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    COMING HOME WITH ALZHEIMERS
    avatar
    shar4coldnoses posted:

    Hi Alzheimer's Community,

    My mom, who has mild-to-moderate Alzheimers, was just released from a nursing months after 7 months to come back home to live with my dad. We were pushing for the discharge to happen but now we're worried that it's "too much, too soon". My dad is now her primary caregiver and it's a harder job than we thought and remember.

    She is going to be attending a senior day care for 5 days a week for 4-5 hours a day but we're not sure if that's going to be enough…enough physical and mental stimulation for her and enough respite for my dad.

    I was thinking about putting a schedule together (like she had at the nursing home) of things to do during the day. Her normal routine would be that she would get up and have her day all planned out for her and I thought she might be feeling kind of lost without it.

    Was wondering if any of you have "been there, done that" who could share any helpful hints to make this transition a little smoother for both my mom and our family.

    Thanks in advance for any information you would care to share.

    God Bless,
    Shar
    Reply
     
    avatar
    davedsel57 responded:
    Hello.

    My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's early in 2011. I was faced with the challenges of finding him a good Assisted Living Facility. My mom had passed away in 2000 and my dad was living alone in a mobile home. From the nursing home we moved him to a memory care facility, then to another assisted living facility as he required less care than the first place, and finally moved him about two months to a third and final assisted living facility that provided better care at a less expensive cost.

    I think creating a schedule for your mom to follow each day would be excellent. A routine is very comforting for Alzheimer's patience and helps them to function better and more independently for a longer time. I am very glad to read about the adult day care facility. Your dad will need that break and assistance.

    Please feel free to share more and keep us updated. I pray all this works out well for you and your family.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.

    Blessings, Dave
     
    avatar
    cjh1203 responded:
    Hi Shar-

    This must be a tough time for you and your family.

    I completely agree with Dave, that your idea of having a schedule for your mother each day is an excellent one. Routine is absolutely the most important thing for people with Alzheimer's. I would think that 4-5 hours a day would be enough stimulation for her, but I don't know if it will be enough of a break for your dad -- I guess all you can do is try it and see how it goes.

    This sounds like it could be a real challenge for your father and you and, possibly, for your mother. How is she adjusting to being moved back home? If this gets to be too difficult for your father, are you and he open to her going back to the nursing facility (or a different one)? A lot of times, we think the Alzheimer's patient will be happier at home, but they actually may do better in a facility with structure and other people who are like them. It's just something to keep in mind if your father starts getting overwhelmed.

    If you can, maybe it would be helpful to have someone come in for a couple of hours in the morning to help get her bathed, dressed and ready for the day. At some point, your father may find those things becoming too much to handle, so it might be good to get her used to having someone help her in the mornings.

    There's so much trial and error in caring for someone with Alzheimer's, but it sounds like you have the right idea by giving your mother some structure and activities to keep her occupied.

    Please stay in touch and let us know how she's doing.

    Carol
     
    avatar
    Judith L London, PhD responded:
    HI Shar,

    Glad that your Mom finally improved enough to be released from the nursing home.

    As you know, caregiving is an exhausting job even when others come in to lend a hand. Whether or not your Mom adjusts at home, now is the time to help your Dad find a good loving memory care facility for your Mom so that you are prepared. Too often caregivers lose their stamina as Alzheimer's wears them down from the added stress.

    Meanwhile, a good schedule is really important; it makes people feel safe.

    Hope your Dad takes good care of himself even though it's hard,

    Judy


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