Lindajewell and Agnepuffin

mikeandbarbOctober 5, 2008

Dad called today begging me to please come see him. Man does this ever suck. It leaves me feeling down and torn apart but I'm staying away for a while.

It is a small nursing home with only two wings and about 15 rooms per wing. There are only two rooms that are shared rooms. I have dad in one of those shared rooms the cost is 150.00 a month cheaper than a private room. He has complained that the person in this room gets up in the middle of the night getting into his things. The other guy is pretty far into dementia so I believe what dad tells me and have thought of getting him a private room. At least he could rest but it will also go through his money faster. It's costing 51,000 a year if he knew the total cost he'd really have a cow.

As for transportation they tell me they have none, nothing at all. They do have a GP that comes once a week but if dad needed to see the doctor in between then he'd have to go to someone outside of the home. He has a urologist and a heart doctor and with the new pacemaker he'll have to go in for reg. check ups, and with the prostate cancer he started taking shots 7 months ago and was due for blood work and another shot but with all that's gone on the doctor said it's ok to put it on hold for a few months.

Agnespuffin, Yes, He's angry at life in general. He talks about wanting to just die often. This is hard for me to hear but it's not new he's talked this way for a long time ever since he and mom divorced in 1968.

It all has happened so fast that I wasn't prepared for having to take on this kind of responsibility. Having to take this kind of control does not come easy and it makes it harder when the parents fight with you or begs you to get them out of the home, no matter what I've told him falls on deaf ears. All he thinks about is his home and wanting it to be back the way his life was before he had congestive heart failure and a pacemaker.

The home is strictly for memory care patients and right now dads mind is clear and he gets that way but then falls back into a fog or unable to think clear enough to make the right decision, like last summer when he sat in his car to long and when he tried to back out of the driveway he ran into the house but wasn't clear if he hit the front or the back of the car. He also is so obsessed with taking his medicine the way he sees fit. Every time I see him all he can say is that if he can just go to his quack of a doctor he'll give him the medicine he needs. I've tried to get dad away from this doctor and now that he's in the home I can.

I told dad the other day that his doctor is retiring which is true and he knows the last couple of times he's gone over there he's had to see one of the new doctors. He asked about his doctor and was told that he's retiring.

I go for a meeting Tuesday but for now I'm writing things down on dad's history as well as questions I need to ask them.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No, having this kind of responsibility dumped in ones lap is not an easy thing. I know I was not prepared either, but somehow I knew that if I was not strong it would do more harm than good.
It is good you are making a list, it does help to have things written down because at times like these it is very hard to remember the questions we want answered.
Every time you write about your dad it is more and more obvious that he is in the place he needs to be, you did the right thing and will continue to do so. Just think when you were born, you think your dad knew all there was to know about taking care of you? NO! he did not, none of us knows all there is to know and never will. All we can do is ask God for guidance and somedays you just need to throw up your hands and say "take it God, you deal with it because I can't anymore!!!" He does...........

Keep us posted!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 6:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Barb.

Have you considered a Board and Care Facility. I could no longer care for my mom as a solo caregiver and in home care was $10,000/mo (paid it for one month out of desperation), so a social worker gave me a booklet that covered Northern California. This booklet listed various types of care homes by the skill level requirements. When I passed my booklet on to a friend I happened to notice that there were publications for different regions and states. In CA, the Board and Care Facility may have no more than 6 residents. I was told that they are heavily regulated & many times better than a larger nursing home.

I pay $3,650/mo for my mom. She has a private room, is bathed regularly, there are usually 3 and up to 4 attendants and any one time for the 6 residents. The meals are all freshly prepared, the meds are kept under lock and key and strict records are kept when they are dispensed. It is also in a neighborhood house and about two miles from my mom's home of almost 50 years. We're in San Francisco and things are expensive here, but I think $3,650 is a steal. The care my mom receives has been exceptional. I can and do stop by whenever I want. I have never seen anything fishy. Also, if I call them in the morning, I can be included for dinner and eat with the residents. There are three people with dementia, one stroke pt., one (97) recently passed, and my terminally ill mother. The home really tries to put forth a family setting, i.e., decorating for all holidays and seasons, celebrating bdays, partys, bingo where the winner might receive lotion or wipes or powder.

Forgive me for babbling, but this place was a Godsend. I am still very tired from the stress of watching her decline and tired from the previous several years of caring for her; but I just really want to reiterate what a bargain I feel I have. San Francisco is so very expensive and to get the level of care my mom is receiving for $43,800/yr and to have her happy is great. You may be able to find something more appropriate for you dad's needs.

Sorry so long. Geri

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 11:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you Linda for reminding me. I get so wrapped up in my troubles that I forget to put it in God's hands.

Geri, I don't know of Board and Care Facility in Texas but if there is I'll be sure to check it out.

I did a google looking to se if a list would come up for any here and didn't see anything but what I did look at was asissted living cause I was hoping he'd be able to go into one after test are done to see if he really needs to be in the home he's in. Well, it dashed all my hopes cause in AL they most do not control their medication and this is one of the biggest problems dad has. Not to mention if dad has any chance of breaking free he will bolt and try to go home.
I know dad very well and no matter where I place him he's not going to be happy and he'll tell me stories be it true or not I wouldn't know without seeing it for myself.
The good thing is that I can talk to others that have loved ones in the home at the meetings.
I can't say if it's good or not that my sister is out of the picture .......long story but after what she did to me after our uncle passed away I want nothing to do with her ever.
I know I'm thankful that I don't have siblings fighting over how best to care for dad but wish I had some family to help out even if it was just to listen to me.
I've been talking to my grand parents some. I wonder how it was for them. I know they had very hard times. Grandpa lost most of his faimly to TB. My dad told me that grandpa told him of having to bury a brother without a proper casket and it broke grandpas heart seeing dirt falling in between the boards od the casket. Grandpa told dad that he'd do whatever it took to keep his family from having to go through that again. Granny took care of her mom for 17 years and then asked her brother to take their mom in and great granny died a year or two after that. I wonder did my granny feel guilty for moving her mom.
I know I feel bad because my dad is the first in our family to have to go into a home and if thing's were not what they are I'd have him live with us but I know I can't wish on empty wishes. It is what it is and I will do my best.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 12:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Barbara, just to echo what others have said... Your father does need the kind of care he's getting. He obviously needs medication management. And his inability to understand how to properly take his medications shows some sort of cognitive dysfunction. It may not be severe and it may not be all the time, but his mind isn't working well enough to manage his own health care and take care of his needs by himself. I know it's hard for you to watch. And it's next to impossible for him to understand.

There are no perfect solutions. You can only do the best you can given your unique circumstances. I've got to keep reminding myself of the same thing because I'm in the process of transitioning my mom from assisted living to the memory care wing. I know it's going to be hard on her, but it's time.

Regarding transportation, does the home work with any kind of service? Even if it's not their own, maybe they know of a reliable company you could use for special appointments.

Is there a way of getting a locked filing cabinet or something like it for the things your dad thinks the roommate is disturbing?

Don't lose heart. I know this is difficult for you. The reality is that you are powerless to give your dad back the life he was living 20-30 years ago. Old age creates an entirely new set of circumstances. You haven't abandoned him or failed him in any way. You really are looking after him.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 3:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Shambo, thank you replying you may have just come up with more of what is the real problem. I wrote it down so I can talk about it at the meeting.
Dad has had depression all his life and it really effected the family our whole life. I had tried to talk to dad about his depression long ago but he would not hear of it and denied it but his talk of dying said to me it's not normal.
No one else in the family would admit dad had depression.
They'd talk about his actions and things he did and said never connecting the real problem.
Even I am not thinking clear right now with all that I'm dealing with.
I am feeling some better, yesterday I took a break and just relaxed as best as I could.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 8:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just sending you hugs and prayers and a cup of soothing tea. No matter what, things will work out, and what I went through with my parents, especially my Mom I am still recovering from--emotionally.
Maybe start a journal, to reflect on the good things in YOUR live-a little bit at a time.
Good thing # 1--is your friends at KT

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 11:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Barbara, I'm sure you're right. Your dad is suffering from depression. He may have been dealing with it for years, but now, with his loss of abilities & freedoms, it's even worse.

I wish I could say proper medications would make a difference. It might, and it would be worth pursuing. But, face it. Who wouldn't be depressed when you realize that both your body and your mind are failing you? To me, it actually seems like a normal reaction.

Good luck this week, and keep us posted. I'm thinking of you.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 12:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Barb-

I just went rummaging through some files I had for my mom's care from '07 and I found the booklet I was talking about earlier in this thread. Mine only covers seven of the adjacent counties to San Francisco, but there is a phone number for other areas and it says it covers the entire US and Canada: 1-800-869-9549. There is also a website:

This booklet is called "New Lifestyles" - "The Source For Seniors"

Good Luck.

I think that I will post a separate thread with this info.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 2:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I suspect that what your father is really saying is not that he wants to die, but that he's tired and he wants to get this over with. It's like waiting for a bus that's running late. You know it's coming, but that doesn't stop you from getting more and more impatient.

Many of my friends, while they enjoy the life they have, know that the end is much, much nearer than it was. So, the anticipation of "it might happen today or to night" begins to get a little tiresome. It's worse when there is pain or other difficulties that prevent a normal life. So, while he may be depressed, don't worry about his wish to die. He is merely saying out loud what a lot of people in his age group are wishing quietly......that is, Let's get on with the show!!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 2:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Barb - you also might search under "Group Homes" what part of Texas are you in? I have a bunch of stuff I found on the Internet I'll post for you tomorrow (it is locked in my vehicle at the moment) since I am searching for a place for my 95 year old father who is currently living alone since Mom went to a nursing home in May and then died the end of August (age 91). He doesn't want to live alone, won't cook for himself, is used to having live in help 24/7 from when Mom was still at home. So he will need assisted living.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 8:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Carolyn, I live close to Dallas.

Agnespuffin, your right about dad being tired but on the other hand he doesn't really want to die either. I know if he had his way he'd just go to sleep and not wake up.
Him and death don't get along he takes it very hard when he looses a loved one. He couldn't stand to go to his brothers funeral and I didn't press him to go cause his health wasn't good back then. He's has been up and down so much in the past 33 months it's getting the best of him and having depression anyway just makes it worse.
Dad's famous words are I've never had it so bad or this is the worse it's ever been.
As for thinking of good thought's today I thought of the times we rode horses when I was young, that was our time together. If I didn't have a horse or pony he'd take me to the local horse barn and rent a horse for a few hours for me.
I did some gardening today it helped take my mind off my troubles for a while. The front and back yard is a mess right now. Funny how it can go to pot so fast. I have 3 potted Ivy's on the front porch and I noticed some wasn't looking good so I checked it out, in the smaller pot something had bit every stem off so now there is nothing left in that pot. Don't know what would do that.

I can't wait for the meeting tomorrow I hope to have a some answers to mt questions of how they can help dad. Right now it feels more like I've had to give up a pet to someone I don't know and don't know just how they're going to take care of his needs other than the basics.

I was reading online that there is no real test for dementia and one doctor calls it simply aging brain. The doctor thinks that by staying active by going out having friends to do things with, reading, hobbies helps keep the brian active enough to keep you from falling into the aging brain. If this is the case my dad falls right into the aging brain , Dad lost 2 of his friends 20 years ago and from then on he never found any other friends. He does not read for fun just what he needs to, he does like watching old shows, moives and things on WW2. He also likes watching the news. I could tell when I went over to his house he was so glad to have someone to talk to after being alone for 2 days. He said he use to go and park in the store parking lot just to have people around.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 9:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yesterday I had a meeting with the manager of the AL home and as we talked she told me that my dad went up to her and started crying and saying he was sorry for yelling at her and getting mad. She said that he hadn't yelled at her and wasn't clear as to why he was saying what he said. I told her that Friday he was upset and told her what happened and as I was telling her this it dawned on me that dad must have been thinking the manager was me?
This seems awfully fast for him to start confusing others for me but I've been told that once they are taken out of their environment they can go down hill fast.
I was in the private dinning room waiting for the meeting to start and just as the manager walked in I seen dad walking down the hall. He couldn't seen me because of the sheer curtains. It was good to see him up and walking around cause at home there wasn't any place for him to walk, not safely.
She said that dad is now seating in with them in the mornings listen to devotion.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 7:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey, did we not all try to tell you that little by little he will start socializing and doing more than he did at home? He is in the right place, YOU DID THE RIGHT THING!
My mom was complaining the other day she wanted to get out........I reminded her all the places she has been since being in the nursing home and she said "ya know, your're right, I never would have been to those places if I were still at home~"

And you do realize you can go take him out once in a while to lunch or whatever, he is not a prisoner there!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 11:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There are only two thing's dad likes to do and they are drive around which will not be easy with the price of gas these days and the other is walk which I can't do much of. I can't enough go shopping at the malls anymore cause of my back problems.
Dad will not eat out right now but maybe later on he will just to get out.

This is all new and everyday I have the home calling me with one thing or another with problems from my dad and it is stressing me out big time. He's pulling his big show today and they are buying it. He is complaining of his back hurting and told them he needs me to take him to the hospital, I told the nurse he's just wanting to see me and to get out of there.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 11:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Barb. More and more, I get the impression that this is really not the right place for your dad. It's small for one thing. That means that he will not have as much contact with others as he would in a larger home. Less opportunities for varied activities, etc.

With all his other health problems, he will probably need to be moved to another facility before long. Changes can happen in a matter of a day. And that includes mental changes. I have seen people go from being alert to completly out of it, in mid sentence.

You don't want to caught having to move him in an emergency. Now is the time to start looking around. Get him on a waiting list, so that if and when you have to move him, you will be prepared.

An adequately equipped and staffed home will have available transport to get patients to doctors or Emergency Rooms outside of the home if needed. But most of all, they will have medications on hand and you wouldn't be responsible to pick them up at a pharmacy. This is the one thing that bothers me most about this home. They should have an adequate in-house pharmacy. They also should not have to be calling you every day. That's a good sign that the staff may not be adequetly trained to handle someone like him.

The manager is probably right about one thing, he doesn't need to be in a memory care facility. It is my feeling that you need to have him in a home where he can have ALL his medical problems watched.

Just keep in mind that you are now the decision maker whether you like it or not. If you can't handle it, then be frank with the home and tell them to handle things as best they can. That's what they get paid for. If they can't, then it's time to move him to a place that can. That's YOUR first step in taking care of him...making sure he is living in a place that can care for him. Assisted living may not be enough NOW, it certainly won't be for much longer.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 1:58PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Any Long Term Caregivers?
Hi, I would like to chat with caregivers of those with...
Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
Live In Caregiver having to give up bed for visiting family
I am a LIVE IN Caregiver for a senior with Alzheimer's....
Starting small biz concierge services for senior
Need some help here. I am staring a part-time business...
Any suggestions for boosting energy?
My 90 year old mom is still pretty sharp but she is...
I hope on this day you aren't doing all the prep for...
CA Kate
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™