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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
and now he is in SNF. Good luck with your decision.
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.
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