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Dad, 91, lives at home and has had care helpers for 6 years.We employed full time help 2 years ago to take any burden off his wife. Dad has LTHC and we supplement the remainder. With his ALZ/dementia he is incredibly unique. Still does his own hygiene, plays cards, goes shopping etc. His spouse of 32 years moved out 8 weeks ago into her place in an adult community( 6 miles away) as she wanted to live her life to the fullest. She is 90. She was reported to PS 8 months ago for elder abuse and constantly made life difficult for all the caregivers and picked on Dad frequently .We had to employ a geriatric care manager for a year just to keep the peace between the caregivers , her family and our family.For a few years she had wanted to move Dad into a facility and we refused. Their are 6 kids in our family and we all take turns visiting , staying and helping. She also spent very little time with him while she was in the house. We are relieved she is no longer around . Forget the "for better or worse" as it does not exist here. Things have resumed to a nice steady schedule and Dad is very relaxed and almost better. But... she dictates to us that she can come and go as she pleases. She was added to the title of the house when Dad remarried (after Mom's death) and yes they are still married.She left tons of her items and stuff all over the house. Two bedrooms she occupied are left in shambles and Dad is always looking in them and wondering what is going on with all the mess. When she pops in and appears she causes agitation and confusion.Dad can't figure out where she is going and why she is leaving all the time. She is the one who went and told Dad she was moving out to live her life, yet we do not discuss it with him using those terms. His doctors currently are in agreement that we just keep saying she is away visiting family. Yesterday she arrived to move a few more bags of stuff and then told him she was leaving for Florida for three weeks. He became upset again and has stated she might as well just not come back. This leaves the caregivers with trying to distract. re-direct and cheer Dad up. What can we do ? He lives in Pennsylvania. Does Dad have any rights or must this be the way he exists ? We do not have a good working relationship with her family. Thank you.

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I agree with cwillie above, I can't blame the wife for moving out, gosh everyone's been sniping at her heels. Why on earth did all you kids refuse to have your Dad move into a continuing care facility?

No wonder your Dad's wife picked on your Dad, she wanted them both to move into some place safer with on-staff caregivers. She knew what the future will bring. Even though you are all taking turns caring for your Dad, eventually it will be narrowed down to one grown child who does 100% of the work. Just wait, it will happen. Anne, are you ready to work 3 full-time shifts per day? Alzheimer's/Dementia does get better, it only gets worst.... and the different stages can change to the next stage very quickly.

My parents had lived in a single family home up into their 90's, and I know my Dad was to the point where he knew he could no longer keep maintaining the house.... the "honey do" lists keep on happening and there he was at 94 still climbing ladders, scared to death doing so, and doing yard work. But he wanted to keep Mom [98] happy.

Dad wanted to move to Independent Living but my Mom refused to do so... no amount of pleading would get her to even look at the places, and there were places that were like 5-star resorts. I wouldn't have blamed Dad if he had decided to move out on his own and leave Mom behind, but he was afraid to do that. So each day going up and down those stairs, he hoped he or Mom wouldn't be falling.... but they did, and that still wouldn't convince Mom to move.

Last month my Dad moved into Independent Living on his own... my Mom had died due to complications from a fall a couple of months ago. Dad is still angry that Mom didn't take his advice to move some place safer, as she would have been with him today.... [sigh].
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Here I go again being the dissenting voice. If my math is correct - which it often isn't AND its 2:00am - they are married about 1,664 week and she's been gone for 8. I think it's a little unfair to be calling her an
absentee wife and packing up all her crap - which has been there for 1,664 weeks just yet. I also take exception with the statement "for a few years she had wanted to move Dad to a facility and we refused" - what? "We refused"? Since when does a wife need this kind of permission? That she felt she had to get permission from you all speaks volumes- that you all "refused" and that's the way it went speaks even more. Why is every acting like this woman is s flash in the pan gold-digger? I imagine at 90 years old and having to argue with six adult children over the care of her husband of 32 years - which directly effects her - she said "enough". She move six miles away - not 600. Maybe she didn't want to live with a full time caregiver in her house. How many here have stated their parents feel that way - need or not? Maybe she doesn't like visiting her husband with the ever present, watching caregiver. After 32 years of marriage you can't give her 30 minutes of privacy with her husband? I would LOVE to hear her side of this story.
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I'll avoid any judgment because family dynamics cant be understood by an outsider.

If any of you can tell kindly inform her that after she leaves, dads emotional state is rocky and that his stress has zero to do with her- but his inability to understand her coming and going because of dads ALZ.

Then instead of offering a solution (which as you "felt" by responses here, i.e. being judged); ask her if she can help by maybe forewarning the visits so dad can be preoccupied?

At her age and 32 years of marriage and HER home, HER husband-- even if shes seemingly horrible, i cant imagine how i would feel if the children took over dad under my roof. When my dad hit rock bottom and mom was beside herself, we moved dad out per her request. Into a rental home close and all the children helped.

But like i said- no judgment because each family dynamic is tricky and walking on egg shells is an art!

I would love to get rid of my sister-- but alas-- its not about me, its about mom.
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I have to admit I feel some sympathy for "the wife". It is obvious in the way you refer to her she was never accepted as a member of the family, yet they have been together 32 years. He has dementia and is no longer the man she married. At 90 she knows full well that her own days are numbered, and has chosen to live her remaining days as fully as she can. She has chosen to move to a community that offers socialization and other opportunities not available where your dad resides. She is focusing on herself, travelling and making new connections. Good for her!

I would ask, what was your families reaction when she said she didn't want to care for him in that way any more? Did encourage them to move together, perhaps to a facility that would offer various levels of care? Often the elderly have to separate in their final years because one spouse needs a higher level of care, it doesn't mean the marriage is over or that they no longer care about each other. You say he has alzheimer's yet you seem to deny the reality of his dementia, when he is confused you must continue to cheerfully offer a plausible explanation and redirect. She has rights as his spouse that probably supersede yours, what is it you want to accomplish?
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Well, it sounds to me that you kids have your daddy under firm control. And if you're lucky, that second wife of 32 years will just crawl off somewhere and disappear. If this sounds bad, it is because the original post sounded that way to me. I was glad to read that other people agreed. This woman may not have been your mother, Anne, but she was your father's wife for a long time.
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AND - this woman married a widower with six children - that takes ovaries in my book. I could be wrong here but this "second marriage" - that everyone is so easily blowing off or treating as a consolation prize - in length, how does it compare to dads first? I mean absolutely no disrespect to you mother, she passed and if not for that tragic circumstance your parents would have still been together. But as it is - this is a 32 year marriage which is something to be proud of.
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Based on the prior abuse, can you get an order of protection? It seems a bit extreme, but you asked what you can do.

Have you asked her if she wants a divorce? Will she agree for her belongings to be packed up and delivered to a storage facility of her choice?
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I don't even know why I'm getting into this but I think Anne's original post and her defense of her situation ring very true. I respect Rainmom and Jessie as valuable contributors to this forum but I disagree on this one. It would make me a little angry to see the knives of the second wives club coming out after responding to all the questions as clearly as Anne has.

I have seen all kinds of rather goofy posts on this forum go on with hundreds of entries without these demands for verification. Anne asked a simple question. Whether she's an evil,stepdaughter or not is not the issue. Her Dad is being upset by his sort of ex wife. This is clearly happening. I don't need any more verification.
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I'm going to take a stand against the anti-Anne trend and support as well as agree with Anne. I can see that this thread is beginning to take a agree with or disagree with direction, and I don't like to see that because the underlying issues get bypassed.

I think Anne has very well articulated her position, much more so than many people who post here with rants and raves and can't even answer questions.

I suppose many are putting themselves in the position of the second wife, which is understandable if that experience is part of their life.

The bottom line is that the man in question is her father, and she does have a right to protect him and be concerned for his welfare, which doesn't seem to be the concern of his wife. Maybe it's only been a short time, but based on what Anne is reporting was said by the wife and her family, I think Anne is wise to be proactive in this situation.
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I feel for both the father and the wife. Sounds like both of them are suffering the effects of that dreaded disease, Dementia. Anne1017, I hope you can find a workable solution for your dad and your stepmother. My dad's second wife was a lousy stepmother, but a fantastic wife to my dad who loved him dearly. I am not sure what I would do if this situation happened to me.
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