HELP... I want to help.. but feel helpless.

Started by

My father is currently lives in an assisted living facility. I live 2hours away and get up to visit him every couple of weeks and pay his bills. My ex-husband participates in his care by taking him to doctors appointments and various other chores. I appreciate his help and feel he is being fair. We are facing the problem with my father that he is becoming more and more afflicted with dementia. He is in the hospital this week for pneumonia and an infection in his legs. Infections often lead to confusion in his case. He is now losing his bills and becomes argumentive at times. The facility has offered to hold or forward his bills to me for payment, but I do not have that authority on his account and don't believe he will allow it. What are my options. He is not paying his facility bill timely either. He has some animosity with the administrator over the billing cycle.

1 Comment

Hi there, I went through exactly what you are now going through. This is a hard battle, and you must do what is best for your father. As long as you have the full support of your husband, and others things will work out. My husband stood by me and my Dad, and helped tremendously. Although of course there were times, we thought we would never survive this journey. You need to file for Conservatorship in order to be able to help your father. But first thing you will need is a doctor's letter to show the court evidence of his need for help in managing his finances. My Dad fought me in this, since the dementia did not allow him to understand that he needed help with everything. I took him to the doctor, had him evaluated, a letter written by the doctor to that effect, and then filed a petition with the court for Guardianship/Conservatorship. When the court visitor came before the hearing, it was decided that he could not and should not be present at the hearing due to his inability to help himself, and would not be in his best interest. I also filed for Guardianship at the same time. This was so that I, and myself only, could decide the type of care he will receive, so long as he was financially able to pay for it. I almost made the tragic error of letting the court appoint him a Guardian/Conservator, then I would have no say in how his money was spent, or the quality of care that would be given him. And how could I give up my Dad to a complete stranger, unthinkable. The emotions get in the way of rationalization sometimes, especially when dealing with a loved one who has dementia. Please do not let this happen to you. Try to put the emotions aside and think rationally. Go slow and easy, and things will work out, but remember most of all to go with your instincts always. I can honestly look back and say that I did all the right things and the very best I could for my Dad. I wish you the very best. Please also take care of yourself too.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support