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My dad has been diagnosed with dementia. I was told he would no longer be able to care for himself. I tried to have elder care come to his home and give him aide to continue living on his own, but he refused the help, often not letting anyone in. I live over an hour away and it was getting to be too much for me to just stop what I was doing to go help with whatever his need was at that time. I had to take him to urgent care because he became extremely paranoid, he was sleeping with a knife under his pillow because he thought the other tenants in the 3 family home where he lived were breaking into his apartment and taking his things. He lived on the third floor and said he would escape out onto the fire escape if needed to. His landlord felt he was getting too unsafe to live there. The landlord feared for the other tenants, so he began the eviction process. After spending close to two weeks in the hospital, the hospital strongly urged he go into a long term care facility. I just wasn't able to take him in, my home just isn't big enough, and I still have three children at home. I found a NH that I really like and know that he is in good care and safe, but I feel a tremendous amount of guilt for having to place him there. I have 3 sisters who have not spoken to him in over 20 years, so I ultimately was the only one who could make this decision.

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try to see it as an alternative to hospitalization. i was prepared to let my mom be institutionalized too when it was determined that she needed 3 shifts of medical care. i cant do 3 shifts of bedside care, noone can.
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What you're feeling is pity for him. In context it is loving and appropriate. It is also a very sad feeling to experience; but so is every aspect of grief. I repeat: there is no guilt in anything you have done or are doing. The only way you could not feel this sadness is not to care about him, so I'm afraid you will just have to embrace it.
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RVM, with any luck you found a facility that is near you. That way you can visit. This helps get rid of the guilt, especially when you find him engaged in activities or with other adults. Try to visit at different times of the day and get to know the aides, that seems to bring more attention to the resident. Small treats go a long way. A magazine, an ice cream sundae, a trip to a nearby park,etc can bring back some good memories for him. Most memory care centers talk about trying for 'happy events' each day. They may not be all day, but bringing a smile to his face, knowing he has care when he needs it, and that he is in less danger should bring a smile to your face.
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I guess my guilt comes from knowing he doesn't want to be there. My brain knows it's the right place for him, but my heart feels differently.
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You have taken good care of your father by taking trouble over selecting a good nursing home. You have acted on medical advice concerning the treatment of someone with a serious, progressive and terminal disease. You have three children whose welfare is paramount. Your three sisters have washed their hands of their father long ago.

So, sorry, what exactly do you have to feel guilty about?
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We are only human and you have a right to a life of your own.
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You did the right thing by not fighting the hospital recommendation. So many insist that dad is going home with them and regret it later. Remember these are professionals with a lot of experience. Share your concerns with his nurse, ask what you can do to make his new home comfortable. Some enjoy their favorite music and find it calming. Others want some homemade cookies or a slice of pie.
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