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He is extremely independent and refuses help from anyone. His memory is becoming impaired and cannot recall things from day to day. I am constantly worried about him. He has not given anyone POA and cannot find his will. I'd like him to remain at home as long as possible, but he needs someone to clean and help him throughout the day. I am burning out. How can I get him the help at home he needs? He is healthy, ambulatory, mows his own grass, and broils a New York strip steak for dinner himself. He just needs someone to help him but is adamant he is just fine and refuses to hire anyone.

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We installed a smoke detector! He was furious, but has completely forgotten about it today...
I like the suggestion that homeowners insurance rates might be a perk! Thanks everyone! So glad I found this site!
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I told my friends Mom it helped rates for home owners insurance;)
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Hm, refusing a smoke detector makes me wonder if he has already had some cooking accidents that he is trying to hide. Just bring one into his house with the battery installed, even if it is left sitting in the counter it will still work better than nothing.

Try to spin the need for help and stricter supervision as him having earned the right to "retire" from some of these household chores and enjoy his leisure, if you know of other friend or relatives who have help use them as an example. Point out that he worked hard all his life to save for his old age and at 96 he deserves to dip into his nest egg to pamper himself. Good luck!
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GSA is right; smoke detection protection devices are noted on our HO policies.

And they may be mandated by local fire codes.
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jeannegibbs, my daughter had suggested I read "Being Mortal" and somehow completely forgot! Thank you for recommending it as it is a book I felt would resonate with me.
My father wants to die in his home. It is the home he had built in 1972. He loves it. He is happy there. And he does not notice the dust, the stained kitchen sink, nor the stuffy smell. He knows he belongs there, that he is home. He is happy with the daily routine of getting his paper and reading it over breakfast. The fact that the dishes aren't done in a "timely" fashion doesn't faze him. The fact that he is wearing the same pair of pants for 7 days in a row goes unnoticed. Does it really matter?
My only concern is his cleanliness and his safety. He is not bathing, his shower is dry. But his physical health is good.
The help I would like is to have someone come to his home routinely to clean, and hopefully encourage him to bathe (?)...someone to give me respite as I am the only one locally. But how is this done without insulting him?
I do worry that he may finally lose his balance and fall down the steps. Who will be there to help him? But then I ask myself if I have the right to determine how my father chooses to live out the end of his life? And I always come back to the same answer: If he is not endangering himself or others, then I will remain in the sidelines, always watchful.
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Good job on the smoke detector.

He sounds like he is doing pretty well on this own. What kind of help would you like to see him hire?

If he doesn't accept help, what is the worst that could happen? He could die? He's 96 years old. Don't you think that is a pretty likely outcome in the next few years, no matter what kind of help he has or doesn't have? The real question, I think, is how can the remainder of his life be fulfilling and meaningful to him? And that may mean he has to retain at least the semblance of independence.

Like the smoke detector, I think you can handle individual hazards as they come up. You can help him "retire" from some of the riskier things he does, without making him feel he is no longer capable.

You might enjoy and benefit from the book, "Being Mortal".
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Several years ago ( before my aunt needed assistance from me) I noticed my aunt had a new smoke detector above her bedroom door. I asked her who installed it and she said the fire department. How she came on their radar I don't know but I imagine if a fireman showed up with a smoke alarm most elders would allow it to be installed.
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How lucky your father is to have you!
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I believe that having the detectors (as well as deadbolt locks) may have reduced our premiums. It's been quite a while since we switched to a different agency, and I just don't remember all the factors that influenced the premium. But I do see those devices listed on one of the schedules.
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As far as POA goes, my sister and myself discussed with my mother the importance of having someone listed who can access her funds etc if she became incapacitated. We pointed out that this might even be just being in hospital for an operation and had nothing to do with dementia...not necessarily 100% accurate but she was feeling very defensive about cognitive impairment. We also point out that MIL had already done it and there was no question of her independence. Like taking out insurance, it's a backup plan for emergencies. As far as the will goes, point out that he should have the opportunity to chose at least in part where his things go after he dies. And that everyone should have a will. An elder attorney is well worth the expense for these. It may be that he has a safety deposit box with a will in it. But these are the types of things you need to know. Put it that if any emergency happened it will make it much easier on yourself to manage. If that doesn't work ask him to think about the position you will be in if he dies suddenly and you have to sort it all out. Better to be prepared and organised.
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