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Would you do it with a parent who drinks but isn't abusive? Also would you move your 17 yr old son into this situation?

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Texas Camper, your comment:
People with dementia do not generally "go softly into that goodnight". They go kicking and screaming and calling you a liar.

This might be one of the most accurate comments and descriptors ever put on this sight. I am so happy for folks that have elders that go softly, but people still raising families and hoping to hang on to their spouses, need to heed you advice. Well said!
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Can you hold off until your son graduates and moves on? My boys absolutely despise their grandfather and pulling them into the wringer with me is one of my largest regrets. (and we just lived 5 miles away) For boys that age, the pressure of parents trying to give advice is enough. An inebriated elder preaching and harping may be too much. I feel for you.
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Keep in mind that your father may "drink but isn't abusive" now...but, if he truly does have dementia, he will become abusive. You also need to keep in mind that once you move in with a demented parent or how them move in with you, it will be EXTREMELY difficult to have them removed from your home if things get too stressful for you and/or your son. I am in that exact situation right now. I moved my mother in with me 5 years ago. I'm so stressed dealing with her that I'm almost to the breaking point but I'm told that the only way I can force her into an assisted living facility or nursing home is if she is deemed incompetent by the court. To be deemed incompetent, she has to be a clear & present danger to herself or others, ie. accidentally set the house on fire, threaten someone with a weapon, etc. Until that time, I'm screwed to have to deal with her.

But you're moving in with them, you say, so you can move out any time things get too ugly. Think again. I was also told that if I knowingly allowed Mom to live on her own when I knew she was incapable of doing so, that I could be prosecuted for abandonment & neglect.

I hate to say this because it sounds very, very cold but you & your son are better off NOT moving in or moving him in with you. If things are such that you think he needs more help, you can try contacting your local Office of the Aging & see what programs may be available to help. If he is a member of a church, there may be avenues of help there, as well. But, speaking from my own experience, you & your son will be far, FAR better off paying to have a home health agency come in to assist him or convince him to move to as assisted living facility.
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Son has a big heart, but he has no clue what is in the future with his beloved Grandpa. He won't be Grandpa much longer, he'll be something else in Grandpa's body. It's hard enough for adults to deal with the mental, personality, and physical changes. Grandpa can be on good behavior for short periods of time, while visiting (search showboating or showtiming) but when you live with him, you will see the good, the bad and the ugly. Dementia and alcohol is not a good combination, because alcohol changes people's personalities just by itself. People with dementia do not generally "go softly into that goodnight". They go kicking and screaming and calling you a liar.

Of course, this is all conjecture. There are many forms of dementia and each one has its own path. With your father, I would first rule out depression. It would be helpful if he could cut down on the beer because it is empty calories. He will fill up on beer and not want to eat the healthy stuff. If he begins to fall, his weight will be a big factor, and beer can affect your weight detrimentally.

See if he will join a club or even go play Bingo or get a part time job. Anything to get him out of the house and with other people. Right now socialization could help him as much as anything else. If he drives, maybe he could volunteer with Meals on Wheels or other volunteer work.

Remember, too, that with his full time care, eventually you will doing his personal care - toileting, bathing, even enemas. He may be combative. Most men will not want their daughters doing this. Are you counting on the continuing assistance of your 17 year old son? Won't he want to live his own life? Would you take that from him? His sense of duty may cause him to make decisions that will impact his own future.

It is a huge decision to make and you are wise to be thinking about it before just jumping in blindly. Personally, I would be pushing for Assisted Living. You mention the house is needing work, that's just going to be something else to worry about. And where is the money for repairs going to come from.
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I would first confirm that you have his Durable POA and Healthcare POA, so you can act on his behalf.

You say he has alcohol problem with dementia. Has he been diagnosed? I might try to confirm that before making a decision. Maybe he is depressed and medication could return his health. Does he take medications?

If it is dementia, it can mean a lot of things are in store that could really disrupt your household. I would read about it here and on the Alzheimers website so you know what to expect. His drinking would bother me, since alcohol can cause people to be pretty unpredictable. I wouldn't want the daily drinking around my child.

If it is dementia, the condition will progress and it often brings behavior that not only has to be supervised 24/7, but that is trying even to the most patient person. They may repeat themselves almost constantly, pace the floor, cry, accuse, resist bathing, food and medication, become incontinent, irrational and combative. You never know what the day will bring. I would just make sure you know what could happen.

At one point of my loved one's dementia, it was very trying to be in her presence. She would ask the same question constantly for hours. I would not expose my child to that. It's not their fault, but for me, it's not fair to the child.

If money is an issue, I would see if he qualifies for financial assistance. You can have him go to assisted living or retain private caregivers to come into the home. Of course, it's difficult to supervise that if he is far away. I hope things work out.
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I know, it's hard. I'm the only one willing to help and it's getting harder and harder to do from a distance. Just the driving is tiring (90 minutes away). Dad just can't do things like he used to but he tries. He says "nothing around here works". Well, that's because he's lost the ability to do it. I don't know if it is the alcohol causing memory loss or true dementia. Probably both.

He's a great guy. Generous, funny, hard working. But then the other part isn't so good. He admits in one minute that he's "losing his mind" but when I talk to him about something he's forgotten he calls me a liar. He just doesn't want to admit how bad it is. I suppose he is pretty typical with that in some regards.

Our son is beginning to feel bad when we leave papa and come home. He loves him and dad is good to him. Dad doesn't ever say anything bad about our son.

I keep waiting on this decision and things slowly are falling apart at his house. He doesn't have any energy anymore and mostly sits at home and drinks his beer and watches tv.
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Not many details here. You can explore this site for the good, bad, and ugly of living with and careing for dementia elders in the home. Think very carefully before you commit to this. It can be a full time job and dementia only gets worse.
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I would not expose my teenaged child to this dituation.
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