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Any suggestions - parent living alone and wandering

Arkady

Registered User
Sep 29, 2020
10
Dad has Alzheimer’s. He lives alone and has daily carer visits. Unfortunately he’s taken to walking and gets lost and a few times has needed to be rescued.

I visit as much as I can but it’s hard with work & children. I’m getting a fair amount of pressure from his neighbours to “put him in a home” for his safety. He doesn’t want to go into a care home.

He can’t move in with us (or us with him) - thanks to the dementia he has become abusive to the children.

Could increase the carer visits but I know from experience he’ll just go out for a walk 5 mins after they leave - plus he loathes having carers in anyway.

I’m in the process of getting a location tag for his keyring, but he often forgets his keys and lives rurally, so not that much help.

Feels like I’m missing something, and the neighbours giving me grief is really getting me down!
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,989
Essex
Dear @Arkady,

I remember when dad started wandering and it was horrifying. I looked after dad at home and I still couldn't stop it. He had to go into a home in the end for his own safety as his needs were getting beyond me. Like you I tried to get more care for dad but he started to become aggressive with the carers so I started looking at care homes but I also looked at day centres and registered dad with Herbert Protocol in case he goes missing. I got the forms from the Alzheimers Society and also you can get alarms for when they try to leave the house.

I tried day centres with dad but this didn't work out and eventually I got dad into a care home for respite. I didn't tell dad it was a care home but after two visits where we were concerned about whether he would settle he settled in very well. I had to tell him a few love lies to get him in the home but it was for the best. He came out after two weeks and in the next fortnight he had another fall and that's what made me put him in the home permanently. I know it's not a nice thought when all else fails your dad will get 24/7 care.

MaNaAk
 

deepetshopboy

Registered User
Jul 7, 2008
317
M
Dad has Alzheimer’s. He lives alone and has daily carer visits. Unfortunately he’s taken to walking and gets lost and a few times has needed to be rescued.

I visit as much as I can but it’s hard with work & children. I’m getting a fair amount of pressure from his neighbours to “put him in a home” for his safety. He doesn’t want to go into a care home.

He can’t move in with us (or us with him) - thanks to the dementia he has become abusive to the children.

Could increase the carer visits but I know from experience he’ll just go out for a walk 5 mins after they leave - plus he loathes having carers in anyway.

I’m in the process of getting a location tag for his keyring, but he often forgets his keys and lives rurally, so not that much help.

Feels like I’m missing something, and the neighbours giving me grief is really getting me down!
my sympathys im in and was in a very similar situation with my father
He was going missing for 18 months tried the keyring and everything dads just pulled them off i tried door sensor last yr and had it connected to my phone and my sons so if he opened hes front door between 11pm and 8 am it would ring and notify me it worked to certain extent for about a month and also got a camera in living room
But unfortunately my dad was gping out in the middle of the night resulting in me jumping out of bed and getting taxis over at 3/4am my dad was hallucinating also and due to this i had to permanently move in with him im now a prisoner i only have 1xcarer a week ( private ) and odd day from my son as respite once they start wandering thats end game .if i wasnt willing id have to try and get a night carer /live in or care home which would mean my dad going in lock ward dementia unit even though mobile and still slightly ‘ with it ‘
 
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Arkady

Registered User
Sep 29, 2020
10
Thank you @MaNaAk. I’ve done the Herbert protocol forms for my dad too.

@deepetshopboy that’s rough on you. If I was single I’d move back home to look after him but I’ve got work & a young family - I can’t. Still feel bad that I’m not there.

I just don’t think dad’s ready for a care home yet... it’s the danger from the wandering which is the biggest issue. But I don’t really know when’s the best time.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
2,339
Dorset
If he is going AWOL and getting lost then you have little choice but to consider residential care for his own safety, there is really no other option.
 

Arkady

Registered User
Sep 29, 2020
10
I don’t how how I’d get him to stay - he’s cognisant enough to refuse to go, and a care home wouldn’t lock him up if he refused to go. He’s always been pretty strong willed and the dementia’s made that worse if anything. Agh!
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
2,005
Hi @Arkady and welcome to Dementia Talking Point.
My mother wasn't getting lost when she went wandering, but instead was going to a local pub, drinking with random men, and on at least one occasion bringing them back to her flat. Fortunately nothing untoward happened, but I felt it was only a matter of time before someone robbed her or worse. She was also having disputes with the neighbours over things she thought they had done. I'm not sure if your dad is doing that as well as concerning them about his behaviour.
Mum, who lived nowhere near me or my brother, had agreed to sell her flat and move nearer my brother. By the time we got a sale it was obvious the sheltered accommodation flat we intended to move her to wouldn't be enough and my brother was seriously ill and unable to help settle her in. I arranged her to go to a care home near me instead. I told her it was temporary until we got the new flat sorted. To say mum was unhappy is an understatement. She hit staff, tried to escape on numerous occasions and threatened to get a solicitor onto the case. The home applied for a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding order (DoLS) to enable them to keep her there against her will. The DoLS shows that mum has lost the capacity to make informed decisions about where she should live.
It is a horrible thing to do, but i sounds like it might be necessary in your father's case. If he is self-funding I'd look round at suitable homes, more difficult I know at the moment and move him to the one you prefer on the pretence that work needs doing on his house. You could also get live in carers in I've no experience of that, but I understand that it usually works out more expensive than a care home and if he is being abusive you might not find they would not stay long. The other solution is to wait for a crisis, when your dad has an accident for instance, and use that as an excuse. Tough though it was I'm glad I moved mum before she'd been knocked down, or arrested for assaulting a neighbour.
 
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Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
2,955
South East
You would employ kind untruths , called love lies on here , his roof needs repairing , his boiler needs replacing , anything that you think he would accept . If he was a wanderer I am sure they would have procedures in place , maybe a dols. It’s very difficult but I feel you have limited options available .
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,894
South coast
Wandering and getting lost was a game changer for mum. She started going out during the day and kind neighbours would bring her back, but then she started going out in the middle of the night , in the freezing cold, dressed only in her nightwear (and on one memorable occasion, wearing only an unfastened dressing-gown) and banging on random peoples doors at 3.00am because she was lost :eek:. She would not allow carers in her home, notes on the door didnt work, and she wouldnt agree to having a door alarm, so I started looking for a care home.
In fact, she had a TIA first, so she ended up in hospital and went from there to a secure care home. Everyone (doctors, Social Services and me) was in agreement that this was where she needed to be. She was angry that she wasnt allowed out on her own and spent the first few weeks "packing to go home", but the care home got a DoLS and by 6 weeks mum had settled and was happy there. She lived there and thrived, made friends and once told me "they all love me in here". She was right - they did. I have no regrets.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,989
Essex
Thank you @MaNaAk. I’ve done the Herbert protocol forms for my dad too.

@deepetshopboy that’s rough on you. If I was single I’d move back home to look after him but I’ve got work & a young family - I can’t. Still feel bad that I’m not there.

I just don’t think dad’s ready for a care home yet... it’s the danger from the wandering which is the biggest issue. But I don’t really know when’s the best time.
Dear @Arkady,

I know exactly how you feel but what you could do in the meantime is look at care homes. See how the staff interact with residents, ask about entertainment, about their procedures to deal with your mum's behaviour (dad escaped from our house by climbing our of a window)! Also look at reviews for particular homes if you at least put his name on a list you can always turn it down but you could have some peace of mind in an emergency.

Hugs

MaNaAk
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,294
I'm afraid you aren't missing anything, the only answer is 24 hour supervision, which means either a carer living with him, or a care home. The fact he is wandering unfortunately indicates that he is ready for a care home.

My mother had carers in for 5 or 6 hours a day which worked well for about 18 months. Then the wandering started. As soon as the carers left she went off looking for company and repeatedly had to be rescued by neighbours.

We got her a Linkline door monitor (which alerted if she opened the front door) and tracker. She removed the tracker as soon as the carer was out of the door.

I resented the pressure from the neighbours to move her to a care home, easy for them to say because they weren't the ones having to do it, but actually they were right. They were the ones having to constantly firefight issues when the carers were not there.

In terms of how you get him to agree - you probably don't. As previous posters have said, you may have to go ahead and do what is in his best interests, without his agreement. How easy this will be depends on whether he is self funding (easier) or LA funded. Do you have Power of Attorney?

My mother has been in her care home for 2 and a half years, and despite insisting she wanted to stay at home, she has been very happy there.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,395
Dad has Alzheimer’s. He lives alone and has daily carer visits. Unfortunately he’s taken to walking and gets lost and a few times has needed to be rescued.

I visit as much as I can but it’s hard with work & children. I’m getting a fair amount of pressure from his neighbours to “put him in a home” for his safety. He doesn’t want to go into a care home.

He can’t move in with us (or us with him) - thanks to the dementia he has become abusive to the children.

Could increase the carer visits but I know from experience he’ll just go out for a walk 5 mins after they leave - plus he loathes having carers in anyway.

I’m in the process of getting a location tag for his keyring, but he often forgets his keys and lives rurally, so not that much help.

Feels like I’m missing something, and the neighbours giving me grief is really getting me down!
There comes a point when the person with dementia's needs outweigh what they want to do. You have in my opinion now reached that point . The neighbours are right, I'm sure that's not what you want to hear, but your father needs 24/7 supervision . A person with dementia will always say they don't want to be in a care home, this is quite normal. As to getting him into a home, as others have said, much depends on whether he is self funding or will depend on local authority funding. The wandering is extremely difficult to control and trackers etc will have limited value.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,989
Essex
There were deep reservations about dad settling into his care home but once he settled it was fantastic. He thought the care home was a hotel, school for the elderly and his old telephone exchange! You may be pleasantly surprised!

MaNaAk
 

Arkady

Registered User
Sep 29, 2020
10
Thanks everyone. Well, ****. I didn’t think I’d be at the stage of having to look at care homes already. 😔 Apart from the wandering he’s doing ok with the carers support.

Yes I have POA (health & financial). Dad is also self funding, and there’s a house to sell which should keep him going for a while, too. But he’s only 71 and otherwise healthy so he could go on for ages - I worry about running out of money and having to move homes when he’s much worse.

It’s also complicated because I’m in the process of selling my house and moving - one of our options was somewhere with an annex so I could look after him, but I don’t think that’ll work because of his aggression towards my kids (plus I can’t be a full time carer due to work & kids).
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
2,989
Essex
One more suggestion is that if he has suddenly deteriorated it might be an idea to get him to the doctors to check for an infection or and his blood pressure because this can create more confusion.

Hugs

MaNaAk
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,007
High Peak
Not sure you'd be able to stop night wandering even if he was in your annexe!

It's a very difficult time when someone has limited capacity. You want to do what they want, i.e. keep him at home, not have more carers, but he is unable to see that his behaviour is dangerous and his current arrangements can't continue.

As you are aware, without a DoLS in place, no care home could keep him there if he wanted to leave. It was slightly different with my mum as I moved her to a care home after a hospital stay so it was a 'done deal'. Didn't stop her packing to leave and demanding to be let out. In this situation, the home applied for a DoLS but mum was undiagnosed at that point so they (SS) didn't want to issue one, saying mum would be fine in some sort of sheltered housing. I knew she wouldn't so insisted she stay at the home. This put me up against social services (who issue the DoLS) and they would not allow me to be mum's advocate because I wanted her to stay and she wanted to leave. That was actually ridiculous. She had no idea where she was or that anything was wrong with her. Neither did she know where she lived previously yet she thought she could take a bus from the corner and go to the shops or her mother's house.

In the end (after much ranting and threatening on my part) a temporary DoLS was issued and 6 months later, following diagnosis, a permanent one was put in place.

Really, I'm just warning you how the system works. Social Services will do anything to keep someone out of a care home if they don't want to be there so it's going to be difficult for you unless you can persuage your dad to go on 'a temporary holiday'. What you could try is getting SS to do a full assessment of your dad and make sure they know about the wandering. Ask for a Best Interests meeting regarding his capacity to understand danger, etc. They may decide he's too unsafe to live at home and then you could move him with a DoLS. On the other hand, as you are self-funding, they may just tell you to get more carers in.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,294
Yes I have POA (health & financial). Dad is also self funding, and there’s a house to sell which should keep him going for a while, too. But he’s only 71 and otherwise healthy so he could go on for ages - I worry about running out of money and having to move homes when he’s much worse.
I was concerned about that too. My mother only has enough money for 5 years of care home funding and she's half way through that now. I think they will let her stay there on LA rates, but even if they don't there was no way round it, she needed the care.

Re the idea of having him to live in an annexe with you, I agree with you it isn't feasible. 24/7 supervision really means just that - you (or someonelse) would need to be available all day and night.

I researched care homes here

 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
518
I bought Dad an expensive GPS watch tracker as suggested by the memory team when he started wandering about and - seemingly inevitably - falling over. I didn't tell him it was a tracker and worked as a phone, too, I just said it was a new watch. However it doesn't stop them wandering or getting into trouble, it just means it's a bit easier to find them. But Dad is in care now and still sometimes escapes so watch is staying on (it has a lock! He can't take it off!).

Dad also ran out of money, but of course still needed care, so he was assessed by the local authority and they are now funding his care.
 

deepetshopboy

Registered User
Jul 7, 2008
317
Thank you @MaNaAk. I’ve done the Herbert protocol forms for my dad too.

@deepetshopboy that’s rough on you. If I was single I’d move back home to look after him but I’ve got work & a young family - I can’t. Still feel bad that I’m not there.

I just don’t think dad’s ready for a care home yet... it’s the danger from the wandering which is the biggest issue. But I don’t really know when’s the best time.
You could try getting in touch withtye drs memory clininc my dad was very aggressive hitting me and eventually ( after a near nervous breakdown numerous complaints they finally put him on 10 mg antidepressants citrpram which helped calm him down maybe enquire about it
Then if he did settle maybe a big maybe he could live with you but the thing is if he is wandering he needs 24 hour carer so he would have to have a carer during the day and cameras at night .
I only managed to move in as my son is 26 yrs old my marrige collapsed under the strain too as partly due to me always withmy dad and my husband turned into alcoholism the whole family is in turmoil ive still got my house but only due to my son living there and me going back n forth to keep my tenancy its extremely stressful is a understatement my dad will not live with me he can only do 2 hours max at my house then needs to go i tried and before was threatening to slit my throat n demanding to know what why and who bought him there .that was last yr he totally forgot the next morning but after 5 times of trying i gave up my dad is very young and it’s heartbreaking.
 

deepetshopboy

Registered User
Jul 7, 2008
317
Thanks everyone. Well, ****. I didn’t think I’d be at the stage of having to look at care homes already. 😔 Apart from the wandering he’s doing ok with the carers support.

Yes I have POA (health & financial). Dad is also self funding, and there’s a house to sell which should keep him going for a while, too. But he’s only 71 and otherwise healthy so he could go on for ages - I worry about running out of money and having to move homes when he’s much worse.

It’s also complicated because I’m in the process of selling my house and moving - one of our options was somewhere with an annex so I could look after him, but I don’t think that’ll work because of his aggression towards my kids (plus I can’t be a full time carer due to work & kids).
If you want any further help pm message me best wishes