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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 was unable to continue care for my mother. When I had your same emotions, my brother said one thing that kept me focused each day rather than worrying about our decision. He said, " What mom needs most now is a loving, kind daughter that is her friend. Let the caregivers do their jobs and you just be there for her emotionally." This was such a gift as the nursing home never limited the time I could spend with her; therefore, those times I spent with her are such fond memories of games, celebrations and outings. We made new friends with the staff, the residents and their families. It was a good decision for us. I wish you the same. Visit as much as you want and go home to a good nights sleep.
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I am about your age, facing the same fate with my wife and totally understand your situation. We get advice from people who placed their mom or dad. We may all love our parents but it is not the same to be separated from your wife after 65 years of marriage, so I decided we'll both go. We did and after a couple of weeks, I missed the house. We found a lady in need of housing, willing to help for room and board. So far ,so good. I am glad we are back as being locked up because of the virus would have been the last nail in the coffin! I know that if we live long enough we'll go back.
I am extremely thankful for having been able to retire at 55. We did have 30 very good years in retirement. Then ,this happened, but I did learn that in life for every plus their is a minus. Somewhere down the line you have to pay the piper!
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Oh Hooray,
How I wish I could give you a hug. You did exactly the right thing! I am so sorry that your wife, who you have loved, is so ill. If she had an illness in another part of her body---for example a cancer or diabetes, would you not want her to have the specialized care necessary? Of course, this is similar. You are seeing to it that she receives the care she so desperately needs and for which your expertise is limited. My friend, you did not do anything wrong, you are saving her and you.
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You did the right thing. This is exactly the situation my 92 y/o father was in and I begged him to put my mother in memory care so he could go back to being her husband as opposed to her 24 hour a day caregiver. Even though we had CNAs going in 4 days a week to help him, it still wasn't enough help and his health was declining rapidly. She had no structure during the day and just wandered around the house, and also got out at 2:00 a.m., and he called me and the police. We put special locks on the door, and made multiple adjustments, but it was not the best situation for her, or him. She has been happier in memory care with the structure and activities and he was able to be her husband again, and enjoy their time together. It's a hard decision to make, and you made the right one. I wish my father would have done this sooner.
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It sounds like you did the right thing! Sometimes things reach a point where it is no longer safe to have an aging spouse or parent continue to live at home. It will take time for her to adjust to her new surroundings! She is where she will get the around the clock care she needs. It is heartbreaking sometimes to see how hard the adjustment is, but so many tragedies can happen when elderly, particularly those with memory issues, live either alone or with their spouse, when more supervision is required. Taking full-time care of a spouse with memory issues is a 24x7 job. My husband and I are my Mom's caregivers; she is 93 with dementia, and it is exhausting and mentally draining for both of us! She will get the proper neurology visits as a resident there. 🙏, it will get better with time. Take care of yourself and make sure you are getting the support and help that YOU need, also!!
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Sir, you and your wife took a vow to love and care for eachother until death. Keeping her safe in a Memory Care facility is the most loving, unselfish desicion you could have made.
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If you are approaching 90 yourself it might be a good idea to let others take care of your Mom
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NinjaWarrior3 Sep 14, 2020
His wife.
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This is a major change in your life style - you have been used to having her around and caring for her and suddenly she is not there. But you have acted in loving care and have placed her when she can get excellent care by professionals. Now you can stop being a solitary caregiver and you can go back to being a loving husband and enjoy your time with her and with yourself. The woman you married ..... would applaud your action, thought and care. Be gentle and kind with yourself.
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Dear HooRay,
I am writing from the perspective of the patient. I am 61 yrs old and I was diagnosed 4 years ago with Early onset ALZ at age 57. I've done all the things that need to be done Medical Directive and Medical POA, Financial POA, named my DW in both places with Alternates among our adult children in case she was not able to serve.
I also sat down with everyone and told them, when I get to the point I can not participate in my day to day care, ie taking meds, going to the bathroom, wandering off and getting lost, put me in an institution 100 miles from where we live, so it will be inconvenient for them to visit daily. I want them to get on with life which is for the living. I don't want them to be faced with the frustration of not being able to be caring for me like a baby. Yes, I am now forgetting meds, eating, and I won't cook any longer unless one of my adult children or DW are by my side. I'm not safe doing these things for myself.
Being that you are 90 yrs old, give yourself a break. You've had a long life, and need to do what is best for you and your DW. Prayers will be going up for both of you tonight. I hope this response has been helpful.
I have in the last 6 months stopped driving without being told I had to stop driving. I have made a point of not arguing with my family when they tell me I've forgotten something or done something I shouldn't have done. I continue to do the things I can do to help my DW and family. The list is getting shorter, but they know that in the 27 years we've been dating and married, I've always shared the load of all the house work as well as working 60-70 hrs a week until I was forced to retire. I believe, you've earned a break, and should let those that are trained in caring for those of us that are patients do the heavy lifting and you keep in touch with your DW and enjoy the time you have with her.
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cherokeewaha Sep 13, 2020
JFBCTC. Bless you for your foresight. I've set up instructions similar to yours for myself. I am the caregiver for my husband who fought us for a year before giving in to being tested. He was diagnosed with dementia and onset alzhiemers. He is doing good on the meds buts gets abusive, angry, makes threats if he misses them.
He still swears nothing is wrong with him because he can remember things that happened 40 years ago clearly. I know that is normal. He can't remember to bathe, how to stay in one lane so I do all the driving, can't pay the bills but swears I'm stealing his money to pay them. He sits or lays in bed 99% of the time so, he stumbles a lot and can barely walk due to loss of muscle.
I wish, he was able to do the things you have done. It would be so much simpler for me. Again, bless you.
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You dear, sweet person. You did your absolute best for her for as long as you could. Yes, you did the right thing. Be gentle with yourself. No one outside of this knows what it’s like for those of us on the inside.
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hooray: You absolutely did the right thing! It is IMPERATIVE that you adjust to this new dynamic. And I know that it's not easy, no matter what your age. God bless you.
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You did the right thing, but it will take some time to get used to not having her with you all the time. Those of us who are married for many decades simply are not used to being alone. Even when your wife was declining, she was still company. Of course, you miss her. Turn on the radio and listen to music with a DJ or a news show or a talk show when you are feeling depressed. It helps a lot. And try to keep your hands busy doing something, you are not used to being idle after caring for your wife for so long. Good luck. It isn't hard to change life-long customs, but you can do it.
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You have done the perfect thing for your wife and yourself. I had to place my husband in memorycare in March and because of the covid virus have been unable to see him in except thru the window since then. I was heartbroken at having to do so but he had become impossible for me to handle, both physically and mentally. It is very hard at the beginning but the improvement in him is so good now by getting the care I could no longer give him. At first he was very disoriented and kept looking for me out his window and I was terribly sad and felt I had done the wrong thing. Now, the improvement in him is remarkable as Memory Care knows how to reach their people. We FaceTime - his case manager assists him with the phone to do this - and it took him many times to finally like to do it. He gets therapy, assistance, mental and physical help and seems to be more interested in his surroundings as there are people and things to look at. He was never a joiner and not very sociable with strangers, but he is so much better off now because he no longer just sits in his recliner and sleeps as he did at home. He is 88 and I have come to realize he is getting the best care possible now. Hopefully I will be able to visit him soon in person - this virus has been just horrible for those in facilities and their caregivers. Please give this Memory Care a good chance. You will feel less lonely and depressed when you see the improvement she will make eventually - it takes time - and you now must take care of yourself!
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You have done a fantastic job to keep your wife home with you for so long. It seems her care has progressed to point that she needs 24/7 care which is hard for anybody to do at home. Visit her when you can and know that she will be well cared for. Please use some of this next phase in your lives to make sure that you are as well cared for as she is.
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Based on your narrative you made the best decision for both of you.

She is getting a TEAM of professionals trained to solve what could be your problems. You are not giving up, you are taking a positive step toward helping someone you love. She is in a safe clean controlled environment. Your decision is the only solution.

At this point in your life/age you should focus on your your needs, it's called self compassion. You are not running away from responsibilities you are delegating responsibilities and chores to others.

Be thankful you made this important decision, statistics indicate that taking on this assignment could shorten your life. Given that result your wife would have no support.
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My family just went through the same thing about 3 weeks ago with my mother who has dementia. I'm glad that I did not have to make this decision on my own. At this point, my family members feel more confident about the difficult decision that we had to make. You'll notice that those who think it's their right to criticize typically won't lift a finger to help. You made the best decision for your wife's welfare and don't let anyone guilt you into thinking otherwise. We second guessed our decision too initially but we looked at all the potentially viable alternatives and could not find any. Please give her and yourself time to adjust to the changes and I bet in a few weeks you'll feel more confident about your decision. It will work out for the best.
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All the answers are spot on...we’re either going through the same scenario or are about to. We miss our LO but can no longer keep them safe. You made the right and kindest decision. I experience guilt each time my LO pleads and begs to take him home and I’m unable to do so.
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I believe that that you responded out of love and concern for your own health. I am sure you are frustrated and concerned about your action, but like the others who answered believe you did what was correct. i have not made that decision yet, but need to in the near future. It is tough and you are not alone
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Memory Care sounds like a logical care decision. Your wife may, or may not, suffer from Alzheimer's, though it sounds like a good possibility. In any case, the people who work in memory care are often quite skilled at getting uncooperative patients to willingly take medication or comply with other activities they normally resist. These people have the training, patience and skill to do this, whereas not all medical professional do.
Your wife quite likely needs more medical evaluation for an accurate diagnosis. Not all abnormal mental states are due to Alzheimer's, but the care and observation she receives in memory care should go a long way toward determining the cause of her problems and the treatment needed.
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Seeing what you wrote, I think you did the best, safest deed you could. At age 90, you cannot assume this responsibility with someone who will not cooperate - and she won't - she has dementia. You did the most sensible thing by doing this. Now be at peace and live in peace while you are still here. You need to look out for YOURSELF.
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Hooray you did the right thing!!! Don’t feel guilty!!
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Dear Hooray, please don't beat yourself up. You did not make a mistake, from your comments, you did the right thing. Once they leave the house it is time to take to assisted living or nursing home. My husband had dementia and Alzheimers. For several years , he kept asking me to take him to see his wife and son. We were married then for 58 years, never separated except for 1 yr Vietnam, still married 58 years. When I moved closer to my son to get more help, he asked me repeatedly to take him to see his wife He thought she was still 190 miles away where we once lived. He said he could hitchhike if I couldn't drive him. I told him I can't drive that far, I can't do interstate, and hitchhiking was against the law. He said he would hitchhike, he did it in the Army, and he could do it now! I would take him for a walk up the street and back. A few days later, he said this again, (3 years of it); since he left the house daily, to see his wife, then returned after a block away from the apartment, I told him to wait and I would walk with him. But, I had to go to the bathroom, wait. I thought he did. But, no, I was a bit longer, he left the house, crossed 6 lane boulevard, Sunday afternoon, little to no traffic, thank God. and walked in the opposite direction. When I finally got out the door about 5 minutes after he left, he was pretty far up the road. Got him home; he was tired. Two days later at 1:30 AM I heard the door exit alarm wake me up from a once in a while deep sleep. I rushed to the door, and he had a small grocery bag on his arm with a handkerchief and nothing else. He was going to see his wife again. I caught him in time before he left the apartment, talked him into a snack, and back to bed. The very next day i called the facility I had tentatively put down a deposit, just in case I needed it, the price was a sale price much lower, and for life of patient. So, I told them, admit sooner than I expected. I got the paperwork for admission, informed the long term care insurance, got the medical forms to complete, got his physical, TB test, and he was admitted 10 days later. No more escaping the apartment. I was not sorry, I hated to lose my life partner. He was 81 and I was 79. I had been attending caregiver support group, so I knew what to expect, and I had no regrets placing him in assisted living. You gotta do what you gotta do. For his safety, I clenched my jaw, rubbed my hands, and DID IT. Hard the next morning waking up without him, but he was safe now. At the assisted living, he did not know me--his partner/wife for 58+ years almost 59. Be strong, it is for her own good, you did the right thing. Be strong. If there is a support group, or hospice group that will let you attend their caregiver support meetings, please do, it helps a lot.
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Mojdeh57 Sep 13, 2020
What a wonderful answere. You have given so much of yourself for the man you love and married. Be proud of yourself for being so loyal and faithful. But there is a time and place for everything. You have done a great job!!!🌺
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You have a grieving and acceptance process to go through; a support group will help you through this time, and also help you establish a new routine for your daily life; your quality of life will improve. In the meantime - feel your feelings. They stem from love, and not "bad" feelings. Again, please find a support group - which will likely be virtual right now. You will get through this!
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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