My parents (91 & 87) are currently in a nursing home, recovering from serious injuries suffered in an automobile accident several months ago. Their rehab is "up" (Medicare is maxed out) and it's time for a new venue. They can do assisted living, and we've put a deposit down on a 2-BR apartment. Needless to say, they would rather go home, but that's not the best option right now. My Dad in particular is giving me a lot of static about not being able to go home. Plus, his dementia is making it hard to remember my explanations. It's getting harder and harder to maintain my cool about this. Any suggestions on how I can make this repeated argument go away?

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"The doctor says that you need to go to AL in order to get stronger. We'll reevaluate with the doctor in 3 months"
Helpful Answer (21)

^^^^What Barb said ^^^^

I throw my Moms doctor under the bus constantly.
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Gerip1092 Jul 2018
Me too!! 😉
dminor; I hate to say this, but when you've got a parent with dementia, the truth is NOT your friend.

At 87, mom's days of being stable "at home" even with some home health coming in are probably numbered. My mom was MUCH better off in a facility with lots of activities and socialization and varied food than she was when she was at home with an aide coming in.
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Emphasizing to your Dad that Mom needs some help taking care of him might work better - many elderly couples are more concerned about their partner than themselves, Also when dementia starts and the person is still so much like the person we have know all our lives, one of the things that drives some of our frustration is that we have these little logical discussions that do not close some issue. The reoccurring discussion is often dementia/anxiety driven. Your Dad is not really trying to give you a hard time or not accepting your explanation. Sounds like he is accepting in the moment, but then the unfamiliar situation increases his anxiety and the dementia brain that doesn't work as well anymore doesn't remember the discussion and so he starts it again, Our challenge as loving family members is to have that discussion for the twentieth time with the same love and understanding as the first time.
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I had to blame it on my moms broken hip. she was my dads primary caregiver. but he had ALZ and she just wasn't able to do it anymore. plus they were up in age...

it was very awkward at times, cause the main reason was the dementia for both of them. there was a long adjustment time...

my dad passed away after 4 years in AL. my mom still there. she doesn't talk any more about going home. shes been there since 2011. but the beginning was HARD. each day was a pinch closer to having them forget how it used to be. (home)

im glad they went to AL when they did.

edit sometimes I would just have to walk away to the hallway or into the little kitchen area. act like I didn't hear. and then for the moment they forgot what theyd just asked.
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I agree with Barb. They wouldn't be able to live safely at home, it sounds like, at least not for very long. And the socialization in the AL facility would be very good for them both to keep from getting isolated like they might at home.

You might say something like, "I know you want to go back home, but we (you and your mom) love you and want to keep you safe, so we're getting your stuff moved to your apartment for you for a while. Mom's gonna be right there with you."

You'll probably have to repeat it a lot, at least until he gets settled in, but just keep reminding him, you and mom love him and want to keep him safe.
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As usual, I'm reading a lot about "my mom", but little about men- a totally different situation! My Dad is 92 and was just placed in hospice care. I've decided to move him from Independent Living into AL and I'm not sure how he'll react. When I moved him from Florida to his apartment close to me 2 years ago, he didn't handle it very well and got sick for a couple weeks after the move. He's very independent and stubborn. Just know that as hard as you try to talk about the move, I don't think they can process it. My dad asks over and over if there is a plan even though I talk to him about it everyday. I have a feeling that once he's in AL, he'll decline. It's a very hard thing to do but all I can say is that your judgement is still in tact, theirs is gone due to the dementia. Trust that your doing the right thing, even though you feel like your the worst person on earth for making the decisions for them. Best of luck to you!
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shb1964 Jul 2018
And to you, Grieving1918. Even though I'm dealing with an 84 yo Mom with Alz, I relate to your dad's stubbornness and independence. My sister and I often feel like the worst person on earth for making decisions in their "best interests." We, too, believe AL would make our mother's decline even more rapid than it is. We've decided we'd be trading one set of burdens for another by doing that, and her quality of life would be less than it is now. Stay strong. Good luck.
Thanks. I've used the "you need to get stronger" argument a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I had it all settled. Nope. The thing is, Mom could go home - with home health - but she's willing to go to AL so they can be together. I dance around the issue that it's Dad that's holding them back, but that's the truth.
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Judysai422 Jul 2018
Your mom won't be able to manage your dad for long, and she probably knows it. If she is willing to go to IL for your dad, Do it.
I have the same problem but parents are reversed. Got dad to go to AL when he and mom got sick at the same time and he obviously could not care for her. He hates it, but he knows mom needs it and this way they can be together. You are doing the right thing. And blaming it on th he doc really helps. My moms doc said my dad could not manage her meds any more because he could not not get her to take them the right way. Lol, it guilted him into moving to AL.
If possible find an IL that also offers AL or stay in place add on services so you have more options down the road. Congrats for finding a 2 BR. Not an easy feat!
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I agree with the advice to say we will talk about this when you both get a bit stronger.
You are going there because the staff can help you with Mom.
The concern I might have is if your Dad's dementia is getting worse how long will he be able to stay in Assisted Living? Do they have Memory Care where they will be going? If so is it possible to arrange a place in Memory Care for both of them now rather than trying to move him again in 3, 5 or 8 months?
Your other option would be...
If their house is safe and they can both get around easily (no stairs) can you have caregivers come in to be with them? You may or may not need them all the time at this point (just based upon what your Dad needs) but later you may indeed need 24/7 help. And will the house have to be modified for accessibility?
You would have to weigh the cost of first Assisted Living then a move to Memory Care VS living at home paying caregivers, gas, electric, insurance, mortgage and all the rest of the stuff that goes with home ownership.
Also if they own you would be clearing out the house, selling what you can or dispersing it among family members then selling the house. (unless it would be kept).
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I used "the doctor said" method.  I would bend the truth and say the doctor said you will have to stay here at least three more weeks so your condition can be watched over carefully.  By the end of that time she would no longer ask..

Dementia affects the patient and the loved ones as you know....Remind yourself that the folks no longer have  the ability to reason properly...Thus, it will help you to cope and you can change the subject (repeatedly) and suggest taking a walk outdoors or sit on the porch awhile...Perhaps most importantly is to realize that most of your explanations will not be understood or accepted.  Stop explaining.  Just say we'll see, no matter how difficult that will be.  It is not going to be steady-as-she-goes no matter what you do..

You have a very tough challenge.

Grace + Peace,

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