Dad is 86 and has always taken care of everything from finances to yard mowing. Very independent. Since brain surgery he cannot drive and he has short term memory loss. He is very capable of taking care of himself such as bathing, cooking, cleaning but he can’t get or keep his medicine straight. I have no help caring for him and I could really use some me time.

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I used adult day care for my mom with Alzheimer's. It was hard to get her out of the house to go. I had to use therapeutic white lies to get her to go most of the time. Most of the time when she got there she would have a wonderful day. She was always quite the social butterfly so it gave her an opportunity to socialize. She was even the senior prom queen one year! That was a fun day!

Isolation is never a good idea. They need socialization and if you were to try to do it all yourself you would burn out in no time!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to gladimhere

Good Morning,

Yes, I have tried the respite program and it is so needed today. I thought I was going to have a lot of back-up help coming from a large family but this is not the case.

Basically, the longer the illness goes on you have to set things up, "what if". I would simply go online, the closer the better. In my case I drove mother one morning a week and picked her up at a neighborhood Adult Day Center.

The 9AM-1PM (continental breakfast, lunch) and physical therapy covered by insurance with a co-pay along with an on-site RN was a big help. This is called a medical model, the nurse is full-time. They paint, plant, bake, all supervised.

The 10AM-2PM time slot mother was exhausted when she came home. She is always tired-fatigued due to the Lewy Body.

At first, I felt like I was dropping off a little kid the first day of school. I simply said, "Mom, I am going to run a few errands, I'll be back at 1PM." That's it, don't make a big deal out of it.

Some facilities have fees on a sliding scale--others, grants. My mother is able to hold a conversation. In all honesty, I think that if my mother attended more than one morning then she would backslide and become non-responsive.

At lunchtime, people who speak will say to my mother, "oh you can speak" and they all sit together like high school. It's sad in all honesty, especially when you learn that some of the attendees had these exciting lives (tennis player, head nurse at a hospital, etc.) before dementia hit.

You need peace of mind so if you want to get your hair done, oil changed on the car, doctor's appointments, you know that every say "Tuesday" you have a 4-hour time slot that is available to you where you father is safe, fed and supervised.

You don't want to rush home if he doesn't pick up the phone or find him on the floor, etc. You want to put the odds in your favor.

In my case, it had to be done, however, where I live it's now flu season. So, I pulled Mom out for the wintertime and possibly will return in May if there is a slot.

An UpWalker Lite depending upon if your father is mobile and good walking shoes that fit since when the elderly lose weight their feet shrink too, I highly recommend. Good shoes are important.

As far as the medications, I took that over the first sign of trouble. I have (2) calendars. (2) pill boxes that lock and I fill the meds once a week and I dispense.
Fortunately, there were no meds that needed to be given during the respite. I did ask the RN to take my mother's blood pressure.

Also, there is a service that some drugstores offer. They package the daily meds but this only works if they are taken at one time and if your father has the executive functioning skills to do this. I would not leave this to chance.

You can't wing this. If he is unable, don't say dad did you take your medication? I would NOT give him access to medications. Too much can go wrong and this could present another set of problems.

Your internet provider can put a sensor on the door, with a camera facing it and should dad leave, you get a text with a video of him going out the door. $20 per month, well worth it. A lifeline button is recommended as well.

I would start dad out with one morning a week respite. My mother became accustomed to it, I needed assurance that nothing would happen to her while I was running errands, but in all honesty, my mother doesn't miss it. It was a necessity for the both of us so I could keep mother home. I told her that...if you want to remain home, then you have to attend one morning per week. You have to keep your ship afloat so that when your loved one is called home to the Lord, you are still standing.

On Sundays' the Eucharistic Minister comes with Communion and a Church Bulletin. They never miss, rain or shine--Christmas Day and Easter. Mother looks forward to it.

Your dad's primary care physician can do an assessment and write orders for P/T for the facility. Sign up for the portal.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Ireland
KNance72 Jan 31, 2023
very good advice
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My husband had dementia and when he got to the point that I could not leave him alone for even short periods of time, I brought him to adult day care for 3 days a week. My state has a grant program for caregivers to help with cargiving costs and adult day care is included. Twice a year, I could apply for a grant and it was usually $1,000 - $1,500 depending on what was available. I took him for a tour and then told him that I would be bringing him there to visit while I did errands. (Don't ask if he would like to go - the answer would probably be no.) It was wonderful to have that respite from 9:00 - 4:00.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to WearyJean

I have heard of others using adult daycare and being satisfied with the services.

Have you considered contacting Council on Aging in your area? They will do a needs assessment on your father.

If he qualifies they will send an aide out in four hour shifts. They can aide in bathing, cooking light meals, tidying up their rooms, changing bedsheets, playing a game of cards, doing puzzles, etc.

You can run errands or go have lunch with a friend while they are with your dad.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

I had Mom in a County run Daycare. If Dad is low income some allow medicaid.

I had gone from caring for an infant grandson till he was 20 months right into caring for Mom 24/7. After a yr I tried Daycare. The bus picked Mom up at 8am and left her off at 3pm. She was fed breakfast and lunch. She was there 3 days a week, MWF. They bathed her for me and she received PT. My husband felt we could drive her. It was 18 miles round trip and took about an 1 1/2 out of the time we had together. When she left, I was able to get a shower and then we went to breakfast and ran errands. The bus was part of the cost so why not use it.

I had a good experience. Mom was easy and they were good to her.
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Reply to JoAnn29

My husband with dementia attended senior day care and he loved it. They had planned activities and a hot lunch everyday. They even had a therapy dog come in once a week and my husband loves pets. He looked forward to it and called it his “job”. It gave me the downtime I so needed. I dropped him off in the mornings but they also provided transportation. When he got home we had dinner together and he would tell me all about his day, shortly after that it was bedtime! You can do as many days as you want/willing to pay for. We started out with 2 days/week and advanced to 3. It would have probably progressed to more but sadly Covid shut everything down. He spiraled downhill quickly after that
and now he is in SNF. Good luck with your decision.
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Reply to JColl7

My mom attends a respite program at a local Senior Center. She loves going
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Reply to Catskie62

There are also senior community centers in some areas. Ours offers exercise classes, lunch Monday through Friday, art classes, games, field trips, etc.

The community centers won’t be all day. If you want all day then look into daycare. Some are connected to the assisted living facilities. Others are independent.

Some churches also have senior activities. You may have to be a member of the church.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

My mother goes to daycare 4x a week. It started off as one day, then 2 then 3 then 4 days. I had to talk her into it. Now she loves it. My situation wasnt easy. First daycare closed. The second stopped bus service. Had to pick a third one that offered bus service. Elder service pays for 3 days and she pays for 80.00 for one day. I wake up earlier to get mom ready for daycare but the respite is worth it. I also work from home. Adult day care gives me respite, allows me to work and has helped keep my sanity. Mom loves it too. I recommend it to anyone.
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Reply to Jayepea

My husband started going to a city-run adult day care last June. He was never a group activities kind of guy so I wasn't sure he'd like it. After day-1 I didn't think it was going to work out as he seemed very grumpy about going but the center's administratorsuggested we keep trying and now he loves it. They are only open 3 days a week since covid; I started him out at 2 days a week- now it's 3. I drive him and pick him up; as it's only a mile from our house it's easy. Lovely building, nice room, nice staff. He really blossoms there, telling jokes and dancing and thanks all the staff people when he leaves. I work from home and can get work done or I take leave time and use the time to run errands or do projects around the house while he's away. Highly recommend.
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Reply to decobelle

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