Ready for the dementia ward?
My father is in the middle stages of AlzheimerÂs. Just before Christmas this year, he had his first psychotic episode, and it was a doozy. He drank some dishwashing liquid and ended up spending the night in the hospital. All things liquid were removed from his room at the assisted living facility, and heÂs had no other episodes.
His assisted living place has a room available in their dementia ward, and are giving us first dibs on it. ThereÂs a waiting list. Although the dementia ward is nice and looks like the rest of the place, itÂs a self-contained wing thatÂs in a state of lock-down for obvious reasons. If we move Daddy to the dementia ward, he will no long be able to go for walks or sit outside whenever he wants, and will be separated from the few friends heÂs made. Because that little bit of freedom is what he most enjoys in life, IÂm afraid that heÂll go downhill rapidly if he loses it. Also, he has some real issues about losing his dignity because heÂs not allowed to take care of himself, which would intensify after the move.
My brother and I want our father to be safe and well-cared for, and there is no way to tell if DaddyÂs next psychotic episode will be this afternoon or in six months. We have to decide in the next day or two. IÂm going to talk to a couple members of the staff where Daddy lives to get their opinions. But if you were faced with this situation, what would you do?