Tupelo, I'm also very sorry about what your sister and your family are going through.
Dave has given you great advice, having had this sad experience himself.
The assisted living facility should have someone on staff who has dealt with this type of situation before, who can advise you of the best way to handle the move. You could probably also get valuable advice from your local Alzheimer's Association, as this is something they undoubtedly deal with on a regular basis.
I know this is awful for you. When my aunt was talking to an Alzheimer's case manager, who had dealt with this sort of thing for 30-some years, the case manager said that moves like this are almost always traumatic, but that the patient soon settles in and almost all of them do better than they did at home. I hope that will be the case for your sister.
I'm doing fine, thanks. My job now is to drive my Mom and my aunt (the widow of my uncle who had Alzheimer's) wherever they need to go, and I'm enjoying it very much. Also enjoying the brief Florida Spring, before the temps start getting up in the 90s!
I hope you' and your wife are doing OK, too. I know your lives are a challenge because of your physical problems, but it seems like you take everything in stride. Is your dad still reasonably content where he is now?
Here's an interesting article from the AARP site about medical conditions that can mimic the signs of dementia. It's important to rule these out before accepting a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or other dementia.
Beth, I found this thread from a few years ago. It might have some helpful suggestions for you. Please note that two of the posters actually had Alzheimer's (unfortunately, we haven't heard from either of them for a long time).
He may be afraid to go because he got lost, even if he didn't say that scared him. Most communities have transportation available for elderly people, at no cost. If you call 211 or get in touch with your local Senior Resource Association or Alzheimer's Association, they might be able to help you find a way to get him to the day care program. Maybe if you can get transportation lined up, you can tell him that it will help keep him healthier if he goes to the program a few days a week, and tell him how much that would mean to you. That approach may work better than asking him if he wants to go back.
I'm afraid I have to agree with jgr4002 that your husband should not be driving. My uncle, too, gave up driving on his own but I don't think it's that easy with most people. Your local Alzheimer's Association chapter should have some good suggestions about how to approach this difficult subject, and there are some resources here someplace that I will try to find for you. You would both feel just horrible if he were to get into an accident and injure someone else, and it is probably pretty terrifying for him to be driving and suddenly not know where he is. My widowed father-in-law's woman friend had that happen to her, and she just stopped her car in the middle of a busy street because she was so panicked, which could have been disastrous.
Dr. Judith London, the Alzheimer's expert who posts here occasionally, has written a book that you might find helpful: Support for Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregivers: The Unsung Heroes.
My uncle was the same with my aunt. She couldn't even go to the bathroom without him yelling for her. That was one of the big reasons it was such a huge help to her when she started bringing in people to help for a few hours a day. He liked the nurses and aides so much that my aunt could get a break without his getting upset about her not being there, or being in a different room. I know that not everyone can manage that financially but, if you can, even a few hours a week would be helpful.
Were you able to find out any more about adult day care?
The early stages of Alzheimer's are extremely stressful. Please don't feel the least bit guilty. You're going through a very difficult time and probably feel quite isolated. Caring for your son on top of that makes it so much harder.
Even Alzheimer's patients who did have hobbies often drop them at some point, because they're unable to do them any more. One thing that many people with Alzheimer's seem to enjoy is jigsaw puzzles. I don't know if that would interest your husband, but if you could get him started, it could keep his interest for quite a while.
There may be a lower-cost option for day care for your husband, but I don't really know. I would suggest that you contact both your local Alzheimer's Association and Senior Resource Association (or whatever it's called in your community), tell them your situation, and see what they might suggest.
You absolutely do need to get a break now and then or the constant stress will take a toll on you physically, mentally and emotionally. Is there anyone you could get to stay with your husband for even a few hours a week, while you go out and do something you enjoy? I know he would probably protest, but that's a normal reaction. Usually, once you just present it as something that's going to happen, rather than asking if it's OK, they will accept it better. He will probably even start to look forward to spending time with whoever it is.
Other people may have more ideas for you. My heart goes out to you, and I hope you can find some relief for yourself. Please come back and let us know how you and your husband are doing.
She probably does realize now that her mind isn't working right, and it's undoubtedly extremely scary for her. I remember that my aunt found my uncle standing in the middle of the garage once, and he yelled "I don't have a brain any more" -- heartbreaking. But as the disease progresses, the patient normally doesn't recognize any more that there is a problem with the way his/her brain works.
A lot of Alzheimer's patients see themselves as younger than they are. In fact, they often don't recognize the old person looking back at them from the mirror, which can be really frightening. It's one of the reasons they sometimes refuse to shower or bathe -- because they see a stranger in the mirror watching them.
Please let us know how it goes with the case manager. That should be such a help to all of you.