Should I let my Dad's facility temporarily move him? - AgingCare.com

Should I let my Dad's facility temporarily move him?

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They are presenting this as a choice...the dining room is being renovated. He's in a memory care facility and has dementia, recently diagnosed with kidney problems and may require surgery or catheterization. Otherwise healthy and ambulatory, but he's been losing weight (about 10 pounds) and gets worked up over the smallest things. I worry that a move, even temporary, will be stressful and disorienting but I'm getting a lot of pressure to OK it. I haven't talked to him about it (he is still very coherent and conversational). If he doesn't move, all the memory care residents will have to dine on a non secure floor during renovations and they're worried about that (although there's a receptionist at the front entrance and lots of CNAs would be always accompanying them).

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I guess if my Dad got like that I would move the cat back to my place. He's very high functioning and in fact scores like you or I on a standard memory test (the 30-point MMSE). He kept her in his room on the memory care unit at a Sunrise Senior Living facility for six months, no issues.

Sunrise has a policy where they like to have one facility cat and one facility dog at all times and it seems to work. The animals have to be pretty even-tempered though it's true. This cat is good that way, about as non-neurotic as they come. She does great on planes, in carriers, etc. Very easy going.

Sunrise was cool with it, this place was not, it's just "policy" (read, relative lack of experience). I think the animals are great therapy for seniors especially those with dementia. But just like with children the situation has to be controlled to some extent. My Dad has had a cat all his life so he hasn't yet lost the ability to care for her. See everydayhealth/alzheimers/how-animal-therapy-helps-dementia-patients.aspx.
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Oh, I also forgot to add something else about the cat. A Memory Care unit can be quite stressful. People may pace, shout, cry or act out. I would think it would be pretty stressful for a cat. I would look into that before you place your dad's cat there. My cousin had a cat that she adored, but her dementia made her act so obsessed, that it stressed the cat and made her very anxious. Just something to consider.
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Good luck with getting things taken care of. I hope your can find your dad a good place where they are kind to him and don't resort to saying things that are hurtful.

I appreciate your goal of your dad keeping the cat, but I really don't know how that would work. I can't envision a cat being able to stay in the Memory Care facilities I have seen. The residents need constant supervision. They aren't even allowed to keep shampoo, lotion or soap in their rooms, for fear they will eat it. I don't think it would be safe to have a cat in the ones I have seen. Most of the people in Memory Care need assistance brushing their teeth. Maybe your dad is in a higher level than my cousin. Maybe those who are higher functioning are allowed pets. I hope it works out for you both.
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Wow Sunnygirl that sounds like an easy transition. I'm hoping the next transition with my Dad to a new memory care goes as smoothly. I think he may like the facility I have in mind much better, especially if they let him have his dear cat, who is the most loving and interactive cat a person could want. The facility in NJ offered to keep the cat on the premises as a therapy cat if I couldn't take her to San Diego, that's how good she is. Also with his college friend there, who drives etc, that will be nice for him. I have known her my whole life and she's "good people" and has acted as a caregiver/POA for her late husband as well as a man with HIV/AIDS at her church.

I still haven't heard from the facility ombudsman but I looked her up. She seems like a real advocate for seniors and kind of a tough cookie. That's good. I look forward to speaking with her after the holidays.
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It's good that you reached the ombudsman. Maybe they can help. That place really needs some attention. Don't they realize that just because a person has dementia, they still have a bill of rights that includes the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

If it helps, my cousin, who has dementia, was in an Assisted Living facility for about 4 months, when I had to move her to a Secure Memory unit in another town. It was very easy. The Memory Care Unit was much better suited to handle her needs and she seemed to feel comfortable there immediately. She never mentioned the place she lived initially and when I asked her about it, she doesn't seem to remember anything about it. I'm so glad.
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For instance the head social worker has to have each new memory care resident wear a tracking device for a week. She clearly had no idea how to broach the topic with my Dad and handed me the tracking device to place on my Dad, in front of my Dad. It was weird. Like here, you do it because he's not going to listen to me. Talk about awkward. So I said Dad, do you want to wear this for me? Please it's just for a week. And of course he said no, so I handed it back to her. I mean, I'm not going to wrestle my own Dad to the ground...
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Yes if Yelp is any indication it seems so. It looks like there is some trouble in the admin. This is kind of my suspicion and is why I often withhold judgment of the CNAs. Many but not all of the CNAs are fantastic and love their jobs, it is clear. Some of the administrators have said or did things that I cannot believe mainly because they are so openly unprofessional and yet have risen to such a high level.
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Jem it is possible that you are not the only one who has expressed concerns over this problem, or others at this facility. It may be why the ombudsman very interested.
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Linaz, I'll be speaking with the facility ombudsman hopefully next week, although I understand with the holidays that it may not happen. I got through to the CA state ombudsman right away though so they are already aware of the situation, as well as the local Alzheimers Association. I'm not looking to get them into trouble necessarily but let's just say that the CA state ombudsman was "very interested" in my situation and willing to help.
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One reason I chose to move my Dad to San Diego...lots of senior care choices.
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