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SUEJENN's Photo SUEJENN Posts: 862
6/6/12 10:36 P

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I thank you all for taking the time and heart to tell me your stories. Alzheimer's is definitely a horrendous disease. Dad had his evaluation last Friday to see if he qualified for a long term care facility. She said that he would have qualified months ago. I believe that we lose perspective when we are caring for our loved one every day. We are intimately involved in every little event whether it be meds, laundry, meals or companionship activities. It is difficult to see the big picture. Someone who hasn't seen Dad for a while can see the differences more readily than I can. The CCAC representative asked me how many hours I spent with Dad on a weekend. She raised her eyebrows when I said about 6 hours a day. My brother and I signed the application and they take it from there getting the doctor's signature etc. I cried. We had the option of putting up to five homes on the list and we chose two. They are homes that cater to making the surroundings more accommodating to dementia patients so that they don't get too anxious. At the end of one of the hallways the doors were painted to look like book shelves with books on them. Beside the door there was a table with books and a couple of chairs. I thought that that was very creative. Both of the places we chose are about 30 minutes away from where I live. The one in town just three minutes away- well, I wouldn't put my puppy there! Once the application process is done then Dad goes on to a waiting list. Both of the homes we chose have a waiting list of 6-12 months. Unless there is a change in Dad's condition I am glad he can spend the summer at home and it gives me time to adjust to the fact that he would be going into a home.
A sad, sad disease.

suejenn
Ontario Canada


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JRAUTIO's Photo JRAUTIO Posts: 1,704
5/18/12 4:03 P

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That's kind of what we've done with my mom's condo. We weren't in a rush to do anything with it. We've been slowly clearing it out over the last few months (we just let it sit for 6 months, I think). One of the grandsons is getting married in the fall, and we think it'll work to rent it out to him and his wife. Mom was very proactive and actually transferred ownership to a trust in us 3 kids' names, so I think we'll be in ok shape there.

~~Julie~~


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CRAZYGYMGIRL's Photo CRAZYGYMGIRL SparkPoints: (0)
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5/17/12 4:59 P

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My dad passed away 5 years ago... brain tumour not dementia. We had to place him on emergency basis into a home and it was horrible. After a few months we go him into a really nice one and mom spent 5 days/week with him and on weekends my sister and I were there. We had him nicely set up in his room with TV, phone, fridge, photos, etc. We considered it his appartment and we stocked the fridge so he always had treats, drinks and things to offer friends, guests or the staff. Mom liked that place. But of course, now that it looks like she'll have to go there, it's a bit different, but still it's the one she wants.

That's why we are applying now. My sister and I are prepared to keep the house for a few months when she does go so that she knows it's still there and can go home on weekends. If we can get a nice place for her, we'll cover the expense as best we can so long as she's happy and then when she starts to think of that as home, we'll consider what to do with the house.

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of." Benjamin Franklin


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JRAUTIO's Photo JRAUTIO Posts: 1,704
5/17/12 9:05 A

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It's true -- there isn't always a decline. My aunt (mom's sister) actually IMPROVED when they moved her to assisted living because she wasn't so isolated. Suddenly she had social interaction and people to talk to instead of sitting alone in her house all day!

Unfortunately, my mom was the opposite and basically "checked out" mentally on Day 3 after her move. I attribute much of that to the fact that she refused to even entertain the idea of moving or even having someone come in to help. Things could have gone so much differently if only she would have been "on board" with the idea of moving. We could have had fun choosing what to take with her, decorating her "apartment", etc. Sadly, she wouldn't so much as agree to look at a place, so we had to do the whole thing against her will. After 9 or 10 months of pacing, anxiety, aggression, under-medication, over-medication, falls, ER visits and the like, she finally worked herself into a stroke last week and is barely able to respond at this point. I think I should have more guilt than I do (of course there is SOME degree of guilt). But our hands were tied -- she had to go SOMEWHERE or we children would have been charged with neglect even though we were stopping by 2 and 3 times a day. I mostly just find it extremely sad, but I know she has been in the best place available in our area, and there is no way we could have managed her on our own.

I would just suggest to anyone getting ready to move a loved one to try to get them to look at the facility with you, meet the caregivers, etc. Try to get THEM involved with the "decision" and maybe the shock of the transition won't be so hard.

~~Julie~~


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KSROMAN's Photo KSROMAN SparkPoints: (0)
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5/17/12 7:58 A

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I TOTALLY relate with how you're feeling.

Going to assisted living doesn't necessarily mean a decline . . . or there can be an initial decline then thriving. These were also my fears when I had to place my mom (90 YO) with less than a week's notice after a hospitalization.

I still feel "guilty" every time I leave, but I know that she's being well cared for and is safe - which helps. They have plenty of activities and make sure she is exercising, eating, etc.

Things seem to go in cycles there - if one of the residents is grumpy/angry it spreads like wildfire and I joke with the staff about a "revolt". At times mom tells me she is "bored", "unhappy", etc. (leading to more guilt), then again she was "unhappy" and "bored" at my house and I took her out every day.

In general things are going well there.

Kim



I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January.

Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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DMILLER33's Photo DMILLER33 Posts: 8,603
5/17/12 7:50 A

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ONe day at a time. One day at a time. Enjoy the good days or moments.There are very few great choices. Both my parents have been diagnosed with dementia. My dad we thought his behavior was him thinking he can do whatever he wants. My mom we thought was the stress of living with Dad. HIndsight 20/20.
They still live at home with me visiting twice a day. Meals on wheels. And a housekeeper one day a week. Soon will have someone come in a few days a week to give me a break. My mom calls me 5-20 times a day. She she thinks she is at someone else's house. they are in their home of 50 years. I did take the knobs off of the stove because of mom. I will keep them at home as long as I can keep them there safely. Dementia is a very sad. I do feel lucky that I live only 3 miles away and all country roads-no traffic lights or traffic. I know a nursing home in future.

Doris
Northeast Ohio
Eastern Standard time
WRJ&G
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CRAZYGYMGIRL's Photo CRAZYGYMGIRL SparkPoints: (0)
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5/16/12 11:11 P

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I so understand. My mom is 76 and was diagnosed with alzheimer's about 5 years ago. W.e thought her behaviour was due to grieving for dad. She has issues with most dementia meds so we don't have alot of hope in that area. She lives on her own in the family home we bought 40 years ago. The last few months i've noticed a decline and the really horrible thing is that she realizes what's happening to her. She grieves for the life she had and for what she knows awaits her. This week we filed applications to a long term care facility. she may not be ready right now, but given the waiting list for the better facilities, we decided it would be best to get her on the list. I know that once she goes into one of those places, the decline will probably be much quicker... but what can we do? What can we do???????

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of." Benjamin Franklin


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SIMPLELIFE4REAL's Photo SIMPLELIFE4REAL Posts: 9,709
5/16/12 10:02 P

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It's really hard to see our parents decline...my dad passed away from dementia last fall. My heart goes out to you through this difficult time.

Kay from Tennessee



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SUEJENN's Photo SUEJENN Posts: 862
5/16/12 9:48 P

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My brother and I have power of attorney. I am the main caregiver for my dad. He is almost 90 and he still lives at home. He has red cross come in every day to take care of meds, shower and breakfast. I have hired one caregiver to come three mornings a week and take him out for a drive or a walk. Another caregiver comes each evening to make sure he is eating a good dinner. I have a pager that goes off each time Dad's door opens so if the door opens at a time when a caregiver is not there I can call to see if he is OK. The other day my dad asked me if there were busses going south. He wanted to go home (Montreal) and we live in Ontario. I explained to him that the house he lived in was his home. He was confused but understood what I was telling him. He wants me to put a sign up at the front door telling him that this is your house. He knows the time is coming when he can't live by himself. I still feel guilty at the thought of placing him because I know that there is a big decline when that change is made.

suejenn
Ontario Canada


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