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Old 03-03-2007, 06:10 AM   #1
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making the right decision

Hi,
I haven't been here for a long time, mostly because life is trying to run me over, I think. My Dad has AD. He's 84 & this has been going on for about 6years. I'm going to try to make this as short as possible, just giving facts, then asking a question (s).
2001, noticed repeating & forgetting things. He started drinking wine in excess, forgetting that he had any at all. His mood was getting worse, constant bickering w/my Mom. Let me say that he was always VERY strongheaded & rude to my Mom....very demanding. Eventually, in '03, he was having blackouts from drinking. I was in constant touch w/elder services. He tried to shove my Mom & then tried to throw something at me, telling me to get out of his house. Elder services did a chapter 8 (?)..when they (ambulance & police) take by force, if neccesary. My Mom was with me so we don't know how it went, but I heard he went willingly. He was addmitted to a phsychiatric hospital & stayed 19 days. He camw home & was still drinking wine...my Mom said she's give him a glass a day (like that would really happen). i ended up watering it down to 1/2 & 1/2. He was starting to sleep alot more, forgetting more. The meds he's on are Aricept, Lexapro & Risperadal. He was on Namenda, but the dr. took that away thinking it was making him sleep too much...18 hrs. a day. He is a lamb now. Very calm, completely opposite of how he was. 1 1/2 yrs. ago, he had fallen at home & couldn't get up. My DH & I went over & took him to the er. He had a UTI & stayed for 4 days. He came home & NEVER mentioned the wine again! He knows us, but doesn't remember the year or season.
The present: He & Mom were walking outside the beginning of Jan. He told her he felt weak & when they went to go up the stairs to the porch, they live in a townhouse, he started to fall & went head first into the house. I brought him to the er & he had a subdural hematoma. He also had a UTI. I really think he holds his urine & that causes the UTI's, which makes one confused & weak. Cat Scans are being done periodically to see if the blood is dissintergrating. He was not walking well at all after this fall. Needed help getting up & very wobbly on his feet. There are too many things that went on to go into, but from the hospital, he went to a rehab. His dr. advised that he be placed in a nh, because my Mom, 87, has a heart condition & it would be too much for her to care for him. We didn't like that, but I told my Mom that the only way I would allow him to be placed was if it was a safety issue for the both of them. He went to the nh Feb. 3, thinks he's in a hospital. He has been having PT every day & he is walking without a walker & doesn't need a wheelchair. Honestly..he looks like a visitor at the nh. He's the only one there who doesn't need assistance. They walk beside him.
Now...my Mom wants him out of there. She called the social serices director & had her call me to set up a meeting. By the way, I'm any only child I told my Mom that the only way I would agree for him to leave, is if they go into assisted living & he go to day care. The nh where he is also has Elderly linving & assisted living (separate buildings, but all in the same complex). That's assuming that the nh wouls agree that he could go. He's is not incontinent, eats by himself, dresses & can wash up , brush his teeth, etc. Oh...he also just went to the urologist & his psa levels are up. had prostate cancer 8 years ago & chose radiation. We see him again in 6 weeks for another psa test. He said UTI's can make the levels go up, but he's not sure if the cancer is coming back. Maybe that's why he feels like he doesn't have to pee, or maybe it's the AD?? He had bladder scans to make sure his bladder isn't full. So far, so good. He's been going & hasn't had to have a foley inserted to release the urine.
So..my question is...what do you think I should do? Have him stay at the nh opt for the assisted living. My Mom still does everything, just gets tired. I do all the laundry for them. I work, but DH works 2nd shift & takes her around noon, or my DH does, & I go after work to see Dad & then take Mom home.
Thanks for listening,
Clara

 
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Old 03-03-2007, 07:35 AM   #2
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Re: making the right decision

When I was reading your post I was thinking the wisest thing would be to place your parents in an assisted living facility, but, then, I thought about my own parents.

My father is 94, still active, but showing some early signs of dementia. My mother is 85, but not a particularly frail 85. My father went into the hospital last year after he wrecked his four-wheeler and cracked a few ribs. It really upset my mother to have him in the hospital. She wanted him home ASAP even though she was furious that he had been out on the four-wheeler. One of my brothers lives with them now and a decision has been made that he not be left alone.

I think if your mother, with your help, thinks she can handle your father I would be reluctant to uproot her as well as him considering their ages. A decision to place them later can be made if his being at home is too large a burden. Just my humble opinion.

Jane

 
Old 03-03-2007, 08:28 AM   #3
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Re: making the right decision

Dear Clara,

Since you asked for our opinions, here is mine: taking care of an AD patient around the clock is bad for your health. By the time they reach stage 5 or 6 they don't seem to care where they live. Often they say "I want to go home" when they ARE at home! "Home' may be their childhood home with their parents. By stage 7 they do not remember that they ever lived anywhere else or with whom.

My feeling is, your Mom thinks that she OUGHT to have him at home because at her age, that was what she was taught one had to do. I know I felt guilty enough as a 66 year old when I left my Mom in other people's care . We were always taught (as girls, mainly) that we are responsible for everything and need to do anything.

Let me just give you a brief summary of what happened to my own health during the 5 years I was Mom's caregiver: high blood pressure, acid reflux, insomnia, depression, anxiety attacks. Does your elderly Mom need to go through all that? And all the time I had a brother who would pick up Mom for a weekend or even a few days if I felt I couldn't stand it any longer.

The right thing would be for him to be in a NH and Mom maybe nearby in an assisted living apartment. I don't think she ought to have the responsibility of being his caregiver. If this point of view comes from a nurse or a doctor, she may accept it better than from you.

My ex had prostate cancer, an operation, hormone treatments, and survived; it is now over 9 years since the illness. He never had a UTI before or afterwards. As far as forgetting to pee, my Mom only forgot WHERE to pee ... and refused to wear Depends no matter what I said or did - but once at the NH she accepted the authority of the nurse in charge and allowed them to put them on her.

Good luck with the decision you have to make soon!

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 03-03-2007 at 08:29 AM.

 
Old 03-03-2007, 01:44 PM   #4
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Re: making the right decision

I agree with Martha. My Mom took care of my Dad for 6 long, hard years after his stroke. He got UTI's all the time and at times could barely walk. She helped shower him every day and did everything else. It almost wrecked her. Towards the end she was ready to jump off a bridge. Then he fell and couldn't walk at all. So we placed him in a VA nursing home. After that my Mom was able to rest and get some peace and quiet. He almost drove her crazy. It's a tough decision, and we didn't want to place Dad, but we had to. I know your Mom thinks she should do everything for him, and right now he is looking good as far as being independent goes, but as time goes along he will only get worse. It's just too much to ask of your Mom, I think. So I vote for the status quo, or getting them both moved to assisted living with family helping out. I would NOT have them both together in a house. It's just too much work! Good Luck - C

 
Old 03-03-2007, 05:02 PM   #5
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Re: making the right decision

thanks for your quick replies. I'll have to let you all know Monday, after the meeting, what has been decided. My Mom keeps saying she hopes they give her good news. Like I said before, asisted living for the both of them together would be the only answer.
Thanks again for your interest. It helps, really.
Clara

 
Old 03-04-2007, 07:06 AM   #6
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Re: making the right decision

Your dad may seem better because he's in a controlled environment. Once he gets home it may be a different story. My MIL was wild and out of control in her assisted living facility. Now, in a Alz assisited living, she seems "normal" compared to the others. She can converse and toilet and dress herself with a little help. But she still has dementia and would be out of control again without this structure. This may be why your dad seems "better".

Last edited by Turquoise; 03-04-2007 at 07:07 AM.

 
Old 03-05-2007, 07:42 PM   #7
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Re: making the right decision

Hi all,
We had the meeting today & the social worker, nurse, both physical & ocupational therapists agreed that Dad is ok to go home. That won't be for about 1 month, so that he can continue to have therapy for stairs. They said the assisted living has about a 1 yr. waiting list. I told them that I want my Dad in day care at least 3 times a week. He'll have elder services coming in to help him get ready to go in the morning. Both therapists said they were very surprised at his progress. He walks alone & that a walker is actually a "hinderance" to him. He washes & dresses himself. I only hope that this will be the right decision. I do think that him going to day care will help him alot. Dad had an appointment with the nuerosurgeon after the meeting & the hematoma is dissolving & on it's way out. When I took him out of the nh, I took him with a wheelchair to my car. He wanted to walk when we got to the appointment. He went right up the stairs. He always did walk fast & still wants to. Of course, he did think the appointment was for me! When I tell him it's because of the fall he had, he always says "For that little bump?! This is making history!!" The nurse also said his psa levels have come down to 5 point something....down from 9.8 in January. My Mom said she does know that if he starts to fail & she can't handle it, she's ok with him going back. I guess we can only hope & pray that this works out. Right now, my Mom has a really bad cold & cough. I'm taking her to the dr. tomorrow. They wanted to check her out before they give her any meds. She went this morning to the meeting, but my DH brought her home right after because she didn't feel good. She stayed home yesterday, too. I got her one of those "life line" (?) buttons she keeps around her neck to use in case she falls & can't get up. I feel better about it with her being alone & when my Dad gets home, it'll be good for him, too. I've asked her to stay here, but she'd rather be at her own house. I have her come here on weekends. Last weekend she was here & I had our 2 grandaughter's stay over too. It was fun for her, I think. Took her mind of my Dad for a little while.
I'll let you know what's going on. It really helps to know that alot of people are going through the same stuff you are going through & understand the wide range of emotions that are going on.
On a lighter note...a little joke that you may have heard before, but it cracks me up all the time.
Rose & Nellie were going out for a Sunday ride. As they are approaching an intersection, Rose drives right through without looking to see if there was any traffic on either side. Nellie thinks "Gee, lucky there weren't any cars coming." Now they are approaching another intersection with traffic lights. Nellie notices that Rose doesn't even look up to see the yellow light. She doesn't say anything to Rose. Next intersection, there's a red light & Rose goes right through it! Nellie can't keep quiet any longer & says, "Rose, you must pay more attention! You went right through the first intersection, didn't notice the yellow light in the next one & you just drove through a red light in the third!" Rose looks bewildered & says to Nellie...."Oh my! [U]I'm[U] driving???!!" Somedays I do feel like Rose!!!
Take care,
Clara

 
Old 03-06-2007, 04:01 AM   #8
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Re: making the right decision

That reminds me of the three elderly sisters. The 96 year old goes up to run a bath. When she has one foot in the tub she calls down, "Am I getting in the tub or out?" The 94 year old comes up to help her. When she gets halfway up the stairs she yells "Am I going up or going down?" The 92 year old is sitting at the kitchen table. She says, "I am so glad I am not as confused as my sisters, knock on wood!" Then she yells "I'll be right up, but first I have to see who is knocking at the door."

It helps to laugh at it!

Love, and good luck with your Dad!

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 03-06-2007 at 08:21 AM.

 
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