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We are going to have to separate my husband's parents in the next week. She is going to go to Memory Care--in the same complex just a different building, and he will move to a smaller room in the same house he is in. He is ready for it--longing for it. She has become increasingly incoherent, uncooperative, angry, lashing out at him. He calls us in tears often. He has dementia, but not to the extent she does. She is not herself enough to really understand or remember if we were to tell her today. To help with the angst we are not going to tell her until closer to move day. I know that this will be difficult. In her semi-lucid moments she will be very angry with us and with him. They have been married for 58 years, so this will be a big change, even though it's very needed for both their sakes. Has anyone been through this and can you give us any pointers? Things we can say or do to help with the transition?

I went through a similar situation with my folks, dad having advanced dementia, mom not as bad. I would not try to explain the move to her. At this point tell her anything to keep her calm. WE ARE GOING FOR A WALK. HERES A NICE ROOM. DAD WILL BE HERE LATER.

I had to move my dad to memory care after mom died. I was dreading it but I just told him there was a better room available and moved stuff in while aides distracted him in the dining room. Mom died in April and he ocassionally asks about her. I tell him she’s in therapy, we’ll see her later and he’s good with that.
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Reply to Windyridge
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DILKimba Feb 20, 2019
Thank you! It's hard when they are in different stages, but also both impaired. :-( Makes reasoning of any kind hard.
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Hi,
I had the same problem with my mum and dad. Mum had advanced Alzheimer’s and Dad had Vascular Dementia. She became very abusive and lashed out a lot at my Dad even though he is blind as well and hard of hearing. She disrupted his sleep every night as well and he needed a break. They were in a Nursing Home after I had to admit defeat trying to look after both of them.
We got a separate room for Dad on a different floor. He still spent a lot of his day with Mum but knew he had somewhere safe and peaceful to retreat to. We thought that Mum would react badly to the move but she didn’t. We never mentioned that he had a separate room and she forgot what normal was. She had a new normal. If she asked where he was we just said he had gone for a walk and would be back soon and this satisfied her. The staff said this as well and eventually she stopped asking.
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DILKimba Feb 20, 2019
Thank you! that’s the outcome we are hoping for as well! that we would get a new normal. He can go and visit whenever he wants and still has a safe place to be.
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I also wouldn't say anything to her. I would just walk her to the new room and tell her "your moving to a new room Mom". Why get her upset before you have to. I wouldn't have Dad go along unless he wanted to.
They become like children and need to be handled that way.
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DILKimba Feb 20, 2019
Thank you! We are going to actually have the staff take her to her new room while my FIL is at the doctors office on Monday afternoon. Then we’ll see how it goes as far as him visiting that afternoon or giving them some space.
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You can always blame it on the doctor. "He/she thinks you need a room with more care/therapy, etc." Try to never use the word " nursing home" but instead "rehab center". I'm sorry you are going through this.
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DILKimba Feb 21, 2019
Thank you. They are already living in an assisted living home, but MIL requires more care--she is further along the Alzheimer's road. He tries to help her, she gets mad, they fight, it's not good. :-( SO she will actually just move to a different unit. It is set up in "home", settings. She will move 2 doors down. He will stay where he is, but move to a smaller room.
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Your plan sounds perfect, they both may do better than you think. Peace at last. It’s tougher in y’all.
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Reply to AT1234
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Be Supportive, Be Gentle, Always be There with Loving Care. This is the Best you can do t this Sad time in their life.
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Reply to Parise
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These transitions are difficult for everyone. Though they are in "the same place" for the people being moved it doesn't feel like the same place. For your mother, I'd suggest telling her shortly before the move and be gentle and loving as suggested below. She needs more care. You don't really have a choice. Unfortunately people with dementia often don't understand their limitations and needs.
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Reply to NancyIS
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I was amazed as I read your situation at how very similar it is to where we are with my family just now. The only thing I can add to the good advice you already have received, is to reassure your mother that none of you will abandon her. You will be only a phone call away, or you will visit often. You will bring dad to visit. There will be good, kind staff to help her all the time. And if she needs you, but can’t (remember how to) reach you, the staff will help her. This seems to help alleviate my mother’s anxiety when dad has to go to the hospital for incidents (he has different/more physical health issues tha her, in addition to their dementia). Most recently another fall has led him to be moved to the skilled part of their facility for a couple weeks. And, of course, it is not a matter of telling her this once and she is satisfied. With her AD we must tell her this often. Holding you in my thoughts.
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Reply to MelissaPA2AZ
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That is hard. I, too, wouldn't not tell her until the last minute. Even then, you may have to go with a fib.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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First of all, be happy they can be separated. He should not, no matter why, have to tolerate her lashing out and her outbursts. This just simply is unacceptable and must be stopped by any means. Do not say a word to her ahead of time or she will go ballistic at him and at you. The day of the move, have the staff move her and have them tend to her belongings. Let them explain things first. Do NOT visit or contact her for a few days. Give her time to blow off the big steam first. In the meantime, be there for your father and support him in any way you can. And when you finally do go to visit her, perhaps take someone with you who can explain to her why this was necessary so she doesn't attack you. Be strong. If she keeps lashing out, then do NOT go to see her. Tend to your father who seems to be a kind man.
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