Follow
Share

Mom has Alzheimer's and is now easier to take care of than my Dad. Dad showing signs of dementia and very difficult. 3 yrs ago Dad had congestive heart failure in addition to other medical conditions he has (diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure....) almost on death bed but survived. Was declared incompetent before released from hospital. Now 3 yrs later he has started showing more signs of dementia; age-related or ??? Very very stubborn, proud and wants to 'stay in control' of everything and everyone...I had become the DPOA for both of them but Dad has been making some very important decisions without my knowledge; financial, medical and other kinds of decisions that aren't good to say the least. He has always been selfish and thinks of himself as some kind of 'God' but is getting worse. I realize it's 'all he has left' he thinks, is bored and afraid for his future...I'm aware of all of this and try to work with it all while still trying to maintain his independence as much as possible. I do not hover over them in no way; I watch over them like a hawk and they don't realize it. Now Dad is trying to not let me know when things go wrong, or if he or Mom isn't feeling good...I've tried talking calmly with him about it but he is fighting aging every dang step of the way. Is very frustrating for me, but I know is more scary for him. I don't get mad at him, but the consequences of his decisions with out my knowledge will be devastating. What can someone suggest ??? I have thought about having someone come in once/twice a week, but the bad thing with that is then my Dad will be on his 'best' behaviour', and Mom will take advantage of having someone there to listen to all of her aches/pains that are part of her medical problems. She loves medicines, lab tests, dr appts, other medical tests and could be endless if she gets someone medical in the house...and then all sorts of unnecessary bills with transpire !!! I have thought of assisted living in the near future but I can't even imagine the fight my Dad will put up !!! Mom will go along with it, I'm pretty sure. I take them all over to their dr appts, to eat out, car rides, on weekend casino getaways (with me close by), etc so they do get out often. My brother takes them to grocery stores and Walgreens, and to hardware stores also. My Dad also has depression/anxiety and meds somewhat help it. Dad is now harboring alot of cash in his house and I can't get him to put it in a safe deposit box or in a locked safe that I have in my house...He has been forgetting to take his meds on a timely basis...I am just getting at my wits end with him...all I'm trying to do is take care of them, trying to maintain their independence but these things are threatening it...I have quit my job to take care of both them, and anytime they need help or want to just talk, I am there for them. I always tell them I am just a phone call away....my family understands but sometimes I have to do things for my own family that my Dad has to wait for something (that's not important and can wait an extra day) ....I do make sure I take care of myself but it seems as if I have to let them know that I have to take care of 'me' also...it's not often but just the usual things like my own dr appts, or my son's football/basketball game or my husband coming home (OTR truck driver)...my Dad acts like any extra time should be given to him...what helpful suggestions would anyone have ???

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
126Cher....when my Dad got into this kind of thinking, I found it interesting that his attorney told me to just keep telling him to 'call your attorney if you are not happy, because I am just doing what he tells me I have to do'. the attorney said, " Let you dad make an app't and come in and 'fire' me. He'll have to find a new one to do the paperwork, and any attorney will spend 30 minutes with him and see that he's not competent. They wouldn't take him on and do the paperwork for anything..." So I kept giving my Dad that answer.... " I am sorry Dad, but now that the paperwork is done, I have to do it the way the attorney tells me. I am not going to misuse your money....just being sure your bills are paid." etc etc. And he threatened a few times that he was going to call and fire the attorney, but he never did. One thing I found, was to stop the bills from even going to the house. If my Dad didn't see the bill, he forgot to think about who or how the bills were getting paid. There were a few things that I could not change the address on, so I went on line and got auto bill pay set up by pretending I was my Dad. That was much faster than trying to turn in POA paperwork and meet everyone's various demands for how that was done. You might try that with your POA. Perhaps your Dad will react the same way....if he never sees a bill, he'll not think to be mad cause you are doing the finances?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Know where you are coming from. My 89 year old Dad is stopping me from caring for my 90 year old Mom. Both have Dementia but Mom worse. Dad does not think correctly and thinks that he is fine. I have DPOA for both but Dad wants to take it away from me because he does not want me spending HIS money on Mom (HIS Wife). Married 66 years now and Mom has been miserable all during my 60 years of life. My Dad always wanted to control all.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

for us--when FIL was with us, the best way was to say the doctor said to do it. they have to fight us if we suggest it, but a doctor is the authority and they will take our word that we called the doctors office....

joannes- keep with the long fully understandable comments, i like reading. hugs girlie
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Jocelyne, thank you for the comments...however, I constantly criticize myself because I just cannot write in a short paragraph! I was called on the carpet all through my nursing career because I couldn't say what I wanted in one sentence. I am glad the people on here 'put up with my excessive words'!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Joannes.... if I were Deeandfam22, I would print out what you wrote and turn it into a To-Do list and referral list so I could do all you recommend. Playing the good guy, and having the professionals play the "bad guy" is excellent wisdom. I hope Deeandfam will follow your suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to write so much about your experience.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I had to deal with some of these same issues with my parents. My Dad has now been placed in Memory Care for almost 2 years...but Mom is home alone with her own dementia and it's getting worse for her. I have POA and am the only child who lives 5 hours away. We got help in the home for Dad by pretending the caregiver was for Mom. Dad didn't want it, but when I pointed out that police had been called several times for welfare checks on them, and that if WE didn't have a plan that we controlled, sooner or later APS would be called and the control would be taken away. So I asked my Dad to agree to a 'trial' of 30 days with someone coming in. Our lawyer told him that if WE had our own plan...the APS would not take over. At the end of the 30 days, Dad liked the caregiver and forgot it was to be a trial. She was with them for a year until she got ill and had to quit working. On the issue of the poor financial decisions.....if Dad will not willingly give up his check book or credit cards etc....is it possible for him to 'lose' them? My Dad lost his ATM card so many times that the CU took it away and converted his checking account to a savings account and then called me to say there was a problem. At the same time Mom became aware that Dad was not getting bills paid on time. So the lawyer worked with me by phone...and agreed to call them in for 'an annual check up on their trust' and he convinced Dad to sign on the POA just due to their age and Dad's diagnosis of dementia. Dad's memory got to where he was losing and misplacing things constantly with Mom trying to help him find them.....so I just would sneak around and grab what I needed....financial files, checkbook etc when I was visiting and he was napping etc. He had a hand gun and often talked of how he was going to kill himself if his dementia got too bad...but then he misplaced the gun...for real. However, while helping him move something from his truck...I saw the gun in plain site...but in a hand gun case...so his brain just wasn't letting him recognize it. I pushed it under some boards and later on, while he was asleep, I grabbed it and took it away. He went and bought another but came home and handed the receipt to Mom and then he forgot where he hid that one. We found it and took it back to get a refund. For months he got angry that he couldn't find it, and eventually just forgot totally about it. He got angry and wanted to 'undo' the POA he signed, but attorney told him, that he would need to have his doctors say he was OK to sign to undo it....and in that way, we got the papers that said he was incompetent to handle his own affairs. Then lawyer told him that his drs didn't agree and therefore legally he could not undo. Dad simply said...." OKAY" and life went on. Sometimes he was angry about it for awhile, but gradually forgot. Dad self imposed his own giving up driving after he had a small fender bender and found he couldn't even drive back and find out what intersection it happened at. He never tried to drive after that...and we revoked his license after he was placed and sold his truck. So sometimes, one has to simply play sneaky games like this to accomplish the goal without the war. It will depend on how bad the memory is getting about day to day activity. My Dad had same attitudes you describe with your Dad. I let attorney be the 'bad guy' and I was the 'sweet daughter' who just wanted to help Dad have things go his way and let him bluster around being 'in charge' where it didn't matter while I worked in the background. Once he gave up fighting me paying the bills, I tried to give him control, by reporting in what was paid and show him what I was doing, but he quickly showed that he was no longer interested. He was happy for me to simply say, Dad the bills are all paid this month and you have plenty of money and I am doing things as advised by your attorney and your financial manager.... Now, he sometimes says he is worried about their money...and I just remind him that I am helping by paying the bills and that they still have plenty of money. It never occurs to him that there is any payment for where he now lives. He thinks he is staying at a hotel, because he has to travel for his business!! As long as he 'likes' the hotel and the food, we just go along with his way of seeing it.... Sometimes he asks when he will be able to go home, and I just tell him the doctor wants him to stay there longer because they are helping his brain to work better. No questions. No arguments. He just says....OH....Okay......well you know...my memory is just not what it used to be....and I tell him....yes...that is why I am helping him and Mom stay on top of everything. It gets easier as dementia gets worse. Yet at the same time, it gets sadder and sadder as dementia gets worse. Mom is now in that fighting stage...where we have to be talking about her needing help at home with her, and she doesn't think she needs it. She is sucking me dry with her constant calls and whining about living alone and being depressed and negative about her situation...so now am just telling her, she has to have help there....for ME to stay healthy. I said, I cannot drive there every two weeks. I am getting too old. I am afraid I'll have an accident. We either need you to have help there to be my eyes and ears for both of you.....OR you need to consider assisted living so that you and Dad can both be moved nearer to me or in Phoenix where we have a daughter who could be my eyes and ears. She doesn't want to give up the home and move out. But she doesn't want to be alone...and she thinks the only help she has should be 'family' or 'someone' should help with this that or the other thing. My daughter and I have joked that we are going to have T shirts made to wear when we are there helping her...one that says I am family and the other that says I am someone! I just keep telling her that there is no family who can come and live in with her. I have a husband with Parkinson's an elderly dog with medical needs and a home business that we need to keep running for another year or so to make it sellable.......and I am 70!! Both our daughters have husbands and kids and there is no one else. Due to Mom's personality, no one wants her living in with them. She is very needy and manipulative and narcissistic....so not a good plan! It is all a difficult struggle for everyone on this board and it's difficult to reverse roles to where we are the parents and our parents become the children. I never expected it to end up this way for either my parents or my own life. It gets VERY depressing and the only solution is to make the plans to care for self FIRST.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Of course we all know this is a control problem, but you have POA so remove his access to money and notify the bank. it won't be easy but remove his check book and any credit/debit cards. Your brother takes them shopping so just reimburse him for what he spends as long as he provides the bills etc. before you do anything consult an eldercare lawyer to make sure of your rights but if dad in declared incompetent you have complete control. if you have had to quit your job to care for them it is time for a higher level of care.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Use the excuse of Mom needing help. Either hire someone that would fit with his personality.. Dad grew up in a different time then you, and this is important. Get someone older and a medical person not a aide. A aide is not the answer if you have the money. Take them to a few Assisted Living places, NOT there going into a ALP. But suggest go to lunch or dinner in many of them. The help his wife could get not him. Make him the important one, suggest the people he could get to know activities he could do.. Make it him, you say your mom would go with it, and she would get all the loving she needs.
They have apts together in these places. You pay for what you need not everything.. If things get to bad for mom there is a memory unit that she might someday need, but he would still be there. He would have control but may know he wants something for himself...
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It is time to put your father and mother in a facility. Get the cash and put it in the bank, NO MATTER what your father says as he is incompetent! Take care of yourself, then your family, then your parents, but get them with professionals who can monitor their failing health issues. You are not trained to do this (you didn't say you were a medical person). Your father's dementia (and mom's) is based on the progression of this disease (not because of his age). Dementia only gets worse and it is terminal, so you now have to control everything for them because they cannot. Be strong.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. When we have to fight to take care of our own lives and our own needs and our own families we have to put up boundaries in order to do so.

Take care of yourself. Your mental, emotional, and physical health must come first or you'll be no good to anyone. Then take care of your own family. Your husband and your kids, their activities and needs. Then, and only then, put in some time with your parents. If and when you find yourself having to put in more and more time with your parents, and this will happen at some point, it might be time to look into alternative living arrangements for them such as assisted living or a nursing home.

It's a delicate balance and you might feel yourself being pulled in all directions but if you have put up firm boundaries they should hold for a while if you adhere to them.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.