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We just moved my dad to assisted living. We tried having him live with my sister but he wants constant attention and she works full time from home so it wasn't working.
He's now living by me. I've told him over and over that if he goes downstairs he can meet people and join activities but he doesn't and then calls me multiple times a day because he wants attention.
Does anyone have suggestions on how to deal with this?

Start running and don't look back.
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Reply to joniallison
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My mom seeks nonstop attention . Even at the AL she gets jealous that someone gets nursing attention when ill..this week she has been “ill” with NO evidence of her stated issues. I go to counseling when this load gets overwhelming…3 yrs and I am exhausted…..Try limiting visits to 3 days a week on a schedule. Mom has a notebook. I write down when I will visit and what we can do. It helps! Good Luck..p.s. I took moms phone away. Nurses have a phone..no more non stop calls. Some days I got 30 calls..We can call there and they give her a phone to use!
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Reply to Sadinroanokeva
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Ask sister, family, and friends to "visit him" daily and take him downstairs to help him make develop new friendships. Once he is used to "going to activities," he should not call as often.
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Reply to Taarna
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melbent: Inform the assisted living's activity director to engage your father in activities of the day.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Speak to the activities Director. Silence your phone when you don't want to engage. Answering is always optional, right?
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Reply to ConnieCaretaker
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Has he always been a loner? If so, he may be more comfortable in his own apartment most of the time. Visit him as much as you can while he gets acclimated, and maybe join him in some of the activities or having a meal. I did this with my Mom, and realized that with her advancing dementia she wasn't following or enjoying movies as much as she used to do. If there's an outside space, sit with him outside and chat with passersby, if there are any. You don't have to pick up the phone every time he calls. Let some calls go to voice mail. Staff at his facility will take care of anything that's an emergency, and they should contact you in emergencies. Talk to the staff at his facility and ask their advice. In time, he should get accustomed to his new home. All the best to you both.
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Reply to NancyIS
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Moving to AL is a huge adjustment. So much has changed for them and there’s a lot to get used to. It took my mom many months to start to get involved in a few things. It can be overwhelming. My mom called me all the time. I took most of her calls. I figured out that I was ‘home base’ for her, a familiar touch point that helped her to feel grounded. She gradually met a few people and found a routine for herself. As she developed dementia, she started calling me all the time again. I became her touch point again. Sometimes I would stop by and have a meal or coffee with her. Now she has transferred into memory care and again, I was her touch point. Now, three months later, she has learned ‘the ropes’ again so only calls me once or twice a week.
I think men have a much harder time. Maybe you can visit as frequently as you can and sit in the common areas and say hello to everyone because the older residents love us ‘young’ ones and are curious and may stop to chat. My mom got more involved once she met a few people who then mentioned the activities they were going to.
Hard but precious times for us ‘kids’!
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Reply to salina95
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Maybe the staff can give him a job or activity to help with. Pick up the brushes after painting, put the trash in the can, set up for bingo. Something he can accomplish and be praised for.
Blessings to you and yours
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Reply to Ohwow323
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One thing I don't understand. Why shouldn't he call your siblings also if he wants to talk? Why should this all be on you to handle? It's not as if you're an only child.

I have two ideas in addition to the others that have been suggested:

1. Ask the staff at the AL for suggestions on getting him engaged in life there and implement them.
2. You say your siblings don't know what's going on. Inform them. Keep in touch and ask them to be part of the solution. They can't delegate everything to you. Invite them for a visit and a family meeting.
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Reply to iameli
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My mother lives with me and she calls my name hundred of times every day. I'll be sitting at the table with her and she will call my name wanting me to respond. The sitters who care for her so I can get out tell me that she is relentless when I'm gone, calling my name constantly.

All of that makes it almost unbearable to be around her at any time. Being super close to her is what she really wants and I'm not able to do that for various reasons. Interesting. She did not nurture me as a child - mostly farmed me out when she could and now she seems to want to be nurtured.

I think the solution for your dad would be what he doesn't seem to want to do, which is to get involved in activities and meet other people around him. However if he doesn't want to do that, you can't force him.
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Reply to southiebella
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ConnieCaretaker Sep 15, 2022
Try ALEXA!
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"He's calling my siblings up North so they're calling me telling me that I have to do something "

Well, here's an idea. Block his number or only answer it during certain times. Let him keep calling your siblings. If they don't like it, tell them to come down and see what's going on.
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Reply to CTTN55
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Hi Mel bent,
i have not read the replies yet so forgive me if this has already been suggested. When we moved my mother into assisted living she didn’t participate in any of the activities or even really leave her room. This would be even with caregivers coming to tell her about a super fun thing they were doing or were going to. And my mother was a super social person. I mentioned this to the residence and they said to get her to participate and make friends I really needed to visit her and while visiting take part in the activities and bring her with me to the activities. Again I also needed to actively take part in the activity not just bring her to it and sit on the side lines or leave. While doing the activities I would interact with some of the other residents and those that seemed like people my mother would’ve been friends with years ago (before her dementia) I would try and include them and my mother in a conversation together. This had to be done for a little while (a few weeks and a few visits each week). Eventually she would participate on her own. I would arrive for my visit and she would be with the group from her floor playing a game. For the first few months after she started to participate, when I visited I would try and keep her involved with the activities by participating with her and not go back to her room. After a few weeks she had made « friends » (she had dementia so friendships weren’t exactly the same as they were before her dementia) and even the caregivers knew who they were and would always seat the group of ladies together for meals and activities calling it the « ladies table ».

in my mothers situation the suggestion of me visiting more for a short time frame and including myself in the activités with my mom seemed to help her make friends and be more social and feel like the residence was her home.

i hope this helps.
best of luck!
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Reply to MTL1974
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Grandmaofeight Sep 15, 2022
This is exactly what I did with my parents. Once they got over any anxiety they had over meeting new people they became more independent. Sadly Covid hit and my parents health really tanked. Dad passed and Mom is bedridden.
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It sounds like on top of being overwhelmed by this new situation, your siblings are now laying a guilt trip on you. Don't fall for it. They are just trying to distract from the fact that they are doing nothing. Send them the address of a hotel close to where your Dad is and tell them to come anytime and resolve the issues.
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Reply to Sharovd
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Here's an idea. Don't take all of his calls. Let some of them go to voicemail. If you're too sensitive to listen to his messages, you can block the number he calls from so that he cannot leave voicemails on your phone.
I really don't see how this is such a problem that you would have to ask advice on it.

-Don't answer every call.

-Let some go to voicemail.

-Block voicemails being left to your phone from the number he calls from.

He's bored and if you aren't picking up the phone every five minutes he'll start joining in with the activities going on.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Isthisrealyreal Sep 11, 2022
This is supposedly a support forum. Why do you degrade people for asking a legitimate question?

Unlike you, most of us didn't do caregiving as a profession, so this is all new.

Show some compassion.
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It makes things harder for you b/c dad is calling your siblings up North making it seem like he's living in pure misery, making THEM call YOU expecting you to drop everything to 'fix' the 'urgent' situation which is anything BUT urgent. Right? This is known as Exaggeration by Dad to Make Things Look Worse than they Are a/k/a The Sympathy Ploy. Maybe the kids up North will take pity on me and come get me outta here, thinks dad! Meanwhile, they're all nerved up b/c of those phone calls thinking YOU did something 'foolish' by getting dad involved in a senior day camp situation which is the perfect set up FOR a guy like this, in reality. He's an attention hound, as evidenced by the tricks he pulled while living with your sister, and now with the tricks he's pulling with the sibs up North. He's vying for attention yet again, that's all he's doing, as you said yourself.

First and foremost, let your Northern siblings know what's going on with dad; that's he's out of control with wanting attention 24/7 which is why sister #1 couldn't deal with him in the FIRST place. And why he's in AL now. If they'd like to come for a visit to see for themselves that he's fine, go for it. But otherwise, you have enough on your plate dealing with his phone calls, so please don't burden you down with THEIR phone calls in addition. All is well and please give dad a chance to acclimate. Soon he'll be so busy with activities and friends that NONE of us will be able to reach him!

Then give dad a chance to acclimate. Call the Activities Director at the ALF and tell her that dad is a little timid & nervous about meeting people, to please help him get OUT and about, mingling and joining in. In my mom's ALF, the AD would come knock on her door every day at a certain time for activities if she wasn't there in the activity room. They didn't want residents hibernating in their rooms, or eating meals in their rooms either, so they discouraged it. In fact, the ALF would charge $6 per meal for 'room service' for every meal they requested in their room above and beyond 6 per month. That got the residents OUT into the dining room on a daily basis!! If you go to see dad at the ALF, make sure it's at a time a little before an activity starts, and then you can 'drop him off' at that activity before you leave. Or drop him off at the dining room at a table of other gentlemen before you leave. And check with the AD if there's a card game going on with the men and at what time and day it happens. My dad enjoyed playing cards 'with the guys' at the ALF and getting away from my mother and the other yakking ladies at the AL that way~! LOL

Wishing you the best of luck getting others to pay attention to dad so you and your siblings don't have to do so 24/7.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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My mom is in SNF and after 1 1/2 years prefers to stay to herself in her room where she takes all meals, does PT and on occasion ventures out to do a group activity. So, my advice is to find things that your dad could do in his room, i.e. listen to music, radio talk shows, TV programs, color, read, etc. and then when he feels comfortable with that environment, perhaps he will venture out for some group activities or to meet with a friend or to interact with the staff. The staff enjoys talking and joking with mom and she is building relationships with them. Mom was calling me multiple times each day to once a day and now even less, basically to complain and/or gain attention. I had to play the "tough love" card and let it go to answering machine and would return the call at my convenience. The staff would most likely agree that he is still relying on you and will find it harder to let go and adapt to his new surroundings if you are available all the time. This may seem harsh, but believe me, one can burn out after not having enough of time for partner, family, work, friends, hobbies and downtime. Hugs and good luck!
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Reply to MissGypsy
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My mom has been in an ALF four months. The first four weeks were super difficult. She liked her room but was afraid if she left she would not find her way back. Of course the staff would assist but she did not know that. Now that time has past, she is still in her room most of the time but has chosen a few activities that she enjoys. She eats in her room but is beginning to talk about making friends and going to the dining room. She will never be the life of the party. She is simple too shy but we are making progress. Give it some time. It is a new environment with new faces. That can be scary for anyone.
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Reply to Msblcb
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Baby steps. Or sneaky steps.

If Dad can openly discuss how hard it is to move, to learn to fit into a new place, he may be open to discussing how he can help himself adjust?

By leaving his room he will interact with others.

By talking to a few new people he can start to sort the nice from the silly, the interesting from the bores.

What's he got to lose?

Although I get that small talk can be torture for some.. if that's him then a structured activity will be better.

He can take it slow, but set himself a goal: eg find out what's on, then attend ONE activity this week.

If he is willing (even a bit) but initiation skills to arrange/act are low, engage the Activities Director as other have said. This person is basically a *social engineer* & a good one can find out his interests so to set him up with some appropriate groups. It may take a few to trial.

When volunteering at a NH (pre-Covid days, sigh) there were many groups on offer. A small men's group where the newspaper was read out & discussed really impressed me. What I called the 'bright ladies' in their costume jewels & lippy were arranging flowers... The 'jocks' went playing carpet bowls...

These groups were all managed & directed by staff, as was needed at this NH stage. AL may be more self-directed?

That's where the stealth comes in. If Dad can't initiate, a little arranging behind the scenes may really help.

I spent some time just sitting with a new resident in the garden. She did not want to interact with others, was angry at being there really. Was grieving the loss of her house & belongings very deeply. But I think she quietly enjoyed seeing other people enjoying the garden. She returned their 'hello' but nothing more. We talked about adjusting to change. About what she could change to improve things. Eg label her clothes to help prevent items getting lost. About things to consider eg eating with others instead of alone in her room.
I hoped in a week or two she might engage a bit more.

Best wishes for you & your Dad as this adjustment is made.
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Reply to Beatty
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I saw your reply below about your siblings wanting you to “do something” Next time that’s asked please respond by telling them to feel free to come and do whatever they’d like to do. Don’t accept all responsibility to “do something” just because you’re local. I’d try to take less of the lonely man calls and enlist the activities director where dad lives to recruit him as a helper of sorts. If he can be made to feel useful and needed he’ll ultimately meet people. Even if this or other plans don’t work, know that you can’t be the solution to all issues. He’s going through a big life change and sometimes that just leads to issues we can’t fix
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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It will take time for him to adjust. In the meantime, stop answering every call. Return his calls once a day at most. See if the AL will have other residents who can take him around to events as a way to break the ice. Some places have resident ambassadors who can help ease the transition. He may or may not want to get involved. My father was very outgoing but he never bothered to do anything more than an occasional bus trip the AL provided.

Don't visit too often. He won't adjust if he is waiting on your next visit. Once he does finally settle in have a standard visit day and time. Don't rush there every time he wants something. This is a big change for him but he has to do this on his own.
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Reply to lkdrymom
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melbent, you mentioned you just moved your Dad to Assisted Living. Please note that it will take time for him to adjust to his new living situation.

Usually the facility will tell family not to visit for the first two weeks. That way the new resident can learn his/her way around the facility. Possibly meet new people. And begin to recognize the Staff.

My Dad was a shy person and he also wouldn't join in the social hour that happened daily at the facility. At meals, the Staff had him sit with a couple that was his old home State, and a city that he was familiar with.

Otherwise, my Dad preferred to stay in his apartment reading and watching TV, but he would keep his apartment door opened. That way, anyone walking by his door could yell in "Hello" and wave.

I also signed Dad up for physical therapy which he liked. At least it got him out of the apartment couple times a week besides just dinner.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Cover999 Sep 10, 2022
Lol so sit him with a couple, so he would be the "third wheel"?
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If it's only been a week he is still reeling from the changes.

I would encourage your siblings to encourage dad to go to some activities and to stop placing the responsibility on you. They can do something by helping him engage with his new environment.

These transitions take time to settle in and calm down. So reassure dad that he is okay, that he should go try the activities and meet his new neighbors. Men are pretty sparce in these places, he will be a big hit with a little effort. Maybe buy him a new dapper neckerchief or hat, something that would make him feel more confident.

Best of luck. This is probably the hardest thing any adult child faces with their parents.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Cover999 Sep 10, 2022
In other words find a lady friend to spend time with?
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I've dealt with situations like this many times because I did in-home caregiving for almost 25 years.
Ignore him. You can't pay him constant attention 24/7 and he either has to adapt or he goes into managed care.
You also have to make some conditions about him living with you. Is there a senior center or adult daycare in your area?
He starts going three days a week whether he wants to or not. I don't know what kind of housing you live in where there's activities downstairs or if there's some kind of community room.
If he is welcome to join in then the condition of him staying with you is he goes to activities downstairs two or three hours a day five days a week.
You might want to look into getting him a hired companion to take him out or just sit with him. This can work wonders for a person. There are choices.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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Cover999 Sep 10, 2022
I get the vibe he lives in a AL, and the OP is near him, but not in the same AL.
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First of all, give this time. Secondly, make certain Dad has times to look forward to, marked on a calendar for lunch with you and sister, or with one of the other, or a ride, or a visit from you. Then tell Dad that you will not be answering the phone calls from him other than once daily in morning or twice daily, morning and evening, and stick to that training program unless there is an emergency.
You are finding, I know, that not everything has an EASY, a pat, or even a GOOD answer. Some things are just sad, worth grieving, for both Dad, you and Sister. Don't waver, as that will confuse and distress your Dad.
As to activities, some never do engage with them. Some do eventually find a few like minds. Some people are more or less introverted and not "joiners". As my brother said to me of his ALF "You know hon, it is a bit like the Army; I didn't like it but I DID make the best of it". That's what he did with all his life when times were tough, so Dad will likely adapt to this as he has to much else in life. My brother eventually took a love to long walks on the grounds, sitting quietly and "people watching", going to a few movies or Homes of the Stars tours, cutting roses for the individual tables in the communal dining area. I hope your Dad will eventually adapt as well. All moves all of our lives are tough for ALL of us, so imagine how much more so this one for your Dad.
I almost forgot, Melbent, Welcome to Forum!
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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You do not have to answer each call right away. Ask him to always leave you a message because you are working. I had to do the same with my mom. If a message was urgent of course I would call right away.

Ask the activities person at ASL to try and get him to participate a little at a time. Hopefully he will meet some interesting people to be friends with.
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Reply to InFamilyService
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Takes time. He may never engage, his choice.. my mom wouldn’t either , waisted energy and I felt like a nag trying to help her.. just know it is what it is…
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Reply to babsjvd
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Seems Dad has Dementia. Maybe an AL was not the place for him. He might be better in a Memory Care facility. But, u may even then have the same problem. Talk to the Director, ask if they could make a point of seeing that he gets to these activities till he gets used to going. Or you find out when the activities are and go and urge him to join in. The calls, don't answer the phone. He has to get used to the staff doing for him.

Your father is probably scared. He may be very aware he is losing his memory. You are his familiar. He is in a strange place with strange people. If in early stages of Dementia he probably can't be reasoned with. He is losing that ability.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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melbent Sep 10, 2022
We had him tested and were told that he doesn't have dementia or alzheimers. He knows what's going on and if the staff asks him questions, he can answer them.
I contacted the facility and asked them to assign him a "resident ambassador" to help him get acclimated.
It's only been a week so maybe it will get better. I'm just feeling overwhelmed and alone.
He's calling my siblings up North so they're calling me telling me that I have to do something but they have no idea of what is actually going on.
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