Follow
Share

My Father has dementia and A-fib.
He has had his license taken away (no independence) and lives at home with me where he wants to continue to live as long as he can.
He despises the idea of assisted living.
He is on a fluid restriction to about 40 oz per day and a salt-free diet.
He drinks more coffee than that while I am at work and eats whatever he wants during the day.
Alcohol is not recommended for him but sometimes when he gets frustrated at his situation or can't sleep he wants to have a glass of wine or scotch & water.
I know these things are not good for him but I want him to have SOME choice of the things he can and can't do.
Am I wrong?
This is all a new situation for the both of us and sometimes he "tests" like a small child would.
Should I "spank him" by taking these things away or allow him "moderately" to continue?
I do not want to be cruel or harsh or anything like that especially in these later years.
He has no illusions about living forever and I know his dementia will get worse as time goes by.
HE is expecting to die in his sleep, quick and easy but I doubt if he will be so "lucky".
It would be a shame for him to take care of himself so that his body outlives his reason but at the same time I don't want anything bad to happen to him.
ALSO...I am not "power of attorney" I am the caregiving son.
Can there be repercussions for me for not being a strict enforcer of my Father's diet?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
My mom has dementia, A-fib and takes Lipitor. She loves Taco Bell, Chinese egg rolls, Nestle Crunch bars and chocolate chip cookies. I let her eat the junk food (along with some fruits and veggies) because it makes her happy. An I'm happy she is eating, period.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Get an attorney ASAP and go for Guardianship AND Conservatorship and health care power of attorney to make all medical decisions. Your dad needs a living will plus all funeral arrangements and a Do Not Resuscitate order. SK
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sonny, in my opinion, people are only human, and have to enjoy themselves once in a while.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You are talking like your father will never pass. Okay, it sounds like your brother is allowing you to live with your father, and is not going to sale his house from under him, as you stated, but what a great advantage to your brother, you take care of your father, and he does not have to worry about that, and your reward is to get to live in your dad;s house, to take care of your dad. What about you? If there is a will and not a Trust, that might be a problem. A Trust may not allow your brother from taking his money now. You need to contact an lawyer, you need to protect your rights, just because your brother has the POA does not mean you do not have a right to see, or be able to audit the books yourself, get an attorney, get an accountant, once your dad passes, it will be to late.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I have not seen the Will but I am told that when the will was written the Estate was supposed to be split 50/50.
My Brother took his "half" of the house already. (at least it is supposed to look that way)
With his P.O.A., he seized all the family documents, controls my Father's Invesment Income and is having all the mail pertinent to same routed directly to his house...nobody there to audit him.
I have spoken to my Father about the sale of the house so at least he will have a place to live and my Brother cannot sell it out from under him.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This issue is about a lot more than what food your dad is eating. jeannegibbs is 100% correct, you need to get an elder law attorney NOW. It sounds like if your dad passed tomorrow, you would get nothing. Is there a Trust and Will? How does it read?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Get thee to an elder law attorney NOW.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

The condo is in my Brother's name and he will NOT take him to Florida.
He "took a loan" on his half of the house WE are supposed to inherit together.
He conveniently snatched my Father's checkbooks and is having all his financial documents mail-rerouted to HIS house (because he has power of attorney of course).
Who is to know if he is making any payments on the money?
Supposedly I can "buy the house for $1.00" and he gives up any interest he has in the house.(the house MAY bring $270K if I sold it)
This is my brother's way of sticking ME with an old 5 bedroom house I don't need in a city I don't like.(I have no kids and my wife died over 10 years ago)
Nice, easy, clean for HIM...if I get the house at all...who knows if the "kangaroo contract" he drew up holds any water?
My plan is to keep the house as long as my Father can live in it so he will be in familliar surroundings.
He is out of touch with the digital world...was before his dementia started accelerating and anything he knows gives him comfort.
I hear horror stories that if an elderly person goes into assisted living and runs out of money, they go after the house if the deed was transferred less than 5 years before no matter who owns it...or try to get the buy money.

My Brother also gets very curt, defensive and down right ignorant if you ask him about ANYTHING. (like HE is really doing much living as far as he does)
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Does he intend to take your father to FL? If not, why is he using your father's money to buy a condo? That is stealing. Also, if your father's dementia is bad enough, he is not competent to give instructions to buy a condo. Sounds to me like you may need to contact an elder law attorney. And, no, I don't think you are being too suspicious. Oh, by the way, whose name is that condo in? If your brother's, has your brother given your father a loan document & started making payments to your dad?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Actually my brother (eldest son) has POA and I.M.O. he is doing some pretty questionable things that might borderline on abuse of this authority.
He just snatched 150K from my Father's estate and bought a condo in Florida.
He will go into a Hospital and declare that he has POA and suddenly the Doctors and staff don't talk to anybody but him. (if I gotta live with my Father I would expect I should be the one to hear the medical details directly)
He has siezed all my Father's financial assets (including the deed to my Father's house which I am supposed to end up with), "doublespeaks" on medical information and my Father's health status after Doctor visits (slanted toward his own purposes) and is not realistic with many decisions considering that he lives 35 miles away and I am the "caregiver"...here with my Father daily.
When I question HIM, he gets extremely combatative and ignorant to the point I would normally "take to blows". (if he were a stranger ANY man would have hit him by now)
He insists that he does everything at my Father's request but nobody else is ever around to hear my Father make these requests...and my Father disputes and wants to bicker with ME about every new infringement.
I don't know...supposedly Dementia turns one paranoid and hostile to family members but I have "tripped my brother up" enough to be suspicious too.
Is my Father's constant paranoid ranting making ME too suspicious?
I have seen what happens in some families toward someone's end and it can be pretty ugly.
Should I push to have "guardian" status since I am caregiver?
The situation is frustrating enough from my Pop's medical condition...it is even tougher when it looks like my brother is betraying the family.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Please bear with me thru a story. Many, many years ago we had an old dog who loved spaghetti. Unfortunately, she developed kidney disease at a relatively young age and had to be put on this awful prescription food that she hated. When she got old and was starting to lose her vitality we had a family meeting & decided that we would rather she have a shorter, better life than a long miserable one. After that she got to eat anything she wanted including her beloved spaghetti. She lived another 2 years. I tell you this because that is the same position we took with my grandmother, who died at 95 with complications from a hip break after an accident. She was a diabetic and she ate candy. My father is brain damaged and I will give him absolutely anything he wants. My mother is also diabetic and is in the early stages of dementia. She loves cookies. As long as she takes her medicine, I will buy her cookies or anything else she wants. While I will miss both of my parents and wish I could keep them with me forever, it is much more important that the time they have left is happy. It is miserable to be told you can't have something. It becomes the thing you obsess about.
I, and my family, have chosen quality over quantity. Unfortunately, my father's life now has very little quality. I am glad we chose to give him quality while we could. Only you and your family can decide what is best for you and yours.
Bless you for taking care of your father. I too have put my life on hold to take care of my parents. I think in the end it will be how I deal with losing them. But again, only you can make that decision. Just take care of yourself, including taking breaks and taking care of your health.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Do you have a medical POA or a Durable POA? If not does your brother? This is very important, because with your dad's dementia gets worse, he will not be able to handle, finances, or decisions. If his finances are good, maybe a full-time caregiver that can come over daily or a live-in caregiver that can cook, clean, take to doctor's, etc. It sounds like you and your brother needs to be pushing a ALF were the meals are handled, and there is 24/7 staff. I wish you luck, but do not feel guilty for wanting a life. The best thing you can do for your father is to do what will give him the best quality of life. You also might want to think about him being around people his own age, he may even improve with the daily companionship.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you all for the opinions, suggestions and support.
To address the question of the "in-home nurse", she just drops over 2X a week for about 45 minutes to check his vitals and overall condition.
My Father is hostile toward Doctors because he does not trust them and his Doctor of about 8 years requested not to see him anymore...so he just started with a new G.P. who specializes in geriatric patients.
My Brother took him for first visit.
I will take him next week.
We have discussed a mobility chair but he wants a motorized tricycle or a motor scooter. (my state will not let him operate either)
I am hoping that this new Doctor can get him going with Aricept (did I get the name right?) that helps with memory loss but I know that what is gone is gone.
There has also been some speculation that my Father had a small stroke and that is why he has gone downhill so rapidly since his pacemaker got put in.
I think he has post-traumatic problems because he was really scared with the pacemaker implant...he was certain he was not going to survive it.
His last hospital stay was less than 1 month ago and I am hoping he just needs to adjust a little.
He gets confused and angry (I would be too) and frequently he rants about issues I have explained to him just a few minutes before.
Issues I have no control over.
Since he has come home he has settled down to accepting that his license is gone.
I am hopeful he will accept other things over time.

Thank you again everybody.
It's pretty bleak looking over here and the idea of having input from others who may know more about this is comforting.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You know the old saying or something like that. If you can not have something, you want it more. Even diabetics have sweets some times. On the other thing you said, if he has a in-home nurse, why do you need to live with him? Why isn't the in-home nurse monitoring these issues? Is the nurse preparing his meals? It sounds like the eating what he wants is not the bigger problem. I might not be correct, but it sounds like the bigger picture needs to be addressed. My father lost his driver's license and we got him a mobility scooter so that he could still have some freedom, even if, it was just riding around the block. Who takes your father to doctor;s appointments, on outings, etc. I think that you need to talk to your father about costs, what he wants. You can not do everything yourself, he will get worse, the dementia will get worse. Let me tell you about moving him into an ALF, almost all parents will not even talk about it. Read my posts about my father. He loves it at the ALF, he is really enjoying himself. Most of all, I would look into what services the in-home help is actually doing for your father for the pay, and then get your father involved into a life plan for him.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mom has a favorite saying. Everything in moderation. She loves stick pretzels so I changed the ones that she likes to the low salt ones. It took her a while to like them but now she loves them but only a little and she is happy. I think it is okay as long as it is totally off limits.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You don't say how old your father is, or what his prognosis is, and that may make some difference.

My husband had a-fib, chf, and dementia. He was supposed to reduce his salt intake. There were no restrictions on the amount of liquid and he did take a diuretic. Both his neurologist and geriatrician said 2 glasses of wine or beer per day were OK (in spite of taking MANY medications). We were pretty good about eating well but rejected the recommendation for a soft-food diet. His geriatrician said her goal for him was to "be happy" and that he should eat whatever he wanted that did not usually cause choking. My 90 yo mother got the same advice.

How important is eating to your father? How happy would a glass of wine with dinner make him?

The doctor's dietary recommendations don't have the force of law. They are just suggestions about what would most likely (in his/her opinion) promote good health.

I know that you don't want something bad to happen to your father. Something bad has already happened. There are few things in my opinion that are more bad than dementia. Having excess fluid around his heart or lungs is bad. Being depressed because of his limited choices is bad. Not being able to take pleasure in his food is bad. Somehow you have to juggle all those factors and decide, overall, what is least bad, or which bad possibilities you and your father are most willing to risk. This is not easy, and it is not something you can look up in a guidebook. You and dad (while he is able) need to make custom decisions just for him. What other people decide might be interesting but shouldn't dictate your decisions.

It might be helpful to have a detailed discussion with the doctor or a dietitian about each suggestion/restriction. What, specifically, might happen if he continues to intake a lot of salt? Why is caffeine supposed to be limited? How long is he supposed to stay under 40 ounces of liquid? What are the risks of not doing that? You can make better decisions with better information.

My heart goes out to you both while you struggle with this.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This is a good question. I am not in favor of absolute control, because the little cheats make life more enjoyable. As long as the cheats don't become habits, I don't worry at all.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you very much for your kind response.
He has an in-home nurse that I will talk to about this.
My thing and the reason I am living with him in his house (rather than having a life) is to allow him to do as he wishes.
Do you consider this a dis-service?
With him having his driver's license taken away and being miserable being stuck in the house all day is it "game over"...a waste of time on my part and a deprival of care for him?
He does not want to get involved with a senior group.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You need to talk with his doctor. Tell the doctor your concerns. Find out what would be good substitute with different foods. Maybe a glass of wine once in a while would be okay. Replace high salt foods with low salt foods, that way when he is alone, he can still eat what he wants, but the food he eats would be approved foods.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter