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Both my parents have recently been diagnosed with dementia: Dad with Alzheimer’s and Mom with a high probability of Lewy Body. Both of them are in early-moderate stages of their respective types. Dad is a wartime Veteran and qualifies for Aid and Assistance. Is it best for them to be together even though Dad (only) could be in a State-run VA facility?

In my case I had mom and dad in the same room in assisted living. I realized later that this was a mistake due to dads much higher level of dementia, the constant repetition of questions and confusion drove mom crazy. It was basically a dorm room and she had no escape.

We were waiting for an opening in memory care for dad when mom passed away. It was in the same facility and they could have had meals together and visited although I think mom had about had it with dad at that point.

We tend to think couples should always be together no matter what but situations can differ.
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Reply to Windyridge
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lynina2 Aug 30, 2020
Very true! My dad was in rehab waiting for a room in long-term care in the same facility. Mom ended up in the hospital and then moved to rehab during this time with the idea that she would discharge to home. The facility assumed that they should be in the same room. I asked them if they had even asked my mother about it. They hadn't. I suggested they should not assume anything and check with her. My mother's opinion was that they shouldn't be in the same room. Her discomfort from illness would be distressing to dad and she probably wouldn't rest as well as she should either. When she was discharged, dad wouldn't notice as sharply that he wasn't going home as well. The people at the facility actually breathed a sigh of relief since there are staffing issues concerning mixed (male/female) rooms as well. The solution was that they lived across the hall from each other for three or four weeks. Dad could roll over in his wheelchair whenever he wanted to to visit. When mom was up and walking with her rollator, she could visit him. Mom and dad had been married for 68 years at that time. I think that they knew what each other needed best more than anyone else. They chose what worked for them; it was as perfect as it could be at that time of their lives.
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Your dad and mom can qualify for a substantial monetary benefit in any AL or MC from the VA. My MIL and FIL live in a privately owned AL and MC and the VA pays them for care-about $2200 per month? So you could look at that avenue as well if you want them to stay together and the VA place is not a good fit. My MIL is in MC and FIL in AL. Their place has “houses”, with about 10-12 residents per house. FIL walks 2 door down to MIL’s house ever morning after breakfast and lunch. If she’s having a good day, he goes down after supper also. If not, he stays at his house. He needed the mental break and a way to get some peace. This way he can still be her husband and not her caregiver.
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Reply to DILKimba
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lynina2 Aug 30, 2020
What a lovely solution. Thanks for sharing.
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That's a very personal decision for you to make. In my opinion, you have to balance how much longer they can live together with how much longer each of them may live. Your father may do very well around other veterans at the VA! Start looking for a place for your mom near the VA where you intend on placing your dad. That way, you may be able to help them visit one another while that's still possible given their respective conditions. So sad, and such a heartbreaking decision to make.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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Imho, ideally it would be best for them to stay together since familiarity is key to anyone with forms of dementia, just as long as no little spats between them arise.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Talk to VA facility admissions & ask if both parents can be admitted. Work it out with them. In answer to your original question...No, they can’t live by themselves unless there is a 24 hr shift of double caregivers. Hugs 🤗
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Reply to CaregiverL
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TexomaPockets Aug 27, 2020
Thank you for your response and especially the 🤗
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LOVE... familiarity, are they good to each other? Do they kno w eachother?
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Reply to MAYDAY
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They need care. Perhaps you can arrange care to come to them by way of In Home Care. Companies like our Comfort Keepers we have in Arizona. We had Visiting Angels in California. These companies are great. Some assisted living facilities have rooms for married couples. Someone needs to help them. I think they should be together.
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Reply to lauramay
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It seems like it would be best if they could be together, if not at the same facility, then close by. This would presumably not only benefit them, but perhaps you if you are local and will be dropping in to see them. Other good comments here. Just because they both have dementia doesn't mean they still won't recognize each other or at least enjoy spending time together. Depends too on the other conditions mentioned by others here. Best wishes! You will make a good decision.
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Reply to tornadojan
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Keep them together as long as they are kind and loving to each other. If one or both become abusive, which can happen when folks are anxious and/or frustrated in some stages of dementia, then they may need separate accommodations.

I agree that you should check the VA to see if mom qualifies for care.
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Reply to Taarna
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Hi TexomaPockets, my father was in a state run VA facility and my mother as his spouse would have also been covered by his benefits. (Sadly, she passed away while the paperwork was being processed).
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