I want to move my Dad who has dementia from Florida to Texas. He is home alone all day and Mom died 2 months ago. He is grieving, lonesome..

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I will try to recap this complex situation...

My brother and sister-in-law work full time and Dad is home alone during the day. Pops devoted himself to my Mom while at my brother's so he had a purpose. Mom had Stage IV melanoma cancer and for many reasons I flew them to my brother's from Iowa to Florida in January. Mom had a few good months utilizing in-home hospice and then in-patient hospice. Mom was in the hospice facility 7 weeks before she died Memorial weekend. I spent months in Iowa and Florida, and Pops and I were with her 24/7 at the hospice facility before she died. Now Pops is a lost soul. He was slowly declining and is now rapidly declining. He flips from wanting to move here with us and staying at my brother's.

I am flying to Florida to go to an appointment with the VA Psychiatrist next Monday - August 8. The Psychiatrist has only seen my Dad once and my brother has talked to the Social Worker a time or two. My Dad is a WWII Navy Vet and calls himself a "people person". He is dieing on the vine being alone by himself all of the time, and my brother said I wouldn't believe how down hill he has gone in 2 months. In the hospice facility I had to tell the staff Dad had dementia and they said they never would have guessed it. Now my brother is at the point of putting Pops in a nursing home or even using something called the Baker Act to get him taken right away.

My husband is on board with Pops moving here, and I am willing to pour my heart and soul into this to give Pops a chance here before going to a nursing home. Our future son-in-law's mother has had Ahlzheimer's for years and he and our daughter our so good and kind to her; our daughter is also a nurse, so we have their support as well.

Pops will resist mightily if taken to a nursing home because he is very intelligent and can be very lucid. He has always said he NEVER would go to a nursing home -- before he got dementia! Pops does get angry and depressed but I only know what my brother passes on. When I talk to Pops on the phone he has been fine for the most part. My Mom always said he acts better when you're around... I have to feel being alone without grief counseling, lonesome, bored, hopeless, is aggravating his dementia. I want to do what is best for Pops. My brother has power of attorney...

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thank you so much!

4 Comments

My dad was in a similar situation, except totally "alone" (except for hired care) living in Oklahoma City while we lived in Colorado, Texas, and Florida. I live in Florida, and we moved my Dad here in May. My sister and brother accompanied him here on the plane. He is a very intelligent scientist...worked practically up to the day he moved. Now, he did agree to go to an Assisted Living Facility, which I searched for and chose. I explained to him that he would be around more people that way during the day. He was pretty compliant, but still not totally happy, and because of his dementia, was quite confused at first about where he was and why he was there. Now, 3 mos. later, he is doing so much better. I visit him every other day, and he has settled into that routine. He is well-liked and the facility has great care. It is "age in place", so there is a nurse there 24 hours a day to dispense meds and CNA's to help with basic needs. We pay by the services (and my dad needs many). He has his own nice room (we decorated --furniture, etc.) and it is where he will receive all his care. We can bring in "sitters" if needed, but not needed yet. If he was at a facility with a "health center" he would already be there and it definitely would feel like a nursing home to him. I like this better. Having your dad at home with you will be good, but a lot of work and stress. It's just good for you to admit that right up front. After doing this for 3 months, I think we have to do a combination of what is best for our parent and what is best for us and our family. I have been fortunate that my hustand, like yours, is very supportive, and my dad is very grateful for what I'm doing for him, and I know that your dad will be, too. Anything is better than the loneliness they experience after their wife dies. Best Wishes.
Thank you for your input! Unfortunately, my folks' savings is drained and Dad doesn't have a long term care policy. My brother said Dad would have to go to a nursing home and be on the waiting list for a VA home. Plus my brother said it could take months to get Dad in a nursing home (all the paperwork) so that still leaves Dad at home by himself all day. My brother has a hard time getting off to take him to his appointments and some of Dad's appointments have been missed or rescheduled.

Dad has life insurance that will have to be cashed in to pay for pre-paid funeral expenses to fly him back to Iowa for burial. We also did that for Mom, which took much of their savings. Dad has a little pension and social security. Dad pays my brother rent and pays toward groceries, electricity, cable, and telephone. His other expenses are BCBS supplement and medicine (he takes a lot!) from the VA. Plus the cat moved with my parents to FL and he was very loved and spoiled and now he fights my brother's cats and has to be locked in a room and the cats are a constant source of drama.

All of this has taken a toll on my brother. He also has his wife, daughter and son-in-law plus 4 cats living with him so it is a very full house! My brother and I both want to do what is best for Dad and there just doesn't seem to be an answer -- other than coming here. If there are options in FL, no one there has time to pursue them and I am too far away. I was gone for months with my mother's terminal illness. I have the opportunity here to explore and take advantage of any resources that are available.

I guess the point I am really trying to stress is my Dad is alone every day while everyone is at work. He feels his room is a "cell". If he were here, he wouldn't be alone and could interact more with others. I hate to leave it up to a VA Psychiatrist who has seen Dad once to decide whether he can go to Texas or not. In reality, it is my brother's decision because he has Power of Attorney. At one point my brother was really wanting Dad to come here for a visit but he doesn't want to give of POA.

Round and round we go and we just stay on this roller coaster...

I tell myself God is in control and ask myself if He gave me this opportunity (the first time in my life) to take care of Dad...

Thank you again!
Fishroo, why is your brother so resistant to you becoming dad's POA? Is there something that you're not being told about what your brother is doing with dad's money? I hope not. Your dad had a 'mission' in life and that was to take care of his wife, but now that's over and he probably feels like he's not needed anymore. If it were my dad, I'd be going to Florida and talking face to face with my brother. I'd be taking dad out while I was there and spending time with him to see for myself just how 'demented' he really is. My mom just died this April and since my dad was a WWII navy guy too, it only cost $500.00 for the cremation plus the engraving of the marker at the veterans cemetery here in Oregon . Dad will join
her in the same cubby-hole spot when it's his time. If your brother won't relinquish the POA, then add your name to it so you can pay your dad's bills when he comes to live with you. Be sure to take control of the checkbook too.
I feel for your dad, he was probably a 'getter done' kind of guy now he doesn't have anything to get done. Good luck.
Thank you naheaton. Everything came to a head and my sister-in-law was going to call 911 and use the Baker Act to have a policeman take my Dad away. I said I would fly there immediately, which I did. The 3 of us flew to Texas the next day -- Pops, his cat, and me. My brother's wife, daughter, and son-in-law were not moving back home until my Dad was gone; they went and stayed with friends. My Dad was to have a psychiatrist appointment and doctor appointment at the VA a few days after we left. We got him in the local VA system but they can't see him until September 22nd. So a new journey has begun. I am new at all of this. Pops has been here 10 days now and things have gone better than I expected. You were right about the money -- my brother spent it all and Dad came here with $1,400 to his name and left all of his belongings at my brother's except for bare minimum. You described my Dad perfectly by the way -- he was a getter done kind of guy. Thank you!!!

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