I just placed wife in memory care yesterday-she refused to take meds or would fail to take them, has escaped house once and picked up by police and taken to pysch ward. I am very depressed and keep thinking I made a mistake. Neurologist will not see her because she will not consistently take meds. Anyone have any alternatives? I am approaching 90 and have been told that I can't help her anymore. Thanks in advance; I cannot afford 24 hr homecare.

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I am sorry you had to take the step of placing her in MC. But you did the right thing. Being a caregiver for someone with AD is no job for a 90 year old. After 52 yrs of marriage, I, too, had to place my wife in MC. She, too, had to visit a psych wing. You didn't make a mistake. Caring for her too long could affect your health, if it hasn't already. You can become decensitized to her needs, become depressed, feel hopeless, etc. In MC she will be well cared for by staff who knows her disease better than you do. Her meds will be managed properly, she will be safe, no wandering, and have a proper diet. I took comfort in knowing that although my wife wasn't at home anymore, I did what was necessary and I was taking care of her.
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One of the things that you promise to do when you take your vows is to care for the person you are uniting with.
Realizing that she is not safe at home and you can not care for her as well as you would like and finding a safe place for her is honoring the vows you pledged to each other.
Don't question a decision made with love and the best intentions.
the mistake would be to keep her at home and have her wander off and not get found until it was to late
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You did the right thing for your wife by finding her professional care. You did the right thing for yourself, as well. Now you can sleep, do things that you want to do and visit your wife as her husband not as her caregiver. You have done quite well caring for her as long as you have. Her care is now more than you can do alone.
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You have honored your vows to love and cherish her in sickness and in health, and you are continuing to do that by seeing to her care and safety.

As another poster said, you are now free to just love her more and worry about her safety less.

Memory care is a wonderful thing, and my dad would be so pleased to see how much better my mother is doing with professionals to care for her. He, too, did his very best for her, but a familiar face also made it easy for Mom to grump at him, not take her medications, and sleep away the days. Now she's much more stable because she gets her medication and lots of stimulation each day.

Lots of spouses visit at my mother's place, so you'll find friends with common concerns there, too.
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No one can tell you that you have made the right decision..only from experience can we offer our thoughts and support. I too placed my husband back in April and was told by everyone, doctors included it was the right decision for us. However after 2 weeks of his placement I brought him home because I couldn’t stand the guilt and felt that I SHOULD be able to handle this and that God will give me the strength to do this. Well, after 2 more months of continued deterioration of the dementia and Parkinson’s I could feel the strength draining from me and knew I would fail before him. I have placed him again..not without varied emotions but knowing this was my only decision again for us. Our hearts want our loved ones to be at home with us but this disease is unlike no other.
Try to find some peace and take care of yourself.
Prayers for you.
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my2cents Sep 2020
I can see myself doing exactly what you did. Even when the last ounce of energy feels drained out of me, my brain says I can do it. That's how I've been wired my whole life - "I can do it" mentality. I'm sorry you had to make the decision twice, but totally understand. I hope you find peace in your heart knowing you did what was best for your husband.
What great replies you've received! Mine is a little different, as I placed my 90yo Mother in an assisted living facility (where they also have a memory care wing). She subsequently went under hospice care as well for terminal dementia. Because she is cooperative and not a flight risk she remains in the ALF side of the facility.

It took a little adjustment, but now she appreciates the regular human contact she gets, 3 yummy meals a day, and her own cute, well decorated "apartment". The consistency in bathing, sleeping and nutrition - and a reduction in size/obligations environment - has really helped her to have peace.

I share this because even as a very vigorous-aged daughter I could not keep up with the wackiness and the needs Mom's declining condition demanded.

You did the right thing by giving her the dignity of having staff to do the mundane, while you can visit daily and call her Queen (I tell my Mom that and she loves it!)

Queen in her own "hotel". Yesterday she said she was happy and content with her new situation. A welcome outcome for me as I hope will be for you both too!
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lmb1234 Sep 2020
This is almost a carbon copy of where I am in my journey with my 97 year old mother. AD, now on hospice and still in the ALF as opposed to a NH. The increased daily contact, and assistance that I get as to what her actual needs are, has been a Godsend to me as her POA and the family as a whole. I actually now sleep through the night which I had not been doing for some time due to her increased paranoia, hallucinations and delusions, all exacerbated by the COVID-19 isolation and our inability to see her for any extended period of time (and only outdoors). God bless hooray and you as we journey on this path together.
You did such an unselfish wonderful thing. Many spouses do not have the strength and foresight to do this, and later regret it. Watch as your wife gets good care and you go back to being her loving husband, instead of her caregiver.
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Having read your short profile, I would have to say that you have done the only thing that will make your wife safer and help you become happier.

Yes, now you are lonely and depressed. You may need to see a psych or mental health counselor to help you through the early stages of this.

Although I am about 25 years younger than you, I have had to place my wife in either rehab or long term care for almost 30 out of the past 36 months,

She is home now, but I am much more depressed with her home. She is demanding and unappreciative both part of her narcissistic behavior. Her memory is in bad shape even though she is only 60 Y/O. I can tell her something this morning by afternoon she will not remember it. She then starts crying because things don't go her way.

I have to use a Hoyer lift to transfer her from bed to wheel chair and back. Those are the only transfers she does at home. However yesterday she wanted me to rinse her hair in the shower. This ten minutes after placing her in the wheel chair. When I told her I couldn't do that she wanted to know why. I can't get her in the shower. She says she can step into the shower . What? You can't stand to get into the wheel chair but you can stand to get in the shower. Of course she can't but she had forgotten already how she had been placed into her wheelchair,

I struggle to miss much sleep, no daytime naps even after not getting much sleep the night before, at 66 Y/O. (Note We have a 17 Y/O learning disabled son at home for his last year of high school) I don't know how you did it at 90.
Yes, you did the right thing. Now take care of yourself and get yourself some help.
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surprise Sep 2020
Gary, I think it's time you took care of you too. I'm so sorry your wife has such a difficult time. I hope you can find a way to have her in a residential facility where they can take good care of her while you take good care of yourself. <<<hugs>>>
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This was very hard for you to do. Please know that you absolutely did the right thing.

I’m so glad you realize that you have done all that you could and are now accepting much needed help for your wife.

You have not abandoned her. You are looking out for her by utilizing care from medical professionals.

Take care of yourself. She would want you to do so.
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No you put her safety above all else. This is a loving act.
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