My 94 year old father called me last night and said he wants to buy a house. He hates assisted living. I told him not an option. After an hour of him telling me he could take care of himself, which he can't, he's in a wheelchair and probably has mild dementia (he's not been tested), I finally said my husband and I would come out tonight to talk with him.

He doesn't do much at the Assisted Living facility, says he doesn't like anything. I have reached out to the activities directory to encourage him, she says he always says no.

Of course, he played the guilt card last night, "If you loved me you'd let me go". I have all the financial side in order and have all of his accounts, etc, so that's not a worry.

But how do I handle? Is there a book that would be helpful in dealing with this. I am concerned he will get out of line at the facility.

Thank You!

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I might assume that he doesn't really want to buy a home, but just wants a change, because he is unhappy. Don't insist that he can't buy a home. Suggest that it would take a while to set that up, and ask what could improve things in the meantime.

Brainstorm about what kinds of activities he used to enjoy. Would he like an afternoon at the local VFW bar? I think men want to be with men, and it might be driving him crazy to be invited to "ladies" activities. I asked my husband, and he suggested movies - about war, westerns, animals, adventures in nature. Does he like cards or checkers? Can he get outside at all? Is he a sports fan? Would he like to go for drives?

Would he like it if a companion - a lively, pretty lady of a certain age - came to visit him once a week? Or would he prefer a guy? Retired people with all sorts of interests might be willing to be hired or to volunteer to visit for one to two days a week. It is always easier to go with an agency, but when hiring a companion only, getting someone from your church or neighborhood to freelance would be cheaper.
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I think perhaps talking with you and your husband together might help some. Sometimes men seem to listen to other men on subjects like home ownership and such better then they would listen to a woman. He could tell him what a hard job it is to keep up the house and the yard, how much it cost's these days and complain about the taxes.

You could complain about all the shopping and meal planning and cleaning of the home. Then point out that owing a home is a challenge for the two of you and that you can only do it because you are younger then he, just like when he was your age he could maintain a home. Tell him that he just doesn't remember the challenge it was and that there's no way he could maintain a home and his health at the same time being that he is 94yrs old now. Tell him that you know of no 94 year olds who are living alone anywhere. It's just not done and for good reason.

You or your husband could tell him that the state's area on aging will not allow him do it because it's putting his life in danger and that you could get into big trouble if you help him do it. My brother pulled that card to stop Dad from driving.

Just some thoughts you might try. You're facing a heartbreaking situation. It would be so much easier if he could just relax and enjoy his situation, but alas, that's often the way it is in this situation. He probably just misses his freedom to come and go, eat whenever he wants, whatever he wants, and the lure of the past is rearing it's ugly head. Try to get him to talk about what would make it better where he is now. Maybe there's something you could do to make him more accepting of his accommodations there.

Good Luck to you!
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