Is it appropriate to ask dad with moderate dementia to decide where to live assisted living/ memory care vs move in with estranged daughter?

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Mostly estranged daughter for past 40-50 years offering to take mom and dad into her home 100+ miles away from other sibs who have all been active participants in their lives. Both parents have repeatedly stated for years they can’t stand daughter’s spouse whom has a not so nice nickname, though daughter has no clue about this dislike. 2 of 4 sibs totally agree with doctor to have dad/mom live at beautiful local assisted living/memory care facility for medical and socialization reasons, but other two sibs are in denial of situation, possibly feel obligated/guilty and/or seeing their inheritance dwindling. Mom has advanced dementia (incl severe sundowning, numerous falls incl breaking hip twice in 1 month) and while dr didn’t say she had 6 mos to live, he gave a pretty clear similar example she did.


Dad with mid stage dementia taken on a tour of assisted living facility then estranged daughter says he can live there, or she can take both of them into her home, giving him one week to decide. Dad is extremely confused in what to do, and feels he needs to discuss matters with wife with dementia who will not understand, get angry, etc. She is currently living in a nursing facility for past 3-4 month’s healing from 2 fractured hip surgeries.


Parents are in a financial situation where house needs to be sold, but both could live out the remainder of their lives in assisted living/memory care and be fine financially for rest of lives. Dad now tasked with making a decision some of sibs don’t believe he is capable of making (and shouldn’t be asked). Says he guesses he will have to learn to tolerate son in law in order to make living at daughters home work. Son in laws own mother recently sick/died, but he did nothing to help during her illness, it was all on the daughter.


A lot of dynamics going on, but want best care for both parents, including socialization opportunities they would likely have at assisted living facility. Mom is great lady, but is both a physical and emotional drain on current 24/7 caregiver she has with her in nursing facility to ensure she does not get out of bed and injure herself. Dad is jovial and easy to get along with but presents with neuropathy, frequent falls, and mid level dementia. Love them both to pieces. Only want to move them once, getting best care. The only plus dad says about living with daughter is good cooking, which he would also get at A/L. Any thoughts/suggestions would be helpful. Thanks for listening.

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You know the answer. And what are these two estranged people offering to ‘care’ for both of your parents simultaneously up to? Did they inherit from the son in law’s mother?

That ploy to demand a mentally compromised man to make up his mind in one week?

This entire situation is ridiculous. Just set your parents up in the nice AL and ignore sister Florence Nightingale!!
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Reply to HolidayEnd
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Never to estranged daughter's. Continuum of care facility for them both, not together from the sounds of it.

About six years ago the twisted sisters denial led them to place a deposit on a tiny one bedroom unit with the intent for mom with Alzheimer's and stepdad with mobility issues, pretty frail. He was competent but twisteds did not even consult with him about moving to a facility. He was flabbergasted when he found out. Care Manager for mom had to tell twisteds that sharing was not an option, mom's needs were quite extensive and he would not be able to help mom 24/7.

Eventually they moved to the same facility, mom in memory care, he in AL. He was able to see her daily and for awhile took her to lunch in the main dining room. That didn't last long as mom had severe agitation with her sundowning. In the main dining room occasionally caused quite the disturbance when she thought a couple they would eat with were looking for mom and hubby to buy their meals. Even went so far as to enter the kitchen and started screaming at the chef to get the other people kicked out.

Mom did much better when she and hubby started to stay in the MC area for their meals. Staff would have to distract her when hubby was ready to leave. They had a good couple of years at this facility. He passed first. Soon after mom had to be moved to a smaller care home where all residents had been kicked out of previous facilities.

If dad likes this place, move him there, he will be close to his wife and he will feel like he is contributing something to her care. Stepdad did. It was the best way to try to meet both their needs.

One thing that should be checked into is if this facility will accept Medicaid after 2 years of self pay. The assets will not last forever. Separate rooms for them sounds most appropriate, mom and her hubby combined cost in the area of 12K a month.

DO NOT MOVE THEM TO ESTRANGED DAUGHTER'S.
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Reply to gladimhere
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I just want to reply to the part about only wanting to move them once. I felt same way. Good friend advised me: You don't have to make decision right now about what is best for the rest of their lives. Make the decision that is best for them right now.
That really helped me.
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Reply to Mjlarkan
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Has Dad sen AL facility and did he like it?
Mom does not sound as though she is a candidate for AL more likely N/H or memory care.
Clearly she needs 24 hour care and estranged daughter must now what that entailed havjng cared for an inlaw.
As I often say follow the money.
OP is no longer a family member so has only an interest in the wellfare of this couple.
The parents have the money for a care facility. perhaps find a memory care that has AL near or attached. i would not recommend moving them in anywhere together.
Is Dad able to pretty comp;eatery care for himself and provide some care for his wife?
if the daughter is estranged it would seem ill advised to move them in with her and the son in law they dislike. He hasn't changed.
Is est. daughter hoping to take over complete charge and manage money etc or are other sibs holding POA.
Choose a nice facility close to the four sibs and they will be much happier there.
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Reply to Veronica91
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Placing patents in the care of an estranged daughter and a son in law they aren’t fond of will be a BIG mistake. The AL is the optimal place for your father. Many facilities have memory care and skilled nursing in the same compound so that each parent will receive the level of care they need but still be able to see each other daily. There will be daily activities, opportunities for socializing, planned meals and supervision by trained nurses and aides. They need to stay close to the children they maintain a relationship with. Moving in with the estranged daughter will isolate them and cause unnecessary anxiety.
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Reply to Susanonlyone
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As a former DPOA for both of my parents, and as a daughter who deeply cared that my parents' best interest was always at the forefront, I highly recommend that you keep them nearby. As hard as it may seem to some siblings for Mom to be in one facility and Dad in another, they haven't been in their shoes. Your mom does not need to be moved from place to place. If she's getting good care where she is, she'll likely adjust to the facility. When my mom had to move from Assisted Living to a nursing care facility, the move was hard on her. She had Parkinson's and dementia. Anyone who is familiar with dementia will tell you that keeping everything "the same" is best for the loved one. Even moving furniture in a room can disturb a dementia patient.

My best advice to you is that legally those who have medical or financial power of attorney are always to remember the money belongs to Mom and Dad and is there for their care—not for everyone's future inheritance.

As a daughter caring for my parents, I always had to look at their needs first. I did not spend their money foolishly, but I had to learn to listen to medical doctors, to my own parents, and to the options available for them at that time.

As a sibling, I had to sometimes tune out my brothers and sisters comments that weren't in the best interest of Mom or Dad. It wasn't easy, but my parents entrusted their care with me and I did my utmost to make sure their needs were met in the best possible way.

Decisions are not easy to make. Get good advice. Listen to what your parents have said regarding the brother-in-law and sister. Your parents will never feel comfortable in a place where they haven't been very welcomed in the past. An estranged child hasn't suddenly changed into a loving, compassionate, caring person overnight. Listen to Dad's feelings. He should not have to change in order to be accommodated!

I pray that God will grant you the wisdom and voice you need to speak up and do what's best for your parents, and ultimately for everyone.
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Reply to busymom
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With numerous marriages, incl. step and half sibs, so far so good, but I know how this may go down the road, but can only hope for the best.
I plan to help see them both through the end of their lives with love, grace and dignity, nothing short of what they have shown to me in my life. 
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Reply to Shiptoshore1798
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Before making any decisions why not send Dad for a couple weeks visit to the enstranged sister & brother in law to see how he makes out?
Siblings can drop over for a visit - ( if the brother in law ) does not make astink about dropping over?? There will your answer!!
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Reply to sassyisie
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Thanks for your candidacy. Sometimes I think it’s a psychological way for daughter not to have to see dad’s medical capacity as dad has always made the decisions. I say pull up your big girl panties and act like a true medical POA, not one waiting until money has run out and there are no longer any vacancies at A/L facility, so backed into only left alternative of living with her.  Unfortunately I am not a sib or a decision maker in this situation, only a long-standing ex spouse (it’s complicated) who remains a loving family friend whom both parents trust and love. Two of the four sibs wanting parents to live with daughter/sister were already ousted of their an inheritance from biological father, which is why i am thinking I may be right on the mark. I feel I see this situation ever so clearly, but unfortunately they choose not to see what I see. I am treading lightly with sibs as I don’t want to ruin 40 yr relationships, though it’s so hard to watch from sidelines when I have been so involved so much with their lives and illnesses thus far. 😔
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Reply to Shiptoshore1798
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How ridiculous! Your Dad should definitely make the decision. I've worked in assisted living as a nurse and I plan to go there someday when I get to the point I can't take care of myself. My kids would object but not for mercenary reasons but because they love me. AL have good meals, socialization, entertainment and you are assured of good medical care. My mother said, never live with your children. Earlier in life, my husband and I didn't listen and built a mother-in-law house on my daughter's and her husband's property. Unfortunately, my ex-son-in-law, who wasn't a very nice person, decided he wouldn't work anymore and we lost our home as well as his and my daughter's home. And there were many other incidences in his personality that were defective so your Dad will find that out if he moves in with one of his children and he gets more grief than he can imagine. He and his wife will live a lot longer in a positive atmosphere than a negative one.
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Reply to tperri123
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