Alzheimers

This is a discussion on Alzheimers within the Bob & Terry's Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I am embarrassed to say that I have been with this forum just over a year and am now finally visiting this site. I'm even ...

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Thread: Alzheimers

  1. #1
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    Alzheimers

    I am embarrassed to say that I have been with this forum just over a year and am now finally visiting this site. I'm even more embarrassed because I make my living praying for others. Sigh. Think I'll make this my first stop on DC.
    Long and short, my dad has alzheimers, my mom is moving in with my sis and I fly cross country next week to move my mom's stuff in storage, take the OLD family car cross country with a Uhaul full of heirloom stuff.
    My request is that I am in the process of trying to decide if Georgia, where he is now, or Tucson, where I am is a better fit for my dad. There is tension with my sis as she has taken my folks under her wing for ten years while I'm on the other side of the country. Fair is fair and I need to pony up but my dad is out of it, sleeps most of the time, is in 100 percent assisted living. He would not know Tucson from Tokyo. The amount of work involved to get my dad here is monumental. If the quality of care is the same (which I am about to find out) is it really worth changing docs, insurance, med care, flight restrictions, etc. ?
    And, yes, it looks tacky to be the preacher, telling everyone to sacrifice for others while my sis carries the weight. Nuff said.

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    It is tough when you live so far from your parents.

    Best wishes and prayers with you as you make this difficult choice
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Leave him close to your Mom and Sis. Much easier for you to travel to be with him than the two of them. They need the bond with him. You've been away. It's a terrible situation on the family. I went through it. At least your Dad's not suffering. Best wishes for all of you.
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    Sorry to hear of your dilemma (all of it).

    I work with people with disabilities, although I have limited experience with Alzheimer's and dementia I do have some experience with care facilities.

    1. If it's good for him and he's getting good care it's not broken, don't try to fix it. Good care on a consistent basis is very hard to find.

    2. Someone needs to stay involved. The level of care in any given facility can vary greatly. The addition of one patient, staff, Dr., nurse, bookkeeper, etc. can change the environment almost overnight. The care can degenerate very quickly. Someone needs to be there to notice and since your dad can no longer speak for himself, someone needs to speak for him.

    3. Be a pest. I don't mean you need to be rude, but do things like show up unannounced at times when they don't expect you. Show up around meal times and bed time. Feel free to ask questions about the care, or lack of it. In a facility where the staff is overworked and underpaid those that sleep all the time like your dad tend to get less attention. However if someone is there often he has a much better chance of getting the attention he needs.

    I hope this will help you in your decisions. I'll be praying for you. If you want to talk further feel free to PM me or just follow the link in my sig line and visit our forum.

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    I just hope that everything ends up working out for you. I went through the Alzheimer's/Dementia thing with my Dad who was an absolutely brilliant true selfless gentleman and it is a truly heartbreaking experience.
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    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holdcard View Post
    3. Be a pest. I don't mean you need to be rude, but do things like show up unannounced at times when they don't expect you. Show up around meal times and bed time. Feel free to ask questions about the care, or lack of it. In a facility where the staff is overworked and underpaid those that sleep all the time like your dad tend to get less attention. However if someone is there often he has a much better chance of getting the attention he needs.
    Holdcard
    This is excellent advice. My grandmother was in an assisted care facility for several months after she fell getting out of bed. The facility she was staying in came highly recommended to us as the best in the area.
    After a few surprise visits we were shocked at the lack of attention she was getting. I also watched nurses empty bedpans and etc... without washing their hands afterwards. Also, she was supposed to be getting a diabetic diet, but wasn't. Etc....
    If you can't do it, pay someone else to show up randomly and check-in. Call management and file complaints when things aren't as promised. For the almost $1,000 per day that place was costing my grandparents, the care was mediocre at best.

    Best of luck to you and your family.

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    Pete Zaria.
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    I, too, think AZ Husker and Holdcard are right on with the advice. My parents live with us so we can help them when they need it, but special care that requires and outside facility is something entirely different. Good luck on whatever you decide to do.
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    Ditto all of the above! My Dad had dementia, and was in both independent living with my Mom (early on) and then as things deterioated, he moved on to a skilled nursing facility with some physical ailments.

    Family and friends can not watch too closely!

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    Aznav, my mother has Alzheimer's and has had it for many years. 3 1/2 years ago I got my father and her to move 900 miles here to an assisted living facility. Dad was trying to take care of her himself 900 miles from my two sisters or my family. I honestly think that my father would be dead 3 years ago if they had not made the move. I believe it's harder on the caregiver then the patent. My middle sister took care of my parents for several years via long distance by traveling from Colorado Springs to Mesa Arizona. It still was not enough and I felt like a heal not being able to do what I felt is my part to help. Now I get to see them almost every day and I know it helps my father and I feel better for it. Some times it's hard for my 6 year old son because my father's temper just cannot handle the antics of a 6 year old after dealing with my 85 year old mother who acts like she is about 6 often. Many times she cannot remember that my father is her husband and that is very hard on him. He handles it with grace and never raises his voice at her. About 6 months ago she took a turn for the worse and just didn't every hardly recognize him and got very mean. I took the responsibility and had her put in a nursing home across the alley from their facility. I then programmed a Garmin GPS with my sister's new home address, my fathers 91 year old brother in ill health, his youngest sister and one of his nephews with cancer for a 1000 mile loop and visits with everyone. It was great for him and he had a wonderful time but 3 days after getting home, mom seemed to have changed and recognized him every time. He busted her out of the nursing home and took her back to the assisted living center. While my sister and I were pretty sore about it we understood the reasons behind it. They have been married for 67 years and he just couldn't do with out her. I think to do it again she will have to be in a stage where she can't understand anything. They got long term care insurance many years ago so us kids would not have to take care of them in their old age. (their words) The insurance pays $2700 a month for mom and Dad pays $500 a month for his part of staying there. They are still putting money in the bank every month. He is as happy as can be with the facility. I'm glad I get to see them most every day. Dad can be pretty hard on the staff there if they drop the ball but that is a good thing. He does not take it lightly or harass them but expects to get what they pay for. Hang in there, you will be in our prayers. Take care of yourself and don't let yourself or family get run down. It's hard on everyone. Good luck.
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    Hooweee, this is an incredible forum. Thanks for all the incredible help and insights. I told my sis that it would only be six weeks and my mom would be demanding to move to Tucson because she misses her husband of 66 years - even though he does not recognize her.
    I will tell you one funny story (and there are few with alzheimers). Evidently insomnia is one effect of early alzheimer stages. My dad was up for the third time one night, going around the apartment turning lights on, fiddling with the thermostat and looking for something to eat. My mom was exhausted and was carping continually at my dad. "Cy, turn the light out. Cy, leave the thermostat alone. Cy, you already ate get out of the fridge. Cy, come back to bed!" As my dad, stone deaf crawled back into bed he said, loudly, to himself, "My first wife has a ******* lot nicer than this one!" They'd been married 64 years at that time. Exhausted, my mom almost fell out of bed laughing. What else could she do?

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    Senior Member Array ridurall's Avatar
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    My mother can come up with some pretty good ones too. Some are funny and some are just sad. She has asked me several times when taking care of her while dad was in the hospital if I was her husband. Quite often she thinks Dad is her father. She almost always knows my wife of 30 years but thinks my 60 year old sister is one of her 6 sisters. None of them are still alive and every time it gets mentioned she cries about it like it's the first time she has heard about it. Some of the crap she can come up with is amazing. At times you just have to laugh. You can spend too much time crying if you don't. Aznav, so your parents have been married for 66 years. That is great, I think the depression made couples better and more willing to stand together through anything then todays younger crowd can.
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    Aznaz,

    All I can offer is my warm thoughts and prayers.

    I watched my grandfather take care of my step-grandma for three long years while she suffered from alz/demensia - and although they'd only been married 15 years (both a prior widow/widower), he was at her side feeding and being with her on a daily basis until her death. In hindsight, it literally took years off his life as he struggled to take care of her himself in the latter stages and finally had to get her into full-assisted living.
    Grandpa's faithfullness was a real testimony.

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    VIP Member Array PatrioticRick's Avatar
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    My Dad died last month from Alzheimer's. At your Dads stage you may not be able to move him, mine got really aggressive and that's a long way to move. (just a consideration) Good luck with whatever you do. Rick
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    Aznav,

    No great thoughts to add except 'hang in there.'

    I haven't been through what you and your family have been/are going through.

    But, you have some cyberfriends here who will pray for you. I know your congregation cares. And I know you know you have a God who cares.

    God bless. Have as good and safe a trip as you possibly can.
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    Senior Member Array CEW58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aznav View Post
    Hooweee, this is an incredible forum. Thanks for all the incredible help and insights. I told my sis that it would only be six weeks and my mom would be demanding to move to Tucson because she misses her husband of 66 years - even though he does not recognize her.
    I will tell you one funny story (and there are few with alzheimers). Evidently insomnia is one effect of early alzheimer stages. My dad was up for the third time one night, going around the apartment turning lights on, fiddling with the thermostat and looking for something to eat. My mom was exhausted and was carping continually at my dad. "Cy, turn the light out. Cy, leave the thermostat alone. Cy, you already ate get out of the fridge. Cy, come back to bed!" As my dad, stone deaf crawled back into bed he said, loudly, to himself, "My first wife has a ******* lot nicer than this one!" They'd been married 64 years at that time. Exhausted, my mom almost fell out of bed laughing. What else could she do?
    I lost my father to Alzheimers about 18 months ago and not a day goes by that I don't miss him. We were fortunate that he was able to stay at home until just a few months before the end as it was getting to be too much for my mom to handle. He started wondering away and when found would tell my mother that he was "going to work at the mill" even though he had been retired for many years, or that he was going to visit his mother who has been dead since 1936. He would check the house at night wondering "why aren't the kids home yet" even though the last kid (me) left home for the Army in 1977.

    Amazingly his memories of being in the Army during WWII never faded. In the end they were the only clear memories he had left.

    When it got to be more than my mother to handle she moved Dad to an assisted care facility. Once there his condition got much worse and he soon passed away. I'm no doctor, but I believe the move to unfamiliar surroundings might have hurt him more than it helped, but there really wasn't any other option.

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