I've just joined this group and would like to say hello.
My father hasn’t been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s itself, but he does have dementia caused by several mini strokes. We noticed that he was becoming forgetful and confused around his 80th birthday seven years ago. He also appeared not to easily understand what was said to him, something we initially put down to deafness ; it has since been diagnosed as dysphasia. The dementia also means that he has become increasingly immobile and in the last few months he has deteriorated to the point that he needs help with washing, dressing, eating and personal care.
My 85 year old mother has been Dad's carer all this time, but she herself is becoming frailer, and I am concerned for her health too. This week we as a family have made the decision to move Dad from the bungalow into a care home. However, it is very difficult to find somewhere suitable. My Dad may have dementia, but he is still aware of his situation much of the time. He went into a lovely nursing home for 1 week recently whilst Mum was having an operation, was terribly depressed thinking that he had been abandoned and that everyone had died, and was in tears at times. I am very worried about how he will react to being moved permanently into care, as I know he will be questioning why he is there and why he can’t come home. He simply doesn't understand that Mum can't cope with him now. Even trying to move him out of a chair to get to the bathroom is a problem. As an able bodied person, I myself have tremendous difficulty moving him, and the carers we have paid to help him in his own home over the past few weeks have been unable to cope either.
So there really is no other option, but for him to be wrenched out of his lovely bungalow, away from his wife, his garden, the cat and all that he might still recognise, to spend the rest of his days somewhere that he doesn’t want to be. Our only hope is that the dementia will soon develop to a point where he will not remember any of his past life. The price we have to pay for him settling into a new environment is that he will have to forget us, his family, which is very distressing. He is a very gentle man with impeccable manners, doesn’t wander and doesn’t cause any problems really, so if it were simply a question of the dementia, I think Mum could carry on looking after him. But the immobility is the real problem and we have been told that it simply won’t get any better.
To say we are feeling guilt about the decision we have to make would be an understatement.