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How to Cope With It All?
Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 12:59 AM
Joined: 8/14/2022
Posts: 2

My father has been in a memory care facility for about 2 months now. As much as he’s adjusting and doing well and getting the care he needs, at times, I struggle with the whole idea of him no longer being at home. I actually see him more now than I did when he was at home because the memory care center is in the same city as where I live but I still feel like I “miss him” or I guess I miss the simplicity of me driving to my parents house on the weekends and visiting with him. I don’t know…it’s hard to describe. I keep telling myself that he’s getting the help, care and the attention he needs, but it’s still so hard for me to accept the idea that he has a new home that it’s not with us I guess. The caregivers are great, and not once has my dad questioned where he is. It can be overwhelming at times for me when I am visiting with some residents displaying behaviors but it doesn’t seem to phase or bother my dad. It seems as though I’m having a harder time than he is with it all. I often wonder where he thinks he’s at…Does anyone have any ideas on how they coped with this change or anything that made it easier? After some time does this feeling go away?
Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 7:38 AM
Joined: 1/11/2013
Posts: 233

My mother is still home with me, but I can imagine I would be feeling much the same way as you would be if she were to move. It's hard to reconcile knowing logically that your father is getting the care he needs with the emotional loss/sadness you are feeling.

I'm sure others will share their experiences, but I think what you are describing is a normal reaction and that you will adjust in time. It sounds as if there is much to be grateful for - good staff, proper care, he's safe and comfortable in his new surroundings. 

This disease is filled with loss after loss. So, allow yourself to grieve this new loss but try to focus on all the positives. 

MN Chickadee
Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 8:18 AM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 1613

Moving my mother to a memory care facility was the hardest thing I have ever done. As hard, if not harder, than her death. The weeks before and after the move were some of the darkest of my life. Filled with grief and guilt and dread. There was so.much.grief over everything we were both losing and the unfairness of it all. It does get better. After a while we both got used it, the routines, the visits. It took months for it to feel like the new normal. Eventually we had nice visits and spent some really quality time together. I threw birthday parties and anniversary parties for her and my dad there and did them up big. We had quiet sits in the garden. I made friends with the other families visiting and that helped visits a lot, it felt more social and normal. Sit with your grief, work through it. You can't rush it. It's just like grief over someone dying. It doesn't ever go away but we learn how to live with it.
Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 5:07 PM
Joined: 5/22/2021
Posts: 12

It is called grieving, there is a loss there. I felt guilty for moving mom into memory care but also knew that we could not continue as before, as it was not in her best interest. Every time I hear how she wants "out of here" and wants her own home and independence I have to go somewhere to cry or take time to breathe. To give her what she wants is inviting disaster. She would be dead within a day, seriously, as she cannot manage anything. It is very like taking care of a young child - role reversal and neither of us liking it!
Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 6:37 PM
Joined: 2/3/2018
Posts: 1170

Besides the excellent suggestions already given, a support group might be crazy helpful for you too, kara. Connecting with others who were going through and feeling the same sorts of things as I was made a big difference in my dementia journey with my mom.
Posted: Friday, September 23, 2022 5:36 PM
Joined: 9/23/2022
Posts: 7

That's how I feel about my dad in nursing care. It's him but NOT him. So I silently grieve losing my strong willed, mentally healthy and independently living father. He understands the change of residence but still has his complaints. I don't argue with him anymore. Serves no purpose, really. I just use some fiblets and help him stay calm and at ease. I'm the only caregiver for him as well as POA. What a ride it's been...
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