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Addie, why was it too hard for your sister? Would you not have similar problems? I’m curious as to why you posed this question here as it seems you have made up your mind to do this already. Are you second-guessing your decision? Several people have described their long-term experiences and I would definitely pay attention to what they have to say, but if you and your husband are ready and willing and you will be able to use home health aides like he had at your nephew’s, I say go for it. Do it as long as you can. Maybe that’s why you posed the question - to get a better idea of everything it would entail. And that is smart!
You seem to have a tremendous desire to take care of your father in your home and a wonderful relationship that would make things easier. If your sister agrees, and he comes to live with you, avail yourself of all the assistance you can get. Come here often for support. If the time comes that he needs care that you cannot give him, find a suitable nursing home. If you ever get to that point, the nursing home will take on a new aura. It will no longer be “too depressing”. You will see it with new eyes. But it sounds as if you’re not there yet.
My parents have recently moved into a nursing home together. Yes, it has old, tired people who just sit around most of the time, but my parents did that at home too! For years their doctors were advising us to place them in a nursing home (they had too many problems to qualify for assisted living), but though they qualified for one, we, the children, weren’t ready. So we became the nursing home. We did this until we started to unravel, physically and mentally. We are still managing their care, and one or two of us are there daily. The amazing thing is that, those tired old people I used to view as depressing in the nursing home are people with names who share a little of their life with you before they drop off to sleep or fade back into their dementia. These are people who clasp hands with my parents as they roll past them in the hall, and whose faces light up when they see each other. This nursing home has live music and other entertainment five to six days a week - lovely, talented volunteers who freely give of their time.
Go ahead and take care of your father in your home for as long as you can without compromising your health and marriage. There are people on this forum who have been able to do it until the very end. You may be one of them .......or not. You will know.
Helpful Answer (11)

Adie, I asked what your father's care needs are.

You say that his legs are very weak, and that he has dementia.

You also say that you are physically and emotionally prepared to care for him.

What I'm asking is, do you fully appreciate what you would need to do?

Assistance with activities of daily living:

Transferring and toileting
Taking medications
Maintaining any physical or occupational therapy routines...

These are the examples that spring to mind immediately, without even making any allowance for the frightening and exhausting behaviours that can occur as dementia advances. Carrying out these tasks with a docile, co-operative person is plenty to have on your plate; but you already know that your father kicked against assisted living, where he had trained aides, and has proved too much for your sister, and the dementia will make life considerably more difficult and complicated as time goes on.

To cut it short - I don't think you are being realistic about what caring for your father will involve.
Helpful Answer (8)

I mentioned a lot of points earlier but I left out the toll it took on our marriage.

My husband was the one who wanted my mom to live with us. I didn't think it was a good idea. He's Mexican and the culture is very family oriented. I gave in and my mom lived with us 3 months before we were snapping at each other.

While mom had let my husband paint her nails in the memory care facility, she completely forgot who he was in our home and she'd scream when he tried to physically help her (walking, toileting, washing, etc.). That meant I had to do EVERYTHING. I work 3 days a week and he works from home. But now I had no help. Thankfully he did 90% of the housework.

The constant confusion, questions, screaming and needing to be watched 24 hrs a day made us cranky with her and each other.

3 months later we were shouting and we were so stressed out it was affecting our marriage.

With the help of everyone on this board (who told me the same thing as they're telling you), we had to place her in a MC facility again.

Believe it or not, she's happier and we are too. It's a win-win for us. They give great care.

Have you asked your nephew what it's like?

Go ahead and bring your dad home. We'll be here when you need us.
Helpful Answer (8)

Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, meaning it will get worse...much worse.

How does your family (husband and kids) feel about him living with you? Do they "understand" dementia?

Have you ever taken care of someone with Alzheimer's before?

What condition is your back in? You'll be doing a lot of heavy transfering, lifting and repositioning as time goes on.

Who will give you respite breaks? You have to have them or you'll loose YOUR mind.

Are you prepared to "baby proof" the house?
Demented elders get into all kinds of "trouble" (like a toddler). Can you disable the car so he can't drive it? Can you get more locks or alarms installed on all door exits?
They can be like Houdini in "escaping".

Are you mentally prepared for constant reminding, constantly answering questions (50+ times a day), constantly dropping what you're doing to assist to the bathroom or cleaning up "accidents"? Being on the receiving end of demented anger and physical violence? Trying to convince him to take his pills that he just spit across the table?

Do you have the nerve to hold up under him screaming at the top of his lungs at 2 am?

I have asked you these questions because it was only part of what I went through caring for my mother with stage 6 Alzheimer's. This will be your reality.

Go visit him wherever he lives now. Spend ALL day there. That should give you an idea what's in store for you.

Think long and hard AFTER you've done a lot of research on the disease of Alzheimer's.
Helpful Answer (7)

Who has healthcare proxy/medical POA? That is the person with the authority to make the decision of where dad lives.

Dad will not be admitted to a nursing home unless he needs that level of care -- they are not like hotels you can just sign into.

Once a person needs NH level care, it is very hard to provide it in a private home, even with hired caregivers. The hired caregivers might be just as skilled as the ones in NH but there is only one of them at a time. In a NH if an emergency arises there are several other staff members who can pitch in.

My mother lived with my sister as long as she needed "assisted living" levels of care. When it became necessary to have NH level, we placed her in an NH, where she was content for the final couple years of her life.
Helpful Answer (7)

Think long and hard before you move him in with you...visiting in assisted living is not comparable to 24/7 care for him, you have no idea. I know your intentions are good but the reality is a long long way from what you envision it will be. God Bless
Helpful Answer (7)

I took care of my father for over a year. It was the most traumatic
time in my life. Your dad may not be at the point of constantly repeating himself every five minutes, but he may get there. I can tell you after you hear him yell is it time to get up at 6:00am after being up wondering the house all night every day of your life with
no help you will have a different view. Even with help it will get very hard to take day after day. I feel like I have been in a war zone. Good luck and God bless you!
Helpful Answer (7)

All of the above plus,

You and husband can never leave the house together without a caregiver there.

No vacations
No friends visiting because they don't or can't cope with dad.

House smelling

Can't just run out, go shopping or have coffee.

Dad's needs require a village, your nephew has him in his home but it is to much for sister, what? This should bring up questions to discuss with sister. She may be trying to save you from the inevitable heartache. Also placing dementia patients earlier has been proven to be easier for them to adjust, later makes it harder for them.
Helpful Answer (7)

Grammyteacher, I cried when I read your post. The family relations that you describe are something I only dreamed of. You are truly blessed. Your mom obviously was a loving, kind, compassionate role model that taught her children family values.

God bless you and your family.
Helpful Answer (7)

Grammyteacher has a "village" taking care of her mom, how lucky!

She, her husband, her sister, their adult children, even grandchildren...many people involved in caregiving, so no one is too overworked. Friends visit. This truly is a unique situation.

I wish everyone had this much love and help.
Helpful Answer (7)

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