Just found this site, and I am so glad because I am really struggling about what to do for my dad, and I have a variety of questions. My mom died over four years ago, and he still cries every day. He lives in their home and is determined not to leave. He also has macular degeneration and is easily confused and overwhelmed by small things. I would not say that he is incompetent, because he can definitely make decisions about things that when he understands them, but he also seems to need help with day to day things and is in total denial that things are starting to confuse him. There is a trust, living will, planned POA, etc, but I am not sure if it is set up the best way. My half brother (so my dad's stepson) lives about a half hour away and is currently set to be the trustee if somebody takes over, and I live in another state (currently visiting). So here is what I am struggling with...
I think alot of my dad's stress is caused his poor eyesight, but he is also just really easily confused. An example would be that he forgot to cross out Friday on his calendar this past week, and I had a terrible time convincing him it was Saturday and that he was done with the drops he takes for 4 days after his injections. Even when I added the black line he uses, somebody had made a squiggle on the box, so it looked like something was crossed out, and that confused the heck out of him. So I made another line, and that seemed to confuse him even more. He is supposed to have cataract surgery next week, and we are all hoping his vision will greatly improve. What I am wondering is, does the progression of dementia sometimes reverse when stress is lifted? (He is also freaking out about getting his taxes done at the moment). My husband thinks it is not going to change his mental state that much, but I really don't know much about it.
I am having such a hard time deciding if he really should not be living alone. He also does stuff like leaving milk out for long periods, but seems to have a good sense of smell. He will seem fine for a long stretch, but then just one bill or other item of mail will have him in tears of confusion, but I am not sure if it is mainly because he can't see it well. Of course the first thing is to see how he is after surgery, but I think sooner or later he is going to need help, and that is where he is opposed to all the options, or somebody else is.... I laid out the options for him:
1. Go to assisted living - he is COMPLETELY opposed to this and really dislikes new people and situations.
2. Move to an apartment near my brother so he can help more - also totally opposed and living with my brother is not an option as his house is to small and he doesn't want to move in with my dad. He would really rather not handle his affairs either, but is willing to do it for the sake of practicality.
3. Move to where I live - I know his preference would be me for his caregiver (I am named as who will be conservator and POA), but again, totally opposed to leaving the house or going to a colder climate.
4. Hire a caregiver - he is also opposed to this as he doesn't like strangers, and we have concerns that he refuses to lock up his bank statements, etc.
5. My family move back to CA - I know this would be his choice, but he also would feel bad because he knows we don't want that, and my husband is VERY opposed to it. He has a good job and my children and I have a strong and close knit community of friends, and we don't really want to raise our kids where he lives.
So yeah... there is just no good choice. :( When I ask him what he wants if he gets sick and needs help, he just keeps saying, "These are hard questions," but refuses to pick one. He just keeps joking that he is going to find a young wife. I don't think he ever expected my mom to die first. I said to him, "This is your life, I want you to decide," but he just won't do it, and somebody is going to be very unhappy with any of the choices.
Sorry this is so long! Thank you in advance to anybody who reads it all and has feedback!