It has only been 4 days....he's still adjusting. He is stage 5 of Alzheimer. We are lucky to have him in an Assisted Living place that will deal with some of his memory needs (like turning his tv on for him at night). He's not memory care ready (though I suspect at Stage 6 is when that starts). He wanted more guy friends and like most AL and MC places there only a handful of men. My dad is very ambulatory, no problems walking yet. He's not leaving his apartment to go to any meals (he does eat in his apartment) where I hoped he might meet a guy or two (though I don't see the men down there much at all). He also won't participate in any activities. I was hoping he would get involved even a little so that my sister and I could take a break. Any suggestions? We want to be able to step away but I don't want him sitting in his apartment all day because I fear that could lead to not great behavior and I'd like to keep him in AL as long as we are able. It be great for him to have someone that he gets coffee with and does one activity a day or even goes down for a meal. Any suggestions? He can be very social and loves to make people smile but he is also an introvert. Maybe I'm expecting too much too soon. Would it be worth finding a male care companion that I pay to stop there a few times a week?

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Much more time is needed for your Dad to find his footing.
Remember, your Dad is your DAD; he isn't YOU.
Let him find his own way. He will do it. As my brother said to me "This is kind of like when I was young and in the Army. I didn't much like it, but I made the best of it."
Give Dad time to find his way. Let him do that for himself and without any pressure or suggestion. This is something that is his to handle. We lose our ability to handle most things, and this can be his to handle. You can't fix everything for you, and the trying reduces him to being somewhat more a "child" than your Dad. His being in care should help you to move on to being his child again, not his caregiver.

Just my humble opinion and know I am wishing you both the best.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Rebecca66012291 Feb 19, 2024
Thank you Alva this is helpful - I cannot fix this for him. The Care facility did not give us any suggestions on what to do as we navigate this so reading all these opinions that we didn't listen to their advice....they didn't give us advice.
This is not your issue to solve. Your father has to live his life the way he sees fit. If he refuses to get involved then so be it. Although I do like the idea of hiring a companion once a week to visit with him. I had one for my father when he still lived on his own.

When my father decided to go to AL I thought he would thrive because he was a social butterfly. The exact opposite happened. He didn't get involved in anything except maybe a rare scenic bus ride. he was annoyed they did not provide a shuttle to the local casino. They had a history lecture every Monday night. He was a total history buff but never bothered to attend. That was not my problem to solve. I could not be his sole source of entertainment.
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Reply to lkdrymom
Rebecca66012291 Feb 27, 2024
That is helpful. My dad is social but he's not going down to anything at all. He kind of scoffs at all of it and wants those he recognizes to entertain him. I partly understand that - the comfort of someone you recognize, and of course this is not doable. He has never been one to entertain himself either this was before Alzheimer. He's always depended on someone else to just talk to him. I've got him all kinds of puzzles, magazines, new paper, his tv, his record player, and his cat all in his apartment to keep him occupied........still doesn't bother. It's horrible.
Why don't you try if your Dad eats breakfast meet him and bring him down to breakfast and sit at another gentleman table. That goes for lunch and dinner for awhile.
Also get the Assisted Living schedule and show up to some of the events, bingo, music, crafts what ever they have.
It maybe he's unsure of were to go and is a little intimidated to ask someone. Try that for awhile and then have the care home alert him and bring him to the different events that he likes. As he gets better continue to go periodically and encourage him in all activities he enjoys.
It will take time to assimilate especially if he not accustomed to communal living, or being around so many people again.
Give it some time with encouragement. If that doesn't work then go ahead and hire a companion to get him over the hump.
Good-luck hang in there.
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Reply to Jennytrying
cover9339 Feb 22, 2024
Let him find his way, if that means he enjoys being by himself, so be it
You could ask the staff if they can find a way to coax him to go to some meals in the dining room , and place him at a table with somE guys. That often can work, then they get used to sitting at the same table .
is there someone labeled as “activities director “? If so, ask that person if they can find a way to coax him to join some activity he may like .
otherwise , if those ideas fail, could pay extra for an outside companion / sitter to go in and spend some time with him.
Are you and your sister visiting daily? some advocate to purposely spend time away the first week or two, which forces them to adjust and start interacting with people. Ask the staff what they think about that .
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Reply to strugglinson
cover9339 Feb 17, 2024
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Geesh it's only been 4 days, it can take several months to adjust to new surroundings when dementia is involved.

Don't impose your worries on him, let it flow, you cannot live vicariously through him.

His brain is broken, his wants and needs will in no way line up with yours.

Don't become a helicopter daughter, it will keep you both stuck.

Back off, facilities recommend that you stay away for a week or two, sounds like you are not following their advice.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to MeDolly
Rebecca66012291 Feb 19, 2024
They did not gives us this advice or suggestions. I've not been going but my sisters have and a few of his friends have visited him. I travel for a living so I only seeing him on Sundays and sometimes Mondays for lunches before moving him. I've not gone yet and I'll be gone soon for a long trip so he has to get used to me not being there.
Me, if the money is there, I will go into AL. But, I still want my life to go on the way it has. I get up about 9. I eat a light breakfast so can do that in my room. My Mom had a small frig and microwave. Lunch, I never eat I just snack in the afternoon. Dinner would be the only meal I would need. So maybe go down for a little socialization. I am used to spending my day in the Den so spending it in my room is no big deal. If I want to join in activities OK if not that also should be OK. I am paying big bucks to live there. Its a residence, my home, and as such I do what I want when I want. Get up late, go to bed late.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to JoAnn29

It sounds like the facility / manager of the department didn't tell you that it takes a while for a person to adjust - perhaps 6-8 weeks. This has only been a few days.
* Give him as much time as he needs.
* 'Try' not to worry or be too concerned (at this point). He needs to ease into a new situation / environment.
* I would reframe from (trying) pushing him to do things / social activities, engage with others. There may be a very fine line between encouragement and pushing although he will know / feel what you are doing and perhaps resist (more).
* If I were you, I would more so focus on encouraging him to express to you (the family) how he is feeling. I am not sure what Stage 5 Alz means in terms of his cognitive functioning / ability to communicate with you, however, focusing attention on him 'one-on-one,' in ways that he feels cared about / for - and to get his feelings out may help him. It may also help you relax a bit more / (less anxious) and trust things will fall into place over the next few weeks.
* My client (with advanced dementia) did adjust after several weeks. She got to love the care aides. I actually didn't believe them although they were right.
- As well, the relationships at the facility are so very important. As your dad starts to get to know the staff, and they show they care, he likely will start to feel more connected / and not so alone.

Volunteer Organizations:

* See if LITA operates in your area.
* Call local County City Hall Senior Services Dept and ask about volunteer organizations.
* Ask social worker at facility.
* Call college dept heads (nursing, counseling, geriatrics) for students / volunteers. They can get credit or experience visiting an elder.
* Post notice at your (or a) local church for a volunteer visitor.

I did this for my friend-companion who was in a nursing home and bed ridden.
Socialization visits / visitors was critically important to me, for him.
- It helped me as I was exhausted going as often as I was. Having others visit was essential for his quality of life. He had two lovely 'friends' for two years. They were a Godsend. And, I was able to rest a bit more or do other responsibilities, while also working.

- Have you tried inviting your dad to the dining room there with you and your sister - to ease him into it ? Perhaps you try this already? I certainly wouldn't expect him to go alone yet.

To recap - try to relax a bit more and trust the process - his process.
If he likes to paint or draw, perhaps take him out into the garden area and bring a sketch pad.

When you do visit, always take him out into the common areas.
Do NOT stay in his room. The key is to ease him into the environment with you.

Is there a social worker you can talk to on the premises?
They should be supporting you / guiding you through this process.
They know how it it / how it goes.

You might want to employ a massage therapist too, if you think that would help him. And it doesn't need to be a certified therapist (as I am). Anyone can give a gentle 'touch' massage. If he'd enjoy that, give him a scalp massage or a foot massage. It will relax him. I presume that he may feel depressed, alone, lost. Being with him - where he is - will help him. Let us know how it goes.

Gena / Touch Matters
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to TouchMatters
Rebecca66012291 Feb 20, 2024
Thank you. Stage 5 means he still can dress himself, use the bathroom, and shower (though he doesn't shower) but he has no short term memory at all. He's mobile basically and can still put on his pants for example but may wear the same clothing over if you don't point out for him to change. He can still talk, but the conversation will not be indepth at all, and the stories will probably not be true. He is venturing quickly toward stage 6 I'd say in a year or less.
my mom is a extreme introvert and what you are describing is what I experienced with her. So, I found a caregiver (for you, get a man). I talked to the person and gave a life resume of my mom. I asked her to come with me and introduced her as my friend who was looking into where she was staying at some point. With the knowledge of my mom’s background and her likes and dislikes, they were able to bond well. First thing my friend did was ask mom if she would like to go out to lunch since they liked similar food. Then they visited a military memorial. Other times, she played solitaire in front of mom. Mom likes to watch but doesn’t play games anymore. I found that no matter what they tell you in the homes or facilities, the one on one is missing. My mom still has her caregiver and now that mom cannot go out (it causes her too much angst), they still have their time together. It is 4 hours a day now and 5 days a week. I have another “friend” who comes in 2 days. Mom now gets showers and lotions and hair trimmed and walking, a companion to go to events and introduce her to others. I cancelled the pricy care of the AL showering her because it wasn’t working. Mom would refuse and they would say “okay” not tell me and still charged me what amounted to 35.00 hr for the minimum showers 2 times a week. Get a friend. You will be so much happier. Mom doesn’t know she is paid and I kid mom that she took my friend but that is okay. I get a text every day telling me how the day went. I scheduled the hours over 2 meals so mom can have company while eating. My friend is on a special diet so she doesn’t eat the meals given there but brings her own.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Tandemfun4us

Step back and let him find his way to people and activities. If you’re hovering too close, he won’t do it. Ditto for the male companion. In four months or so, if dad’s unhappy, reconsider.

If I were to move into such a place, I’d sit back and look things over before jumping into things! Let him have his space and see what develops.

Good luck to dad in his new home.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Fawnby
cover9339 Feb 20, 2024
Good luck indeed!!
Good Afternoon,

What about if you ate a few meals with him in the dining room and introduced him to 2 people. He doesn't have to befriend the entire unit but just a few. I know some people who eat with someone new every night when they are new.

The men usually like sports on tv but we are made for one another and you need human contact. Can you hire an assistant 2 days per week to bring your father to an event?
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Ireland
cover9339 Feb 22, 2024
Better he stay by himself.
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