Hello all ~ So, my father is 88 with heart failure. I believe that he has the start of Alzheimer's or Dementia. At this point, I don't feel the need for any testing on that. He does not want any surgery for the heart failure and I respect that. Some days he's really with it. Then there are what I call my "High Alert" days. We've never actually told him he will never be able to drive again, yet I think in his mind he can (and will). I am his full time caregiver, which requires dressing, bathing, and all the other daily needs. I try and bring him with me when I do errands. He doesn't go into places with me, but sits in the car and rides. I figure it gets him out of the house. I've taking him for lunch a handful of times since last summer. It's hard with COVID and restrictions. I ask when we are out if he wants me to drive around so he can take in some sights, but he never wants to do that. It does get exhausting with all the gear, wheelchair/walker/extra clothing bag for "just in case", to take him places. But I am resolved in taking care of him. However, I just feel like I am keeping him existing. He's not much of a talker. He just likes to sit in his recliner all day and watch TV. He doesn't like to do crafts or puzzles. I keep telling myself he would tell me if there is anyplace he would like to go. But then, I don't know if he even knows. Yesterday he was charging up his GPS and playing with that. I asked if he wanted to leave. (He can't live on his own) He said no quickly. So... either I'm just trying to hard thinking of what else to do... or is there more that I can do? Anyone have any ideas? Oh, and our local community center is still closed. Or does anyone have any thought process on how to ask what he wants to do with his days? Apparently I am not asking the correct way.

Stop asking. Start telling. We went through the same thing with my FIL who never asked us to take him places and showed no interest in anything outside of the routine he had gotten himself into. When we started telling him "We're picking you up and going to..." he would be ready to go.

I read on your profile that you quit your job to care for your father, moved him in with you and your husband, you bathe, dress and toilet him and are growing bored. Your father's needs are only going to increase - as you've already discovered, it can happen suddenly.

Please bring in-home help for yourself. You cannot do it all. You will burnout. My FIL has two full-time aides - one woman, one man - and the man bathes and dresses him whereas the woman does light housework, prepares small meals, drives him places, and keeps him company. My FIL lives in independent living, which is becoming a charade of independence.

Get your father used to in-home help sooner rather than later. There may come a day when *you* cannot bathe, dress or toilet him! Tell - do not ask - your dad "So-and-so is here to help while I go out." My husband and I were there the first day when each of his aides started helping him. We wanted to see their interaction and we wanted them to know how important his wellbeing is to us.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw

Maybe your dad is cognizant of "taking up your time"? Often my 91-yr old mom will be really reluctant to suggest something because she feels she's "putting me out", even when I'm the one who suggested the activity. I think BarbBrooklyn's idea of stating rather than asking is a great one.

Others on this forum have suggested "sorting" activities, like nuts and bolts, laundry/socks/towels, organizing your junk drawer. I gave my mom a pair of fabric scissors and have her cut old (but washed) cotton t-shirts into rags. Then I offer them to family and neighbors. Who doesn't need more free rags? You can request old shirts from your neighbors on would he be interested in painting unfinished birdhouses? It will be hit and miss until he finds something he is willing to do (and this will be a moving target as his health changes).
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Geaton777

Cindy, we found with my mom that if we said "now it's time to..." she would agree to an activity, whereas if we asked her if she wanted to do, she would say "no".

Hope that helps.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

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