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Transition to Memory Care Unit
Posted: Monday, May 17, 2021 7:17 PM
Joined: 2/8/2020
Posts: 1

Would anyone be willing to share their experience of putting there LO into a memory care unit?  My sister has early onset Alzheimer's (she's 55).  After 1 1/2 hour years between my mom (who is 80) and myself taking care of her, we've become burnt out. Today marks the week number 3 that she's been in a memory care unit.  I understand that there is a transitional phase, but my question is will she eventually come around and get use to it or will she always be asking to come home? It's so heartbreaking.  Thanks for any advice or tips you can send by way.


Posted: Monday, May 24, 2021 9:37 PM
Joined: 1/14/2021
Posts: 8

Following.  My husband is 62 and in late stage 6.  I still have a 16 yr old daughter at home and a caretaker 5 days a week.  I can see that it will soon become too much for us to handle at home.  I try not to involve my daughter too much in his care, it is just too heartbreaking for her and for me to watch her teen years having to be spent in the harder parts of his care.  I have begun to tour Memory Care facilities, but I wonder when I will know the time is right and if he will have a hard time adjusting to a different place.  Will he be able to find his room?  Will he be completely disoriented?  He can no longer make any intelligible speech, so he won't be able to tell anyone what he is feeling.  I feel for you Laura, I am sorry for your heartbreak and hope that you can get answers that will give you some peace.
Posted: Friday, May 28, 2021 2:36 PM
Joined: 9/26/2016
Posts: 19

My DW was diagnosed at age 60 about 5 years ago.  The disease took away her ability to drive, to work at our family business, stopped using computer (has an MBA in finance), stopped all banking, shopping, stopped cooking. Last year (during covid), was hard getting caretakers, so I had to stop my consulting work and manage family business. She was having difficulties with conversation, daily activities, then became incontinent. We have been together for 48 years, and she would not let me near her to help with bathing or toileting.  I was so burnt out, and placed her in MC Sept 2020.

She adjusted very well, and now feels that it is home.  Each time i visit (which i could not do during covid; window visits in the snow only!), i tell her that I have to get back to work. Now I pick her up, we go for a ride, a walk, some lunch , maybe some casual shopping, then bring her back to MC.  The folks at the MC unit just redirect her into the facility and into another activity that they are having.  She has never asked me when she is going home; she feels that she is home.

The transition was very tough over the winter, as we could not see each other. I think i felt it worse than her--still do.  Trying to find a counselor/therapist has been ridiculously difficult.  No one answers a phone, and cannot get an appointment for months out- I have given up looking for grief counseling for myself, but she is doing pretty well.

It is difficult to find someone else that is experiencing early onset,  so it feels very alone. ALZ is supposed to happen when folks are 'elderly', not pre-retirement. Such a rip off, working so hard to build a life for the future and to have it stolen by this awful disease.  But MC is a better place for my wife- she appears to be happy, calmer, safer.  I miss her every day, but know that I could not keep her safe with me at home, now I know she is.

Posted: Saturday, May 29, 2021 10:52 AM
Joined: 6/13/2020
Posts: 555

My partner is 51 years old, beginning of stage 6. For the moment he goes to adult day care 2 days per week. Next month it will be 3. He likes it. I also have a caretaker 1 day per week. Daycare is a good transition.

This month, as I was very tired, I let him 19 days in a memory care. He didn’t like it and hopefully he knew it was just a stay. We will visit another because I know that with the end of pandemic, I won’t be allowed to telework every week day as I do it now. I will also have to travel again and the it will be very difficult for me to manage everything. Seeing how the diseases progresses till now, I think that by the end of the year he will be well advanced in stage  6. So my plan is to try another in November, a little more than a month this time. I hope that I will be able to manage till then. My friends think that it is risky but from the experience of last stay, he is still too autonomous and healthy to go there.

My conclusion, a respite stay can help you to assess

- the memory care unit

- your LO adaptation 

... and give you respite.