91 year old dad. Tough decision

My dad is 91 and has lived with us for 17 years. Since contracting covid in hospital during the first wave his mobility has had a steady decline as has his memory.
I have been battling for the last 5 months to get a memory test.
Recently he had his 4th uti this year and became delusional. We had been up with him for 23 hours having called the gp during the day due to him being delusional who said they would send someone to take a blood test. No one came. At 11pm i called 111 who said they would send paramedics. 5 hours later they arrived a discussion ensued abouth whether they would take him to hospital eventually they agreed. We where exhausted and he was unsafe due to lack of mobility, delusional state and stairs.

My husband who cares for him alone when i am at work and now cannot lift him if he falls stated he couldn’t do this anymore and proceeded to advise our social worker of such on the monday morning. So on dads release from hospital he has been taken to a care home for a 4 week needs assessment.

His delusions are better but then they do have him on anti psychotic drugs.

I have gone along with everyone and looked at some care homes. We are not rich so a top up would be difficult for us therefore we have to wait and see what dad is offered. Some of the care homes we have looked at have been truly awful.

What are my options. I cry a lot because i feel i am letting my dad down. Can anyone help with advice please

You have to be realistic. Dad’s dementia isn’t going to improve, you aren’t getting younger, and neither of you should be picking dad up. You have done brilliantly, but now dad needs a team of carers, as his needs are so high.

Has he had an NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment yet, if you don’t know, ask.

He needs a nursing home which can manage him until he dies, no more moves after this one. Concentrate on the attitude of the staff, not the one with the best furniture. Make a list, starting with the one nearest to you.

Thanks bowlingbun,

He is in the process of being assessed for nhs care, they have advised this doesnt mean he will get it.

The social worker is seeing him tomorrow to asses if he has capcity. I have to say the anti psychotic medication has help and i believe shecwill say he does.

I have started looking at nursing homes. Some wont let me look until the completed assessment gives a detailed plan of what he needs.

The one that sounds best for dementia i have yet to see.

Some are truly dreadful though.

Do you ever get over the guilt and feelings of failure. When he finds out he cant come home will he forgive me.

Not sleeping and currently really stressed and tearful. In some respects i feel like i am mourning already. Very weird.

It’s all horrible, the tiredness, the visiting in hospital, the smells you try to ignore, putting a brave face on at visiting, the traffic there and back, searching for a parking spot, seeing someone you love slowly fading away, all you want is dad how he used to be. It is a grief process. I remember driving between mum’s house and the hospital when I found myself thinking “I just can’t do this any more”. We all have our limits. I had a huge battle with the hospital for months, they wanted to send her, unable to even move in bed, back to her house, alone, with 3 carer visits a day!
Your dad now needs a TEAM of carers looking after him until he dies. That is the price he pays for living longer than average.
On the other hand, my lovely husband died suddenly of a heart attack in his sleep at the age of 58.
You haven’t failed dad, it’s not your fault he’s old.
Google " Signs of Dying" and you will find some excellent articles about how during the ageing process in the final years the body gradually wears out and slows down towards the end.
Feel proud of all you have done for dad, you have nothing to feel guilty about, replace guilt with sad instead.

My lovely late husband was in a nursing home. Vascular dementia and other health issues. Before his dementia declined he heard to say let’s go home. ( He gave his address to an assessor as his childhood home). I never told him he would never get home again. Kind lies I used to call them. You can’t go home today love as the Doctor feels it’s better for to have a couple of days treatment here.,or you have to wait for the Doctor to discharge you. Different things depending on his mood. He seemed pacified what ’ reasons’ I gave. Very emotional to do, and I am not a good fibber! Did it to keep him more content. I turned the word guilt to sad, very sad to be honest. Feeling guilty wasn’t helping him. His complex needs outweighed the wants of us both and our family. Look up ambiguous grief. It helped me to understand my emotions and hopefully will help you too.