Putting dad into memory care center

mikeandbarbSeptember 22, 2008

Dad is in a care center now but it's not the best. Yesterday I was very upset with them cause his legs are swelling and being that he has congestive heart failure I know he has to be treated right away. I had to keep on the nurse to get his medication. Also he had a pacemaker put in on Tuesday and they had not even looked at the stitches or the sores from when the doctor pulled the tape bandage off Wednesday morning, the sores started getting red around them. They only put something on the sores after I'd told them about it.

I went Friday to tour and interview a home that I had learned about through dementia meetings I'd gone to. I like the place very much and it seemed like a great place. The people there seemed happy, when I first got there was a group sitting outside singing, inside I went into the office and one gentlemen doesn't like sitting with the others but likes sitting in the office with the staff and they allow him to stay there. They have two areas for watching TV one for sports and another for movies or shows.

They have a dinning area so that if you wish to have a family dinner you can have the family over there and it's a private room so it's just the family.

Today when I went to see dad there were three people eating at a small round table and he asked if they let family eat there and I told him yes they do but you have to let them know in advance to eat there. So it sounds like he'd like that kind of thing.

It was hard today because dad seemed more like himself and stronger but I know when he's at home and not eating right that he starts going down hill. He is eating three meals a day now where at home he'll only eat one or two. Morning he'd eat a honey bun and a banana, nothing for lunch and dinner is a few slices or Arbby's beef and some beans. He snacked on pumpkin bread and frozen yogurt. I have tried to get him to eat better but without me living there making his meals for him he just would do it.

Last night I prayed for dad not to suffer anymore, I pray for this time to be easy on him and maybe it will go better than I thought it would. My husband said he was sure that dad was happier seeing me everyday but I can't keep it up my home and health can't stand up to it but until I get things in order I have to keep going. I have all his affairs to handle. He owns two homes we went yesterday to mow and weedeat and check on everything. My son is living in one of the homes but he's not able to keep up with all of it himself.

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I feel you are making the right choice and your dad will be better for it. The nursing home my mom and brother are in is wonderful, they do outings and even take the Alzheimer patients on outings for ice cream and other simpler things like that. For those that are a little more functional they do outings like Civic Light Opera, Phipps Conservatory, the Aviary and so on. Then they have lots of activities within the home. My brother is doing much better at this home than the other one is was in.

As for going everyday, yes, you do have to right now, however once he is settled in the new home you will be able to cut back on visits as he will be making his own friends and might not have time for you! LOL!

My dad and I periodically eat with my mom and brother so we can have our family meals. I also make food and take it in so they can have "homemade" stuff also!

Handling the affairs is tough, I am POA for all 3 of my family members so I know how tough it can be! Will be saying prayers for you and yours that He give you the strength and wisdom to make the right choices. Come here anytime it is getting to you and we will all be here with shoulders to cry on and ears to listen.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 8:59AM
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Thank you Linda,

Yesterday dad's legs were still swollen so I took him to the ER, everything checked out ok and the nurse explained to me that dad's heart isn't beating fast enough to keep the blood / fluids pumped through so this casues the fluid build up. Dads heart is just worn out.
Dad and I talked and he is so understanding of what's going on and understands now that he is in need of extra help as well as me needing help to care for him.
But I had been telling him for sometime that I need help in caring for him and when me being there everyday with him for the past two weeks he see's that I'm not just going to dump him and leave. I think that is what a lot of people fear.
It has felt strange these past two weeks, I've had dads wallet and keys for two weeks and dad hasn't asked for them or about them till last night. He said that it's been strange not to have them on him, was all he said.

It would be a blessing if dad did make friends and enjoy the time he has left while he's up to it. He enjoy's getting out so hopefully he'll join them in the outting they do.
The place I picked out is a very nice place, they do lots of things with them. Yesterday I had to stop by and it was just after lunch, one of the ladies there sings and she was out front there singing, she's really good.

There are three new men coming in this week and they too have pacemakers so maybe dad will click with one or two and they'll be able to talk about what they've been through and how they feel.

Bless your heart Linda, you must be a strong person to take on caring for so many family members. It's wearing me down just caring for one. I will keep you and yours in my prayers also.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 8:05AM
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These decisions are so hard. I empathize with you because I'm going through the same thing. My mom's AL think it's time for her to make the move to memory care, and I know they're right. Today her doctor evaluated her and came to the same conclusion. Just like you, I worry about the transition. But I know it's the right decision. She wanders and tries to leave the facility to visit her parents across the street. She needs to be in a more secure environment.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 9:21PM
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Shambo, the doctor knows just where you mom is at and for her safety it well be best for her.
Our heart breaks into a million pieces from the hurt and pain seeing our loved ones this way but you have to be strong. God bless you I know just what your going through.

Well, they got dad moved over to the memory care center it wasn't easy but the lady went over to get dad and she asked him if he wanted to go get a vanilla shake and he said yes. Well, he told me what took place and he didn't get his vanilla shake and called the lady a witch for not getting it for him. This was all said in child like manner. This opened my eyes. Also he said that they hadn't given him any water all day yesterday and I seen his pitcher and cup and asked him about using it and he said, oh, I didn't even see that and it was sitting right there next to him.
I didn't see how bad he was till now because he was living at home and in his own environment but he did make me raise I eye brow in past few weeks he's complained about the postman coming twice a day and he didn't know what time he was coming.
The nurse said that he's asking for his water pill often and this was my biggest fear so I am so blessed that he is the center and safe. In his frame of mind he may take the whole bottle in a day. He got to where he wasn't taking his medication right.

I'm needing to get some rest but I've got so much to do that it's going to be sometime before that happens. We've started cleaning out dads home bring over family items that I don't want to lose. Dad's house is in a bad part of town and fear it will get broken into once they see no one is there. Some of the stuff I have to rent a truck and put them in storage for safe keeping.
I've got to find out about selling his homes and items. I want to put the money into a savings so at least it can make some interest for now.

Does anyone if I can get long term care insurance for dad? I'm thinking it's to late.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 8:24AM
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If your Dad's income is low enough, he might qualify for some sort of state aid after you sell his house and other things. Check into it now so that you can plan ahead.

Put any money you receive from the house into some sort of interest bearing CD at his bank. The monthly interest plus his social security check might be enough to cover his expenses at the Center. Another idea is to put the money into a series of small CDs that mature at different times. Then you can regularly cash one in when it matures, use the money for his current expense while the rest keep earning interest.

I am assuming that he does get a Social Security Check. Don't forget to make sure that the SSA has his change of address. The usual thing is that they send the check to the Home and they apply it to his bill.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 10:09AM
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It is too late for long term care insurance but he will qualify for Medicaid once his assets are spent down for his care. In my state a person can maintain eight thousand in their name but anything above that has to be spent down before Medicaid kicks in. Now, this includes the nursing home charges for room and board, any meds that he might have a co-pay on and anything else that is directly for his care. I am going through all this for my mom right now and believe me, it does not take long to spend down their assets towards their care! Once medicaid gives approval then the nursing home will apply for "rep Payee" for his social security check..........out of that check the resident gets to keep a certain amount each month.....in this state it is 45.oo a month, which goes in to a resident trust account at the nursing home.
The things ya learn when your parents get older!
I am glad to hear though that he will be taken care of and given his meds the right way, plus being closely monitored is a big plus. Power of God be with all of you.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 6:43PM
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Barbara, best of luck with all the many details you must attend to. It's good for your dad to be in a safe environment and to be getting his medications administered correctly. Take care of yourself.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 10:12PM
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OMG I didn't even think of contacting SSA for a change of address. His check is direct deposit so that will change? He has enough money to last a few years.
Yesterday I went and paid for his funeral because I don't want to have to go through getting it done when the time comes. I know when he goes I'll be a mess and wanted to make it easy.
He put some money into a CD not to long ago maturing every 6 months for right now I'm not going to worry about it, this time will allow me to do what needs to be done right now.
I don't under stand why they use SS for payment to the care center if it's being paid, what about money needed for his medication and other items needed. They put a diaper on him cause he doesn't wear underwear cause they ride up on him. So I have to buy those for him too.
They called me again yesterday telling me that my dad wanted to talk to me and I told them that he will start crying and hearing him cry is tearing me up and I really need to keep myself calm while I'm handling his affairs.
My stomach gets torn up and makes me really sick. I know he's living in his own H%#@, it's so sad that I can't fit it for him and make it all better and I am going through H#@$ seeing my father go through this.

Thank you for the kind words and help


    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 3:56AM
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You do not need to notify social security, let the check go in to the account and use it for his care. My mom's check is still going in to the joint checking account but I write a check to the nursing home every month for that amount to go towards her care.
It is only when the assets run out that the nursing home will then want his check, and it sounds like that will be a while so you won't have to worry.
I know what you mean about going through H E double toothpicks, it really tears me up to see my mom paralyzed on one side, no longer able to even stand for more than seconds on her other leg...........to see my brother's body robbed of any control due to PD and then my dad having mild dementia and being legally blind. It is very hard but ya know what, we make it through, we deal with what we have to deal with and some how life continues on.
Making the funeral arrangements is a good idea, I did that for both my parents so, like you, when the time comes I won't have to deal with that as it will be too hard. I have not made my brothers and I know I should but somehow I can't bring myself to that point yet.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 6:29AM
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That's right. The SSA check doesn't have to go to the Home, sometimes it just makes things move a little easier for the family. If the patient does need to go on Medicaid, then, they may require it. So you won't have that worry for a long time.

You see, the problem is that too many people with access to the patient's personal checking accout, use the SSA money for their own needs and then there's nothing left to pay for the patient's care. The Home can't put the patient out on the street. It's a case of a rule that works the best for everyone.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 4:37PM
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As long as a patient is private pay nursing homes will not apply for rep payee, but as soon as they go on Medicaid they will! I agree many families do use the money for themselves but once your state Medicaid gets involved they lay the law down about only using the patients money for their care and nothing else. My mom is very close to Medicaid right now and when I told them I had to take the RMD out of her IRA I was told the money had to go towards her care.......geesh, how many families there must have been in the past that have taken that money for themselves that they are now really cracking down.
As for the sale of the property you should make sure you keep that money seperate because Medicaid can go back 5 years and they will want to know where the money is from sale.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2008 at 6:34PM
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Over two years ago Dad put me on his main account that his SS goes into and it will be used just for medicine, clothes, toiletries and whatever he needs.
If it was up to my sister she'd taken every dome he has and left him at the door step of some home instead of at least getting him into a good home. Although homes are not like being able to live in your own home till the end but in his case there's nothing I can do, he needs the help that I cannot give him.
I cannot believe that let my dad call me the first day he was there, as soon as he heard my voice he started crying and this really upset me to hear him so torn up, I called them back and complained, letting them know this was wrong cause he's not going to settle down until he gets use to being there.
Then the next day they called telling me that dad wanted to talk to me and I told them that he's only going to get upset and start crying again and asked if this was normal protocol, upsetting both my dad and I.
Today was better I called them and asked how he was doing and of course they say he's doing fine but in my heart I know not all is fine or he wouldn't be there. Being fine is living a normal life.
Thank you for your support it means a lot to have someone to talk to about this. I'm all alone in this

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 9:23PM
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I also am all alone, with 2 in a nursing home and 1 at hoome that no longer understands I have no one to talk with, that is why I come here.
I know what you are feeling, well not all, but some. I am fortunate that my dad can still be at home, his mind is not all there but he does not wander off, does not get in to things he should not and I control his meds so there is no problem there. But it is hard to see this man who is a Retired AF Colonel no longer capable of making decisions about his life and money matters. It breaks my heart everyday........then factor in my mom and brother and there are days I am not sure I will make it through. Those are the days I really rely on God to really support me a little extra!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 9:35PM
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The past two weeks I've done a lot of praying and talking to God. Even though I'm married my husband does not understand what I'm going through. He's an only child and he doesn't have family. His mom and he moved here to the states when he was very young so he only has his mom.
He is the type to push things to the side and let whatever happen, happen. Where I'm the type that has to get in there and do something, not able to just let thing's happen.
It is very hard to see your parents become frail. They always took care of you and now the shoes on the other foot with no manual on what to do.
Sure there are plenty of books out there telling what to do but it does not fit everyone.
I am thinking of talking to an Elder Lawyer for advise. Anyone know what they help you with?
Also I'm thinking I need to change my will. I'm wondering if I can appoint my son to care for my dad should anything happen to me? If so I'd need a lawyer to set this up right?
Can I have it set up so my son can get to the money if I'm unable to?
I don't know what would happen say if I was in a wreak and was hospitalize for a long time or whatever. I'm not young and in the best of health myself, you just never know whats around the next corner.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 10:25PM
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You need a good estate attorney to set all this up for you. In my case I have do not children, nor did my brother have any so there will be no one left if anything should happen to me. I am going to have my attorney set it up to make sure my dad is taken care of and will probably appoint her (the attorney) to oversee his affairs if I would no longer be here to do so. I too am getting older and know I will be facing my own health issue, plus none of us knows what HE has in store for us. So, get an attorney, get every thing set up and relax.
My mom called me last night and was upset as she said some of the staff is being rude to her..........now you have to understand that my mom has always been one to want it her way, in her time so I don't know for sure what is going on. I need to talk to some of the other residents and their families to find out if they are also having problems....sigh..always something. My brother does not have these complaints so I am thinking maybe it is just my mom not getting her way, but will check it out.

I will pray for God to give your husband some understanding of what you are going through right now and to give you a "helping hand" in all you have to deal with.
Linda J

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 6:32AM
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