My father (65) has LBD and was diagnosed 2yrs ago. He seems to have accepted and gone through the grief of the initial diagnosis and subsequent loss of his ability to drive. For the past year his mental health did suffer greatly and he's since found the correlation with Prozac so now weaned himself of that.

Problem is, he now thinks he's fine and will be home and happy "for at least the next ten years". He's always been quite condescending and selfish so trying to suggest AL let alone MC is impossible, he refuses to have "someone in his house that will steal his stuff" and "I might be a bit slow but I'm not dead yet" and expects me to be his caregiver (I'm in another country for a start).

I’m going to visit him soon and know his main goldfish question (repeated every 3hrs) will be "when can you move here?" and don't know how to tell him that his reality is- that he will likely be in MC within 3 years if he's lucky (and I can get him to actually do some exercise- he sits in front of TV most of the day).

I can’t seem to make him understand that I cannot mentally handle moving countries and all that entails to look after him when he triggers my own issues because of his anger and condescension.

I fear his anger issues are only going to get worse too and, he will hurt his wife who is a superhero but at her wits end trying to keep him placated, fed and watered whilst still working 60hrs a week.

How does one approach these delicate conversations with a LO/parent who is like a ticking time bomb?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Use his own words, "dad, why would I move here? You have said you are fine and will be for decades, let's talk in 10 years". Then let it go and always use this as your answer to stop him from pressuring you.

As far as getting him ready for the hell he is descending into, leave it alone, you will have more problems trying to convince him then you need. Prepare yourself and let him live his reality as he chooses.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal

No need to tell him. All that upset because he can't understand. Just make it happen when it needs to happen.
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Reply to Beatty

Thanks all for your amazing answers.
Some clarity for some of the questions asked;

IT's well documented that LBD has an aggressive decline and shorter life expectancy. I'm not playing God or prognosticating anything that isnt realistic, I'm looking at facts and reality is he won't get better in ten years - he likely won't make it that long and that scares all of us.

I know I need to just see this as the holiday it is and not get too invested, it's in my nature to want to fix things and be sure everyone knows the lay of the land, plus it's likely going to be the last time I see him in person.

HEs lucid/cognitive enough to know why I am visiting - when he asked me to move I suggested a holiday instead - he's funding the whole trip and keeps using his 401k as the carrot so to speak.
Atm its just His short term memory thats going and executive function.

Will definitely be discussing PoA and all those details when I'm there and what the options are going forward.

I do feel she works so many hours because he doesn't and needing the income to manage expenses, I think it's her escape.

He can't take a simple no for an answer - he wants the reason so he can pull it apart and counter argue it.

Weve had a difficult relationship over the years because he has this arrogant attitude so it's not just the disease but I am constantly reminding myself that he is scared, confused and grieving the retirement he thought he would have.
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Reply to Dadslittlegirl
Fawnby Jun 30, 2024
Just to clarify my comment that you don't know what course dad's LBD will take - I shouldn't have limited my comment to only his dementia. With LBD, expect falls. People die from them. Or he could have a stroke that would take him out immediately. Yes, this is scary, but I only mean to highlight that you could discuss and discuss and worry and worry, but none of us know what will happen tomorrow. How to plan for uncertainty? We can't. How to prepare him for what's next? You can't. Try not to overthink! I hope you manage to have a nice visit.
There was a movie (Hollywood-ized of course) "50 First Dates" about a woman who had a memory issue after a car wreck: every morning, when she woke up it was that same day to her.
The useful part was that they tried different things; they ended up focusing on the positive; things she had always wanted to do, reassurance from her family, instead of going into "you have a damaged brain" and the associated grief and loss.
I hope.this is helpful in some way.
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Reply to MrScott

The way you approach these conversations is not to have them.

Visit. Keep the conversation light. Refuse to discuss his future plans. Tell him firmly that you WILL NOT move to his country and let him stew about that. What happens to him is up to him and his wife, of whom you should be as supportive as possible. But that doesn't mean moving in so you can help.

You seem to be involved in his life to a degree that may not be wise. Here's what I read in your post:
**don't know how to tell him that his reality is...that he will likely be in MC within 3 years (don't discuss, you don't know what course disease will take)
**and I can get him to actually do some exercise (not your job)
**I can’t seem to make him understand (he can't because of his dementia)
**cannot mentally handle moving countries and all that entails to look after him (why must you explain when a simple "No" will do?)
**I fear his anger issues are only going to get worse (you're prognosticating and can't fix it anyway; his wife and doctor can deal with that issue)
**he will hurt his wife (again, prognosticating; you can't stop him anyway whether you move in with him or not, and if he does, she calls 911 because that is NEVER okay, LBD or not)

This is, for sure, a really difficult situation for dad and wife. They should be the ones driving the bus. You're a kind and caring person, but back off from dad. Offer to stay with him for a long day while stepmom gets out and does something recreational. Or keep him busy while she visits memory care facilities so she can be prepared if that's what's needed.

Good luck to you in this challenging situation.
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Reply to Fawnby

My biggest concern is for your mental health. I might suggest reframing the purpose of your visit, not to show your father that caring for him isn’t a good idea(he likely will not see this) or to help him understand that you can’t move(he won’t), but to assist with future planning. If financially possible, I would recommend not staying at their home as I think you will need space and time to yourself.
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Reply to MidwestOT

Don't move near him. Why should you? Be supportive to his wife, who is in charge and holds ALL responsibility. Convince her to seek legal advice and plan accordingly.
Dad is a hard headed, unrealistic, selfish man. Ignore his questions. His wife knows what she has coming, she will need the support, not him.
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Reply to Dawn88

Who said you're supposed to have a delicate conversation about how long your father has to live, and what his future looks like??? I was supposed to die 15 months ago but I didn't. You're not God and cannot predict dad's future. Leave him be, that's my advice.

His superhero wife is not his caregiver if she's working 60 hours a week. He'll have no other choice but to go into Skilled Nursing care or Memory Care Assisted Living if he has a crisis, and his wife will have to manage that move, not you. She can call 911 or the police if his anger issues escalate.

Tell dad you'll move when you can, but not now. Repeat as needed.

Best of luck to you.
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Reply to lealonnie1

Your father is a Narcissist. He cannot change. There is no cure for it. Now a Dementia has entered the picture and one of the worst. One thing he realizes is he will be in care one day. I see no reason to tell him he will die sooner than later. When he asks you to move, just say, you'll think about it. Just humor him.

No problem in his wife working but she needs to realize that he will not be able to be left alone at some point. If she wants to keep working, then he will need to be placed since he wants no home help. The first time he strikes her or threatens her in any way, she needs to call the police and not allow him back into the home. She should see an elder lawyer. If no POA is in place, she should get it if Dad can still assign her. She needs to have their marital assets split. His going for his care. When almost gone, Medicaid gets applied for. Since she works, she needs to find out how to protect her pension and 401k. IRAs in her name.

You are not going to change your Dad. Therapy should give you the tools on how to deal with him. If you just can't, then don't visit. If it gets too much for his wife, she can place him. He can want the moon but he is not going to get it. You do not have to move back to the States for a man who ever only thought of himself.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Why does he expect you to move here when he has a wife who is still young (yes 65 is still young if the wife doesn't have her own physical health issues).

It is important to know who his PoA is. If it's you, then managing his care from another country may be challenging (think: time zones, signing paperwork, etc).

If she isn't his PoA now, a good plan would be for him to assign her. I don't normally think having a PoA who is the same age as their agent is a good idea, but if there are no other options for a willing and local PoA then, this may be it.

Educating and supporting his wife will help you a lot. Like others have suggested, she needs to know what to do if he starts having hallucinations or threatening violence (which my SFIL did during his Parkinsons and Lewy Body dementia). If you know your Dad owns fire arms I would discretely remove them from the property or at least lock them up and remove all ammo). Been there, done this.

You do not need to exhaust yourself trying to reason with an unreasonable person. I wouldn't. It's not certain why he's unreasonable: if he's always been this way or if it's part of his LB dementia, etc. You can distract him or redirect the conversation to get his mind off that track. If he's asking this every 3 hours then does he have cognitive or memory impairment?

Does his wife have adult kids of her own? Only asking because sometimes when a couple is married after their kids are adults, things can get confused and complicated when one in the couple starts to have age-related problems. It happens a lot. If she does have kids and they see her struggling with your Dad or just herself, they may see a need to remove her from that environment.

If your Dad hasn't assigned a PoA and won't... then he is on track for court-assigned guardianship unless his wife tries to acquire it, but this can be expensive, time-consuming and very stressful. It doesn't happen overnight so if your Dad has a crisis then it will be a problem.

It would be really helpful to know if he has a PoA... then we can give you more specific advice.
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Reply to Geaton777

Are you his POA, or does he have a POA? I just read/learned the other day that the POA had more decision making "power" than the spouse.
You can not convince him of anything.
Just keep telling him you are not going to move.
You need to tell his wife (I am guessing your step mom) that she needs to protect herself. If at anytime he becomes violent (common for LBD) that she needs to call 911.
You will not convince your dad of anything. Mainly because you cant easily change the mind of someone that has dementia but also it sounds like he is the stubborn sort much like my Husband was.
You need to also convince his wife that when his care is no longer SAFE for her to keep him at home or when it is no longer safe for HIM for her to care for him she needs to make the difficult decision to place him in Care NOT A.L.
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Reply to Grandma1954

Perhaps with a gentle reminder that the life expectancy of Lewy Body Dementia is just 5-7 years. It is the second most aggressive of all the dementias, and sadly your father will get dramatically worse sooner than later.
Make sure that his wife has all of her/their ducks in a row in case the time comes when she can no longer care for him in the home, and he will need to be placed.
If your father wants to live in denial over his situation(who can blame him)let him, but just make sure that you and his wife are in full understanding about this horrific disease of dementia and make plans accordingly.
And just FYI, there will come a day soon when your father will NOT be able to be left alone at home while his wife works 60 hours a week. She needs to get his care figured out sooner than later, and NO that care doesn't and shouldn't include you.
Blessings to you and your family as you take this final journey with your father.
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Reply to funkygrandma59

Dadslittlegirl, I don't see any point in getting your dad to understand this, his brain is broke. Even if you get him to understand, next day, week or month, he will forget it. There is no learning at this point, or retaining information for long periods.

I'd say let Dad live in his denial about what's going to happen, what's the point in him understanding and getting upset about something he can't understand.

One of the worst movies out there was for me , the "Note Book" I'm like yelling at the TV, leave the poor women alone. Don't force her to remember things .

Have you read up on dementia? Most demented people don't know there demented, they think everything is fine.

I'm sure this is so hard and scary for your family. When your dad ask when you moving there, just make excuses, I honestly wouldn't come out and say , I'm not. He is looking for you to be his caregiver, don't uproot your life out of guilt. You deserve to have your life, and your doing as much as you can
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Reply to Anxietynacy

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