We recently convinced my father to try an assisted-living facility. He was living alone since his wife passed away about 1.5 years ago. His dog also died about 8 months ago. He is very depressed. He saw a psychologist and got on anti-depressants, but immediately went off them because of the side effects he did not like.

He was complaining constantly about how lonely he was and all he wanted to do was die. His house was a complete mess. We had a part-time care giver coming in, but I found out he was usually telling her to leave.

He can barely walk, has COPD and uses Oxygen. He is a heavy smoker. He is incontinent to the point where he uses an adult urinal and leaves those half filled things all over the house. In the kitchen he sat with one candle lit, blinds drawn, smoking. A very bad situation. My sister, who is local, would get called 5 times a day at work, and he would ask if she was coming over tonight. She has no life of her own and is also on Xanax. He's driving her crazy!

I had him at my home out of state recently for a visit. Couldn't believe he came. He broke all my rules. My son has asthma and cannot have smoke in the air. I have a wonderful covered screened in porch, which he would not use for smoking. Smoked in my house. Threw garbage on the floor, etc., would not bathe. We finally asked him to leave and took him back home. Then he was just going to show up on my doorstep.

He is overbearing and nasty. I'd love to have my old father back.

Fast forward: finally he tried assisted living. A nice facility; good food. He hasn't complained too much about the food. BUT now he insists on going back home. He says he really hates it. Still calls my sister 5 times a day complaining. Wants us to visit constantly. Won't get involved in any activities; just poo-poos the whole thing. Caught smoking in his room. I had to go in to see the director just like a kid in school who misbehaves. Just in a continually bad mood. Won't take any medication now. Constant guilt trips on how he wishes were were Italian because "they take care of their people". There's only two of us, I am out of state. My sister works full time and both of our houses have steps, which he cannot navigate; he's in a wheel chair now. Still no bathing; seems to refuse it.

Sorry for the rambling, but I could go on. Spoke with a lawyer; high bar for guardianship and would destroy our relationship probably.

How to convince him to stay? Oh, and since he's a vet he could get the time and attendance pension and stay there for very little. Leave more money for maybe a casino trip--I'm using that as an inducement.

Thanks for letting me vent and if anyone has any ideas or ways to approach, I'd appreciate it.

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Thank you, and I will try these suggestions. I think he deep down knows it's better for him. I just have to get him to stop trying to hire the staff to work in HIS home.

Maybe just try to move him to another room at first, there might be someone upsetting him.... I don't understand no bathing, they are required by law to keep them clean one way or other via sponge or full bath. Have his doctor tell him he is no longer able to stay by himself and get that off of you and your sister. Get the VA paperwork going so it can kick in as soon as possible. He reminds me of my mother and they are a trainwreck if no one is there to keep them from burning down the house, or worse. He is in the best situation you can provide for him, sometimes this is all you can do. Your sister is putting herself in a very vulnerable position with her employer taking so many calls, let it go to voice mail or have receptionist run interference. You might check with the v.a. alot of them have nursing home facilties as well and he would have common interest with the residents, but I'm really sure it won't be that nice. Then sometimes it's just a no win and you have to bear with the complaining and just re-direct the subject. I feel for you and wish you and your sister the best.

It sounds like Dad is right where he needs to be. Now the trick is keeping him there, right?

I think Sister needs to set some tighter boundaries and enforce them. She should not be taking 5 calls a day from him, at work. Not from the ALF, and not if he moves back home. If he has an immediate need he needs to go to the ALF staff. If it is an emergency, they can call your sister.

Reduce the number of visits, and continue to encourage participating in ALF activities. "No, Dad, I won't be coming in tonight, but I see on the schedule there is a sing-along in the community room."

He won't take his meds in ALF -- he probably won't take them at home, either. The bathing problem will be the same. Nothing would be solved by his going to a less safe environment and I VERY seriously doubt that he will be happier.

Hang in there! I hope you can make it work where he is.

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