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My dad is 88 with moderate Alzheimer's, CHF, & bleeding on the brain. He's a very stubborn & independent man. Dad had a stroke & was unable to function, except to feed himself. We brought him into our home, where he has his own bedroom & bathroom. Fortunately, he now goes to the bathroom by himself, makes his own bed & walks with a cane. He has expressed repeatedly he wants to move out. My sister agrees he has it made here, but we understand the need to socialize with others. We take dad everywhere, out to dinner, trips to the beach, Farmer's Market & more. I've taken him to 2 senior centers & he did not want to participate. His dementia means he has forgotten we have visited 7 other places. He did not like any of them. Dad thinks I lie to him & my word has no value. My sister (visiting here, sees him 3x a year) & I took a tour yesterday of a lovely home. There are lots of activities (he likes to be on the go), excellent care & great food. Very plush with lots of light & windows to the garden. Of course he did nothing but complain & says he needs no help with anything & that he can still drive. My dad has not been able to drive for a year, my husband bathes & dresses him & I'm in charge of medication & his health. I understand how upsetting this will be for dad. I want to handle this with love & compassion. But how? What do you say? We will continue to visit, take him out & to his dr visits. Why has he turned on me?

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bandit8it, what an awesome way to approach your situation! Gold stars to you!

Lilygirl, I think your task is going to be extremely hard no matter how you approach it, but you are doing the right thing. Since he has brought up wanting to move, I think I'd try to work that into the conversation about every other sentence! "Since I knew you wanted to move ...", This is the nicest place we found after you said you wanted to move ..." I don't think this will work like magic, but I'd still give it a try.

Also, I like the idea of not being alone when you tell him. In addition to your sister, is there an "outsider" he'd be on his best behavior for? A minister, a golf buddy, his old bowling partner -- anyone he respects and/or enjoys being around?

This is hard, no matter how you approach. Do you best, and don't beat yourself up over how you handle it.
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Lily, I have just gone through this with my husband, who had a stroke 8.5 years ago which left him paralyzed and brain injured. This spring, he decided for a number of reasons that we should separate, and he wished to live independently with supports. Rather than argue with him, I took him to see apartments, and asked him questions like, "how are you going to bathe? How will you manage your bills? Who is going to do the grocery shopping? etc" That, combined with the physical challenge of even looking at the "normal" apartment (the stairs, opening the front door, the non-accessible bathroom) helped him to grasp how impossible it would be to live independently without my telling him.
Then, I explored every independent living and assisted living facility in the area, and took him for lunch at the most suitable one. Compared to the "normal" apartment, he will have laundry and cleaning service, three meals in the dining room, on site hair, nails, transport to MD and shopping, and a killer activities program...I didn't have to point out the advantages because he saw them for himself.
I don't know if perhaps a similar strategy might work with your dad?
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Lilygirl: Maybe someone else will have more to offer than what I am going to say. I hope so, because you are in a tough spot. I think you are just going to have to sit down with him and tell the truth. Hopefully, your sis and husband can be there so it's not just you on your own.

Stay calm and explain that he needs his own place and that it is not safe for him to be completely on his own. I'm sure his doctor will back this up. If you want, tell him it's a 3 month trial so he can actually have an opportunity to get to know the place and see how he likes it. You can fill in all the other stuff, like you will always visit and take him places, etc.

I'm sure you dread having to break this news to him, but what else can you do? As far as him turning on you, it sounds like he was unkind to you when he was well. It may get more intense as his dementia progresses and also because he is angry about the loss of his independence. Non of that is your fault. You and your husband have done all you can to make him happy and keep him safe.

Please stay in touch and let us know how things go.

Blessings, Cattails.
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Lilygirl, Since your father has voiced that he wants to move out then it seems like the right time to go ahead and move forward with it. I think he has turned on you as it is common to take out ones frustrations to those closest to them. Think you will just have to ignore how he is reacting to you personally; and realize it is the dementia causing most of his reactions.

Maybe if you tell him it is time for him to go to assisted living as it is the best thing with all the health issues he currently has and it will be much more social.

I think he will react negatively to anything you say; but you are making the right decision and just know, it won't be easy - but it is the right thing. That's the most important to remember. Doing what is best for them even though they don't appear to feel the samy way - is best under the circumstances.

He will settle in after a time. I think for many elderly, they just won't accept the reality that they now have limitations in their lives. It is something he will have to come to terms with. And often, they are not happy no matter what. All you can do is the best you can to take care of them, even if they are not supportive of what you are doing. Their thinking is altered due to dementia, and some, like my mother, has never been happy with anything her entire life. That is for them to deal with on their own. In our hearts we always want to make them happy; but is isn't usually a reality. Blessings and take care.
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Thank you, aileen53. I'd like to clarify that it's not just the dementia in his response to me, he was like this prior to the Alzheimer's. I'm not trying to read more into his treatment of me, but as a 24/7 caregiver I am entitled to my feelings. Your father must be in a nursing home, which is entirely different from assisted living. He DOES remember things, every ALZ patient is different. I am not honest with anything that will upset him, but I still have to tell him he is moving to assisted living. I can't lie about that.
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My father too was very independent, stubborn and if he knew he was placed in a nursing home he would have a meltdown and probably a stroke from the yelling he would have done. I told him he was being moved to a special place paid for by his HMO (no they don't!) to help with his medical issue which was severe pain in his back that made it almost impossible at the time to walk, he was on morphine that barely relieved the pain he had. I lead him to believe he was going there to get better treatment. He believed me. Fortunately with alzheimers, you can tell them just about anything because shortly afterwards, they will forget. I see no reason to be honest with anyone who's mental capacity is slipping daily. He is angry because of his dementia. Don't try to make it sound like what it is. He will be angry. If you find a great home for him, he will settle into a routine and be content. They are professionals who know how to help him adjust and get him invovled with daily activities, games, interaction with other residents. Good luck to you.
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