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Dad was just put in memory care - Questions
I love my parents very, very much. So happy to find this resource. I am looking for a zoom call as well for support. A few days ago we put our Dad (93) in memory care. He has VD. I have never been told the stage. I would say based on a few YouTube videos he is moderate or borderline severe. When we visit him he wants to come home with us. Will that desire to return to former surroundings get better over time? He should be using his walker but they are pushing him in a wheelchair. I will call the head nurse tomorrow to ask why. (I have medical POA)
I didn’t know he even had dementia (just thought it was bad memory issues) until a month ago. My Mom cared for him until she physically couldn’t. No one ever spelled out how serious it is until a month ago. Because I don’t see them often, I just didn’t see it. My Mom whom I love dearly is an enabler and probably didn’t spell things out as black and white as I needed it spelled out. I am grieving the loss of my Dad and still trying to process the reality of his decline.
As soon as my Mom was told to get my Dad in memory care ASAP my siblings and I were on it. It took 33 days from being told to moving him. We did tell him 3 days before but he forgot of course. He thought it was just for a day or that our Mom was also coming. She is not cognitively impaired (92). It’s excruciating to say goodbye to him. Now that he’s moved in, the reality of it is hitting me. I’ve lost my Dad, the Dad I know anyway. He is in a safe, highly recommended facility so I don’t worry about his safety but I worry about his loneliness and that he feels unloved and abandoned. I’m sorry I’m rambling. He and Mom have been married 70 years.
Any book recommendations for beginners to this journey?
How often should we see him? I live 1.5 hr away one way but my siblings are much closer. It seems frequent visits might make him sad, but I can’t tell.
Thank you for listening.
Last question first - your father may adjust to the new facility with some time. Generally, if the PWD is emotionally overwrought and demanding to go home, the care facility will recommend that family either do not visit or limit visits until such time as they have made that adjustment. It is hard for everyone, not the least of which is your father. As hard as it is, if it is suggested that family limit visitation, do consider that for his sake. As POA, you should feel free to speak by phone with staff on a daily basis if you have concerns about his care or adjustment.
Just a guess, but it is possible that your father may have been prescribed a medication to help calm his distress or exit-seeking behavior. If so, it might have been the prudent choice to put him in a wheelchair until they can be sure that any medications do not present a fall risk for him. They may put him back on the walker when they know it is safe to do so.
There is a book titled "The 36-Hour Day" that was provided to me when my DH was first diagnosed with VD. It does a reasonable job of educating primary caregivers and family about this disease, the stages of progression, and ideas for managing problem behaviors. I also found YouTube videos by Teepa Snow extremely helpful. I admit to binge watching those in the early days when I was still wrestling with the shock of the diagnosis. Welcome to this forum, too. The folks here are caring and compassionate and will be a good resource for specific questions you may have going forward. Once you've digested some of the reference material available on dementia, you'll have a greater appreciation for the necessity of placing your father in a care facility for both your parents' sake.
SonF- Sorry you need to be here as we all say...but glad you found us. There is much to learn and many great resources. Take your time. Keep breathing!
Here are a few of my favorite links. Helped me SO much.
And an excellent article most of us swear by. Great to share with family and friends:
Hang in there!