I currently live at home with my dad, he is 56 and I am 23. My dad has had Alzheimerís for over a year now and from looking at a post on this forum I believe he is in stage 5. He seems to have declined faster than I had hoped in the past year but we lost my mother early 2011, which will not have helped. He receives care while I go to work to make his meals for him and give his tablets but nothing more.
I work part time and I spend as much time as I can at home but have relatives who visit too (my dads brother and sister who live close by). I have recently been offered a job, which involves moving to another country for up to 6 months. My family told me to go and my dad did too but Iím not sure how well he understands the situation.
Iím unsure what to do, If I did go I would be able to get more care at hope for my Dad but I worry that with me being absent for up to 6 months will make his Alzheimerís worse. I wondered if anyone is able to help me with my decision?
I am so sorry that your Dad has Alzheimer's. This must be early onset.
You are a good child that helps your Dad. At stage 5, he can still say something reasonable and encouraging.
About this country for up to 6 months: will you come back after 6 months? For a temp. stay, it is Ok as long as you can find someone to help him. Well he will get worse slowly but it has nothing to do with you being away. At least not so fast. Don't be surprised, however, if he changes after you come back. Usually the person gets worse every 6 months or once a year. My FIL with regular onset AD gets worse every 6 months or once a year. Slowly but he got worse.
The other thing is if it is possible that you will stay in that country permanently?
My experience tells me that if you and your Dad are in 2 different countries in the long run, it won't help you as a caregiver. It will create a distance for insurance, caregiving and etc. No way for a person with AD to move around so you need to see him often.
But this is your career so you have to decide for yourself if this will help you. You cannot wait on your Dad and it would be like from 5 to 10 years down the road. Just don't leave the country permanently.
Marra, you are between a rock and a hard spot huh? But you do have options. Losing his wife would definitely cause stress and confusion that would cause the disease to be more symptomatic. Major changes do that. He may take a downward turn if you leave because you are a constant in his life right now. Those with Alzheimer's do like the same routine day in and day out. But that should not be the only deciding factor in your decision. Your Dad is not going to get better if you stay. He is going to get worse regardless. This is the nature of the disease.
If you truly want to take advantage of this opportunity, as I said before, you have options. Will the brother or sister take over Dad's care? Will they be responsible for seeing that he gets adequate care in the home 24/7? Is it possible for him to move in with one of them while you are gone? Is it possible for him to move into an assisted living or memory unit while you are away? No, you will not be able to handle the day to day care even with a care giver from that distance but either of these other options would work.
Know that you do not have to stay and care for your Dad yourself. You are young with a life before you and many opportunities. You do need to think about your own life. So please count yourself as important in this decision.
Know that when you return in 6 months Dad will be worse. But staying will not stop there. See if you can find adequate care for Dad while you are gone and then make your decision
It is a personal decision. I can tell you that temp. move to the country is fine.
If you are very close to your Dad and want to see to the caregiving job personally later on when your Dad gets sicker, you may want to come back to be near him later on.
A job is hard to come. If you have to be out of country for a job, then you must.
Do consider that moving to another country would create a distance between you and your Dad. Even if you can move your dad, usually he cannot be moved out of the country due to immigration reason.
Temp. move is fine. If you are very close to your Dad, for sure the temp. move may disturb him in his daily routine but it depends on how close. If he is still missing your Mom, then he is still grieving and your absence may not be very crucial but for sure he will miss you. Anything traumatic or emotional could make his dementia worse.
Just keep in mind if you are very close to him. But you should not live only for him - you need to consider your own career as well.
wow that is a hard one to deal with. if you really want the job, then i say go for it. of course making sure your dad will be well taken care of. you are young and need to think of yourself, also. keep posting
you are very young to have such responsibilities on your shoulders, a lot of us on this board have had our lifes stop while we look after our mothers, fathers, aunts and so on. Please keep your options open, will dad agree to moving into assisted home or a care home, how about moving in with his brother or sister, Is ther someone who would consider moving in with him... He may stay at that level for a long time and that would be great for you it is when they slip down that slippery hill that means more care. no one can predict just how fast or slow this can affect anyone person, the answer is to be ready to handle the next stage when it comes... 6 months is not that long, go and enjoy your new job and keep incontact with your dad, you will be able to tell by talking to him and his care giver what you need to do...good luck!!
Tough decision. I am so sorry your dad has this and so young.
Can you find a suitable residence for him while you are gone. One where he will have 24 hours care and others like him to interact with. A place with a program of music and entertainment and a schedule he can get used to..
Will you be able to come home for visits.
He won't be the same man you come home to in 6 months but at the same time he won't be the same man if you stay.
We can't give up our lives completely. We must find a happy medium. One that is best for all involved.