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My dad is 89 and was diagnosed with alzhiemer's this year. His wife died back in May and he has been one lost soul since then.

I live out of state and have visited him 4 times this year. Each time, I have been able to tell that he is declining more and more.

My step-sister lives here and is his Durable and Medical POA. She's doing a great job and has people staying with my dad 24/7 in three shifts. She told me tonight that his memory is getting worse and wrose and his anger is increasing also. He can walk around very slowly with the help of a cane, but he needs a walker which he refuses.

He wants to stay in his home as long as he can, but we are not sure now that he could even go to assisted living given how much help he needs throughout the day and how declined his mind is.

When we visited this morning, he acted like he was not all that excited to see us, ( me, my wife, and our two sons) which is far different that our experience of him back in October. We had hoped that he would go out ot eat with us tonight with my step-siblings and their spouses, but he was not up to it. However, he normally goes out to eat with us when we come and he is able to go out with other people at other times who take him out. Now that it has turned cold, he is not very excited about getting out.

We went back after supper and gave him his Christmas present. He was awake but still in his bed. He was glad to see us and we made it a short visit.

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Here in NY, flu cases are spreading like wildfire. MI is even worse. I would hold off a move if you can until this epidemic is past it's peak. Forget the Flu shot this year, even the CDC admits it is not matched to this year's circulating viruses.
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gladimhere, I also thought of another difficulty. Renting would be another thing for my step-sister to mannage and then there is the cost of upkeep which priobably cuts down on income. Several years ago, his home was valued at 275,000. I don't know what its value is now.
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I have also suggested it to my sister that right now is trying to keep her POA status. Once she sets her mind to something it is almost impossible to sway her. Or a reverse mortgage to keep Mom at home which presents other problems because Mom's hubby is here too. Not sure why but that is what attorney has told me. Sis has a number of rental properties that she manages herself. Maybe she doesn't want to take on another though a management company could be hired. Just so many things to consider.

I can see your point about difficulties where your Dad's house is. In my Mom's case she has been in this house more than 50 years so is a nice family neighborhood with good schools, all the things families look for. There are a few of these long time owners still around. But the large majority moved years ago.
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gladimhere, I'll mention that idea to my step-sister. I don't think that will work because where he lives is a whole community of older retired people. I think renting it would open it up to about anyone.
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Cmag, one thing my family is considering now is instead of selling the house, rent it to provide a continuous income stream of 3-4K. That would certainly assist in paying for care while the house continues to increase in value.
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jeannegibbs, thanks for your detailed response. No my dad cannot afford to stay at home indefinitely with 24/7 paid care although his LTC policy does pay for some of it. He would actually save money by moving into a place 24/7 care and selling the house to help pay what the LTC policy does not care.

Also, unlike my mom's LTC policy, my dad's policy only lasts several years.

The doctor had given him so meds for Partkinson's but it made him sick. I think that my step-sister is taking him to the doctor to see about another med.
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gladimhere, my dad lives in western Maryland, near West Virginia, down in a valley. I've been visiting with him since I was a little boy following his divorce from my mother and I remember plenty of snow up here.
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Can he afford round-the-clock caregivers indefinitely? Is your s-sister able to handle the responsibility indefinitely? If either of those answers is "no" then the time has come to start looking for a care center.

When was the last time the city he is in was shut down by weather? If it happens several times a season you should carefully consider moving for his safety. But if it happens rarely and hasn't happened for several years, then you just need a contingency plan. Does S-sis live close enough to him to probably be able to relieve the caregiver? Could she? Could a caregiver stay beyond her shift until roads opened up?

Placement might be good for Dad. It was awesome for my mother. She has blossomed with social interactions (although it took her a few months to feel secure and safe). Or staying in his familiar surrounding might be best. If safety and financial considerations don't force the issue, you can ponder what is best for him.

Just because he has dementia doesn't mean he'd need memory care. Is he a risk for wandering? Is his behavior disruptive? Those are generally the two reasons someone needs a secure memory facility. It sounds like Dad would need a nursing-home level of care, not ALF.

If your dad was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's, I would guess that he has Lewy Body Dementia. It is also possible that he has Alzheimer's, of course -- the two kinds of dementia are not mutually exclusive. But with Parkinson's he has Lewy bodies (protein deposits) in his brain, so that is the most likely type of dementia. In any case, it might be useful to read up on LBD and see if that fits his symptoms better. If I were yous s-sister I'd follow up about that with the doctor who is treating his dementia. LBD often responds better than ALZ to certain kinds of treatments.

He was wise to stop taking a medication that had side effects, but there are many other medications he can try, depending on his current symptoms. He may need to have his anxiety treated, for example, if he is increasingly angry.

I wish your family the best. It is sometimes very challenging to figure out what that is.
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Cmag, where is he? How far north. This is the first winter that I am actually starting to think that placement for both Mom and her hubby may be best. I have been at this for the most part alone for almost three and a half years. I am tired, but the cold weather and having to take them out now has become quite a chore. And Mom attends a day program, if there is a snowflake in the air just does not want to go anywhere, at this point I have been successful each day so far. But I see the time coming where she will refuse, and dreading it!

The most difficult part of placement for them is it will require separation, maybe even different facilities, Mom needs memory care possibly even skilled nursing. They are still well taken care of but my dysfunctional family makes it even more difficult. And wonder what I will do with my life if I get it back. I have officially started to look for work which would help with my transition. But, us caregivers you know just sit around and eat bon bons all day with our soap operas;); who would hire us lazy bums?!
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Thanks, but it is not safe to leave my dad alone. He needs 24/7 oversight and he sees the same people basically every day. My step-sister will take care of him the entire day of Christmas day which will involve taking him to her house for a while. She is doing that to give the caregivers a break for Christmas.

A move might be a good idea given he lives up north where there is a lot of snow in the winter and that might cause a problem for the caregivers to get to his house. That was a suggestion in the first post on this thread and I had not thought about that concern until tonight.

This will be my dad's first winter without his wife. He was diagnosed with depression during her fight with pulmanary fibrosis and was put on an anti-depressent that made him sick. He stopped taking it because it made him sick and because he claimed he was not depressed but dissapointed that the doctors could not do anything for her. She was bedridden for several years at home with oxygen, caregivers, and hospice care up until she died.
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There are some O.K. memory places out there for the elderly BUT, most of them are a total nightmare for the residents. Will not recommend a move, simply a caregiver that your Dad will feel comfortable with and the same one for 2-4 days in a row because 3 a day is alot to take in for him ! The agency or you the family should also come up with a routine, activities and something to wait for on a daily basis. He may be stubborn in some cases, but for a reason. Lets not give up on him and there are plenty of do's and don'ts, experience is very important, it can all be changed with the right care from the right people.
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I'm not in a position to move 370 miles, sell my house and move up here. I've told my step-sister about this site and encouraged her to come here. She and her husband are doing a great job of overseeing the three caregivers that are there each day and takes him to his doctor's appointments. She told me tonight that he has basically givin up on life and wants to die so he can go be with his wife.

Also, he has been recently diagnosed with parkinsans.

My dad refuses to get a walker, but maybe he will change his mind. He is a very stubborn man.
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Has he been seen by his geriatrics doc and/or the doctor who diagnosed the dementia recently? You have to consider what would be gained by moving him; increased socialization, but can he socialize? Better and easier access to doctor's and more consistent access to medical monitoring. Does he have concomitant medical conditions? Does he/has he seen a geriatric psychiatrist for meds for depression and/or mood? If he starts being easily agitated and starts posing a danger to others, that might be a reason to move him into care. More questions than answers, I know.
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I would suggest sooner than later regarding moving your Dad to a continuing care facility. Moving him now he would still be able to learn his way around a new building, maybe even form some new friendships with fellow residents, and bond with the Staff. Plus he will be with people mainly of his own generation, which might spark his brain. Right now it sounds like your Dad is bored to a point where he rather not do anything.

Plus it is time to give your step-sister a break from overseeing his care, there would be less to worry about such as Caregivers not being able to come to the home in the winter weather, or of power-outages, or maintaining his home, and other errands needed.

Oh, does your Dad have a rolling walker, one that has hand brakes, plus a seat? One of those walkers made a world of difference for my Dad. Whenever I take Dad to the doctor, he is down the hall to the doctor's office in no time, leaving the rest of us in a cloud of dust... he's like a kid with that thing.
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