Is there a place to take mild dementia patient instead of being placed in a dementia ward where most are "gone"? - AgingCare.com

Is there a place to take mild dementia patient instead of being placed in a dementia ward where most are "gone"?

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Father-in-law is in dementia ward at a nursing home. He's not "gone", very aware of what's going on, and his kids feel it's too early for him to be in this environment. His issues are at night, sleep walking, and he has to be supervised so he doesn't wonder off, but overall, can have conversations with you and is aware, and does remember things...is there facilities that can be an in-between since his children believe it's too early to keep him in a dementia facility 24-7. Their step-mother placed him in the facility telling him it was on a trial basis, and that he will be there a month this Saturday. She told him she would move there if the trial worked out, however, the children are getting two different stories from their step-mother and their step-sister. The house is not up for sale yet, and step-sister is selling her home, making the children believe that she may move in with her mother instead of mother moving to the assisted living area of this facility where the children's father is now.

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Perhaps you could offer to stay with Dad for a couple of weeks or months and allow the step mother to catch up on her rest. Until you have actually taken care of a person in this condition, you absolutely have no idea what her days are like. Respite care is essential to the caregiver's wellbeing!

At 79, someone should be helping her 24/7 to take care of the husband. If your Dad is to come home, the children should get together and decide how best to help with their time, running errands, providing meals, doctor appointments and staying over night several times a week so his wife can get a full night's sleep.

Instead of getting two different stories, have a family meeting and just talk it all out. I am sure everyone loves Dad and wants only the best for him. It has to be a team effort focused on only how to take care of him to the best of your ability. Being realistic that it may be time for professional care for both his and the wife's health. Best of luck!
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WeCare, I assume that your father does require skilled nursing care. It is pretty hard to get admitted to a nursing home if you don't. So then the question becomes does he become in the dementia unit or the memory care floor or whatever designation this NH gives that.

My mother has dementia and is in a nursing home. It appears to me that many of the other residents also have dementia. This facility also has a "dementia floor." The two criteria for "moving upstairs" are wandering and troublesome, disruptive behavior.

The lovely assisted living facility where my daughter works has a separate unit for "memory care." Yet she tells me that more than half of their "regular" residents have memory problems/dementia. Who needs to be in the special unit? People at risk of wandering, and more than moderate disruptive behaviors.

Hmm ... unfortunately it sounds like your father needs to be in a special secure unit because of the wandering potential. This has nothing to do with your step-mother's behavior or decisions. If he needs skilled nursing he needs to be in a place where he is safe. This is no doubt true for other residents of that unit -- some of them must still be "with it" and are there because of the wandering problem. I hope these people meet up with each other, sit together for lunch, etc.

I agree with Nikki that we really need better ways to care for persons with dementia throughout the entire journey, from mild to severe. But right now we mostly have the "mild" population in with non-dementia residents, and those with more severe symptoms OR wandering in special units.

I am very sorry that you feel your husband's wife could have done more to care for him at home. That is not anything we can judge, but it must make you feel bad to think that way. But at least realize that once there was a decision for Dad to go to a care center, she had no control over the rules about wandering.
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Well, one thing I didn't mention is, I see the step-mother declining, however, she is 79 years old, and she is watching a 2 year old toddler. Just seems like if you're going to make a decision on her husband being placed in a facility where he isn't "gone" so to speak, that perhaps the babysitting should have went first so the wife could concentrate on what should be her first priority...her husband..
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There should really be different levels of memory care, esp for what these places charge. Mild, moderate, and severe. Who with mild dementia wants to sit in a ward or a 'group home' assisted living facility scenario with someone next to them who is screaming and totally out of it? No wonder people are afraid of "nursing homes". If there were select units depending on the level of care needed as far as mild/mod/severe, I think it would be easier for people to accept the choice of going there when the time comes - esp when they are at the mild or mild-mod stage.
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My dad had symptoms you mention, was able to carry on conversations (except early am and evening) when he was admitted to a dementia unit. The reason was that while he was still aware and seemed mild, Mom could no longer do the exhausting 24/7 care he required. She was getting snatches of sleep (1.5 hr) at a time, then Dad was up, wandering the house. We kids had young families of our own and jobs and couldn't help with the daily care. It was affecting Mom's health. Maybe your stepmother can no longer do the care at home. Where I live, there's usually only memory care units, not different levels of memory care.
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