any of the forums, although I read through a lot of them. This one really hit me though because I have questioned this myself. I see mom doing so much better in memory care than when she was at home. I wonder if there is a better fit for her, but then my wife makes me look at the big picture. If my brother takes her out for a dinner or a birthday party, she looks forward to going for weeks. But, once she is out her biggest concern is getting back to the place she knows. She enjoys the experience of getting out...but only for an hour or so.
When she comes back she is exhausted, but happy to be back in her own room. I know that I can't give her the structure that she gets there. I can't watch over her 24/7. It is knowing that she can look forward to 3 mealtimes each day and the rest time in between that keeps her stable. As soon as she gets back to her room from dinner, she takes her teeth out and is waiting for the aides to get her ready for bed.
I used to worry that I wasn't going to visit her long enough each time, but I have learned that she is tired of the visit after about 15 minutes. It's so hard to keep in mind that this disease affects everyone differently and we never know what to expect. When she first went to MC, she couldn't identify my brother or herself in pictures. Because of the structure, she recognizes him again...usually.
You will see improvements and declines. For me, the important thing is that mom is very happy to be where she is at. She wanted to go back to her house for the first couple months, but now she tells everyone how happy she is to be with her new friends. Even she knows that she is in a good place.
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ebgranny Dec 26, 2018
Thank you. It helps to hear from others that are going thru some of the same feelings🙂
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I'm going through exactly the same thing. I placed my mom in Assisted Living last Friday and it's been agonizing not seeing her or speaking to her. She acclimated right away which I was amazed to hear. I have a ton of guilt for how I did it, I brought her for lunch and left. Awful. She is making friends, participating in all the activities, sleeping well and eating everything. At home she was alone all day, staring at the tv, obsessing over her dogs and in an unhealthy routine. I was so conflicted because she is still very functional. She dresses and toilets herself but she wasn't showering or bathing and had a lot of OCD habits, she would hide objects and mail. I'm still finding mail in strange places! Knick knacks that have gone missing are turning up. It makes me laugh, then cry. They suggest I wait two weeks to call and see her, and it's really difficult because it's Christmas next week. She probably won't notice or care but I will. I don't want to cause her any distress so I'm trying to abide by their suggestion. From what you wrote it sounds like you did the right thing by placing your dad. He is thriving and if you brought him home things would probably revert back to the way they were. You did the right thing. I wish you well, hugs and strength to both of us to get through this!
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Isthisrealyreal Dec 21, 2018
Bgdisme, You can go visit, I personally disagree that you should just leave them alone.

You are her eyes and her ears. You need to be a presence in her life. If she is truly acclimated then go visit, if not, well you now know you can't depend on the facility staff to give you a good assessment.

I would hide and watch my dad, I visited at different times of day so no one knew when to expect me. This was the only way I knew what was going on. Everything from him was doom and gloom, everything from the staff was Mary Poppins wonderful, the reality was in the middle.

Go, go give her a big surprise and help your heart feel better in the process.
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Yahoo, he is doing great. Keep it that way by keeping him where the improvements took place. They are obviously doing something right and it is helping your dad.

As hard as it is to see him in a facility, you need to suck it up and realize this is his new reality and it sounds like it's a great reality.

Be careful to not project your worries and concerns on him, this could upset the apple cart. He has purpose now, telling others what to do and that goes a looong way in helping anyone feel better.

You will get used to this, be kind and gentle and thankful that yours is a success story.
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ebgranny Dec 26, 2018
Thank you for your thoughts. It helps to know others are going thru same feelings
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Unless your father is miserable in this unit, I wouldn't dream of moving him; and I certainly wouldn't take him home in any case. It sounds as if he is thriving on the structure and routine of a well-run facility.
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ebgranny Dec 26, 2018
He is doing well and I think I’m coming to terms with him being in the facility
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How fortunate that he is thriving. Pat yourself on the back for placing him where he’s being taken care of AND Happy! That’s huge and I personally would consider him being there a blessing. He’s happy, YOU are FREE to visit as often as you wish. I see it as a win win and as the old saying goes, “ if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it”. I’d leave him where he is and be counting my blessings if this was the situation.
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Reply to Alzh101
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He is doing well because he is getting his medications, getting therapy, having people that are caring for him in the way Memory Care person needs. He is in a schedule and that is very important for someone with memory problems. It takes the "stress" out of having to figure out what to do next, when is breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the rest of the minutia that we do automatically but someone with dementia has to think about each step that is necessary to accomplish a "simple" task.
I am sure you are doing better not having to care for someone other than yourself particularly if you have problems yourself.
Even if he is "doing better" in the short term this will not last he will continue to decline and in a week, a month, 2 months he may not be walking or talking. There is no predictability with this disease. That is one of the stressful things about it, as a caregiver you never know when the next decline will come and how severe it will be.
If he is doing well that means he has adjusted and it is a good indication that he should stay where he is.
How will you care for him when the next decline brings about the inability to walk? can not or will not talk?, eat?, when you can not get him into the car to take him to the barber?, the doctor?, what will happen when you hurt yourself trying to get him off the toilet? or into bed?
If he is content where he is and is thriving and it sounds like he is then both of you can enjoy this time. You as a caring daughter that does not have to worry about all the "stuff" that you worry about now. You will worry abut the focus of your worries will change.
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