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My father is 86 years old, he has mild dementia but otherwise very independent and healthy for his age. My sister, who is single and has an 18 year old at home, is living with him full time. He pays rent and helps with bills. My sister has become resentful that I don't do my part, we live in the same town within miles from each other. I buy him clothes, some groceries and occasional meals out, he comes over to my house at least 3-4 times a week. Her idea is that my father should live with me three days a week and with her the other 4. I feel that will be confusing and unsettling for him. I feel that it has to be a clean cut, either my home or hers. When he comes to my house he asks to go home after a 2-3 hours, even if my sister is not home, he wants to be home.


I am looking for thoughts on the best way to handle this. I know in both our hearts we want the best for my dad.

Can you and your sister investigate adult activity centers in the area for your dad to attend? Maybe if your dad had a routine that included socialization and exercise, your sister would find living with him easier.

I agree that half a week in one living situation and half a week in another is too confusing for someone with dementia. Your sister might benefit from more education about this disease.
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Reply to Marcia7321
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Boss, can you clarify if your sister and her son live in your dads house or her house?

Her finding other housing would be required for dad to go to a facility, his home would need to be used for his care, whether sold now and self pay or Medicaid recovers it after he passes. If she stayed on there she would be responsible for maintenance and property taxes, dads money would go for his care, unless he is very wealthy, which I assume he is not or you guys would have hired aids already.

How would everyone feel if they didn't have him home to care for but she still got free rent, as well as the income her son pays for rent. Just wondering.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Sister is living in his house? If it is, I would not move him. Change is hard on a Dementia person. Like you said, he is ready to go home. You do a lot more than a lot of siblings.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Work something out that would be to her benefit. How about go to their home and give her a day off on a scheduled day? Keep in mind without her you would have him full time.
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Reply to GAinPA
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Sister may not have considered how splitting the time between homes is not really a good idea for people with dementia. Does she read much about it or go to sites like this?

And, the two of you may have a different idea of what what an adult child's fair share of duties include. It's quite subjective. I don't subscribe to the theory of an adult child having to take on multiple hours of caregiving each week for an ailing parent. People have their own jobs, lives and needs. Taking on half the care of a person with dementia is a huge commitment. If sister chooses that, it's her choice. I sense sister may now realize just how much is involved.

Are either of you appointed DPOA? Do you think you can both agree on another plan? I'd discuss it frankly with sister and get a plan and not wait for him to progress. It could be slow, but, it could be soon. I'd look at what progression means and how that would be handled with him in her home.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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I agree with cwillie, find a permanent place he can call home, changing it up all the time is way to traumatizing for a dementia patient.

Find a continuing care facility so he doesn't have to move as his needs increase, if he doesn't have the money, get him applied for Medicaid now and start looking for a facility that accepts Medicaid.

In the mean time can you stay with dad at his home for a day and a night every week? Then your sister can do what she wants.

She may calm her resentment knowing there is a set amount of time until she gets her home back 100%.

Let us know how it works out.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Maybe your sister has reached her limits and is looking for a way out. Your father's health is going to decline and his care needs are going to increase, it might be time to work together to come up with a different plan for the long term that allows your sister to bow out gracefully. Let your sister know that it is OK to step back but that won't mean you should have to be the one to fill all the gaps, explore your options - AL/Memory Care or more supports in the home like day care and paid caregivers.
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Reply to cwillie
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You are correct in thinking that moving between houses would be stressful for Dad. However, it sounds like Sis is in serious need of some respite. If he on,y stays at your house for a couple of hours, even for 3 or 4 days a week, that’s not much. It’s probably not your fault, but he’s more comfortable at your sister’s house than your’s. Offer to come to her house more often. You could even bring food to share with everyone occasionally. If you feel Dad would benefit by getting out, research adult daycare in your area and then take him.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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You may be right in thinking that your sister’s preference won’t work well, and she may be right in thinking that she is doing more than you. Can you think of other ways to make it up to her? Occasional gifts or ‘treats’ might make her feel a lot better (eg pay for a few days’ holiday for her and you go and stay in her house with your father while she is a way). Does you father need help managing his finances – perhaps you could take responsibility for something like that (in the future if not now). Could you start a conversation along those lines, and ask her for suggestions about what would work for her. It would be good to talk about how to do the best for your father between you, before things get really bitter. Just acknowledging that at present she is doing more than you might help to make things easier between you.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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