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Old 05-07-2010, 10:18 AM   #1
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Unhappy Dad with Alz denies mom is dying, but may see it happen soon.

This is my first post. Dad is late middle or early late stage Alz. Mom is very late stage ovarian cancer with not much time left. Both live in their home together with live-in HHAs. Yesterday Mom withdrew from Chemo at docs recommendation due to ineffectiveness. So Mom is starting in-home hospice care. Dad tells us that he is in regular contact with Mom's docs, who say there is absolutely nothing wrong with her and that she needs to get out of bed. Dad regularly urges Mom to get out of bed. Mom is very protective of Dad's dignity, which often looks a lot like denial. Dad has a room waiting for him at a very good memory care facility nearby, but not while Mom has anything to say about it. I'm wondering what Dad will do when Mom passes away and the police come, as is the practice here, and then the ambulance comes, then all sorts of somber faced strangers mill about, then Mom is taken from the house, covered, while Dad stands by watching? The director of his future NH suggests that when Mom goes, Dad be taken to NH immediately ( preparations having been made) before he is aware of her passing and before anyone else arrives. Can we whisk him off to a NH, never to see his home again, meanwhile Mom lies dead in their bed? Lie to get him to the NH?..."mom's coming to meet you her". Lie to keep him calm?..."mom will be here tomorrow". Never tell him that his wife of 54 years is gone forever?

 
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:33 AM   #2
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Re: Dad with Alz denies mom is dying, but may see it happen soon.

to be short and brief the answer to both of your questions is yes

 
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:53 PM   #3
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Re: Dad with Alz denies mom is dying, but may see it happen soon.

Perhaps when her passing is immenent, you could take him to the NH and tell him that she will be joining him soon...you just want to move him first since he can move around so much better. And then just continue to tell him that they'll be together soon.

 
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:40 PM   #4
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Re: Dad with Alz denies mom is dying, but may see it happen soon.

In a way I have just been through this sleepless except both of my parents were living in a semi private room in a locked Alz unit. Dad's vascular dementia and coronary disease was much more advanced than Mom's Alz. Mom was protective of Dad and Dad was protective of Mom. They had an almost 60 year love affair.

Mom spent a lot of time the last 6 months (and years before that) grumbling because Dad slept so much. He needed to get up. Use it or lose it!! She was fine and he was fine and if he would just do different then it would all be ok. At one point we actually had to separate them because she annoyed him with her antics when all he needed and wanted to do was sleep and try to eat. Later we did put them back together.

Dad was also with Hospice the last couple of months. Mom was not sure who those people were but she liked the nurse. The last week, Mom was in the room with Dad. We did move in a hospital bed for him and single bed for her. The caregivers had to be ever vigilant to make sure she didn't try to get him up. He died March 5.

They called me that morning, but before I got there they had gotten her up and dressed. They didn't do anything about Dad except call me and Hospice. Mom was taken out of the room before they cleaned Dad up. She just thought he was sleeping. From that point their door was locked. The Hospice nurse was able to call the time of death and then called the funeral home. There were no police or ambulances. When we took Dad out of the facility we just made sure Mom was not where she would see. My sister and I replaced the hospital and single bed with their double bed and Mom was never told. She did not go to the services.

I will say it was the best thing we have done. Mom has adjusted amazingly well. A few times she has ask if Dad was with me, if he was due back soon, or did I know where he was. But a short answer is more than enough because she usually wanders away before I can answer. She had two moments when I think she realized he was not there. Once was because of a shadow box with Dad's picture. The other was also because of a picture. In a good moment it triggered a little bit of awareness but that also passed quickly.

I knew that Mom would not remember. Why put her through the torment of watching them take Dad out of the building or letting her know he had passed? It would be traumatic in the moment then forgotten.

Every change causes it's own set of problems. Moving Dad and losing his wife are both traumatic changes. It is a toss up. But I would definitely have Dad somewhere else when all the official efforts are going on at her death. He will NOT understand. He will be upset. He will not remember. You can take him to the facility, tell him that he needs to stay there for a medical reason, and then wait out the adjustment to his new situation.

After what I have been through this spring... I totally agree with the advice you were given. It may sound heartless or cruel... but we have to remember that they don't think like we do. It is the kind and gentle thing to do for your Dad.

Welcome to the boards sleepless I truly hate you needed to find us and you are in this situation.. but I am glad you are here!

Love, Deb

 
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