I want to start out by saying I live in the desert and it’s supposed to be around 100 degrees today, my grandpa who has been living with my family for about six months would try to go on walks every day to see his wife who lives a couple miles away, who died a couple years ago (he snuck out of the house one day and almost got all the way there!). When we would tell him that she no longer was at their old house he would get mad and tell us he was going to visit her grave. To make matters worse he used to live with his wife and his wife’s daughter who was funneling money out of their social security and who would lock him inside, refuse him food and yell at him. He calls my mom by her name a lot and accuses us of doing things that she used to do. He falls a lot and his refusal to drink water make all of us very uneasy. He has recently taken to walking around our backyard because we told him he can’t keep walking to his wife’s house in the heat (we had to have the cops take him home a couple times because he refused to come home with me or my mom) and he sits in the shade when it gets too hot. The problem is, he wants to sit outside all day and sob because he says we are being mean to him and keeping him from his wife. He refuses to drink water (he will throw the cup in the grass) and he refuses to wear shorts or a tank top. He also tells us he is planning to make an escape to see his wife but to keep it a secret. I guess I’m just wondering what I should do to either get him inside or keep him comfortable outside when he seems to be very mad at us. He is on meds but likes to throw those in the grass because he says we’re trying to kill him/ poison him etc. It looks like he is trying to make the outside his new home, putting his shoes in the shed outside and putting a couple of his shirts draped over chairs. We are going to try making jello for him so he at least has something resembling liquid but I would love any other suggestions or advice. Thank you.

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Dear Sleeper, I am very concerned about your father's welfare especially since you live in desert area and summer is just beginning. As you know, your father is at extreme risk for dehydration which at his age can lead to death much sooner then in a younger person.

With your father's history of refusing to live inside your house (because he thinks that your Mom is his wife's daughter and fears being locked inside the house) and of walking several blocks/miles to "visit his wife", YOUR HOUSE IS NOT A "SAFE PLACE" for your father to live in. {Not because of anything that you are doing but because of your father's behavior of refusing to live inside the house during the hot summer months and refusing to drink fluids.} I think that it is time for you to consider placing him in a Memory Care Unit!!!

In regards to your father calling your Mom by his wife's daughter name, dementia is known to cause people to call family members or friends by the wrong name. My grandmother would ask my Dad what his name was and when Dad answered "Jim", my grandmother would say, "I have a son named Jim."--not realizing that the man she is talking to IS HER SON--JIM. My Mom does not recognize my brother's wife and thinks that she is my brother's "new girlfriend" because Mom thinks that my brother divorced his wife of 30+ years. Any attempt to reorient either my grandmother or my mother was/is futile.

Please begin looking at the Memory Care Units in your area ASAP so that you are prepared in case your father walks away from your house, becomes lost and dehydrated which results him being hospitalized. Since your father's wife's daughter was "funneling money out of their social security", you most likely need to apply for Medicaid ASAP unless your father has "hidden away some money" that his wife's daughter did not find to pay for your father to reside in a nursing home.

I am so sorry about what has happened to your father. I started to cry when I read your story because of the amount of abuse that your father endured at the hands of someone who should have loved him. Please investigate local Memory Care Units ASAP before you need one for your father due to a crisis situation or before your father accidently walks too far and "finds your mother in heaven." God's Blessings.
Helpful Answer (2)

It appears that your grandfather has dementia and is making irrational decisions.

Due to the very real possibility of heat stroke, he needs to be moved inside. If he won't do that nor drink anything, he needs a psychiatric evaluation and probably be admitted to a locked facility that can provide a proper temperature.

As the summer gets hotter, and he is allowed to "live outside" in your back yard, this behavior will result in him dying.

Please have him evaluated by a geriatric neurologist or psychiatrist soon.
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Oh how terribly heartbreaking. It's got to be awful for you, as its so hard for me to hear how he's in so much pain!

I hate to ask you this, but do you think he might do better in a facility?

His being outside in those conditions is not going to end well. It's only a matter of time.

Since you're not able to keep him inside, hydrated, cool or from wandering off, why is he with you?

We take in our LO's to keep them safe. If that's not possible, other options must be explored and implemented.

Please have him evaluated by his Dr as to what type of facility he needs for his care level.

Hopefully, he will do better in a different environment, and turn his attention to something other then his deceased wife.
Best of luck.
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