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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board


Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index


Dear Scared,

Welcome to the AD Board. This place saved my life a couple of years ago when I was dealing with my Mom's AD. I felt so alone - but as soon as I 'met' the wonderful people here, I felt I had friends.

I am glad you have a sister. Even if you both live far away, you can consult with each other and try to make plans.

If the assisted iving place in their tomn thinks he is too ill to live there, it sounds to me that both of them are ready for a nursing home. NH doesn't mean you are bedridden or unable to do anything. Let me give you a few examples of things that happen at my Mom's Nursing Home:

-All meals are eaten together in a group of about 8 people who all live on the same floor. Nurses or aides help those who can't manage alone, but most of them eat by themselves and enjoy the social interaction with each other. Mom is in a 'high functioning' unit of the Dementia section.

-They are allowed to go outside and spend as much time as they want in an inner courtyard. Each patient has an electronic device on ther back which signals someone if they leave the inner courtyard, go through the building, and TRY TO LEAVE the complex. Then someone will go right after them.

-Every day there are games, discussion groups, entertainment, TV, music, and sometimes Bingo or parties (at least once a month a birthday party).

-A doctor examines each person once a week and makes sure they are on the right medications, and are in good health.

-Their laundry is done for them, someone helps those who cannot do it alone to get dressed. Everyojne MUST get dressed every day, no lying around in sleepwear! Daytime naps are discouraged.

-A hairdresser comes to cut hair from time to tiem, nails are done, etc. My Mom gets help with showering and hairwashing but if not needed, the patients do that themselves.

-Unlimited visiting time. My brother ives nearby and sees Mom 4 days a week, sometimes more.

-They even have regular bus outings.

It isn't like being in a hospital bed waiting to die. A lot of people have a bad perception of NHs.

Yet I know it is the struggle of a lifetime to persuade the AD person to go there. It comes down to the fact that pretty soon YOU and your sister will be the parents ,and your Mom and Dad the children. Then you don't ask them, you tell them what has to be done. Many on this Board have been through it. Your job is to make sure they are safe (not driving around in a car!), warm (not going out as my Mom did in a summer jacket in ice and snow), fed (not saving moldy food and forgetting to eat,) and clean (not forgetting how to keeo the body hygienically clean, as almost all Alzheimer patients do before long.)

That's when you step in, make a plan, enroll them, and tell them "On Friday we are taking you to your new home." Not "do you want to ....?"

It is the hardest thing you may ever have to do but if both of them have AD it will be necessary. Meanwhile we are here - those who have been there and done that...to give advice.

love,

Martha





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