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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:54 AM   #1
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Unhappy New here and need advice and hugs *s*

Phew! How nice to find this board,

My father has alz or dementia, I don't know which. My parents are 90 and 91 and have been married 70 years. They have been in independant living for the past 5 years.

My father started slipping in memory about 3 years ago. Last month he had quit eating and was sleeping all day. My mother was his caregiver basically within the independant living.

My Dad had been put on hospice and as my sister went to check on them ( all 3 daughters live far away) he had an explosive tantrum and hit my sister with his cane. Later that evening he wandered out of the building and got lost in the rain. He was sent to a geriatric pysch ward and held involuntarily for 8 days. I had to become his guardian because the court ( a complaint was filed about his hitting my sister ) said my mother was too old to make his decisions.

He is being moved to an Alz facility tomorrow. My mother will only be able to travel to see him once a week. What should I do? I have thought of moving her to the same city as he is going to be so she can save some money and perhaps see him 2 times a week, and I have thought of trying to find a place where they could be on the same grounds but in different buildings...I don't knwo. This is a difficult time.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. This has been a rough week, and I haven't really had a chance to slow down and grieve.

 
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:50 AM   #2
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Re: New here and need advice and hugs *s*

you asked for suggestions or opinions. I'm not bashful to give you one.

Your father is going to slip real fast. Your mother should have a better quality of life. You should move your mother closer to where "the girls' are and let her enjoy whatever time she has left, free of the stress of yoru father.

Emotionally your father left awhile ago. The person who now inhabits his body is not your father. Making him comfortable in a locked ward will take all your energy.

Do not make this your mother's issues. Even seeing him once a week may be more than she'll be able to handle. She needs peace at this time in her life or with his illness you will see him fade real fast.

Plus, don't be surprised if you start to notice things with your mother as well. Sometimes because they are so caught up in their caregiving they are able to 'bury' or 'hide' their own shortcomings.

CaringSister54

 
Old 01-17-2010, 11:03 AM   #3
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Re: New here and need advice and hugs *s*

Wow Kat... you do have a lot to consider and a lot going on. It is amazing how rapidly things can change after staying the same for so long.

First Alz is nothing more than one of the many forms of dementia. So technically he has both. As is mom's diagnosis, she has sever dementia consistent with ALZ. Dad has Vascular Dementia which is just another type of Dementia. The words are used to interchangeably it's sometimes difficult to straighten them out.

Mom and Dad were moved from home to assisted living when Mom was Diagnosed. She had been Dad's caregiver for years. We have had the same violent outburst from both and both have wandered. It was this that initiated us moving them both to a locked unit. Mom did end up in Geriatric Behavioral med for a while but with the proper medication she was able to go back to the same locked unit Dad was. Later we had to separate them for a period of a few months but they are now back together in the locked unit. It is always something that precipitates the need for change

I am a little surprised that your Dad was sent to the geriatric psych unit involuntarily when Hospice was involved!? I can see the need for a locked facility if he is wandering. But I also know that all of this can be control with medication.

Also Mom was involuntarily committed (a cluster bumble of craziness that was the fault of the hospital) but after her 5 day stay she was went back to the facility without further court proceedings. I guess each state is different.

I do understand the impossible situation of having parents in two different facilities. It will run you to death and cause stress on your parents if they are aware of the separation and not in agreement with it. In my case I tried to move heaven and earth to get them back together. That was Mom's wish. If it had not been for Mom's deterioration at the same time as Dad they would have been in the same facility in separate units. It just so happened that they both failed simultaneously so we were able to put them both in a locked unit.

I also understand your last statement. You get so wrapped up in doing what is necessary you don't take time for yourself to feel the things you need to feel and work through. That will happen when it is over. Embrace it and do what you need to do for yourself at that time.

Take your cue from you Mom. She is the one that has had the burden of care giving (even in the AL facility) and it should be her call where she goes now. She may be ready for a separation to recover her own emotional well being or she may be set on staying beside her hubby and continuing on the path that has been thrust upon her. As long as she can make rational decisions let her decide.

I truly hate that you needed to find us and I am so sorry for all that you are going through. I remember it so well and do understand. Just know that we are here, welcome you to our little corner of the dementia land, and hope you stay for a while. Grab a towel. You will need it. You can cry into it, us it to tie up your worries, pop those that annoy you, wrap it around yourself for comfort, but most of all know we have the other end

Love, deb

 
Old 01-17-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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Re: New here and need advice and hugs *s*

(((((((((HUG for Katmandu)))))))))

I'm sure the grief is hard. My suggestion is not to make any decisions right away. Give the whole situation time to settle into your mind.

Your Mom at 91 is a little too old to move, in my opinion. And if your Dad is that difficult, it may in fact be better for her to visit him once a week. Once a week or twice, the difference is not so great that you want to move her out of her familiar surroundings.

However it may not be good to leave her entirely alone. Would it be posible to get a home health aide to help her out? My mother had one of those to look after her while I was at work, after she became too confused to stay alone. It was expensive but not nearly as much as an assisted living apartment, which is another good suggestion for your Mom if the other one is not workable.

My father in law lived all by himself until he died at age 91. But he had Meals on Wheels, one grandson looked in on him every day, since he went to school in the town where FIL lived, his two daughters in law who lived nearby came to see him often, and they paid a neighbor to make sure he ate supper and went to bed at night, she locked the door when she left. HIs wife had died years before him, and he absolutely did not want to leave his home.

I have also heard of Nursing Homes where couples are able to reside in the same room, however if he is in an Alzheimer Unit and not easy to get along with, that may not be a good idea.

I am sure you will find the right answer. Just don't rush, take it a day at a time, and remember that all of us here have done the same thing or similar, or are in the middle of it right now.

Love,

Martha

 
Old 01-18-2010, 06:51 AM   #5
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Re: New here and need advice and hugs *s*

(((((((((HUG for Katmandu)))))))))

I agree with Deb follow your moms cues and don't make any fast decisions. Do a lot of reading here that will also help you see what the others are going through or have been through. There's no one set right way everyone has to find their own way. Have faith in yourself and your sisters. My thoughts will be with you.

 
Old 01-22-2010, 09:22 PM   #6
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Re: New here and need advice and hugs *s*

If your Mom likes it where she is ,leave her there.It won't make any difference to your Dad if he sees her once a week or twice a week.Make your mother your main concern now.In fact,he may get real bad when she visits.Been there.

 
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