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My Dad is 75, still physically active, but getting forgetful and complains of dizziness. He is lucid most of the time but has a drinking problem My mother died last year. Dad is living alone in the woods, 7 miles from the nearest small town. He only gets $880/mo SS, and refuses to apply for food stamps or other assistance. The only asset is the residence he's living in, and it's going downhill from lack of maintenance. I live 2500 miles away, and have a busy career/family life. Yet, we want to do the right thing, and can spare money to provide a trailer or other separate living quarters at our house. A complicating factor is that he has 2 dogs he won't part with, and my husband is adamant that he would allow only 1 more dog in addition to our own dog.

The other option is to get him a smaller place in town in the area he currently is in--but there is no money to do that until we sell his present house. And we can't sell that property unless he's out of there. There is no way he would qualify for AL through Medicaid--he's definitely still legally competent and not disabled. Just a stubborn cuss who still wants to live independently, but is lonely and declining. And broke. He can never make it through the month on SS, and is always trying to hit me up for an extra 100 or 200 to get him food or pay utility bills. Thoughts or advice?

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Love the answers you've rec'd. At 75, he still wants to control his own life, but he wants you to help him too. I'll be 72, and unless something drastic happens I don't want my kids telling me to move cross country in 3 yrs.. I did it to my mother, much to my regret. She has no long term connections here, and therefore depends on me for everything, plus she never lets me forget that "I "made" her move. Good luck with everything. Everyone's situation is different. Let us know how it all turns out.
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Any volunteers?
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Find him a 65 year old woman. It might kill him, but so would taking him off the mountain. Ask Captain.
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Solitude, dogs and adult beverages make him happy, let him be. You will both be miserable if you make him move. If he was over 90, unable to feed himself or care for the dogs, my thoughts would be different. Keep in touch and if he is no longer able to care for himself, offer a hand.
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If he agrees so be it but he is still going to drink and run out of money. Are you still prepared and able to help with the bills. If you get a trailer he won't be able to pay the utilities etc. I also doubt he will meet hubby's expectations either but time will tell. I just am not optomistic over this move. Not really any of my business though.
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My Dad says he would like to move out here, with me. He continues to run out of $ before the end of the month, and I won't/can't keep subsidizing him. I think my husband will give the 2 dogs arrangement a try, with an understanding that my dad MUST clean up after them.

Last year, while my Dad was reeling from my mother's sudden death last March after 54 yrs of marriage, he spent 3 months with us, and it worked out fine. I was able to get him hearing aids and dentures, which he has needed for many years. I think that kind of attention is what he lacks in his current isolated living situation.

He is getting interested in finding another lady companion, and I keep assuring him that the odds are in his favor in his age group. Again, he would have a lot more opportunities for socializing here, where we are in town with a senior center, etc. I have no interest in controlling his life, and would like nothing more than getting him back on his feet, stabilized, and off to another place of his own when finances will permit (if that's what he wants).

Tell you what, if we make the move with him this spring, I'll report back to the community how the experience has gone. Again, thanks to all for their input.
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I have my mom and my dad's sister, my aunt, a mile away from me.. I know I can be there in a heartbeat....What does he feel?
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If he loses his two dogs, you will see an immediate decline. So, either your husband relents, you divorce your husband, you get your father a place in his town, or you keep sending him money. Any other options you can think of?
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What about a care giver for your dad, right where he's at?

Honestly, were it my dad, I'd call DSS to see what, if any services he'd qualify for as far as an aide went, or I'd hire a care taker, a handy man for repairs, slip him as much money as he needed to get by on when he needed it, let him keep his his house, his dogs and his booze, and know that I did the best thing for him and his personality. My dad would have withered and died any other way and I know it.

If you move him closer to you, trying to change him or 'cure' him of his bad habits, and setting a bunch of 'rules' will be a disaster. It's too late for things like that.

Go with your gut.
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I think you are hearing the same song, second verse here. Do not make the decision for your dad. Moving them is very hard when they've lived somewhere for so long. Your dad could live many many more years. His lack of financial stability is not your problem unless you make it your problem. His drinking money comes from that SSI, don't forget and he evidently has money enough for that. And if he smokes too…then there's more money. I would not advocate making him give up one of his dogs. That is cruel to the dog and to him as well.
Help him find low income housing where he lives now. He may need paperwork that helps him to qualify and possibly be on a waiting list. Once you find that, put him on the list and get his home listed and sell it as a fixer upper. Yes, it won't sell for as much but then again, you aren't the ones who didn't maintain it. You need to take a step back and act as an objective person who is not the one who created his current living situation. Local agencies can be VERY helpful. Do not …repeat let him move in even though he was a great dad. You're life as you know it will be over. And your brother will go merrily along as though nothing ever happened. Funny how it's always the daughters who feel so guilty but the sons usually (not always) don't. Take a cue from him.
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If he's in these isolating circumstances and still pursuing all of those activities (he sounds brilliant, by the way) independently, what have you got to offer in your locale that would match those? Where's he's living doesn't seem to be holding him back much. I'm not sure that biking and drinking sound a great combination, though! :-\

I agree with Veronica. Do research for him, put him in touch with his local agencies, help with communication, but don't do it yourself. There's a very fine line between helping and interfering, and you'll get no thanks and a world of trouble if you indulge in the latter.
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Good God I am 75 please don't make decisions for me.
I personally don't think you will get dad out of his present home willingly till he's carried out.
I know you want what is best for him and feel gratitude for him being a good father to you but you can not make another person's life perfect just because it is the right thing to do.
Please don't do anything unless Dad wants you to.
Would he let you help him fix up the house. You say he is hitting you up for money. Stop it right now you are an enabler. He can't just stop drinking. He is lonely because he misses your mother and probably always will. he loves his dogs and they are his family too. If he's short of money help him apply for help and if he won't so be it. Visit and go with him to do the application, it's not easy at any age.
I am still capable of thumping on counters and sticking up for myself but maybe he needs a hand. It is always good to have an ally when dealing with authority who may not be very friendly. He's got his own place, likes his garden but would be miserable in a trailer under the eyes of you and hubby. Please don't rob him of his independance.
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I would do what your Dad wants, but definately move him close to you, maybe use his house money for a small addition to your home for him. poor guy, tough to get old! What a great guy lovingand taking care of his dogs, they keep him happy and alive, thats awesome, good for him!! Good luck
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Oh man! Don't take either of the man's dogs away from him! It would be hard on him and he would resent you for it. I have 3 dogs and it really in't any more work than 2 dogs. Not to mention how hard it would be on the dog to lose his life's companion. Pets are so beneficial to elderly...give's them company and purpose.
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Thank you all for taking the time to provide your input. My Dad has no other family nearby. I have one brother who lives even further away, on the West Coast. My Dad's friends back in the area are all dying or getting incapacitated themselves, so not much help with helping him with errands. He is pretty much on his own in the isolated backwoods. With the horrible winter on the East Coast, he has been stranded for days at a time with the snow, not able to get out for groceries.

I am inclined to move him into separate living quarters with me, but set boundaries and give this arrangement a preliminary go short term. If we need to move him into his own place around here, at least he would be near me, closer to my brother and we will have hopefully sold the property back in the East to have a cushion of funds. He was a very good Dad to me when I was growing up, caring and attentive. Since he still enjoys being active in things like gardening and biking, and is engaged with the world in terms of reading newspapers and magazines, I think it's imperative to get him out of the isolating circumstances he's in. I have looked in that area for affordable housing, and just don't see any in the rural, small towns within a hour or so of where he currently is.

This community is great for resources and support!
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I should add that after 28 months, I bit the bullet and we are moving Mom to a senior living place that has HUD units on site. I knew about this resource 28 months ago, but felt I should move her in with me, that being on her own like that would be too difficult. Now, I realize she needs to live her life and I need to live mine. I will definitely keep tabs on her and still oversee her personal affairs. But she will be living a few hours away, not right across my hallway.
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Moving him in with you should be a plan Z. Look for alternatives where he is, if possible. Especially if he is being vocal about his preferences.

We moved my low-income mother in with us. Her disability was some slight forgetfulness and impaired vision from a stroke. We last 28 months. Indoubt and Eyerishlass are right on the money - you will be completely responsible for him the rest of his life. It will take over your life.

We moved Mom just two hours away from where she'd lived for 40 years, a place full of family and a few friends. (Once Dad died a lot of friends disappeared.) Even being two hours away made it difficult to get people to see her. All of her social interaction was through me or with me. She let me do everything for her. And I did everything unthinkingly, convinced if I didn't do it she wouldn't. Guess what. She's been in an independent living place now and is doing a lot of the things she wouldn't do when she lived with us.

Look for financial assistance in whatever community is nearest to your father now and research everything before you move him in with you.
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It becomes a 24/7 obligation if he moves in. Add the drinking and you won't believe how quickly you begin to wander if you did the right thing. Plus your emotions and energy get drained. You must set guidelines. You have to explain to him that if he moves in, the drinking cannot. if you are going to give up so much to try and do the right thing he needs to show his respect and love for you by agreeing to your requests. Draw a line and don't go over it. If he doesn't agree 2500 miles is a good buffer. I realize that my comments are kinda of cold. I have learned though trial and many errors that you can't help anyone if you don't keep yourself from being an enabler. My resume: Taking care of my mother who had a stroke and could no longer talk or understand and then went blind. She is now in a nursing home near my sister.The past 8 years shopping, cleaning, doctor visits, repairs, to my in laws. Now my mother in law is in a nursing home with no short term memory. My father in law is now living in my house. He is 90 has one leg and is about to fight cancer. My wife has Parkinson's and someone somewhere will always have it a whole lot worse. I always count my blessings. So yea draw the line.
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Does he live near any family?

Moving an elderly person, especially such a long way, is very traumatic for the person. Just moving him into town as you described would be traumatic enough.

However, if you do decide that there isn't any alternative and move him near you know that you will be responsible for him for the rest of his life. His issues and problems will become your issues and problems. At 2,500 miles there's a buffer. If your dad moves closer to you there will be no more buffer. If you are ready to take this on is your dad ready to move all that way? Getting him ready to move all that way and getting him and his dogs all that way will be extremely stressful.

If he refuses find him a smaller place in town, get him set up there and then sell his house. You will need to make numerous trips back and forth to get all of this done so make sure it's what he wants before you start packing him up.

Try to find a workable solution before you move him closer to you. I know you want to do the right thing by your dad, you are a good daughter, but you have to consider your life and your family's life too.
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I would get the separate trailer near you and let him keep his dogs.
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