New here - I am not sure where to post this but I am a newbie and looking for any advice that someone might be able to share.
My father is nearly ninety and has had an Alzheimer's diagnosis for years but on my last trip out to see him recently, I went with him to a neuropsychologist who has determined that he has now crossed from Mild Cognitive Impairment to early Dementia as he scored very low in short-term memory recall.
His wife, my stepmother, has said for years that she wants him to move into assisted living at their retirement community which he is adamantly against -- he feels he doesn't need any caregiver as he does everything himself. She has said that if he won't move there that he must agree to having at least a part-time caregiver three days a week. Again, he is adamantly against this as he sees it as a waste of money.
My stepmother is blind and, due to breaking her femur, is now in a wheelchair and has a full-time live-in caregiver herself since the injury.
She had me come out for a visit as she wanted to me to agree that my Dad needs to have either a caregiver or move into assisted living. I disagreed with her as I saw my Dad handling himself well and none of the issues she was bringing up -- leaving around dirty underwear, not showering, etc. I tried to talk to my Dad about getting the caregiver at least -- trying it for a month or two and then proving that the caregiver had nothing to do. But he is also refusing to do that. Basically, he said, if it comes down to it and he's being forced into having a caregiver or assisted living (she has a POA that he now wishes he had not signed), he wants to instead move back East (he's in California, I'm in Virginia) and live near me and my family -- independently -- which I question a bit as to whether he could really do. He's very good with routine and keeping track of what he needs to do by writing it down in a pocket diary but his wife has been very controlling over the years and she has been the one to pay the bills, make appointments, etc. He also has mobility issues - he has to always use a walker/stroller to go anywhere and it's very slowly. I believe the turtle would win.
I could certainly help with his affairs if he moves here and visit frequently but I would worry about him living in an apartment alone. He doesn't want to move in with me as we have our own issues in the home even though I wish I could have him here. He's not the type to want to share an apartment either with someone he doesn't know. I was told that if tried moving into a retirement community with a doctor's diagnosis of early dementia that he would be refused except if he bought the condo outright (which he could do as he's all right monetarily).
Since I've taken my Dad's side after this recent trip out there, my stepmother has decided to cease all contact with me and is no longer responding to emails. In addition, my father's geriatric case manager, a woman he dislikes (she tends to be very bossy he says), is also not responding to my emails.
I think because I mentioned it to her that it was odd that she went in first with the neuropsychologist and talked with him privately for about 10-15 minutes before bringing my father and I back for the explanation of his dementia. Why would she need to talk to him privately beforehand as this concerned my Dad? My fear is that my stepmother may have had a conference call with the neuropsychologist and the geriatric case manager about how to proceed in order to make me get on her side in regards to my Dad's Alzheimer's. It's also odd that my Dad adamantly says he does not pay this geriatric case manager and wants to fire her but it seems he can't for some reason. However, the geriatric case manager says that she does bill my Dad but she hasn't done so in several months when I asked her at the doctor's office. It may be possible that she's paid by Medicare (and perhaps a condition that she has to be there because of Medicare?) but then she's lying when she said that she bills him and that she hasn't sent any invoices for a few months. So it makes me think that perhaps my stepmother is the one paying and doing so in order to get the diagnosis of dementia so as to force him into assisted living using the POA.
Then again, I might be just jumping to conclusions. But I will say that it seems she no longer loves him and he no longer loves her and they are more like two roommates that don't get along as he subconsciously whistles in the early morning which drives her up a wall as she says it wakes her up. Granted, that may be true but it's not like she has to go out to work or anything -- she can continue to rest and sleep in bed if she wants and a caregiver is there to bring or do whatever she wants.
Any advice anyone has would be appreciated as I'm new to this as I had let my stepmother handle everything for years but now it looks like I need to step in and advocate for my Dad.