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Old 08-29-2014, 08:31 PM
 
867 posts, read 1,497,327 times
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My father has Alzheimers and we recently put him in a nursing home - memory unit. It's a secure floor.

He has had Alzheimers for about 8 yrs. In the past year, he start to wet himself, poop on the floor and in the bed, sleep all day or stay up all day, sleep in his rocking chair. The worst symptom was hallucinating. The hallucinations were scary because he would talk to people and actually look like he was having a conversation with them.

After one really bad day, my Mom knew she had to do something, so we put him in a nursing home.

He was doing ok the first day, then he tried to leave a few times. He keeps asking for my mom.

We were told to stay away for 1 or 2 weeks before visiting.

I am feeling very guilty about all this because I was one of the people pushing my Mom into sending him into a nursing home. I just felt that she couldn't take care of him anymore.

First, does anyone know if the 1 to 2 weeks before visiting seems right? I feel weird about not seeing him.

Second, the guilt is terrible. It's literally breaking my heart.

I love him so much and miss him so much.

He's been gone for 3 days and I am really struggling.

Anyone else gone through this?
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Old 08-30-2014, 03:02 AM
 
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The 1-2 weeks is to let him AND YOU get a break from having constant emotional contacts and let a little time help settle the move. It is hard but is very temporary.

It would be hard for anyone, unless they dont care, to choose between a mom and dad. This choice saves your mom and helps your Dad. If you thought she could not care for him, is the alternative you caring for him?

I think you all are going thru a grieving process and grieving that your Dad is leaving you even if just mentally. AD is a terrible disease.
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Old 08-30-2014, 05:11 AM
 
867 posts, read 1,497,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
The 1-2 weeks is to let him AND YOU get a break from having constant emotional contacts and let a little time help settle the move. It is hard but is very temporary.

It would be hard for anyone, unless they dont care, to choose between a mom and dad. This choice saves your mom and helps your Dad. If you thought she could not care for him, is the alternative you caring for him?

I think you all are going thru a grieving process and grieving that your Dad is leaving you even if just mentally. AD is a terrible disease.
sweetana3, thank you, this all feels so weird and like we have "put Dad away". I guess that I am so used to seeing him daily and just dealing with the Alzheimers that now that I don't have to, it's a loss.

I never expected this feeling of loss and emptyness. I never expected this feeling of regret. The nursing home is actually a very nice place and the staff seems to really care about the patients but I still feel so bad.

I love him and miss him so much.
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:24 AM
 
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Can you call the mc unit and talk to one of the nurses or caregivers. They should be able to reassure you that all is well and how he is adapting, etc. When my in-laws went into AL she was fine with it, but he hated it for about 2 months. But he adjusted and ended up loving it. Don't let the guilt make you feel as you are not doing what is in his best interest.
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:40 AM
 
867 posts, read 1,497,327 times
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Originally Posted by PeachyMJ View Post
Can you call the mc unit and talk to one of the nurses or caregivers. They should be able to reassure you that all is well and how he is adapting, etc. When my in-laws went into AL she was fine with it, but he hated it for about 2 months. But he adjusted and ended up loving it. Don't let the guilt make you feel as you are not doing what is in his best interest.
Yes, we can call the nursing home anytime we want. I've been calling everyday, and it's now the 4th day. They say he asks for his wife and he has tried to leave a couple of times, keeps to himself. But he seems to be eating and sleeping. The staff is supposed to try to engage him and help him get used to being there.

The guilt is enormous and I was prepared for this. They said I can't see him before Tuesday because it will set him back.

Thanks Peachy.
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,952 posts, read 21,726,691 times
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We placed my mother in a memory care facility last year in October. 8 months later she died of a stroke, but that actually was a blessing for her and you can't ever predict what will happen. I did see her quite a bit initially and each time she thought I was there to claim her. But I simply couldn't leave her stranded. I don't think it really made a difference if I visited her or not. It took her about 4 months to stop asking to go home. I always felt awful and guilty about having her at the place but there really is no perfect answer for this condition. She was safe, well cared for and actually had some enjoyment there at times. Dementia is just a "long goodbye" and sad. You will be sad for a very long time. The facility offered a room to the Alzheimer's foundation for their monthly caregiver support group. Many daughters attended, and I went to some meetings. It was very helpful just to share.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:37 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,594 posts, read 35,234,019 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckygirl15 View Post
sweetana3, thank you, this all feels so weird and like we have "put Dad away". I guess that I am so used to seeing him daily and just dealing with the Alzheimers that now that I don't have to, it's a loss.

I never expected this feeling of loss and emptyness. I never expected this feeling of regret. The nursing home is actually a very nice place and the staff seems to really care about the patients but I still feel so bad.

I love him and miss him so much.
You haven't "put him away." You've put in place where he'll be safe and cared for and where you can visit him after the "time out" has ended and he's become settled-in.

Remember, persons with Alzheimer's usually begin to wander and proper facilities permit that in an enclosed area. If they wander from home they often become disoriented, can't find their way back, are subject to injury or being taken advantage of so by putting him in a memory unit you've done him a great kindness.

My former wife began showing signs of dementia/Alzheimers in her early 40s not long after our divorce (she left me) and while I'm not personally involved with her any longer I know what a toll it has taken on some of our children. My wife and I have contributed to her care from time-to-time to ease the burden on the children but it's certainly not easy on them. She, too, is in a memory unit which is where she'll remain.

Having regrets is very natural. However, please remember that guilt is a gift you can only give yourself. I advise against it. Best of luck to all of you!
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:21 AM
 
Location: USA
7,776 posts, read 11,705,239 times
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By staying away, it helps him become accustomed to being where he is. He won't be trying to leave. It's unfortunate that he will forget who you are, but it will help him be content not to be with you
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:12 AM
 
48,261 posts, read 21,929,027 times
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No visits the first two weeks is fairly common. Not all go along with this, but it gives caregivers a well-earned break if they do.

I'm not sure it does anything for the person in the memory care unit. Usually, they are so disoriented anyway whether you stay away two days or two weeks.

We continued to visit. It was heart wrenching to leave. But we just could not leave her there so lost and all alone.

This is not easy.
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY (Crown Heights/Weeksville)
993 posts, read 1,277,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubi3 View Post
It's unfortunate that he will forget who you are, but it will help him be content not to be with you
Oh my goodness. This is NOT true of every Alzheimer patient, athough it may have been so with some you know. Let's not make it worse for this OP.

My Dad could recognize his nearest-and-dearest for years, until a week before he died. He knew his wife and adult children; for grandchildren nodded when we introduced them according to which of his children they came from. Also we put family pictures in the room with name-labels so the nursing staff could ask and talk about family members by name, just making conversation.

Every case is different. After he was in a home, my Mom's health improved. Without all the bone-crushing loving care she gave him at home, she rested up. She'd visit all day. When it was time to change his clothing or undergarments, she'd back off and let them do it. They'd watch TV and eat meals together. It was like dating again.

On intake, the dementia facility told our family to most definitely "allow a month or more for adjustment." And now that I think back, they also disallowed visiting or phoning in the first week. They said it sets patients back in their overall adjustment, causing them to feel confused, upset, depressed. What's hard here is to think of everything for what's best for your Dad, but I'm sure you are grieving the change yourself right now.

Last edited by BrightRabbit; 08-30-2014 at 12:26 PM..
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