My wife was officially diagnosed with dementia after she exhibited aggressive behavior and delusions in March of 2016. She was hospitalized for 4 days during which time all sorts of tests were performed to rule out stroke or other etiology. At that time, I was told that she may or may not "come out of her delusions" and I should consider outside care. She did seem to return to some sort of normalcy for a time, but it became obvious that the dementia was to be permanent. I hired a number of caregivers to come to help in the home. After a relatively short time, she refused to have them come. Out of frustration and on the advice of two nurses, I placed in a memory care facility. After a few weeks, I realized she was not as advanced as most residents there and brought her back home. The caregivers I have now are excellent. She liked them at the beginning but is now insisting that she doesn't need them, in spite of my telling her that they come to help me as well. I am left with considering returning her to a facility, though I would much prefer to keep her home.

I’ve never heard of a person who has been diagnosed with dementia “coming out of” their delusions or of dementia not being permanent and progressive. Usually, the delusions and hallucinations just get worse and more frequent. Did you bring her out because others in the MC were farther along? That’s why it’s a good idea to visit before you place your LO.

What does she do when the caregivers come? Does she become combative? Sulk? They cannot force their care upon her and if she does become combative, they can refuse to work with her. If all she does is sulk, she’ll get over it. Bear in mind that people with dementia are not really capable of being logical and it’s nearly impossible to reason with them. She doesn’t care that the caregivers are helping you out too. All she understands is that she doesn’t want them there.

Pardon my honesty and it was your choice, but once you made the decision to place her, that decision should have been permanent. On whose recommendation did you place her in MC? Was it her doctor’s? Perhaps they saw something you didn’t and that’s why they advised MC. But if you felt MC was not the place for her, maybe a Care Conference with the staff at her facility would have been in order. They might have been able to advise you on alternative placement. You brought her home and it’s not working, so you’re considering placing her again. Then possibly bringing her home again. This is extremely confusing to one who suffers from dementia. It kicks in their anxiety.

I’m not sure there’s any way to reason with her about the caregivers especially if they are doing personal care for her. Bribery may work. “If you’re nice to these ladies, we’ll go out for lunch.” Or something like that.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
plum9195 Jun 10, 2019
I agree with your honest assessment. Bringing her home was a mistake. If you did not feel that MC was a good fit then transfer to another one, but you placed her for a reason. Most families feel their loved one is at a higher level than others in the MC when they are first admitted. You are looking at them through eyes of love - but the staff and doctor's would not have recommended - or accepted - her in MC if that was not where she needed to be.

You are probably never going to be able to make her understand or convince her to accept in-home caregivers at this stage, and if she becomes combative you are going to have a very very difficult time finding a MC that will accept her. I would look at another placement and this time be prepared to keep her there, for her own sake. I know it is not easy.
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How difficult! I suppose the obvious thing is to tell her what you just told us – that without the carers, she will soon need to go back to Memory Care. Are you able to take her out of the house? Perhaps the carer/s could do some of the work while she is gone. I was forced to get a cleaner (crook back), and although we are now good friends I still feel like it isn’t my house when she is there.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

Tell "her that it is YOU who needs the help, and when you speak of them to her, tell her that they are your own helpers. That takes it all right out of her hands. Explain to her that without their help you could not care for her at home. That is the honest truth. She may not/probably will not understand, but that's the story and you will stick to it!
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Reply to AlvaDeer
LoveLea Jun 12, 2019
Good advice that I’ll use myself. My mom hates outsiders having to help her. And I’m not crazy about strangers in my home either. Privacy is gone. I no longer have my stuff as my own. It is an awful feeling. But it is for this moment in life.
Well, I don't think anyone wants strangers in their home, caring for them and touching their things. My hubby( with dementia) was adamant that NO ONE was coming to our house EVER? Then our daughter died and I was taking care of him, my grandaughters and working full time. So, we sat down and I told him that I understood that he didn't want strangers in the house and it isn't ideal for me either but our only 2 choices were caregivers in the home,or a NH placement as he needs someone with him while I work. I then informed him that the caregivers will be here while I am working, and that is how it must be for now. He wasn't happy but he has accepted it. Now to be honest, I don't like people in my home, doing his laundry and cooking in my kitchen, and helping him shower. But this is what we have to do period. Sometimes you can't give them the choice in the matter, you just have to do what is the best option for them and for you.
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Reply to sandy1955

Your situation reminded me of my girlfriend. Her husband was in a memory care with 3 levels of care. Every time he was put in a higher care building, she fought it saying he didn't need to be there because he wasn't that bad yet. The staff insisted and they were correct. She was looking at her husband with the eyes of love and denial rather than rationally. I encourage you to talk to her doctors and see what they say. Like my friend you may not be seeing where she is truthfully.

You wouldn't ask a child if it was ok to have a housekeeper come in. Perhaps you should just tell her, unless she becomes violent that is. Remember, her brain is broken.
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Reply to MaryKathleen

Ditto to everything aCaringDaughter said. Especially the kudos for taking her home when you realized she was not in the right place.
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Reply to Sweetstuff

What about if you stop trying to explain it to her? Tell her YOU need the help, if you have to tell her anything.
I have seen over and over again in the answers and responses in this forum that our LOs are stubborn because they don't want to accept what is happening, and that seems to be a natural and reasonable response on their part. Not one of us wants to lose any part of our independence, and when we feel a further loss, we are going to fight it. On the one hand that seems to be a good sign, and on the other hand, it makes things very difficult for the caregiver.
What can the caregivers help you with that would just make life easier? Can they prepare meals? Do laundry or other household chores? If they are able to do those things then you might be better able to focus on your wife.
When it is time she should go to Memory Care, for the sake of both of you. You can visit daily if you like, and you will be doing the best thing for her, rather than trying to care for her 24 hours a day. If she has your full attention for part of the day, isn't that preferable to your being exhausted all the time?
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Reply to Rabanette

Honestly I would have left her in Memory Care, either where she was or somewhere else. You are experiencing her dementia right now. Sometimes the caretaker is in denial too, we make excuses and are overwhelmed with guilt. Do what is right for her, accept that she needs clinical help and that you cannot provide this for her. This is a disease that has no cure and she will continue to get worse. I wish you the best, I know how difficult this is.
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Reply to DollyMe

Maybe if the caregivers spend some time doing her favorite activities, sharing her favorite foods, going to favorite places, etc., she will feel happier with this new lifestyle.

it would be normal to be frustrated by a loss of independence. Changes in life are also hard for anyone to accept.

Maybe if you say something like, “we need to help Susie” instead of “Susie needs to help you,” your wife will feel more comfortable with this change.

Kudos to you for bringing her back home when you felt she wasn’t in the right place. Most people wouldn’t.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter

Has her doctor said she should return to go back to Memory Care? I think that before I did anything this time, I would ask her doctor. It will not do any good to explain that she may need to go back to memory care if she has declined that much for she will not remember the explanation.
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Reply to cmagnum

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