My dad has dementia and its very hard to see what a couple years has changed his life so much. The past 15 yrs.' I've worked side by side with him and two others in the family's own wood mill / cabinet business. So with having completely determined with being very involved in a day to day business together all my concerns and facts are completely correct .After 40 yrs of My dads marriage with My stepmom Basically seems true her feelings, concerns ,of my dads health insurance, doctors appts, medications ,secretly taking my dad to a unknown place for 6 to 7 hours a day for her freedom to remain less bothered with our dads mental disease dementia . How can the factor of she must keep him for 6 more month to avoid spending a penny towards entering him in to home she has already said was going to happen FYI to my dads side of family Going on 4 yrs.' with dementia and at his finale end of live stage he has entered has made me ask why? With everyone being not welcome to there homes stepmom and her sons homes ,have made it even harder to see our dad the past two years .Just 3 weeks ago, with only ONE out of 8 of my dads side able to come pick him up finally at his @ Gold digger stepmom house .They have ,closed bank accounts paying off loans of there's Its been very disturbing to recognize a person or family member actually CAN BE THAT MUCH IN LOVE OF MONEY over a MAN suffering from the most saddest thing in the world to watch happing I will ever see . I have asked for nothing but Dad so we can TRY To LOVE him , HAPPINES , LAUGHFTER AND A PEACEFUL ENVIROMENT WITH HIS FAMILY HE MUST HAVE TO ENJOY AT LEAST FOR HIS END OF TIME . Something has made it possible for all of dads family to be at my house for the last 3 weekends to care for dads needs to survive hopefully just a couple extra months. Doesn't have eye glasses or his hearing aid anymore .
Here is the villain in this drama: Dementia. Awful, terrible, sad, unfair, brutal.
Here are the victims:
1) Your dad
2) His wife
3) You and your sisters
4) Everyone else who loves your dad.
This terrible thing that is happening is Not Your Dad's Fault. It is Not Dad's Wife's Fault. It is Not the Fault of Anyone who Loves Dad. It is the fault of the dementia, and none of you caused that.
Ideally in a situation like this, the entire family and circle of close friends works together to make things as much better as they can be, for the primary victim (Dad) and the primary caregiver (his wife.) Few families actually reach that ideal, but it is worth working toward. I am so grateful that our blended family (his 3 girls and my 2 boys) came together to support me as I cared for my husband for ten years. I don't know how I could have coped if my step children were suspicious of me or didn't respect me or saw me as a gold digger. I know it would have made my burden much heavier.
Here is what happens when your spouse gets dementia:
1) You have to keep doing all the things you've always done to keep the household running.
2) You have to take on all the things your spouse did.
3) You have to learn entirely new skills and take on new and sometimes distasteful tasks to take care of your spouse.
To say that your workload has tripled overnight is probably an understatement. And this happens in the context of seeing the person you love more than anything, your soulmate, your life partner becoming not the person you married.
There may be more stressful situations in life, but I sure hope I never encounter them.
For your father's sake, your stepmother deserves all the support she can get.
And what, exactly, do you think SM is guilty of? You say she talked to her son by phone every day. Horrors! She talked to her son?! How does this make you suspicious that she is not taking good care of her husband? Without more of an explanation than that, this seems like a crazy concern.
Dad hasn't been to a doctor in 2 years. Really? Did he tell you that? People with dementia are not reliable sources of information. And if it is true, is it because his wife couldn't be bothered, or because she could not think of a way to force him to go against his will? How do you know?
She is trying to arrange for him to be eligible for benefits (I assume Medicaid) to pay for a care center. You seem angry that she isn't willing to spend their money on placing him right now and not waiting until he is eligible. (Or am I reading that wrong?) According to AARP, in Ohio, 6 months of a care center will cost between $20,000 and $33,000 depending on how much care he needs. I don't know where you live but there is nowhere assisted living or nursing homes are inexpensive. Tell me again why it is selfish of her to continue to care for him at home until he is eligible for financial assistance. I just don't get that reasoning.
This mysterious place she takes him for several hours during the day is probably an Adult Day Health Program. (It is also not free, by the way.) I enrolled my husband in such a program for about 3 years, until he got too sick to participate. It is an awesome opportunity for interaction with other adults, supervised activities, a peaceful, happy environment, outings ... and some respite for the primary caregiver. I would like to see almost all persons with dementia have this opportunity.
You seem to sincerely love your dad. I can understand your hurt and anger. Direct that anger at the source -- at learning what you can do to make a positive difference in your Dad's life. That will probably mean making peace with his wife and helping him by helping her.
What have you and your sisters done in support of your sick dad in the last 3 years? For example, who does the yardwork? Who sees that the gutters are cleaned out and the sump pump is working or whatever maintenance tasks their home requires? Have any of you brought over a home-cooked meal? Done Spring or Fall or plain ol' middle-of-the-week housecleaning? Offered to take Dad to medical appointments? Taken them out to dinner or had them over to your house? Have you done any research on the disease he has? What have you offered/tried to do, even if you weren't allowed to do it? I'm interested in how active you are or are trying to be in his care.
I'm a little confused about the living arrangements. Is your StepMother's son living with them? Has Dad been spending weekends with you for the last month or so? Overnight? And there are 8 family members there?
A little more information would be helpful. Talk to you later.
I wasn't able to determine exactly what the arrangement is for you visiting with your father. I would try to discuss it with your stepmother and work out an agreement. Dementia is a cruel condition and most patients don't find it peaceful, though medications can help. I hope your family can work together on this.
You mentioned your Step-Mom "secretly" takes your Dad to an unknown place for 6 to 7 hours. Any possibility your Dad is at a Senior Center? As for doctor appointments, ever try to get an adult who has final stages of dementia to a doctor's office if he refuses to go? It's almost impossible.
Gee wonder why no one is welcomed at your Dad's home, I have to be tough here, but it sounds like you and your siblings are fighting your Step-Mom at every step she takes instead of working as a "team".... and you all are worried about their money, yes, their money, not yours.
And now after almost 40 years of marriage she is labeled a "gold digger"? Do you realize how expensive it is to take care of someone with serious memory issues? The cost of Depends can wipe out the best of budgets. Sounds like your Step-Mom is trying to get your Dad qualified for Medicaid so that he can go into a home that has professionally trained caregivers because your Step-Mom sounds like she is physically and emotionally burnt-out.