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My Dad, who has FTD, lives alone in the state next to mine. I drive up there as often as I can, and I have daily caregivers coming in (3 to 5 hours a day) ... but Dad's neuropsychologist tells me at this point she'd rather he be in a 24-7 care facility or have full-time, live-in care. The frustrating thing is that he's still quite "sentient." The reason for the impending need to have someone around all the time is because, as is the nature of FTD, he has MOMENTS of memory or judgment impairment that can cause him to do things unsafely (for example, he woke up last week having forgotten the proper amount of time to microwave a "breakfast bowl" that he's been preparing almost every day for the last 3 years ... put it in the microwave for 20 - 25 minutes and, of course, ignited/vaporized it). The doc says he shouldn't cook anymore, and so his caregivers had already taken over all "stove"-type meals ... losing the microwave, too, is a blow.

The frustrating thing is that these moments are just that ... MOMENTS. For the most part, he's still capable of living at home, and wants to be at home. He likes his cats and his visiting caregivers. I can't afford to move a full-time caregiver (or, more likely, multiple "trading-off" caregivers) to be there 24 hours a day to prevent the one or two unsafe things he might do over a month-long period. But I EQUALLY hate the thought of making him unhappy by forcing him out of his house and into a group living environment (particularly the sort he will ultimately need, because I'd think he'd be depressed and frightened by the constant reminders of what's in store for him on his own journey).

I keep thinking, yeesh, here he is, living in this 4-bedroom house by himself. Surely there's someone else (or multiple someones) in his town of the same cognitive level who ALSO would be better off with supervision but aren't quite ready for "lockdown dementia care" either ... it would sure be nice if I could connect with THEIR frustrated children and see if there wasn't some way to share caregiver costs. I completely understand that something like this would not work where full caregiver attention needed to be on a single client ... but for someone who just needs someone to be in the house to tell him that he's NOT out of cat food when he misbelieves that he is ... or needs someone to cook for him because it's not safe for him to operate the stove himself ... it seems that "care sharing" would be really beneficial.

Does anyone know of any reputable "connection"-type services like this? I think I'd be a bit leery of trying to use something like Craigslist. :-( I just have this (probably completely unrealistic) vision of people just like my Dad sitting in their equally empty houses with their kids trying just as hard to figure out how to stretch limited dollars to "cover" as many hours of having another pair of eyes just in the same house during the day as possible.

Maybe it's just not possible because people's "level of care" needs change at different rates, and then what do you do? But it just seems as if there's got to be a better alternative to this "all or nothing" approach ... I don't know. I'm probably just rambling. Would be interested to hear if anyone else has toyed with this or tried it, and how it worked out, or didn't?

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My only suggestion would be to check into the group homes. They usually have 4-6 residents of similar cognitive deficit. Around here they cost between 4 and 6 thousand a month. Maybe its time to sell dad's home or check into a reverse mortgage so you can keep him where he is.

The moments you speak of will become much more frequent. It is dangerous for him to be alone, thus the doctor's recommendation. Moments will happen when there is nobody with him.
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