Putting an Alzheimer's patient into a care facility

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Carole_D
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 190
   Posted 3/21/2015 2:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I've spent some time on the RA board and it's my first post over here.

My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a couple of years ago and I'm taking the steps to place him in a memory care facility. If anyone has experience with this, I'd love some insight as to how to handle the situation with the patient. My husband's short-term memory is almost non-existent and I can't imagine trying to tell him ahead of time. However it feels sneaky to just take him and move him in without discussion. I know there's not easy answer, but just hearing how others have handled this will help me to decide what my best course of action is.

Thanks.

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4774
   Posted 3/22/2015 3:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Carole - the good news is that he'll forget why he's mad at you... But it'll be a daily struggle for a while.

My dad "was" looking forward to going to an assisted living center... A few weeks before he was going to move we took his car away from him. He didn't last a week in the assisted living center... He escaped and scared some lady with a small child that lived across the street.... So he got locked up in a psych ward for three weeks.

I picked him up on Friday and had him on a plane 10 hours later from Dallas to Tampa to stay with my brother. Two weeks later he was in a full memory care center.

My brother and his wife are very active and visit him several times a week.... They also take him out for lunch and dinner visits.

Lying to him about visiting Florida wasn't easy or fun... He finally got over the fact that I wasn't coming to get him... But that was after he got adjusted to where he was.

Lucky was us three kids is that pops is a VET. Between the VA money and SS, we were able break even on costs....and the center is fairly close to where my brother lives....

Good luck to you..

Carole_D
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 190
   Posted 3/22/2015 9:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the reply and the support. I'm sorry you've had such a hard time with your dad. This disease sucks.

DH is a vet - how do you go about contacting the VA regarding funding?

Michael In NY
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 3/22/2015 11:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Carole, for assistance contact ALZ Association 24/7 Help Line at 1-800-272-3900. Social Workers are available to assist you.

Carole_D
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 190
   Posted 3/22/2015 11:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Michael. I am pretty new to this and haven't found all of the resources yet.

Michael In NY
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 3/22/2015 1:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Carole, you should also visit the website: alzconnected.com

Michael

Carole_D
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 190
   Posted 3/28/2015 8:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks again, Michael.

Carole_D
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 190
   Posted 3/31/2015 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Also, in case anyone else reads this, the website is alzconnected.org rather than .com.

JaSanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 2079
   Posted 4/6/2015 10:55 AM (GMT -7)   
My father went into an Alzheimer's unit within a local nursing home, which made it much easier for him since we were there often. The unit was designed where one could not just wander or sneak off as it had a near one-to-one staff/patient ratio who were constantly with the patients, the doors could only be accessed with a code or someone letting you in or out, just for patient safety. They had an outdoor garden area just for them that was encompassed by the home's walls, but the patients could be taken anywhere within the building and grounds as long as someone was with them, and of course we could sign him in and out to take him home, the doctor, to eat out, etc.

When my father was placed there, he had been hospitalized with a severe infection which ramped up his dementia. The Alzheimer's effect on his major organs somewhat outpaced the dementia and he improved mind-wise once the infection subsided but needed the constant medical care that we could no longer do at home. Daddy hated it at first, but he was gregarious by nature and with his medications helping stabilize him, he came to enjoy his time there and he was able to leave the Alz. unit and be in a regular room after a few months, and with the use of an ankle bracelet that would set of an alarm if he went through the door by himself. He had spent the last ten years of his life caring for my mother who had Parkinson's and even in the nursing home, when he was feeling better physically, he would do things for others, especially getting coffee for his roommate. When he worked, he would make the coffee in the office before he would make his rounds in the plant and he sort of carried that with him, making his rounds checking on people in their rooms. He would even ask to go into the Alzheimer's unit to check on other patients he had come to know. And he loved singing as the words to songs were still there in his mind. He could hardly breathe with his COPD, but he would still sing hymns every week, though his ability to read had pretty much left him. He was an avid newspaper reader before all this, so I had his paper delivered to the home and even though he couldn't read more than the headlines, the paper kept him anchored to the days of the week and it was a habit he was used to at home. Little things can make a difference.

I know it can feel like you're abandoning a loved one when it comes time for placement, but it's not. I know Daddy's case was probably not typical, but I know his quality of life improved at the home. The facility he was in was not fancy, but it was clean and had a good staff. We could visit any time, call any time and he could call us. He passed away 2 years ago from aspirational pneumonia after he lost the ability to swallow. I miss him, but I know we did the right thing. I hope you can find a good facility for your husband, and try not to feel guilty about doing what needs to be done for both of you. -Joy
55 yr. old--CD over 43 yr. Hemi-colectomy '01; spinal cord injury '01; fistulae since '97; enteropathic arthritis, chronic pain, muscle spasms, scoliosis, rotator cuff injuries

Sometimes I have a wicked sense of humor, other times I have no humor at all, but most of the time I just have no sense.

Carole_D
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 190
   Posted 4/6/2015 2:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for taking the time to share your story, Joy. It always helps to hear from others who have gone through this.

cable poodle
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 496
   Posted 6/25/2017 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Carole, the VA Medical Hospital or Clinic nearest to you should be able to get you the paperwork you will need to apply for help from them. If the patient is not "Service Connected" it's based on income, household income. Just a tidbit of information there .. Also, everything you send to them, set up a file, make a copy for your file, and always send Certified Mail and staple the receipt to your copy. If you have not been approved within 1 year, you must refile. If you don't, and you are due back $$, it will only be paid as far back as an active claim.
The medical services are easier to get than VA Disability. Good Luck - stay strong!
Successful liver transplant Feb. 8,2012 at Pittsburgh VA Medical Center. Could not have gotten through it with out God, Family and Friends, and the "Healing Well" website and Forum.
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