Mom is in assisted living and fell in love with a man who has Alzheimer's. Now what?

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She wants to get my Dad, who has dementia, to go to a nursing home because she is tired of his "behavior". I agree he has bad behavior but he has his whole life. Mom has memory deficits and seems to only have very short term memory. The man she fell in love with is 9 years her junior AND has Alzheimers. He's a lovely man but I know nothing about him or his family situation. I am her POA and "mother" now. I'd love any advice on how to navigate this crazy turn of events!

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It sounds as if your mother has dementia, as well. She likely doesn't think of her marriage as such - it's just an inconvenience when she remembers it at all.

This is hard for you to handle but it's not likely it will go farther than this fantasy/flirtatious stage so the only real harm it will do is if her husband understands what is happening.

Yes, this is an interesting post for sure! Keep us posted on how you are doing since you are likely the one with the biggest headaches.
Take care,
Carol
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Let's face it Dad is not the only one with dementia. These "romances" are usually short-lived because the individuals have such short attention spans. The facility will not step in unless there is yelling or fighting.
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Your mother is having a fantasy. As long as her interactions with the younger man are enjoyable for both of them, it isn't a problem. Stay alert for signs of distress that could mean having to ask the ALF to intervene, perhaps by diverting one or both of them to other tables or social groups.

I'd actually be more worried about what your mother means by your father's "behaviour." Are you sure he isn't becoming physically abusive, or relentlessly unpleasant when he talks to her? Just because he's always been difficult doesn't mean she has to put up with anything he throws at her. Do you also have POA for him? How is he feeling?
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I hope you will read and reread the excellent advice and suggestions above. My second husband died when I was 78. When I was 79 I fell in love with, divorced man six years my junior. I was warned he had early Alzheimer's, but married him and was his sole caregiver until his death three years later. Now 85, I don't regret the past, but it did take a toll on my health. You've received some good advice and questions to ask yourself here. Don't sacrifice your own life.
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You mention in your profile that mom is in AL. Are they both together. If dad is abusive then you may need to separate them. Since this has been going on for a long time, your reality of the situation may be clouded. You may wish to get an independent eval from your town social worker and ask if this is a form of abuse.
As for the romantic endeavor, after my dad passed, my mom met a man with mild cognitive problems in independent living. She was seeking someone to take care of her and have someone to snuggle with. They moved in together for about 2 years until he passed. He came with some financial baggage as he was getting scammed and became financially destitute. I became mom's guardian to protect her from getting exploited and set up a contract where he paid her for room and board until he passed. This was with approval from the IL facility which also had 2 bed room apartments.
Romantic needs are still part of a person's quality of life.. My family takes it in stride but we also talk to her that any talk of marriage is not in the picture. She is now in AL and cannot make these types of decisions. We remind her that marriage will reduce her SS benefits and that she cannot afford that. Also that marriage means that you can physically help the other person.
She is now on the hunt again and found a new friend from IL that could not move in with her to AL due to excessive costs and that her friend is not ready for AL. His family and our family take them out to visit each other a couple times a week and they are happy with this arrangement.
BTW she is still on the hunt for a man to take care of her in AL. It's quite comical since she is 93 years and she thinks all the men at her place are too old just because they use walkers.
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A pertinent and great read: "The Bear came over the Mountain" by Alice Munro. is a short story. All of her stories are awesome.
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Thomas0611,
I am interested about your statement that "all dementia behaviors are forms of attempted communication". If that were true then a person with dementia would exhibit the same type of behavior to everyone they try to communicate with. Your statement troubles me especially because this forum is a support forum for caregivers. If the person with dementia is just attempting to communicate then when they are physically, mentally, verbally and emotionally abusing their primary caregiver are we supposed to just rationalize their behavior as an attempt to communicate? When a caregiver is being wrongfully accused of stealing, withholding food and medication, of physical abuse and on and on and on what could the person with dementia be trying to communicate? All dementia behavior is not excuseable. Caregivers who give up everything for a loved one with dementia don't generally benefit by becoming even more empathetic (if that is even possible) because in the end that just ends up being more guilt they have to lug around until the end of time. We feel guilty enough when our loved one is suffering. More guilt is not helpful.
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My 88-year mother fell in love with someone who has Alzheimer's at a memory care unit where they both live. I realize this situation is not exactlyy like your situation since my father (my mother's husband) had died many years earlier. But it still raised concerns. My mother claimed they were married and even left the locked facility to do so. The center where my mother and this gentleman resided called me about it and we all (director, nurse, social worker) talked about the situation when my mother's care plan was reviewed. They said if either party felt that it was a "harmful situation or wanted it stopped", they would intervene. They said they would talk to my mom and the gentleman about it from time to time and they also talked to the gentleman's POA. The relationship lasted a few months until the gentleman passed away. I did worry about my mom but there were many good things from that relationship, too. My mother was less negative and more involved with activities where she resides. You have a lot to handle so take it one day at a time. Others have given you good advice. Try to continue monitoring the best care for your parents. I wish you all the best.
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Love can be a compensation for a need of feeling wanted. Depends on the persons life experience missing intimacy. This has now been clinically proven in the literature. I am not promoting anything more than holding hands, kissing and evidence of feelings between the parties. I will not go into details of a long study but it can also be a substitute for lonliness created by a lack of estrogen.
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wow...interesting post! first, how old are they? my concern is husband's bad behavior. what does he do to her? it certainly seems to me if someone can't stand their husband anymore...shouldn't she have an option to separate from him? how does he feel about the situation and going to a convalescent home?
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