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Finally got his drivers license away from him (had to go to state). Kept getting lost. I'm coping with roof leaks that he's giving me a hard time fixing. House has termites, he's in denial about that. Insist on cooking with gas. Climbed on a ladder and tore down his smoke detector because it kept going off. Can't work his simple thermostat so he turns heat and AC off and on. Plumbing leak cost over $500. Poor plumber couldn't find it because my father forgot he had another bathroom. He is not capable of living alone and caring for his home. He's broke and I need to sell his home to care for him. I have fixed a room and bathroom up at my house and he refuses to move in. I have Power of Attorney but I hate to force the issue. Concerned that he'll get depressed and die if I make him move in with me or worse stick him in an Assisted Living Facility. His doctor agrees that he has no business living alone. I got him a call button and he presses it accidentally at least 3-4 times a week. I have no siblings left and am dealing with this on my own. Afraid to go on vacation. Going to see a psychologist for help. Do I force him out of his home now or wait for something to happen like a fall or a hospitalization and then use that as an excuse to force the issue then?

Well my answer is not what you will normality get on this forum.
if dad is for the most part taking care of himself, at the natural conclusion of his life and chooses to live at home, what does it cost you? $500 is nothing compared to the cost of AL.
A POA doesn’t get you there unless that dr will sign something saying he is incompetent. I think safety is way over rated. If he is happy at home and dies a yr or two earlier, that would be my choice. But that takes guts. A lot easier to sleep at night if they are in a facility. I would probably get rid of the gas stove. Make sure he’s not taking anyone else out with him.
If he’s causing you to spend your life taking care of him, that’s one thing. If he is just saying leave me alone and he’s doing pretty good that’s another. Go walk around in a facility and visit with a few guys his age and see what you think. If you can’t handle a few of those visits now how will you handle them for him when he is living there? When a life is at its end there is no magic to turn back the clock.
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gdaughter Feb 26, 2019
You will no doubt get some flack for your response, but I so appreciate it. We feel the obligation to be protective and look out for someone's well being, but have to weigh that against what we all want: the right to live our lives and deaths as we want, with our autonomy as intact as possible. I agree about the safety issues though. I'd also maybe want to find others, even if paid, to regularly check in on the person, maybe arrange for meals on wheels...accept...the more people involved, if they feel an ethical obligation to report...then APS may be dragged in. It's kind of like my coming to terms with my mother's lack of personal care. More than one professional has basically said "let it go". Because in the end the upset it would create for her is not worth it.
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If your Dad is showing signs of dementia, there is a good chance it will get worse if/when he moves to a new location. I witnessed this when my Elderly mother moved into my home. The confusion will increase and delusions may begin. Sometimes it is better to let nature take its course. Read several of the discussions on this site about taking your parent Into your home - it is far more difficult than you know, no matter how well you may get along with your parent. Keep him in his own home as long as possible and respect his wishes to be left alone. Sorry, but sometimes a sudden accidental death is better than a lingering life in confusion and misery. Good luck.
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Zdarov Feb 28, 2019
You still did your best, kudos to you and good luck! Maybe she will simmer down a bit, people keep saying it could take a few months. My mother’s currently ‘in shock’ from moving, too. It’s hard to watch.
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Your best choice here may be to hire an elder care attorney to assist you in obtaining legal guardianship of your father.

I say this is the "best" choice because you are obviously quite concerned about his safety, and would suffer tremendously if he were seriously injured or died due to something you feel you could have been able to prevent. This is no small matter. The question you can ask yourself is, which would you be best be able to live with afterward - his possible depression and decline if you take control of his life, or a painful accident and injury if you don't? Which is the most likely to actually happen - and which is the most likely to cause you grief and regret in the years to come?

We all want our aged parents to retain their personal autonomy as long as possible, to preserve their dignity and maintain their happiness. This is fine as long as they are able to think clearly and make appropriate decisions with only minimal or moderate assistance. At 95, and with Alzheimer's, your father is clearly beyond this point.

Remember, when we were children, our parents would often step in and stop us from doing things that had the potential to harm us, because at that point in our development we did not have the capacity to make rational decisions. They did this for our own good, whether we liked it or not. Later in life, this role reverses, especially in patients with Alzheimer's, and it's not easy to deal with.

Here's a link to a good article on the subject: https://www.alzheimers.net/guardianship-for-parent-with-alzheimers/

This is a tough situation to be in. I wish you comfort and peace with whatever decision you make regarding your dad's care.
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blk2842 Mar 1, 2019
What????: "At 95, and with Alzheimer's, your father is clearly beyond [the] point" of retaining his dignity and maintaining his happiness. ___ Good grief, I sure didn't realize that. My mother was able to retain hers until she was 98, with Alzheimer's, and could still recognize me by voice when she died. _ It appears that you do not know that Alzheimer's can be slow progressing, and diagnosis does not automatically make one incompetent to make their own decisions, or that aging with dignity does not have an expiration.
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While out mother is only 84, she's lived alone at home while she shouldn't have. But like you, we were desperately concerned for what would likely be a violent reaction and depression if we attempted a move. Then we got a "sign" in that Mom experienced a knee fracture by doing nothing at all, except laying around. The fracture left her virtually immobile. So we made our move, first to the emergency room, then to the hospital and rehab. Among her diagnoses was "failure to thrive," then into a beautiful group memory care home in a private neighborhood. It's been probably the worst two months of my life, but the relief I feel that she's safe now is overwhelming, and while she has been royally hateful to the staff, they are trained to deal with it. As a result of this move, she's eating good meals three times a day, and showering at least once a week, the latter hadn't happened except for twice over a period of two years. It's possible your dad could get depressed and fade away if moved to a skilled facility. But 1) he'd be as safe as possible; 2) he won't burn or tear down the house; and 3) you could start living and breathing again. It's the hardest decision to take the plunge, but ultimately when conditions are right, it's really the best decision. And it's very possible that if your Dad wasn't ill with ALZ, and likely other mental conditions that partner with ALZ, he wouldn't want you to suffer and feel like you currently feel. Try to remember, though it'll be stinking hard, that you're NOT at fault in any of this, and that you ARE trying to do what's best for your dad, even though he may never understand it. He may be incapable of understanding. The latter is something that has taken me a long time to accept. Peace be with you.
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Get an equity line of credit for $100,000 on the house and offer a free room and board to a trustworthy caregiving type handy person or veteran . Post an ad at the local American legion and other military organizations or fraternities and churches. Initially it’s as a home handyman to work on these restorations that require your father to help. They break for lunch and play chess or go fishing or whatever your dad likes doing . The idea is to fake the potential future “live in boarder” arrangement. It’s a win win for both. Word of mouth is best to find someone. Initially say it’s your friend that needs to do repairs or clean the house but he has to have some care giving or life saving skills which many former veterans do.
Tell dad the gov reimburses him at the end of the year or something. Try a few ads on next door to find local neighbors. There’s lots of community centered solutions. Try a few people first. Mention in your ad up front that an intense background check will be done so you weed out anyone with criminal history.
Ration out the money to make the house adapted to aging in his own home. Seek legal counsel on how to do this
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Zdarov Feb 28, 2019
Wow, whenever someine could do this it would be such a great situation. Thanks for this wonderful thinking outside the box. Someone upstanding who needs a place to live.
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He is 96. I tend to go with the safety issue. If you know he is in a safe place, then your own sanity and well being will be preserved. I'd try to get the doctor to put in writing what kind of care your dad needs, and that may help a bit should you decide to move him. If he is a potential danger to himself or others, move him. He has had plenty of years at home. Do what is best for his safety and your sanity. I did.
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gdaughter Feb 26, 2019
Sometimes....sometimes....the MD's, even if the great and caring kind, are unaware how bad things are because the patient is so great at covering for the time of the limited visit. Making a list and identifying the issues mentioned in the question will help the MD get a full picture of what is going on.
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In answer to the gas stove issue, here is what I did with my parents. I bought the house next door to me. I took them out to lunch one day while a trusted plumber came in and turned off the gas line to the stove and capped off the line. My stepfather just thought the stove didn’t work. I have to bring all their meals to them, but it’s handy being right next door. This has worked well for us. I hired a housekeeper to clean and she brings two meals a week. You could also get meals on wheels.
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Dexieboy Feb 28, 2019
Great idea. I am almost to that point. Thank you!
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Oh boy, do I empathize with your situation. My brothers and I are in somewhat the same position. We all live in the Northeast quadrant of the country; our parents are in Fla. and my Dad especially, refuses to move out of his home down there. Dad is 88, with some dementia, accentuated by alcoholism. Mom is 86, with some mild dementia, accentuated by alcoholism. Frequent falls, Dad's drivers license has been suspended after we took matters to the state, he still drives without a license. Mom drives without a license also, as she forgot to renew it and sees no reason to do so. Neither one of them take their medications with any regularity. My brother has POA. He doesn't especially want to get Guardianship of the 'rents as that would greatly complicate how he handles their finances. He is doing a great job with that. I was down there for six months last year, caring for them, but needed to return to care for my own health care issues. Dad doesn't want someone coming in to help them. A pride thing. Doesn't want to go into an Assisted Living and leave his home. The home is not being cared for. Neither one of them can care for it. The house stinks with incontinence pads piling up, food going bad in the fridge. Neighbors calling to report to us, in their own frustration.
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BeckyT Feb 28, 2019
Call Adult Protective Services, they will come and evaluate the situation. If they are not safe, they will not let them stay there.
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Unfortunately as the disease progresses it becomes unsafe to live alone. It's a hard decision and my heart goes out to you. My dad had this and he liked to play with his cigarette lighter, would forget he was cooking, wander off, etc. It may not seem like it, but it is the most loving thing you can do to not let him live alone.
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Speaking from my experience, I feel guilty for everything I have had to do that has dismantled the independent life of my mother. However, in needing to keep my mom with Alzheimer's safe, I know there was nothing else I could have done.

I also had to make the choice between moving my then most resistant, 92 year old mother in with me or letting her stay in her house that needed a whole host of repairs. The idea of hiring someone to be with her would have never worked because my mother wouldn't have a stranger in her house. But moving her in with me was not what she wanted even though we have always been very close. While I hated making that decision, the thought of her falling, or starting a fire while cooking or having her wander out the door, or let in a stranger, etc. was the greater terror (and guilt) for me. In time, her behaviors became too difficult for me to handle (visual and auditory hallucinations, waking up in the middle of the night and turning on all the lights because she thought it was time to get up, getting into rages, falling because she wouldn't use her cane, etc.) so I moved her to a small assisted living facility. She refused to use a cane or walker and eventually fell and had to have hip surgery--more guilt. Today at almost 96, my beautiful mother, while still in fairly good physical condition, can't carry on the simplest of conversations, doesn't always recognize me although I visit her 3 times a week, and thinks her parents and all of her siblings who have passed are alive and well. Each time I leave her after my visit, I am sad and guilty that somehow I couldn't make this better for her.

I know that any other path I might have taken would have had it's own difficulties and hazards. We have no control over this disease and it's heartbreaking from start to finish. But when I hear on the news that an elderly person with dementia is missing from their home, I give thanks that I was able to accept the painful realization that my mom could no longer make decisions about her safety, and do what needed to be done.

My experience with my mom enabled me to sit down with my adult son and talk frankly about what my future might be and give him my blessing if he has to take charge of my care. While my mom put me legally in charge, we never considered what her care or condition might actually look like. I imagine many of us didn't get to have that conversation. But when necessary actions come from a place of love, you will be doing the right thing--even if you don't always like what you have to do.

You are not alone!
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Betsysue2002 Feb 28, 2019
Reading your response to juana made me want to respond since i agree with you so much. My daughter cringes when i mention assisted living but i dont want her to dread coming home to me after ive been home alone bored every day.

I hope that i can live a later life recognizing and not blaming her and enjoy time in an organized environment.

best wishes to ALL of us.
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