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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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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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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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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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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 16, 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.
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At this time with the Covid, I think it would be better if she were home with you and don't take her meds, her choice.

I think she would feel safe and lived being in her own home in a place that is familiar to her.

I would bring her home because she will be lonely and deteriote fast put in a home.

I think ya'll would both be happier together.

If she doesn't want to take her meds, don't worry about it.

Yiu can remind her to take them, that's all you can do.

In fact, most Seniors take way too many medications anyway.

Wouldnt you rather live out the rest of your life in your own home?

Bring her back home
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graygrammie Sep 12, 2020
I'm sorry but there is just nothing in your response that I agree with.
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No. You are keeping her safe. I’m praying for you.
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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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No you put her safety above all else. This is a loving act.
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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.
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Yes, you did the right thing. Now take care of yourself and get yourself some help.
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surprise Sep 12, 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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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 12, 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.
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Of course you are depressed, sad, and distressed that you can not make your wife well all by yourself, but you have very much done the right thing for your wife's health and safety and your own. You would all too soon be past your capacity to keep your wife safe at home and you and she would both be in danger.

Remind yourself that you have made this move to keep your wife safe.
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I am so sorry for your pain. I am a caregiver and have worked with MANY MC clients. I can tell you for sure that you are not alone in these feelings. It is a difficult choice but the best for both you and her. If you can see the other side of this.... Facilities are designed with trained people for people with these illnesses and loved ones have a whole set of different needs. They are not the same people they once were. Your loving visitations are still important and a good support group with others in your shoes is REALLY necessary!!
many prayers and Blessings to you!!
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Home care, especially 24 hour care, is very expensive. If you read other posts here you will find there are lots of us who cannot afford that sort of thing at home. You also reached the end of the line for your own ability to get her to take her meds or to prevent her from wandering off.

Of course you are feeling bad about her no longer being in the home. Try to look at it from another perspective. When she wandered off, she was found alive and taken to a safe place. All of the stories about dementia/wandering do not end well. Her life was spared so that you would have more time with her even if it is not the exact way you wanted it to be. She is in a place where they will manage the meds and handle daily tasks that you were doing. At 90 years young, you can now spend more time maintaining your own health and mobility.

Eventually, I hope you find comfort in knowing that you tried your best for as long as you could. Some things in our life are beyond our control and your wife's health and well being happened to be more than you could handle any longer. Love her and be a peace with placing her with the professionals.
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It sounds like you made the best choice for her health and safety. If she was escaping the house she is at risk for getting injured or lost. She has already been picked up by the police and sent to the hospital for evaluation. She could be at risk for making financial mistakes, injuring you, having hallucinations and delusions, falling and injuring herself, setting the house on fire and so on. Someone mentioned Covid but my mother is in a facility that has been Covid free from the beginning. I think your wife is at higher risk for exposure to injury or disease and other harm if she’s wandering around town, being picked up by the police and being sent to the hospital. It would not be a good feeling if she got lost and something serious happened to her. It is possible for her to become paranoid and have frightening hallucinations. Medication management is important to keep her calm and safe.

My mother is in memory care. She has medication management, bathing, dressing, meals, laundry, doctors visits, nursing care, activities, and her own room with her own belongings.

I am so sorry you had to make this hard choice. Know that she may be angry and lash out but don’t take it personally (easier said than done!). I’m sure you miss her and have doubts and are second guessing yourself. Those are normal feelings to have. Perhaps contact one of memory care agencies and join a telephone support group. I wish you all the best and hope you find some peace with your decision.
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I have the same going on.A man I sit with threatened to kill himself.i called ambulance.They took him to hosp,where he later on went across the street to a nursing home.They called his POA to come get him.Said they will not deal with him.POA cant afford 24 hour care,what can we do.I am really stressed over this.Man need help,and noone is willing to help.Called DCF,hoping they can
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surprise Sep 12, 2020
The man needs to become a ward of the state if he is incompetent. A professional will find him a place, spend down his money, and then the state will pay the fees.
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Sounds like you did what's best for her, she's safe. Keep yourself happy which may seem trying right now. Jump in the bed with her and hold her tight like I'm sure you did. Bring a coloring book and color together. Be a kid and have a new kind of fun with her.
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I don't think you made a mistake but I think you have every right to grieve. Am amazed you have been taking care of her and yourself. You will be able to rest and visit. It is awful that we have to lose those we love while their bodies live on and we descend into helplessness and hopelessness. It is worth grieving. I am so very very sorry, but you would not have done this had you another choice.
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ABSOLUTELY you will feel depressed and guilty for a while, but rest assured that you made the right decision. It took me three months to realize finally that it was a wise one. Not only is my spouse safer, but he is obviously happy in an environment with people in a similar condition to his, which alleviates any guilt I felt early on.

A warning: I knew when I was caring for my husband that it was extremely stressful on me emotionally, but I had no idea how badly it affected me physically as well. Be prepared for this. I was completely exhausted and unable to do anything. My children were very concerned about their father, but I think were unaware of what was happening to me.

Helpful ideas? One daughter made a scrapbook of our family visits, and he loved it, so I copied her idea with one of my spouse's and my trips abroad. Not only does he enjoy looking at it, but it made me feel good that I had done something for him! As for my own recovery, I found doing something I enjoy (crosswords, Sudoku, playing the piano—badly) helped a great deal.

All this is to say that you should NOT feel guilty, that no matter how difficult your circumstances, it will take time to get over it, but you will realize that you did the right thing.
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As as far as medications go, my wife stopped taking her medication over a year ago so I crush them up and put them in desserts for her. This has definitely worked for us.
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I share your guilt and worries. There is nothing stronger than the love of spouses for each other. You feel like you have betrayed her and that your vow of “in sickness and in health” has been violated somehow. You miss her and you want her to be with you. This is the feeling that a child does not have towards his/her parents or between siblings or relatives.

I know the feeling VERY well because I was in your shoes 3 years ago when I had to put my husband in an MC facility. In there, he too refused to take meds or eat. My life was turned upside down; I was depressed and lost sleep and appetite. After 2 months and $30,000 poorer, I took him home with caregivers while I was at work. That is still the arrangement for me. Admittedly, it has been very stressful to care for him at home but overall I am happier to care for him the way I want him to be cared for. It is much cheaper too.

Of course, I am not 90. Your age limits what you can do for her. Since you have the money to put your wife in a Memory Care, why not use that money to hire caregivers at home. You can keep an eye on her to make sure she is well-cared for. If you outlived her, at least you know that she went to heaven with you by her side and not alone in a strange facility.
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KaleyBug Sep 12, 2020
God Bless you, My mom was kept at home til the end also. Until Covid I brought people in mornings and evenings with a few hours without them mid day. My dad was home with her but not able to assist. Mom usually watched TV and slept mid day.
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No you did not. Your primary responsibility to her is to keep her safe. Your moving her to memory care was necessary to do that. I am a new widower of an Alzheimer patient .
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Proud of you for keeping her safe and realizing her needs are greater than one person alone could care for. And that's OK! It's much better to visit and spend time with her as her Husband not her full time caregiver. Your relationship will benefit tremendously! :) Hang in there, everyone will adjust.
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Everything you said in your post shows that you love your wife and did the right thing! Now she will get the care she needs to take her meds, be safe, and not be a danger to herself or others.

It is a very hard decision, and I believe you made the right one. You can visit her as often as time permits, and know that is safe!
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I can imagine how you feel. It hurts you terrible, and you exhausted all alternatives to this situation. I know you love her very much. What you need to do now, is continue your oversight of your wife at the facility where she is living to make sure that she is taken care of, as well as, she can be.

Please seek out family and/or friends during this difficult time for you.
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I know how much this must hurt, but I agree with everyone else. You did the right thing for both of you. God bless you and give you strength to endure this painful transition.
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You did the right thing. You did it out of love because you want her to have the best care and quality of life she can at this stage. My husband has early onset Alzheimer’s and I placed him in memory care for the socialization. He loved it! I visited everyday, but missed him terribly at home. I knew, however, it was best for him. He’s declined greatly since then and is in a nursing home because they can give him the care he needs. You made the right choice, and when you visit, you’ll be able to enjoy time with your wife without the constant worrying. Best Wishes.
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No you did not make a mistake. I don’t know how you have continued to take care of her until now. My mom is 90 will be 91 in a couple of months. I have had her for 6 years, I am 71, I have done all I can do. I am placing her in Emory care hopefully next week. No second thoughts! You deserve some peace at your age you wife will be better and so will you.
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No. This is about her safety and your sanity and health. I completely understand how you feel. I remember leaving my dad at AL. He reminded me of a scared little boy on the first day of kindergarten... and I felt like a worried mother. That moment in time is forever imprinted in my mind. I could not manage my dad’s behaviors on my own. In-home care was so expensive and I would have had to “try” to manage that from out of town. Believe me... I still go through times of second guessing decisions. However, I am the only child and there was/is only so much one person can do.
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