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My stepfather has Moderate-Severe Alzheimer’s and cannot be left alone, is mostly incontinent and has lost the ability to communicate verbally. My mom thinks it will be less expensive to have home help come in because Memory Care is expensive plus she misses him. She’s not in the best of health either! If he moves back home I’m worried I’ll end up responsible for both of them, their house, managing the caregivers, etc. and it’s just too much for me. I don’t know what to do.

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I visited assisted living and memory care facilities.

The head nurse gave the tour, director had an emergency with her child, so the nurse gave the tour which I loved. She was great with answering questions.

When she showed me the rooms she told me about family members spending the night, I automatically said to her that I thought that was wonderful for out of town family and she agreed. I then told her that I lived nearby so I would not be sleeping over. I never even thought about spending the night. I view it as being relieved from day to day caregiving.

I asked the nurse how do people adjust to moving into a facility and she said it takes a brief adjustment of a few weeks but after that they are fine.

I think it may not be good for them if a daughter/spouse, whomever, previous caregiver would sleep over frequently. What if they would get used to that? Then what is the point to doing assisted living? But the nurse said occasionally it is enjoyable for them, kind of like a slumber party.

She told me that everyone is welcome and even family that lived close by slept over occasionally.

Does your facility offer for family to spend the night occasionally? Would that help or make it worse for your family? Obviously, you know your family members better than others. Just throwing this out as a possible option.

Maybe she will like being there and want to be near him all the time and being looked after. One of the facilities here had respite care and I know people who used it for two weeks for their vacation. They could relax because their dad was taken care of while they were gone and the dad never complained about being there. He seemed to like it. But they no longer do the respite care. It’s a national organization and it’s some issue they have here in Louisiana. I wish it was still available because the director said that is how a lot of people decide they want to live there. Call and see if they offer respite care for two weeks.
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DDaughter2 Apr 2019
Thank you!
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Crunch the numbers and show your Mom that in the long run, memory care is going to be the cheapest. See about moving her in with him as well if her health is that bad.
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Looked this up online: American Council on Aging, re: Medicaid

The community spouse can retain half of the assets up to the maximum resource standard, which as of 2019, is $126,420 for the majority of the states. The minimum resource allowance is intended to protect those couples that have very limited resources. As mentioned previously, this figure is $25,284 in 2019.
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She will not be able to care for him. At $10 (and this is cheap) an hr 24/7 its $240 a day, approx $1600 a wk, over 6k a month, 72k a year. Then you have strangers in your house.

Is there a possibility that husband would need Medicaid down the road. If so, u may want to check about Mom being a Community Spouse. Short version, their assets will be split so Mom has money for her care. DHs half will be spent down and he will be able to go on Medicaid. I would talk to a lawyer versed in Medicaid about this.
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DDaughter2, you may need to convince Mom that the Memory Care center is less expensive then trying to care for her husband at home. Your Mom is blanking out the reason why he had to go to Memory Care in the first place, which is understandable.

My Dad had 3 shifts of caregiver per day at a monthly cost of $20k [not a typo]. Once my Dad found out Memory Care was $7k per month, he was quickly packing. Quite a difference.

I remember back when after my Dad had a serious illness, the doctor recommended he go and live in rehab to get stronger. My Mom refused big time. She thought she could nurse Dad back to health. Earth to my Mom, you both are in your 90's.... [sigh].

My Mom found out very quickly there was no way she could lift my Dad when he fell, which was daily. No way she could help Dad up the stairs to the bedrooms, thus he slept in his recliner and Mom on the sofa for a month. And no way she could help him do his physical therapy.

I believe it is a case that our Moms were taught that only they could tend to their husbands, it was their responsibility.... but no one considered age in this reasoning.

Isthisrealyreal post had a lot of positive things about Assisted Living. I know when I viewed the place, I was ready to sign up for myself :)
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Some of the assisted living facilities are really nice. Sort of like an apartment or a hotel suite. I’d live there too, freqflyer.
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Talk to mom about moving into the AL at the same facility. Then she can spend as much time as she likes with him and have some peers to socialize with.

Emphasis on the things she won't have to do if she doesn't want to, cook, clean, laundry, incontinence care, transportation, no more sleepless nights if hubby is having a bad time, friends and help right out the door, those things.

Good luck, this is a difficult journey and is loaded with surprises.

Hugs, you can do this.
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DDaughter2 Apr 2019
Thanks to all who replied! I appreciate your support. The thought of managing the caregivers, the physical and mental health issues of my folks, their (old!) house, the inevitable crises etc. is just too much to bear. Especially b/c of the Alzheimer’s challenge.
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