How can I become a caregiver for my grandpa who has dementia?

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Hi I really need some help my Aunt Gloria who is the oldest child of my grandpa's children lives in Pennsylvania she is trying to put my grandpa in a home he does not want to be in a home I would like to take care of him and his belongings and keep him safe all she cares about is coming out here and taking what she thinks she deserves or once like his new truck and other things I don't care about his stuff I care about him I don't know if she has power of attorney or anything like that he has just been diagnosed with dementia the last 2 months and can no longer Drive which we have just found out she has lied to us and didn't want us to go see him until she came out in April but we went there anyways and found all this out she has a few people coming for hours a day to take care of him what do I do to become his caregiver or get power of attorney or something because I don't think it's right that all she cares about is coming out and getting his brand new truck and putting him in a home please help me

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Countrymouse makes EXCELLENT points. I'd really listen to what she's saying.

Back before my cousin got dementia, I didn't understand what the term really meant. I just thought it meant that the person had poor memory. Well, sadly, it's MUCH more than that. It may also involve sleep disorders, wandering, incontinence, delusions, hallucinations, aggressive behavior, resistance to care, etc. It's like something you can't even imagine with some people.

I might read a lot here and elsewhere about it and then speak with your aunt. Getting someone who needs care and protection into a facility where they can get that care is a huge accomplishment. I'd discuss his condition and explore how you may help with visits, cards, etc.

I'd keep in mind that people with dementia often have a warped sense of reality. They may think they can do just fine in their home or staying by themselves, when in reality, they need constant supervision like that of a toddler. It's so refreshing to see a kind, loving grandchild, like yourself. There are things you can do to show your grandfather your devotion. I hope you are able to do that.
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Erica, I'm very sorry that you're so upset at the thought of your grandpa moving into a facility. It is upsetting, for all kinds of reasons.

If you don't mind my saying so, you sound rather young and you also sound as though you haven't had much experience of what dementia is like. Would that be fair to say?

If you look around this site, agingcare.com, you will find dozens of questions from people who are desperate to stop elders with dementia driving. It is a heck of a battle, with no choice but to fight on. The elder person doesn't understand that he can't drive safely, it's his vehicle - how dare anyone try to take it away? But meanwhile, the reality is that you read every week of someone driving on the wrong side of the road, jumping red lights, driving the wrong way down the freeway - and it turns out it's someone with dementia, or impaired vision. In the UK papers yesterday, a 73 year old man was jailed for two years because he killed a small child when he didn't see a red traffic light. His opticians, twice, had told him he was not fit to drive. He wouldn't listen. He was sure he was fine.

I expect your aunt thinks it was crazy for your grandpa to buy a new truck, and with the dementia she can't allow him to continue to drive it. That's why it's all she cares about right now!

As for your moving in and looking after him... I'm afraid you may not believe me, but that is truly a terrible idea. He already can't be left alone. Your grandpa is going to need 24/7 care and support from professionally trained people who really know what they're doing.

The best thing you can do to help your grandfather is make peace with your aunt, and then when he is settled go and see him as often as you can.
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