My father is 86 with dementia but otherwise in great health. I need daily help to keep him active and be sure he eats properly

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Look for adult day care programs in your area. My grandmother goes 3 times a week and it keeps her busy.
You didn't say if your father lives with you, or if he lives alone. There are adult day centers that he can go to while you are at work, and other public programs such as Meals on Wheels to see that he gets meal delivered. On word of caution on such programs, as excellent as they are, the volunteers that deliver the meals cannot make sure that he is actually eating what they deliver.

Why not tell Dad that his help is needed at the Senior Center to help OTHER older people that are not as healthy as he is!! Most of the time feeling needed is a big motivator in getting our loved ones to a facility so THEY can be cared for too!

If Dad lives alone, talk to him about moving closer to you, or "in" with you or another family member so he is not alone. Or see about getting him into an assited living facility so he will be around others with similar conditions.

In one of my other posts I tried to explain what dementia is. Dementia is not the name of a specific disease, and perhaps it would be helpful for you to know what 'type' of dementia your father has. Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that progressively robs our loved ones of their ability to do even the most basic of functions.

Dementia is not part of normal aging, and is termed as a progressive condition. Over time the person's abilities will deteriorate to the point where they cannot function in the normal world.

Talk to your father about his desires for his care, in a non-threatening way, and with all the love I am SURE you feel for him.
If you can find an adult day care program in a senior center that would be good because the cost will be low and transportation can be arranged ours has a bus to pick people up and the unit is so cozy I would not mind being there.

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