My 81-year-old father with moderate dementia lives in an independent living apartment. He met a female resident with a similar condition 10 days ago, and he moved in with her! What can I do?

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My 81 yr old father living in an indep living apt. w/ moderate dementia seems to have "moved in" w/ female res in same condition. Help! He met her 10 days ago and they hit it off. I don't know if he thinks they are married (both have lost a spouse in last 2-3 years). He never would have considered such a thing even a year ago. He has fear at night and wanders halls, but seems to have stopped since with her. Don't know what to do. Do I try to have him stay in his apt.? make him understand he isn't married? have talked to her family and they are letting things stand for now. Both elders seem happier. Had seen problems with living situation and began checking out assisted living before this happened. Now will have problem getting him to move. Do I force it?

Answers 1 to 10 of 24
Companionship is good medicine. He's 81, they seem happy. Try to find a way to let them be together. An alternative to changing his living arrangements (which can be extremely disruptive for someone with dementia) is home care. In general, and based on the way you describe your father, he doesn't require round-the-clock medical care. He (they) just might need someone to keep an eye on them and attend to certain needs. Non-medical home care wouldn't be expensive and perhaps his "girlfriend's" family may even help with the cost. Whatever you decide, good luck!
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I say let them alone it is nice to have a friend so many older folks sit alone and have no pleasure as long as her family is alright with it they can keep an eye on each other if I were him I would be pleased to have someone who cares for me-I would not mind a friend like that at my age after the stressful marriage I had and now being a widow,
If the relationship is not emotionally, physically, or monetarily abusive be happy that your father has found a companion. There is a movie that broaches the subject of love in AD sufferers. Julie Christie portrays the female lead in Away From Her, a film about a long-married Canadian couple coping with the wife's Alzheimer's disease. The movie is very good, rent it, watch it....
Good for them--let them be happy.
What a lucky break for both of them. Nance is right, let it be, let it be and figure out ways to have gatherings with both families!
I bet they'll be good for each other and support each other through the scary parts of the future.

Do nothing except smile.
From the male point of view, I think this is a beautiful situation. If your Dad is 81, I would say that there is very little chance of a sexual relationship going on. I see no complicating factors here. There will not be a marriage to cause financial problems with the relatives, etc. They are both survivors of deceased partners. Does anyone not relate to the need for just the presence and touch of another human being? I doubt that it is not an experience craved by people with dementia. If you observe how, very often, a patient will respond and brighten up when being kissed and hugged, or having their hair stroked, etc.

And just on the very whisical and practical side, his new friend cannot get pregnant, so that's one less thing to worry about!
While mom was in a nursing home the housekeeping lady visited Dad and helped change mom a few times. She passed away 3 yrs ago and Dad kept in touch w/her. She's in her 40's and is married. Both she and her husband visited Dad many times until I discovered he had "lent" them $2,000. I intervened and she made payments for a short time then stopped. He continually talked about his girlfriend and they were meeting up at Walmart every morning. She asked him to co-sign a loan for car and wanted to move into his house (they offered to let him stay in a separate room with a door leading outside). He refused however continued the relationship. He became infatuated with her and mentioned numerous times that they had been intimate. He's 87 yrs old. I finally intervened and after speaking with her several times to no avail (he actually defended her each time) My sister and I went to her job and spoke with her boss twice. The woman dropped off a check for the balance she supposedly owed him and he ended up in the hospital that night for a week after almost disowning me and my sister -- He went into a rage and was so heartbroken he almost had a heart attack and went into a severe depression. Did I do the right thing? Absolutely. We need to protect them from themselves. My concern was the husband coming after him and possibly hurting him.
Wow, stressed1. I would be stressed2, if the shoe were on my foot. That is a tough one as his decision to move in is not based on sound judgment and does not take into account his, or his new friend's safety. It's nice that he is calmer and seems happier. If it were my Dad, or Mom, I would make it a point to let him know that he is not married to the person and remind him that they only met each other recently. I would also let him know that I would really like to meet the person who is making him so happy, then visit with both of them off and on to see how things are going and whether their relationship is fraught with dangers of their mutual dementia symptoms.

You know your Dad better than anyone. Check it out and go with your instinct by doing whatever is your best judgment call on behalf of your Dad. Good luck with outcomes. I hope your Dad continues to feel happy and safe.

Have there been any safety or other issues with his new companion that you know of? May be worth fact-finding to be on the safe side. Last thing your Dad needs is drama down the road.
The man is in an independent living apartment, not assisted. He is 81 years old. Let him and his friend enjoy each other's company. Companionship can only help.

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