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How do we prepare Dad to live apart from Mom?

My parents (dad is 76 & mom is 74) moved into an Assisted Living facility a month ago to give my mother respite from my dad's vascular dementia. Although he requires someone be with him 24/7 due to wandering, he is in good health and can be left in the secure memory care unit while she takes a break. With my mother's health failing, she (and the children) have decided that dad should move into a private room in the secure memory care unit so my mother can move in with my brother and visit him as her health permits. They have been married 56 years and my mother & I don't know how to prepare him (as the nurse calls it) for this separation. Do my mother & I just tell him that we want him to stay in a safe place while mom concentrates on getting better so they can be together again? I recognize the short attention span, etc. so just want to start at least mentioning the separation so that he is not totally unaware (although I realize he will not remember).
Status: Open    May 14, 2015 - 04:49 PM

Caregiving, Dementia

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May 31, 2015 - 01:17 PM

Yes, absolutely. You are on the right track. That's exactly what we've done for my father-in-law in similar situation. I wouldn't even tell him she is not living there anymore. He probably won't even ask. If he does, you can answer in vague terms about 'where' she is, ie., she's in another room so she can get more medical attention than you need. We've asked my father-in-law to be strong and cooperate because she is very sick and while we get her the medical attention she needs. I would avoid saying things like 'until they can be together again' but do confirm that is the end goal when or if he asks. Best Wishes.
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