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Dad is 63 and moved him into memory care and he is not adjusting
Posted: Wednesday, June 9, 2021 8:30 PM
Joined: 6/9/2021
Posts: 2

Hello! Needed a place to make me feel normal so trying this out. I moved my dad into a memory care facility on Friday. He is 63 with early onset. It has progressed fast but not fast enough to weight down his love for outdoor activities. Even when he realized he couldn't do a lot of things he would tell me well I can still play tennis! Or I can still play golf! But I know in reality this was necessary. He started wandering at night and most times doesn't know our names and does not like to be left alone. Now he is hating his new memory care facility. He calls me at least 10 times a day. They tell me to say I am out of town and to not respond. It's hard to ignore but I've heard it's for the best. He calls and asks to go home and that he is sad. It's been really, really hard. Any advise? I want to know if not answering is the right thing when it sounds like he is hurting and confused. I want him to get adjusted, just don't know the right amount of boundaries right now. 
Jo C.
Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2021 9:46 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 13692

Hello SDaughter and a very warm welcome to you.   Having been in a similar situation, I understand; it is a deeply heartfelt situation and  for me, it was also one in which I kept second guessing myself.

Our Loved Ones, (LOs), often take weeks to a few months to adapt to their new care arrangements; and we caregivers also must adapt to the new dynamics and of course, that also takes time for us to do so.  I remember how sad and guilty I felt after having placed my LO; it was a very challenging time.  If we do not distance ourselves a bit from a myriad of phone calls, etc., that can delay the adjustment time.  It is not easy; I do get it.

It sounds as though your father was always a very active man; the Memory Care admission is only six days old, he is still in the earliest days of  change and is being assessed by staff and all that entails.   Care facilities must by law provide a Multidisciplinary Care Plan Conference with family within a short period of time; you may want to contact the Director of Nursing and ask when such a conference will be set and even ask that it be done early. Do ask for the unit Supervisor RN, to be there as well as the Activities Director, the Social Worker, the Dietician, and PT if they have that; and a Care Aide; this is the "multidisciplinary" part of the conference where all have input and develop the patient's plan.   This will give you an opportunity to present and discuss your father and his personal dynamics as well as his needs.  A plan can be developed to meet his needs as best can based on those personal dynamics.  Hopefully there will be an opportunity for him to have increased socialization and because he has been such an active man, to have increased activities or even faux "work" that would appeal to him.  After such a meeting it is best to do follow up at intervals to ensure that the plan is in place and working or being adjusted as need be.

Some facilities have family support groups that meet, you may want to ask if they have this; sometimes, if they do not, a family member will start one themselves; this must be permitted as set forth by regulation.

Right now your father is safe, he has his meals along with routine and structure to his days which is very important and he has staff to meet his needs as they arise on a 24 hour continuum; that is a starting point.  I would also like to share that the Alzheimer's Assn. has a 24 Hour, 365 days a year Helpline that can be reached at (800) 272-3900.  If you call, ask to be transferred to a Care Consultant.  There are no fees for this service.  Consultants are highly educated Social Workers who specialize in dementia and family dynamics. They are very supportive and have much information and can often assist us with our problem solving as well as our feelings.  They are actually a mainstay of support for family members; a good place for us to be able to share our feelings, ask questions and even vent.  They are there for us.

On the practical side to be helpful:  Here on this very supportive Board, we are permitted to Post on any and all of the Forums.  You have landed on the "Young Onset" Forum which does not get much traffic for feedback.  Most people on  this Forum are those who have Young Onset Dementia themselves.

In order to get more input, it would be a good idea to present your Post on the Caregiver's Forum.  Both the Caregiver's Forum and the Spousal/Partner Forum are the busiest with best attendance and best number of responses.  The Spousal Forum is a Forum that gets good feedback; you need not be a spouse to ask the input of others - simply state your issue and ask if any of them had such an experience and how they met the challenge.

When I began as a new Member here, I Posted my issues on both the Caregiver's and Spousal Forums even though my LO was my mother.  I got good responses from both.

Please do continue to come to this soft place to land where you will be understood and where we all reach out to support one another.  Let us know how you are and how things are going; we truly do care.

With warm thoughts being sent your way from one daughter to another,


Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2021 11:42 AM
Joined: 6/13/2020
Posts: 557

Hi SDaughter

Yes, these facilities are not adapted fou the youngest. In France it is the same. Just for a respite stay I  tried one for my partner who is 51 years old.

What I have learnt : next time find somewhere where they accept people going out with a hired caregiver. Could you have a caregiver  coming 2 or 3 a week for hiking for example ? I know it stouter add fees... it’s the reason why I haven’t done it last time. Next time I will find a less luxurious memory care but will have him going out.

Posted: Friday, June 11, 2021 12:59 PM
Joined: 9/2/2017
Posts: 12

I had to place my dad and brother due to ALS 5 years apart (both now deceased) and now I have MCI due to Alzheimers. They each called me every day so I set and alarm on both of our phones and had them call the same time every day so we could talk. You can DUO or Facetime. It was hard but much better quickly for me because we didn't have to feel like it was "the sad call" just a normal talktime every day.