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My dad has fallen and broken both hips in the last 2 years and my mom has had Parkinson's disease for last 15 years. My brother and I finally got mom in a nursing home. Dad is still at home, but lost his driver's license 3 months ago. His memory is getting worse, borderline dementia, but refuses to accept any help. He is still at home and takes senior citizen bus to visit mom. On almost a daily basis, he calls the police station or goes down to DMV to try to get license back. He's taken all the tests & failed, they've told him no, my brother and I have said no, but he won't drop it. I understand losing his memory is not under his control, but he's starting to get nasty to everyone. We've cried, yelled and pleaded and nothing works. He refuses to move into the nursing home with mom. I cry every day, can't sleep and can't concentrate on work. It's sad to say, but I can't see living like this the next couple of years. What can I do?

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Ready2giveup, you must be going through agony. We’re with you on this –others here have experienced similar situations. I’m so sorry.
When an elder can do so safely, I complete support them living where they want to live, but your dad is showing signs of dementia. Try a neurologist first if you haven't. Maybe there will be some help in that direction. Some older people will listen to a doctor when they won't listen to anyone else. Write the neurologist a letter ahead of time with the details you've given us (and more). Then go to the appointment with your dad.
If he won’t cooperate, hard as it is, you may have to force the issue through adult protective services. As was mentioned, if you must guardianship may be the answer, but that is slow and can be expensive and generally involves lots of hostility - not that APS is better in that way.
Please update us if you can. We’d like to know that you are making progress – for your sake.
Carol
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I just obtained guardianship over my mother and had to place her in a memory care ALF. It was SOO hard. SHe has only been there 4 days and she hates me. BUT...it is what HAD to be done. My head knows this but the heart is a different story. You have to cut ties as the child and reinvent the wheeel as the adult and just take care of what HE NEEDS, not what he wants. What he wants no longer matters unfortunately. Keeping him safe is now what matters most and keeping your sanity. You are not alone! Hang in there.
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Sometimes I am perplexed and distressed but the overarching knowledge that God is in control keeps me from being despondent, or having no hope. You are under much stress. You will make it through. Thank you for sharing your dilemma....It tells me above all that I am not the only one and that this too shall pass.
Grace + Peace,
Bob
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I am sorry for your loss and the heartbreak you are enduring. Have you taken him to a neurologist? Sometimes reading the results of various scans and hearing it from a medical professional helps, but does not fix this problem. See they forget at times what they have been told, and just when you think things are about to get better, they relapse. My mother's dementia is to the point now where it is most apparent. In the beginning, because of her career in nursing and working with ALZ and dementia patients, she knew all the right words. Her providers were not even convinced, let alone family members. You cannot fix it, nor can you fix your father. Essentially, you will need to learn how to cope. I cannot advise you the best way to do this, as I am still trying to figure it out myself. Just remember, he cannot help it, he cannot control it, and neither can you. Be brave, pray endlessly, and read as much as you can about the disease. My thoughts and prayers are you with.

Kim
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FIRST - protect yourself! You sound like you're at wit's end. Take a break from dealing with dad. Detach for a while. Leave him to do what he does and let the world deal with him. If you can find someone, meet with a family therapist (one who understands dementia) to talk about how you can preserve your own health and more effectively deal with dad.

The obsession with driving is about more than just getting behind the wheel again. My dad was driving aimlessly every day before we managed to get him to stop. His aimless driving (like taking a 30 mile ride just to drive past an old friend's house) was more about boredom. Many of his friends were dead and the ones that weren't sadly just weren't coming around much as his dementia progressed.

Boredom is the root cause of many of the troublesome behaviors that we tend to attribute to lots of other reasons. Get your dad 'un-bored.' This is easier said than done. For my dad, a senior day program (that provided a ride) really helped. It's tough for men, because they tend to not be as open-minded about trying new things. Be insistent and detach if he doesn't cooperate.

Also, I don't blame your dad for not wanting to move into a nursing home (even to be with mom). It can be a pretty dreary place to live if you don't need that super-high level of care. He sounds like a candidate for assisted living, where the lifestyle is a lot more lively than at a skilled nursing facility. Go look at a few, pick one you like and take him to see it (set up the visit in advance with the community so they can do everything they can make sure it's successfully).
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I don't know if this will work or not, but I did this with my dad (however he never called cops or DMV to get drivers license back). I explained to my dad that even though he feels capable of driving, there are others on the road that are too dangerous and could cause "your dad" harm, there are so many changes now and its the other drivers that worry you about harming your dad. Put the blame on the other drivers and see what happens. (or somehow dismantle something in the car without his knowledge that way it won't start).
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All good answers. I am keeping a list now on husbands behavior to give to his doctor. He should not be driving. Yes they are hard to live with. Detach from them and it is easier on your health.
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I have nothing to add except to say I wish you some moments of peace through this difficult time.
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"Ready-to-give-up", you are in my prayers today. We have all been down the path you're on and it's the most difficult thing I've ever been through. I'm writing to offer you hope. Our family just went through this last year. In June of 2014, over a period of a few weeks, my mom suddenly couldn't remember who her children were, began seeing people who weren't there, and could not safely be alone. It came on suddenly and caught us totally unaware. My dad is a good man, but an alcoholic whose drinking got totally out of control as the situation got worse. We had taken away his driver's license and car earlier after 3 accidents over several years, and he was extremely angry. I had been going to their home every day for quite a few years helping take care of things, which evolved to care of them, the house, the finances, the dog and the property/yardwork. In Feb. 2015 when my dad had 2 heart attacks and complex emergency surgery, his dementia and anger became much more extreme while in the hospital; and he was totally unable to safely return home. Long story short we managed to move them together into assisted living. It was a hellish year. The key for us was the help of the doctors, nurses, and the assisted living team we worked with, beginning with the family doctor and doctors at the hospital who supported us. With their help we got both of them on medications, and were referred to a wonderful gerontologist who evaluates them every two months and adjusts the medications as needed. But I have to say, without dad's medical crisis and hospitalization, we might never have been able to budge him from his home. With the doctor's help, we moved him directly from the hospital to residential rehab to assisted living. During the transition I've dealt with siblings who were angry and not willing to help, friends of theirs who didn't understand why they couldn't come back home, lawyers to update their POA's and other documents, and maintained their home until I could clean it out and sell it to pay for the assisted living (a process that took 7 months - guess who paid the bills until the house sold?) Finally, after a year of anger and multiple daily crazy phone calls, doctors visits and 2-hour roundtrips to the assisted living several times a week, things have slowly begun to calm down. My parents seem to have turned a corner. The anger has faded away. Dad has stopped trying to "escape" (he wears an alarm monitor on his wrist 24 hours a day.) With the alcohol gone and the right medications, he is emerging as a much calmer person who accepts that he can't care for my mother by himself, and is actually thinking of their assisted residence as "home". My mother's medications have helped her memory a surprising amount, and minimized the delusions. Her moods tend to mirror dad's, so as he is calmer, she is calmer. Since the bills are now covered by the proceeds of the house sale, the siblings have calmed down, and have all come around to recognize that the move to assisted living was necessary. Things aren't perfect, but I feel as if we've been underwater in the darkness for many months, and we're finally emerging into the light again. I found this website in the very beginning of our journey, and reading these posts not only taught me a great deal but helped me keep my sanity. I still read here every day. I never realized before how many people are struggling with all these issues - just knowing you're not alone can be a huge comfort. I hope you are able to find a doctor/social worker/attorney/pastor who can provide you some support and guidance to work through this situation and get your father the help he needs. God bless you, and keep us all posted on your progress.
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My mother is the same way. She still drives, and is still lively. When I have questioned her about her memory. She has accused me of being 'perfect'. That I think I am always right. She will start a task. Then like a toddler. She will suddenly start something else, and completely forget why she started the first task in the first place.
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