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My mom died of Alzheimer last year and my dad was diagnosed with stage 6 last year as well. He also had a pacemaker put in last year. My siblings do not want to look after dad, so I have decided to give up what little life I used to have to take care of dad because I cannot afford frail care for him. My partner is exceptionally unhappy as he cannot leave the US to help me help dad. My dad lives in South Africa and I want the best for him, but basically I do not know what I am in for. I saw how bad he was when I went home for mom's funeral. Currently my son is caring for him until I get back there. I looked after both parents for 20 years before I came to the US. I came to the US because they have better medical care here which I was unable to get in South Africa. I have Oesteosarcoma. Though I have a home here, I do not have sufficient funds to bring my dad to America and get him care here. So I have to go back to South Africa and look after dad until he is gone. Right now he is incontinent, doesn't remember much of anything. Cannot bathe himself or dress himself, eats anything even foods he shouldn't, nobody can take him shopping because he shoplifts or eats the products in the store forgetting that we need to pay for it, he is content to sit and watch TV all day and watch anything even the ads. He used to know how to use various gadgets like remotes or CD players or iPad for skype calls, but no longer. I had to take the car away from him last year. He knows how to drive but never knows where he ends up or how to call home so someone can find him. He never gets angry about anything. He is mostly docile, kind and gentle and thats the worst part. I want him to get mad and fight this problem. I have to be practical about this issue. I adore my dad, and somebody needs to take care of him. Therefor the onus is on me to leave my life, my long time partner, my beloved home in the US. My friends and my medical help to go back to Africa to take care of my dad. Because nobody else will except my son and I. He is 83.

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Thanks for replying. Sadly apartheid is in reverse now in South Africa even though we came there as emigrants ourselves. He lost his job when apartheid was dropped and a black man took his place forcing him to retire early. There is no social security for white or Indian people in South Africa and his retirement only went so far. Last year before my mom died, they had to move to a small apartment because they could no longer afford to live in their house. My mom cried for ages and I think she died of sadness. Everything they had was literally taken away from them. My dad is a British citizen as am I even though I am a legal US resident.

My dad had TIA's for 6 years. TIA's are devastating to someone who is usually sharp-brained. Each TIA would make him lose his ability to speak or make sense and gave him a headache. The last one he had made him need a pacemaker to regulate his blood and heart. Because he did not have an updated medical aid they sent him home!! I sent money home to pay for an upgrade so that he could get that pacemaker. I was very angry that the doctors would endanger my dad this way. I think thats when his brain shut down. :( He has not been the same ever since and we learned he had stage 6 dementia. :( I want to sue the hospital and the medical staff for what happened to my dad. But I can't because I am white. I am a nobody and the black people do not care whether whites live or not. :(

Yes I am ill and it's not going to get any better, however I have loved my life in the USA and the kindness of people has been fantastic. I am on Medicare here and its hard having to give it up and the medical care I have had here. I wish South Africa was different but it isn't and it never again will be. I do not want to encourage dad to return to the UK, there is nothing there for him anymore. My sister is in New Zealand and my brother in Australia. Neither want dad living with them. I think they just don't want to be bothered with his problem. I will look after my dad until I can't do it anymore. The good thing here is my son is a doctor and he will take over from me when the time comes. :)
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That is a tough situation. I hope you can find some options that work for you and your family.

Determining how long your dad will stay in stage 6 is really difficult. Do you know what condition is causing his dementia? Is it AD or some other thing like Vascular Dementia?

While you are considering the prospect of caring for dad back in Africa, I'd consider how practical that would be if he were to progress to a more dependent state, like stage 7 and need more hands on care in the the home, such as being wheelchair bound or bed bound. His behavior could change too. I'd question if that would be feasible to do by yourself, due to your health situation. Just the stress of it, would likely not help your condition.

Have you checked with an expert to see what he would be entitled to receive in the form of retirement benefits and if that would cover his costs for care here and as mentioned upthread, would he qualify for Medicaid long term care in the US if he is not a citizen? I'd explore those issues to see on paper what the numbers look like.

If you are sick and not able to work in Africa, are there benefits available there for you? What about your dad? Do they have a form of Medicare?
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I feel your pain, and I hope you find a good solution soon. It may not be as expensive to bring your Dad here as you think. His pension from South Africa would follow him here, and he may qualify for Medicaid or Medicare once here, if you are a legal resident, or a US citizen. My main concern with you dropping everything here and going there to take care of your Dad, is how will you fare with your cancer treatment? It may end up costing more to be there, than to bring him here. Or you health may decline rapidly, to the point where you couldn't really help him. Could he be put into a retirement home or a nursing home? It may not be ideal, but he would get adjusted to it. That way you and your son could get on with your lives. Surely your Dad would not want to hurt your health and well being.
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Thank you to you both. I have been crying a lot the past few days for selfish reasons mostly. My son was a Medical student and after graduation he took over from me to take care of my parents whilst I have care in the USA. He loved them both dearly even though my mother was very difficult in the last 2 years. Taking care of my father is not a hardship for him. But he needs a life too. I've been praying a lot about all this. I need to find a solution that would work for all of us. Decent medical care in South Africa is non-existent. There is 2 Oncologists in the whole country. Both of them are in Johannesburg and my family live in Durban! Its like saying there are 2 Oncologists in the entire USA and both are in Florida and you live in California. How does that help you with your Cancer treatments? Durban has 2 open and working hospitals. The rest have been closed for lack of staff. Most of the doctors and nursing staff have left South Africa for safety reasons and for better $$'s. Which now leaves approx 6.5 million people in the entire country without decent medical help. Crime is terrible there. If I had the money I would move my dad to the United States. Sorry I needed to vent a little. Just despondent about it all. I wish you both a wonderful 2017 and thanks for replying.
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I, too, am so sorry that you are having to uproot yourself. May I ask, who took care of your mother? I agree with JessieBelle that there really is no way of knowing how much time is left for your father. I will say, be happy he is docile. It will make caregiving so much easier. I know you hate to think that he has given up, but really, he hasn't. His brain is dying in different spots than others who have anger.

Anger, especially in a strong man, is very difficult to handle. My FIL would have angry outbursts and be violent. Especially if he had a UTI or was hospitalized. My MIL would bite and scratch and pinch. Neither of them were like this previously. I wish you well.
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Genie, I am so sorry that this is happening. People in late stages of Alzheimer's can live a long time or pass quickly. There is no way of knowing. I am trying to think of alternatives, but I don't know what is available in South Africa. My inclination is to say don't go, but I don't know what other options would be available. I wish your siblings that lived closer would step up and make some decisions so that your life does not have to be completely disrupted like this. Big hugs to you for what you're going through.
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