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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Any Solutions

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Old 01-06-2013, 03:20 PM   #1
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Any Solutions

hi everyone.. Like many who have posted here, I am in a tough situation, but not as tough as my mom. My dad had a stroke in the 80's, and though he did have some memory issues after, maintained consistent health despite also having a heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, low kidney function, cholesterol issues, etc. He was on many medications and medically stable when in late 2008 he suddenly began drifting a bit while driving. It eventually got the point where my mom and I took his keys away.

It was also around this time his words became slurred. His speech was one of the first things to change. As time went on, his speech got worse, and he would get confused. One example would be asking my mom if he "could buy a can of pop", or asking to confirm where the bathroom was located, etc. Around this time, he seemed to be losing touch with himself. One instance, he locked my mom and I outside and we tried to instruct him on how to unlock the door, but he couldn't. He came up to me, crying afterwards. It was almost like he knew he couldn't do something, but he didn't know why.. My dad would also see and talk about things that weren't there.

In a matter of about a year, he had declined quite a bit. Two years later, he was falling, unstable, and incapable of going anywhere without help doing everything. My mom began staying home 100% of the time unless someone was present to watch my dad. It didn't take long for his speech to become completely deteriorated - you could decipher words, but they wouldn't make sense put together.

My dad was recently sitting up, talking (though it didn't make sense) and my mom was standing him up, helping him go to the bathroom, etc, but the past week or so he's made a turn for the worse. He now seems to be sleeping all but about one hour during the day. Given he doesn't seem as awake or "with it", standing him up is even more of a challenge, and often doesn't work.

My mom is thinking it's perhaps time to put him into a nursing home, as obviously she's gone to great lengths already to take care of him for this long. We've come up with solutions in nearly everything, but one problem we just can't come up with anything. What can you do for someone who is bedridden about going to the bathroom (speaking of number 2)? Is there anything a single person can do besides either trying to lift him onto a portable toilet or clean up a mess? It seems we've found solutions for about everything in the past, and I didn't want to overlook something if there was indeed something out there? What are options for caretakers?

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:39 AM   #2
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Re: Any Solutions

Not, kudo's to your Mom, and to you, for what you have done for your Dad so far. It is a very difficult job to take care of a loved one with dementia at home. I am sure you Mom is exhausted!

Incontinence is one of the main reasons a family will move a loved one to a care facility. Lifting him onto a toilet only works if you have the timing just right. Most of the time the only option is cleaning him up after the fact. If that is not something your Mom is willing to do then there are two options. He can go to a care facility or she can enlist the services of a care giver for part or all of the day. The in home care would allow Dad to stay at home but Mom to get the assistance she needs. So it is a decision based on, do you want Dad to stay at home or go to a facility at this point?

Perhaps you could talk to her doctor and ask him for an agency reference. It is worth giving it a try if you want to keep Dad at home. The other option, especially since he is sleeping so much and appears to be at the end of his journey, is to call in Hospice. They have care managers as part of their services and can help you with such decision.

Again, I admire you and your Mom for being able to keep Dad at home so far.. and wish you the best in the future. Welcome to the board and hope to hear from you again soon

Love, deb

Old 01-07-2013, 08:40 AM   #3
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Re: Any Solutions

It depends on how much your Dad weighs. The NH where my late FIL was told us that they do have the tools to move/lift the residents around for this kind of thing but my late FIL didn't reach that point. Often the patient wears adult diapers and the caregivers need to put insulation on the bed to prevent leaking. The only way out is to deal with it in the bed. Moving around is too much work for family. Check out the NH to see if they have better alternative. Or you can ask for home care agency to provide any solutions.

I understand you are trying to keep Dad home. It is a good try. Usually a good NH has more tools to deal with this kind of thing.


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