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Step dad is 85 with dementia and won't shower. I am care giver to my mom 87 and him.........his family is about 1000 miles away. His mind does seems to be getting worse. Mommy dearest is no help as she constantly yells at him. She yells at him every day about something.....

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I think the time is now. For your dad's sake he needs to get away from the yelling and abusive environment he's in with your mom. Having someone come to the home to help is a good short-term move, but if he were with professionals who know how to treat someone with dementia (validation and other techniques) he would like do much better.

Even with someone coming in to help, he would have your mother yelling at him the rest of the time. Do what you can to remove him from this environment.

The exception would be if your parents live in an area of the country with very bad nursing homes. If that's the case, you are between a rock and a hard place. In-home help may be better then. Research should help you decide.
Take care,
Carol
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Medicate your mom. If you can relieve her anxiety, life will be better for both of them. Then ask them to go on tours of facilities, "just in case" so THEY can decide which one they like. It's all about control.
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helpfulone, something you might consider is hiring a worker to come in to give your father a bath a couple of times a week. If if is a professional doing the bathing, he might be more cooperative and it would take the task off your shoulders. Some workers who do home healthcare work will take on extra work such as bathing on the side. The companies they work for are fine with this usually.

My father did not want to shower. We only forced the issue once or twice a week. When it was time, we would turn the heat on in the house to make it warm and toasty, then turn the water on while he was getting undressed. I put his towel over the heating vent in the bathroom so it would be warm and waiting when he got out. My mother would sit in the bathroom with his while he showered and help him out when needed. He always felt better after he showered, so it was a bit of a reward. We have a walk-in shower with a seat and hand-held water massage, so that made it easier on him.
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Forgot to add that in his last weeks of life we had the professional coming in twice a week. Dad was weak and not very oriented, so the professional was much better.
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I think the time to prep is now. Before even talking to your dad, I would visit 5-10 nursing homes in your area and pre-decide which ones, if any, are acceptable. Take tours and asks lots of questions. You'll then need to do some research on medicaid and how to pay for it. Then talk to your stepdad, armed with information. It would probably be a good idea to either take him on a tour (of the ones you like) or enroll him in "respite" for a week or two. Respite is when you admit your loved one to a nursing home for anywhere from 3 to 30 days for them to be taken care of professionally and for you to get some respite. It is covered by insurance. Sometimes after people do respite, they like the place and the care, and they want to stay. Good luck.
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The one thing I regret about my dads at home hospice stay is not stepping up and preventing my mom from yelling at him. She's can be so intimidating - I grew up afraid of making her mad. I did tell her a few times to let him eat what he wanted and did make a few suggestions but was quickly put in my place. The sadest thing was when the Chaplin came ( my mom left for a few minutes to rest if I promised to stay close to daddy) . My dad who was very religious could only tell the Chaplin over and over again how he always tried so hard but no matter what can never please her. my advise- do whatever it takes to get away him from her.
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Probably now is the time. The longer you wait the harder it is.
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I'm in the same boat--just trying to prepare myself and the sibs for the inevitable. I have been calling some facilities (they are NOT forthcoming in phone calls, they want you to "visit" and preferably with loved one in tow. I think now is a good time for you to take dad on some trips. Let his last months on earth be pleasant. He might make some friends and find that the stress of living with your mom was making him sicker. Having my inlaws divorce was the best thing that could have happened to dad. Poor guy, she yelled at him day and night for 42 years. Living alone, he was lonely, but finally had peace. Good luck, sounds like your mother is not going to like this.
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Midkid, make it fun. We told mom we were taking her to lunch on Valentine's Day. It was the free lunch and tour at a nice facility. She had a good time and wanted to move in right away. Maybe it was the wine talking.
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Pam---
There's no way in H### that shopping for NH's for mom would be fun. She doesn't drink, so that's out. Thanks for the idea.
I know a lot of people who have helped their folks make that transition. Mother has been to several of these facilities as she goes to visit friends on occasion, and they also "sponsor" Bingo games. She always says she glad she's not "stuck in some dump". Well, they all happen to be much nicer and cleaner than her own place, but the point is, we are doing this to just see what's available, what the costs would be and just for our own information. She is going to go into a "home" kicking and screaming. Hopefully, she CAN have the care she wants and needs at home until the end of her life. We're just looking at the possibilities.
SO many of my friends have parents in ALF's and to a man, they are all happy in their current situations. Family relationships got better, stress levels dropped--we just aren't going to see that in her case.
I think for the original poster, it's time to step in and protect dad and help him get away from a toxic situation--poor man. Getting old is not for sissies!
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