I have moved into my parents home to help my mom take care of my 91 year old dad with dementia. Doctors say he shouldn't be left alone. He gets up 3-5 times during the night to go to the bathroom, and once he's in there, he needs help putting new diapers on and getting his pants back on. So basically, my mom keeps an eye on him during the day, and I help him when he wakes up at night. Luckily I work from home and can sleep in, so the setup hasn't been horrible, except it's difficult for either of us to leave the house. He can't really be left alone. Twice when we have been in the other room and not paying enough attention, he has used plastic cups on the stove and melted them.

We have hired a home health aide to come for 5 hours a day, two times a week, so that we can both have a break and maybe go do things together sometimes.

The problem is that he is incredibly angry about someone coming to watch him. He says he is not a baby or an idiot and he can be left alone by himself. We've tried to explain to him that we don't think he's dumb, but that he does sometimes need help, and we want someone to be here in case he needs help. He doesn't want to hear it, and is obviously upset that he is losing independence. I don't think he's noticed that we are making a conscious effort for one of us to be with him all the time, and the home helper really upsets him.

Any suggestions on what to say to him?

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Thank you all for your advice and support! They are all really great ideas! It's so nice to hear from people who have been through this kind of stuff. I LOVE your idea Jeanne, of telling him it is a legal issue, I think that could really work. The ideas of maybe getting a male or a "laundress" could work too. Unfortunately he kind of already knows the real purpose of the person coming, since we made the mistake of already telling him we thought someone should be here to help him when we're out, BUT I think adding "she'll be a real help to us around the house, too" could help. Today was the first time the health aide came, we have a nice young woman, but the agency isn't sure if she's the permanent person they'll assign, so we may still think about a male helper for him. It went ok, but he's still angry about it, I think he just ignored her the whole time, but we're hoping he'll get used to it after a while! Will keep you updated! Thanks again for your advice!
Helpful Answer (1)

I sure hope you can make this work. You and Mother both need some time away from the house!

What about adult day health program? My husband went for 5 or 6 hours a couple days a week. That was my respite time. Dad might enjoy going to his "club" once or twice a week. That might seem less like "babysitting" to him.

Depending on what his cognitive level is, would something like this work? "Of course you don't need a babysitter! But the doctor has stated that you cannot be left alone, in case of an emergency. If we leave you alone we will be in legal trouble. Please try to make this work smoothly for our sake. We don't want the hassle of going to court or trying to prove the doctor is wrong. The easiest way to do this is just to have someone come in while we are out."
Helpful Answer (4)

Could the caregiver be chartered as "the laundress" or the cook? I like the idea of the male caregiver as well.
Helpful Answer (3)

My father in law responded better to a male aide than a female. We just had him be a companion mostly and help out where it seemed to be needed. If he was there at lunch, he would fix them both a sandwich, and they would eat together. They would play games, watch tv or videos, look at photo albums. Sometimes they would read together or just do different things. He was more of a friend that would help him out too.
Helpful Answer (5)

Did you ever have a child who threw a fit when a babysitter arrived? You did not give in then, nor should you give in now.. If it helps, give him an anxiety med an hour before you leave. Benadryl works if you don't have beer/wine.
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