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Alzheimers at 64, when to place in a home

Katie in Littleton, CO
April 24, 2018

Looking for advice regarding my MIL who is 64 and has moderate alzheimers. She came to live with us and I totally thought we could make it work. But this week has proven otherwise. She went missing for 6 hours and we had to involve the police, she was on the news, etc. (she ended up being 6 miles away!!) The next day, she left my house, accusing me of taking her money and her phone (very common of alzheimers patients to think others have taken their things). She became violent with me, wrestling me, kicking, hitting, biting. As she ran away from me she fell on the sidewalk, she now has a broken arm and has to have surgery. I was willing to take on the task but if she's wandering and becoming violent, I think we're dealing with too much. I have 5 young kids I'm raising, I don't feel like this is the ideal situation for her anymore. I believe it would be in her best interest to be placed in a home where she can have stability, routine, safety, activities, etc. But I am the only one in our family who believes it's time to put her in a home, despite how young she is. Other family members are willing to take her in, but I really feel like a home is where she should be at the time, given the scary events that occurred this week. Thoughts?

Answers
Laura in Garner, NC
Jan. 1, 2019

Remember, we don't send patients to nursing homes, doctors do. Share your feedback with her doctor. Clearly, it is past time for her to be removed from the home. My late father was kept at home until he when to an Alzheimer's unit at a nursing home. Have you ever visited one? Patients are kept in lock down units. They are kept that way because they are a danger to themselves when they take off on their own. Instead of a broken arm, what if she'd been hit by a car? Even if you could get an alarm to alert you when she opens the door, is it safe for you and your children to encounter her behavior when trying to get her back inside? Your number one parental responsibility is to keep your children safe and in a loving home. They are living a nightmare.

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I would say to call a family meeting- weigh out the pros and cons; finances, logistics of your Mom going into a home-visitation abilities, type of home and etc. There is a lot to cover, it might take a couple meetings, but give it time and work through the emotions and the right answer will present itself.

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i'd suggest an assisted living facility to let her continue to have her space where she can be monitored with a certain level of care. She gets the proper care and you can rest easy. Research according to her medical coverage/income facilities.

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Jenifer in Westwood, NJ
March 31, 2019

Try the ombudsman for your state to help find the safest nursing home. In NJ here is the website. https://www.nj.gov/ooie/ They can tell you the safest and the best place to help.

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David in Chenoa, IL
Feb. 8, 2019

If you cannot provide adequate care you may want to contact a local nursing home and find out what your options are. If you want her to remain in the home then you need to provide adequate caregivers to assure her safety and your sanity

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Sorry for your reality check at this time in your life. She needs more protection, care and surveillance than you can give. The time has come to seek professional resident services outside and away from your home. it is going to be tough emotionally but it is the best choice and you will be able to visit her and see how she is adjusting to her new home.

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User in Salem, MA
Feb. 1, 2019

Best to have her evaluated by her doctor. Doctor can set up an appointment with a licensed specialist who can also give you a proper evaluation. Age has nothing to do with when/how/where anyone needs extra care.

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It is time to consider moving her to a facility that has a Memory Unit, which is kept locked so she cannot get out and wander off the property. Have you checked with her doctor, her medications may need to be changed or increased. The staff in those facilities are experienced with her type of behavior.

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Tammi in Bristol, IN
Jan. 26, 2019

I'am A CNA and have taken many classes on Dementia/Alzheimers.You have to learn about the Disease and how to deal with loved ones who has it.You have to get a understanding of it, to be able to deal with what is going on inside of the individual.They are lost and scaried.They know something is not right and don't know what to do about it so,they act out.She is dealing with what they call sundowning,which occurs in the evening hour's.You can find agencies or private individual who specialize in Dementia/Alzheimer care.Good luck with your situation and your decision will in the best interest for your love one.

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i would like to keep all my dementia and alzhiemers clients in their own hoe for as long as their family and I can keep them their safely. If the family believes the client will be better off in a facility I support the decision by doing all i can to help the client and the family during the transition for as long as they need me

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You should let the other family members experience all that you did and I'll bet they will change their mind in less than a month.Let them move her into their house and see for themselves.

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Why not get her an aide to help out. She young and you have to bear in mind the long term cost of putting her in a home. If she stays with you then you won't have think about paying for accommodations only care. Talk to her doctor there is medications to help with agitation. And make sure all doors are locked so she does not wonder away. And again get her a caregiver to help out.

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Usually when a patient starts to get violent to that degree is when it's time for outside help,meaning a home.

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Paul in Rockford, IL
Jan. 15, 2019

For Alzheimer's care see http://www.alzheimershomehealt... for answers to common questions.

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When your loved one is becoming violent and combative, it is time to place them in a facility that can give them the stability and safety they need. You are absolutely correct in stating that she needs stability, routine, safety, activities AND a staff who is trained to deal with all the issues associated with alzheimers. I hope your family will come to realize she needs more than you can provide, good luck!

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Part of being a caregiver is making sure you are caring for yourself as well. From what you have written, it is my professional opinion that she needs to be under 24 hour care in a well staffed facility. However, if she has assets, the facility may require whomever has POA over her to sign over any SSI, SSDI,retirement pension, or life insurance policy that is in place for her. My grandmother is 97 and has dementia. Although she is in the early stage, we chose to place her in a nursing home because of her disorientation and the fact she kept falling. The cost of her nursing home is four hundred dollars a day because she is self pay until all of her financial resources have been exhausted. When that occurs, she will be eligible for Medicaid.

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Avery in Spokane, WA
Jan. 9, 2019

When a client/patient becomes physical, it is time for assisted living. Staff there are trained in how to handle aggressive or abusive patients. Wandering is also concerning. Since you have little ones, you cannot be expected to watch her at all times. A live-in caregiver is an option you could pursue, but my recommendation is to put her in a home. It can be an extremely difficult decision, and it may feel as if you are abandoning her, but ultimately you need to do what is best for her as well as yourself.

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I agree with your assessment. Wander risk and fall risk are conditions given 24/7 vigilance, even at a senior home. I have experience with people with aggressive Alzheimer's traits, both in a nursing home and in private care. The burnout rate is high due to the stress level. Maybe if other family members take her home for a long weekend, they would see your point. It takes an adult team of specialists to care for these dear loved ones. Kay Davidson

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Carey in Baraboo, WI
Dec. 22, 2018

I'm a licensed Social Worker and Dementia Specialst. I can help. Please contact me on care.com

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User in Loveland, CO
Dec. 21, 2018

Allow other family members to have her stay with them. (Door chimes help when you have sneaky escape artists) It may work out and if it does not, most family members would be more likely to be behind you on finding a residential home for her.

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When I was 16 I started independent care. I lost my grandmother, I will not lie to you. It was the scariest time of my life, but it helped me to understand more about her disease. I have been doing this for almost 13 years. Have you thought about getting 24-hour care for her? Sometimes it's hard to make that doable with children. With Gentle Professionals we find that racking that brain with games, etc help keep them occupied. I actually go into a few different facilities in the area to do one on one care with patients that can no longer be with loved one's full time. It happens, just check reviews and whatnot on all of them. Make sure you listen closely. Word of mouth is the best way! Also, make random stop-ins that the facility isn't aware of so you can catch them off guard. Also, a good way to make sure the round the clock care is going to be the right pick for you.

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Hi, Once she has her surgery, you should monitor her and see how her behavior changes. Having worked in this field for 14 years, I have seen this a lot and usually when they break something it generally slows them down. Also, you should talk to her doctor to figure out if now would be a good time to introduce her to agitation meds because that will generally help. Have you thought about private care of home health coming in? Sometimes seeing a new face helps as well because the family gets it the worst of the worst with situations like this. Having someone come in for a couple of hours during the day for a while and maybe even the evening time to have her engaged in something that has her interest will also help keep her agitation down, have them take her for a walk or even a drive to kind of exhaust her may help too. Hope this helps.

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If other family members are willing to take on her care, let them. They will have to put many safeguards in place to avoid the wandering dangers. It will also give everyone first-hand knowledge of the challenges, stress, and heartache of caring for someone with these challenges. The care in memory care facilities is adequate but lacks in the one-on-one love only families can provide. Wishing you the best. There are no easy answers and each situation is unique. Take care of yourself and your kids first. She would want that if she were still able to think clearly.

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User in Tampa, FL
Oct. 11, 2018

Check with AHCA for listing of private home and facilities. If she's getting aggressive I would check with the DR if she has UTI which can through ALZ/Dementia out of whack or need meds adjusted.

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She needs to be put in a home. Her current mental status is declined too much to be left without 24hr care

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the family member should be in a safe environment with prepared care givers

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Let the other family members try...and see what happens.

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Patricia in Ogden, UT
Sept. 23, 2018

I believe that it is best if family members can be her caregiver, however the next best thing is seeking outside help.

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She needs stability and people who know how to take care of her needs and outbursts. They should definitely ensure that she can't just can't leave on her own. She should have stimulation and activities. Sorry to hear she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at such an early age.

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One time of her antics will probably convince others she has to be locked in and be with pros who know what to do when she gets violent. A dead end for you. Good luck.

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Tia in Hempstead, NY
Aug. 22, 2018

With a good home health care you don't have to place your loves one in a home with my experience

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This is a very personal decision and only you and your family members can decide if you are prepared to make the sacrifices to serve as full-time caregivers to a patient with Alzheimers. I recommend that you join a support group for other caregivers in your community to get help and guidance. Contact the Office of Aging to get a referral. Also, if you do decide to continue as her caregiver, ask family members to lend a hand a few days a week to give you breaks or you could even take your MIL to adult day care a few days a week if finances allow. This will be a family effort and it would be wise to recruit the help of other family members if they are willing to lend a hand.

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I would first have her evaluated by a neurologist that specializes in dementia and Alzheimer's. Then I would look at my options letting her live with another family member that their children are grown. I also would concert medication for the violent outbursts. I would hire a caregiver for her daily living care so you aren't the one doing everything . I would also have a routine that included exercises and outings. This could be done by the paid caregiver, because her money will go a lot further with her at a family members home than a facility and she won't receive the one on one care that you can provide at home. I hope my suggestions gave you food for thought good luck.

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Beverly in Milan, TN
Aug. 15, 2018

First of all, age has nothing to do with this or any other illness. You may be the only one who believes that the time has come. Keep in mind that others have not experienced what you have with her. Hopefully, all of you can stay sane throughout this process. Meanwhile, the family needs to sit down and discuss rationally how to keep this lady safe. I see a few modifications necessary for your home. There are lots of them to consider; Live cameras; a secluded area where you can get alerts on your phone when a door opens; A set of rules for the entire family. Please don't become the only one with the responsibility of caring for her.

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Ben in San Jose, CA
Aug. 10, 2018

Need to be counselling

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From my perspective of the situation, if other family members want to take her then let them, they can see how it plays out for now. And then if they don't think its fit for her to stay with family then they too will believe its time to put her in a home.

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Laure in Edmonds, WA
July 30, 2018

OK been there, done this! My father who had alzheimers did the same thing, he lived with me and was on a walk while I was at work and fell off the sidewalk and broke his glasses and the police brought him back home before I got home. THAT's when I KNEW I could not care for him to keep him safe so I got a Social worker to help me find accurate Alzheimer's care facilities and she did. When I went to see him at his new facility he was so angry he grabbed my wrists in anger and couldn't speak and almost broke my hands. I spoke to the physician and he said anger is a part of alzheimers and your Dad has no idea he's hurting you. It's from the frontal lobe of his brain declining that doesn't allow him to control his feelings. I really suggest you put her in a facility where she can be cared for. Believe me, if you find the RIGHT facility where she might LIKE it like my DAD did, it will be ok. Hang in there, I hear your pain

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Susan in Oxford, NC
July 28, 2018

It is hard to watch your parent go through dementia/Alzheimer's. If your sibling wants to give taking care of her a try let them but I suggest she hire a live in care taker to help. Your mother may also need to medication to help reduce her Alzheimer's symptoms.A memory care facility my be best if it just all seems like too much.

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I have now placed my grandmother in an assisted living.

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User in Selden, NY
July 16, 2018

Bristol, has a section called Reflections, set up for exactly what you are having a problem with.It is costly but perhaps you can speak with a social worker.Looks like if not you will need coverage either with a live in or a day aid and a night aid.

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Alzheimers requires one to one or 24 hour residential now.

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Tamara in Phoenix, AZ
July 15, 2018

I always recommend that if you have a loved one the has memory problems specially in advance stages like this one it is good to look for a place that has memory care . It is so very hard to take care of loved ones at home it is never easy as you found out. But if you have great support and a lot of people that are willing to help you then home is the best.

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User in Chickamauga, GA
April 24, 2018

I would let the other family members try maybe they don't have other children in the home. This may work if not at least they won't resent you for putting her in a home when they wanted to try. Just as you wanted to try and see you cannot maybe they need that.

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Karen in Jackson, NJ
March 21, 2018

I am so sorry for your situation. I have worked with advanced stage dementia and Alzheimers patients for many years. The first thing you need to do is get her back to her doctor. Her meds need to be checked right away. You need to explain what is going on, and explain in detail. If you don't feel comfortable, get a second opinion. Next, you need to go to a surgical supply store and get chair alarm pads, and a bed alarm pad. When she gets up, the alarm will go off. This will alert you that she is up and on the move. It seems like you definitely need help...five children is a full enough plate, but to add a mom with dementia...that is overload for you! If you decide that you need outside help, and I haven't taken on a new case, I would love to help. -Karen- http://www.care.com/p/kareno14...

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Karen in Somers, MT
March 5, 2018

You are correct. Wandering is a big, red flag. Your mother-in-law's safety must be the paramount concern for everyone. Routine is imperative, especially if Sundowners is presenting. It is in the best interest of an individual with Alzheimer's to be settled in a care facility while she still has the faculties to understand where she is and to establish a new routine in familiar surroundings which will become, in all reality, her last home. Your mother-in-law's physician should mirror your concerns. If not, get a second opinion. Your nearest Alzheimer's Association is a fountain of great information.

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I have worked with several Alzheimer's patience and no one was the same how she behaves with you around you or in your home May be completely different and someone else's home or around others so if other family members are volunteering to give it a try I say keep her with family and let them try it has no reflection on you .

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Trina in Mesa, AZ
March 4, 2018

I've seen this younger then 64, I use to work in a assisted living home. its not easly at all to have your love ones there. I did my job well there I use to take good care of the resident thinking if this was my parents I would want the best care for them. we had games for them to play. we made sure they were safe and always made sure they got what they needed.

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This is a situation that should be assessed on an individual basis. Her medical doctor should advise you on her current situation and if it s safe for her to be cared for in the home. If she can be cared for in the home, you should join a care.com support group and spend time with the caregivers that should have experience with this type of alzheimers behavior. A schedule, and constant supervision should be 24/7 to protect her and others around her.

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Hello. In the home or out of the home these are just episodes that individuals with Alzheimer's will have. Please don't take anything personal bevsusevwe both know as soon as the episode is over,they don't have any memory of what happen.

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Tammy in Louisa, VA
Feb. 12, 2018

I have been through some of these situation. My father had to have his driver license taken away. My sister lives with him. One of his neighbor's call to say hew was walking down,419.My sister was called and the police got involved. Scary situation we worked it out because he is our father and we love him.

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I dont think no one should be place in a nursing home,it really breaks my heart for some one to put their love one in a home.just take care of them if they can't take care of their self

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Helena in Alachua, FL
Feb. 11, 2018

sounds like its time for her to go in a nurseing home

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Ok this is my answer ensure she take her medication at all time one, and always be nice when your approaching her, always make sure the door are closed properly and the keys out of her site. make sure you engage with activities where she dont get bored and ready to wonder off so you have to have activities to occupy her time at home so she don,t get bored easily.

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Karen in Visalia, CA
Feb. 10, 2018

Maybe you could have a memory care specialist or technician coming to care for her and help advise you. If you're unable to do that I believe this behavior continues it is not good for any of you all. And there are great memory care facilities

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Lauran in Peabody, MA
Feb. 10, 2018

depending on finances it might be good to have 24/7 supervision at whom ever house she stays in. this would be cheaper than placement. I had to do the same with my mom. also sounds like maybe her MD might suggest a medication or change in medication for the violent outbursts. hope things work out for you. If you are raising children as well, I wouldn't want you to get caregiver burnout. good luch

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User in Cypress, TX
Feb. 10, 2018

It's a very sad situation for your family and you are gracious to want to extend your home. One idea that you should understand: age does not matter in Alzheimer's Disease. This may be difficult to grapple with for all members of your family as you grapple with feeling robbed of plans you had for your lifestyle. However, in your mother-in-law's case, the disease has progressed and is interrupting your mode is life, especially with young children in the home. The violence and biting is a sign of needing to take further action. Wandering can be dealt with, but violence should not be tolerated in the direct family home. I believe you are correct in wanting to take further action in a professional home. Your other family members, perhaps, have not been able to detach from their personal feelings in the situation. However, it is time to be sensible and look at the cards on the table. AD is a progressive disease, and this will not get any easier for you. As a caregiver and personal care assistant, I have seen all stages of the disease, early to advanced. I have received on my own body the violent biting, hitting, etc. I know the trouble that family members feel inside, but I advocate you continuing to take a stand for your mother in a professional home. I reiterate that age has nothing to do with it. You must think of your own family now and the lives of your children. You do not want the friction and stress of this disease to ruin your family life. May God's peace be with you!

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Putting her in a home is not the ideal place for a loved one to be. I have seen too many things that go on in those places. If you can have CNA's come into your home to help out and maybe consider a home that will take in only 2-3 people who have medical issues and who can give individualized care. This is a very difficult time for you and for her as well. She is confused I'm sure and knows that something is wrong when she does have moments of sound mine. Good Luck and God Bless you.

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Google for your area.

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when an alzheimer patient reaches this point, there is no reasoning with them. if she is on the right medication, sometimes that helps, but from what you described, she is a danger to herself, as well as you and your children. she is much better off in a facility who can handle this type of situation. please don't feel guilty, its out of your control, and its even harder for the alzheimer patient, because they don't understand what's happening to them either. (i.e. the paranoia, suspicious behavior, wandering, accusations, etc.) Do what's right for your family AND her. it really IS the best thing for all of you. blessings to all of you

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