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Hi Rodger,
I share your pain. I just visited my mom (95) yesterday and she said (again) that she wanted to die. (She is stage 6-7 Alzheimer's but she knows she wants it to end.)

I know that's different than saying she wants to kill herself but the end result would be the same.

Maybe your dad is a bit younger and can still get around. (My mom can't.) It's so tough for them to lose their independence.

Whenever anyone says they want to kill themselves, it's a cry for help. Your dad isn't coping with some part of his life (probably being in a facility). I would see if a psychologist, therapist or psychiatrist specializing in the elderly, could visit him or you could take him to their office. Talk therapy can help and medications can also. Is he taking antidepressants?

It is so disheartening when our loved ones speak like this. We've tried to place them in the best possible care facility, visit as often as possible, bring treats and yet they're unhappy. But we can't be responsible for their happiness. It's possible they wouldn't be happy in any setting.

Also, you could try therapy for yourself. It's a complicated situation and sometimes it helps to talk to someone.

Please don't take what he says personally. It's no reflection on you or your love for him.

I've tried all kinds of answers with my mom. The one that gets her to stop is, "God's not ready to take you yet." I try to acknowledge her feelings-her body is tired, her friends are gone, etc.
How can I replace those things with something positive? I can't. It will never be the way it "was".

Just keep doing what you're doing. Tell him you'd be devastated if he ever did something like that. Tell him you understand how difficult it must be to adapt to a completely different lifestyle. Be compassionate.

Make sure the facility knows about these statements so they can make sure his environment is safe.

Sometimes we can't "fix" everything. ☹️
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I believe Dad's MC staff would have taken this seriously and done all they could to help.
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Memory care will probably do what so many do, laugh it off and don't take it seriously, or even try to reassure that there is little chance he would go through with his "plans"
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Wants to kill himself or wants to die?

The first requires a thorough and immediate risk assessment, followed by the removal of means. What does the memory care management say about it?

The second, while no less agonising for you to have to hear, is understandable. You can offer love, diversions, company; but you can't give him himself back. Do you have emotional support for yourself while you're going through this with him?
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I don't mean to down play the seriousness of your situation or anyone's in any way by the toddler comment, only that my impression of my Mom comes across that way to me.
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You should definitely let the staff know what's going on, they can take precautions. My Mom has threatened to shoot herself, bash others in with her 8lb dumb bell weights, and who knows what else. Most of it is just her way of expressing her frustration, but the staff removed all her scissors and her dumb bells. They weren't taking any chances. There is one in particular who told me she was worried about Mom hurting herself either accidentally or on purpose, but although Mom spent years being mildly depressed and anxious, she never talked about taking her own life, so I think in some ways it is just how she is expressing her feelings. Like a toddler escalating the situation because that's how they hope to gain some influence.
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Oh, Roger, I'm so sorry. I don't have much to offer. I would prob let the director know (so they can provide more support), and then just visit often and show him lots and lots of love. I visited Dad every day, took treats several times a week, took him for walks, played cards, brought my grandkids. It wasn't the life he wanted, but it was what I could do.
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