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So my dad has been in AL for about a month. They were fine with him drinking beer in his room and he could smoke outside. He kept smoking in his room and they were very patient about it. We kept talking to him and telling him he can’t and finally took away his cigarettes from him. Now he gets cigarettes from the other residents and still is smoking in the room, and still telling you he isn’t. I really believed it was his dementia causing this. However, now I'm realizing he just doesn’t care. He boldly lies to my face and when you call him on it he doesn’t care he is hurting you.


They are going to kick him out soon. Where do I go from here? Living with me is not an option as I travel a lot and I’m not willing to risk my new marriage having him here. Am I going to be in this exact same situation in another month?


Scared, tired and feeling very guilty.

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That's a tough situation. But, as his dementia progresses, it will be become increasingly risky for him to smoke unsupervised. He could burn himself, others or the building. I'd discuss the matter with his doctor. Does he wander at all?
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Have you considered the medication given to alcoholics that makes drinking unpleasant. Cant think of the name but you could google it.
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Reply to Riverdale
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Oh my! This is exactly why I didn’t put my dad in AL- he was an alcoholic (but after 2 weeks in the hospital he detoxed) but the nicotine patch didn’t work! He tore it off, refused to wear it and went right back to his 1+pack a Day habit. I knew the “smoking area” in AL was too far for him to walk to in the middle of the night or the dead of winter... do I figured he’d get kicked out. He doesn’t give a rats butt what the rules are. ...so instead we got him an apartment with a balcony for him to live in a 55+ apartment complex. Now it’s FAR from ideal as I have to go DAILY with food, and to make sure he takes his meds, and to do his laundry and cleaning (although he rarely changes clothes so there’s really very little laundry)
the bonus- it is $2000 a month as opposed to the $7000 per month AL price tag. He can smoke all he wants in his apartment and on the balcony. The downside- I am doing everything related to caregiving, and making sure he has NO access to alcohol.
To alleviate some pressure I’ve looked into getting a male caregiver to come twice a week to force the shower and clothing change.
i don’t know how “far along” your dad is in terms of being able to take care of himself, but “for now” this arrangement works for me. I completely understand that bringing him to live with you is NOT an option! Same here! Been there, done that!
Ive come to realize that there comes a point where my dad’s decisions will impact his options in the future. He may not like those options, but they are clearly dictated by his OWN choices.
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Reply to Dadsakid
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I just read this article

dailycaring.com/it-can-happen-seniors-getting-kicked-out-of-assisted-living/

I don't think an AL falls under the "safe release" clause. Its like having an apartment and you are given notice. You can appeal but he is going against rules that he signed a lease he would go by. An AL is a public place and he maybe be disregarding state laws. The article suggests calling your state Ombudsmen to find out what Dads rights are. He at least has 30 days.

In the early stages of Dementia, the first thing they lose is reasoning. If Dad was a drinker and smoker before, telling him over and over again will not get thru to him. He no longer reasons. In his mind he can smoke outside but why not in his room too. Short term is the first thing to go. He may not remember what you have said from day to day. You may be fighting a losing battle. Ask the person in charge what can be done. First thing is that other residents should not be giving him cigaretts. There are patches he can use to help curb the craving.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Isthisrealyreal Oct 3, 2018
They are in AZ, they are medically required, doctors orders for ADL assistance.

When I spoke to our local counsel on aging and the ombudsman they confirmed that the AL can not kick people out without a safe place for them to go.
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I would buy some odor eliminating candles, plug-ins or air spray that will eliminate the cigarette smoke smell. I found candles best but safety might be an issue.

Let the AL deal with him, you trying to control him may just cause heels to dig in. They get paid to assist him and enforce their rules. Maybe if it is them saying "Mr. Jones you will be kicked out if you smoke in your room, you are allowed to smoke on the patio and that is where it must be done." He might be more willing.

Have you ever smoked? I'm thinking not, cold turkey can cause some nasty side effects and even heart attacks, this needs to be handled by a professional. It sucks to quit and it has loads of chemical reactions, so yea, he will be ugly with you.

If his needs are only AL, he is losing his dignity by you taking privileges away and berating his behavior. You are his kid and he is the parent, this is how they all think, we will to when it's our turn, so who are we to dictate to them. Gently, lovingly and patiently encourage him to find a path to get along. He may hate it so much that he is actively trying to get kicked out.

You do not have to be in this situation, you can tell the AL that you can't help him and they will have to come up with another place. The law says that there must be a safe release plan in place, so they won't put him on the curb.

Best of luck getting away from the guilt of caring for an aging parent, it is tough but doable.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Ditch the feelings of guilt. It’s not your fault. If they knew that your father is an alcoholic and addicted to nicotine yet they continued to let him drink and smoke, it’s their fault and not your’s. Even if they did not, it certainly must have become obvious that he had these issues after a few weeks. He needs a higher level of care, maybe even an addiction clinic to dry out and kick the nicotine habit. Then he needs to go to a regular nursing home and maybe even in Memory Care. He needs supervision.

I’m dismayed that their only solution is to kick him out and not help you find a solution for other placement. Immediately call a Care Conference and insist that they do not “kick him out” until you’ve had a chance to meet with staff and the social worker to discuss other options. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BRING HIM TO LIVE WITH YOU!!!
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