My dad is 95, legally blind in a wheel chair and lives in assisted living. My mother had dementia and I helped take care of her at their home for years until her falling became a big problem, they moved into a facility. He was in assisted living and she full care, when she passed he moved in a house beside us, at that time he said he would get a Lifeline necklace and a housekeeper but he would not do it, so I hired a house keeper, checked on him several times a day and he did get Friendship Meals. Several years ago he said he could not see well enough to live alone so he moved into the same facility. I really tried to talk him out of it, thought we were doing fine but he insisted, he was walking with a walker at that time. He also always has a dog. Two months later it closed and by this time he was in a wheelchair so we found another facility that would take dogs. He has long term care insurance and it was very hard to get them to pay when he moved back, moved again and again! He did not like this place so we moved him again, we have moved him 8 times, trying to make him happy, several times just to a different room in the same facility. He has been mad ever since the first place closed, of course does not like this place either.

He has fallen 3 times since January and they have had to pick him up, he cannot see to run the microwave or adjust the thermostat! He will not ask them for help, I will go in and he will have the heat on and it will be 90 degrees outside! He gripes about everything from the food, the other people, the housekeeping, the administrator, etc. I just don’t comment. My sister is almost 80 and lives 2 hours away and is dealing with her husband’s health problems. My husband works 7 days a week but helps when he can, my son takes care of his two rental houses. He called him today (he just pushes a button on his phone and says who he wants to call cannot see to dial even with his magnifier). He wants him to move him to one of the rentals which is 10 miles away from us. I visit at least 5 times a week, drive in early every Sunday and bring him back here for church, take him to his appointments, take the dog 20 miles to the a veterinarian! He is pretty sharp but has been somewhat forgetful lately, has forgotten appointments when I get there and other little things. First the house would need a major remodel, ramps, shower, try to make it safe. I’ve been battling this for years, I am tired, not sure what to do? I know he would not be there long before he would realize he could not do it, afraid he would not hire help after he got there. I am afraid it would be really hard to get the insurance to start paying again and it would be dangerous for him! He does use his walker when I take him somewhere but I am always worried he will fall! He cannot have PT because he has two hip replacements that have worn out. Surgery is not an option and his bones will crack when he is just sitting so he is to walk as little as possible. He also has an aortic abdominal aneurysm they are watching. I hate that he is not happy and I do not know what to do, any advice would be appreciated! Sorry this is so long!

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Next time you visit Dad’s facility, do it during business hours. Tell the front desk AND the manager AND the admissions director AND the ombudsman AND the medical director (if there is one) that if Dad dismisses himself, you will not allow him to live in your home or any of your rental properties.

Be clear to all that no matter what malarkey Dad might tell them, your words are the truth.

The next day, mail them all a notarized letter that repeats your words. Send it via registered mail + signature required + return receipt.

Then - of course - do not sign Dad out of the care home. Do not.

If Dad wants to leave, he alone must jump through the admin hoops.

The end.

Stick to your guns.

Let Dad complain to high heavens when you visit him. After a certain age, griping is the only bandwidth a lot of oldsters have. Or choose to have. [ahem]

Or don’t let Dad complain to high heavens when you visit him. When the convo starts taking a predictable turn, grab your keys and say, “I’m sorry you feel that way. And I cannot subject myself to any more of your negativity. I’ll come back when you are in a better frame of mind.” And walk out the door.

Walk. Out. The. Door.

You set the rules. You set the tone. Dad can take it or leave it.

Also - visiting 5x/week plus church shuttle plus vet taxi is excessive. You are giving Dad the explicit message that his life is more important than yours. And voila - the old goat is running with it.

Did you spend your entire adulthood seeing your parents 5x/week? Or is this the “poor papa” guilt train going off the rails?

I am in no way saying that you should turn your back on Dad. But it’s time for you to spearhead a reset. Pronto.
Helpful Answer (24)
Teddiegough Sep 2019
What are the admin hoops?

Do you know what I need to do to take my mother out of assisted living and move her into my home? (I have medical power of attorney.)

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"My dad is 95, legally blind in a wheel chair and lives in assisted living..." on top of "he has two hip replacements that have worn out...He also has an aortic abdominal aneurysm" He's delusional!

Stop engaging him. When he brings up the subject, end the conversation with something like "Dad, I love you, you are safe here, and I have peace of mind. Let's talk about something else". If he won't drop the subject, find an excuse - "I have to bake cupcakes for my tea cozy knitting circle" - and leave.
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sbgsteiff1, even if your Dad does move to a house, he won't like it there, either. The proof is you have moved your Dad eight times already. Seven times too many. How is he going to get use to a facility?

The fact that Dad is in Assisted Living already says loud and clear that it takes a village to help him. And it is far less expensive being in Assisted Living then hiring around the clock professional caregivers. My Dad had 3 shifts of caregivers and it was a whopping $20k per month in my area. And don't you become Dad's full-time around the clock caregiver. Otherwise, your Dad would outlive you as you become overwhelmed with all the work and stress.

Time to bring out the "theraputic fibs". Too bad your son already told his Grandfather that one of the rental properties is available, otherwise a fib would be "sorry, both houses are rented". Your son could use stalling fibs by saying it will take months to get the permits to fix up the house.... supplies are on back order... it's taking longer then I had planned.

So starting today, take a deep breathe, and NO MORE going over ideas on how to make a house ready for Dad. It's not going to happen. Yes, Dad will grumble, and he is just being a normal elder as pretty much everyone in Assisted Living wants to go home because they are in denial of their lack of ability to do things.

And it is time to cut back on visiting Dad. Dad needs to learn his way around the Assisted Living area and make new friends. He can't do that if he is visiting with you. I had to cut back when my Dad was in senior living.
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sbgsteiff1 Aug 2019
Thank you so much! My son really had to tell him it was not rented or pay him rent each month! He did say it would take a long time to get it ready. He would not socialize even if I were not there, they have tried and so have I to get him to go to activities, I have even gone by myself thinking that would get him to go, did not work! I will try not to go as often. I just wish he would realize how lucky he is to live in such a nice place with his dog but that is not going to happen. He cannot move by himself but it really is sad that I have done so much for him and now I am the bad guy for making him stay there! He even told my nephew that my son would move him but I would not let him, just breaks my heart. Nothing more I can do, he is in a good place, getting the care he needs, I just need to try to not let it get me down.
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He wants his health and independence back - who can blame him! - but no move is going to make him 20 years younger and reverse the ravages of time. They say getting old isn't for sissies, truer word were never spoken.
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Good Morning,
Reading through the answers I was struck with something that happened to me and my Mom.  We were having a discussion about her and dad going into AL.  She did not feel she needed that much help.  I told her the preparations were all set,  All they had to do was sign up!!  After a couple hours of back and forth, just discussing still,  I told Mom she had a which she quickly replied 
"Good.  I choose to stay here!!!"
NO, I said you have the choice to be happy that you and Dad will be in a safe place with some one else doing the cooking and cleaning and watching after Dad  (he wandered).  OR you can choose to be miserable
over there in AL and make everyone else miserable, too!!  She did not have to give it much thought at that point.  My Mom was a sweetheart,
and Yes, she chose to be happy!!  She knew that Dad was getting too much for her and she sure wanted to be where he was!   I will always be thankful for her sweet sweet spirit, even when she did not like what was happening to her and Dad!
Helpful Answer (10)
No matter how many times you move him, he will not be satisfied. He's safety should be your FIRST priority . Put him in a facility and let him adjust . Weather he gets comfortable in his new environment is up to him. I can understand if he has dementia... But honestly, like I recently accepted with my own mom, you can't make your father happy. He is where he NEEDS to be. It may not be what he wants, but it's what he needs. Know that he is safe and move on. If it's too much, try just visiting once a week. Because honestly, your health and sanity matter too. Once a week is good in my book, expectantly if the family member and the patient can't be together long. I worked in nursing homes, as a CNA . Most family members NEVER came back, or if they did, it was once a year, during the holidays. The staff will understand why you can't visit your father everyday. Let him adjust, and not have you there all the time. That's what I'm doing with mom... she may not be happy, but at least I know she's safe.
"I immediately told him if that was what he wanted to talk about I was leaving" .... and then you didn't leave, did you? It sounds like you didn't leave but rather got sucked into nonsense about scooters, moving companies and microwaves.

Setting aside the hurtful words he used toward you, he's not going anywhere unless you and/or your sister help him, right???

He's going to hire a moving company. Really? How's he going to get the name and phone number of movers? Real moving companies have contracts and they schedule appointments to draw up estimates on the size of the job. What I'm asking is he really capable of executing a move himself? Doubtful.

He needs a bigger scooter. How's he going to make that happen? The amount of paperwork associated with a scooter is enormous, especially if he wants Medicare to pay for it. Again, is he really capable of getting another scooter himself?? Again, doubtful.

You are feeding his delusions by giving him rational responses to irrational statements/demands. Next time stick to your guns and L-E-A-V-E. Then, go downstairs to the AL director's office, tell him/her about his delusions, and ask to be notified if he tries to enlist the staff for help.

"His behavior is not normal, there has to be a diagnosis for this" Yes, and it's called delusional disorder. Delusions are firmly held beliefs in things that are not real - including him and Maxine moving - and also occur in the mid-to-late stages of Alzheimer's. Who is this doctor who feels he will pass the memory test? Maybe get a second opinion??
Helpful Answer (10)
AlvaDeer Aug 2019
I so agree. Participating in any such move at this point sounds negligent to me.
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I agree with everyone else. But what everyone is failing to point out is that good grief, he is 95!! That is way longer than most people live. His complaining is probably what keeps him going ;) At this point I'd be more concerned when he stops. That will mean he's given up.
The other thing that nobody is really saying is, for goodness sake, it's time for you to stop everything and take care of you. In fact, your kids should stop the madness and take care of you too! I am shocked you are still going strong. You really should talk to a counselor or join a caregiver support group. I know you love your father, but it is time to love yourself more. And show your kids by example what boundaries and happiness looks like! I pray you find your inner peace and get some rest soon. You've gone above and beyond!!
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sbgsteiff1 Aug 2019
Thank you, I really appreciate your words of kindness and prayers. My kids do a lot for us and everyone else, cousins, aunts, their kids, the Community, etc. I worry about them too! I am going to look into a support group, I do think that would help.
Accept that he is not going to be happy regardless of what you do. Do what keeps him safe. Learn to be okay that he is upset. If he does not have dementia, then it is his choice to be upset regardless of what you do. You can not please him. He does have so many difficulties that I can understand his complaining all the time, but you have to know that you are never going to stop him from complaining.
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I hate that your father is not happy, too. I feel for him. I wish it were possible to find an environment where he would not feel frustrated, discontented, and aggravated by people's inability to do what he asks them to do, the way he asks them to, when he wants them to. I know that last part sounds a bit sarcastic, but I promise it isn't sarcastic. Just imagine how *annoying* it is when you can't get a simple thing done and you can't do it yourself.

What can you do about it? Even if you moved heaven and earth, and moved him from one facility to another for the rest of his life, it still wouldn't work. It will not make him less dependent on others for his freedom of action, which is the heart of the matter.

But you don't have to fight, argue, contradict or in anyway gainsay him. Go for "masterly inactivity" - keep the discussion going, do nothing, but meanwhile just highlight any positives and pros about his staying put.

And, if you like, do keep looking. You never know what perfect facility *might* show up.
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It sounds like the days of your dad being happy have long since passed. So, him being happy probably should not be one of your top concerns at this point. It appears that he will not be happy no matter where he lives.

I would say there are very few 95 year olds, who CAN see, that are able to safely live on their own.

I strongly suggest NO action. Do not move him anymore. Not to another room, certainly not to a house. If he insists, just tell him nicely that he can do as he wished, but you are not going to help because you do not think it is in his best interest. If he can coordinate it all, which is highly doubtful, but fine, go ahead.

You are already doing a lot for him in AL. If he were to live in a house, he would not be independent at all. That sounds like a big mistake to me.

Good luck!
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