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How can I continue taking care of my father?

My father has lived with us for 10 years. He has dementia and is now 90 years old. He came to live with us after my mother had to be put in an Alzeheimer's care unit. They had been living in an assisted living facility but my father could not be by himself. He would constantly go up to my mother's room and take her back to his apartment. The facility finally told me he would have to leave if he didn't stop. He begged me to take him home with me and after discussing it with my husband, we took him in. My mother died seven years ago, but my father is still with us. I have two brothers that have not seen him in years. They know he is home with me and have told me to return him to the assisted living facility. Other than that we have had no contact. I am getting toward the end of my rope. He is getting very demanding, he has to have me in the same room with him. If I am not there he follows me around the house. My husband and I have not taken a vacation in years. We can't have an in home aid because we have 2 very large dogs and no one will send anyone to our house. He refuses to go to a senior center for the day, because I won't stay with him. He has now decided not to bathe and I am at a loss as to what to do. I told him we can't go anywhere unless he is clean and he just refuses. I have to steal his clothes at night to wash them or else he would never change clothes. I think I am going crazy from the stress.

What can I do????
Status: Open    Nov 30, 2015 - 08:18 AM


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9 answers

Expert Answers

Dec 01, 2015 - 08:59 AM

If your father is a veteran, he may be eligible for VA Aid & Attendance housebound pension.
Speak with either a VA Accredited attorney or agent. An extra $1800/monthly would not solve
your issues, but might help.


Dec 01, 2015 - 11:37 AM

There are a couple of options you can look into. First is get in communication with your brothers and see if you can rotate his care with them. For example you each get him for 4 months to help break up his care and give you what is called respite care. The other option is depending on his financial situation. You can get some in home care from 4 hours to 24 hours and even live in care. But you need to do your homework and know does he have Long Term Care Insurance or is he a Veteran? These are avenues you can look into to assist with the financial part of services. A Place for Mom can also look into helping you with the search for an agency in your area for in home care.

Dec 01, 2015 - 01:37 PM

My apologies, I was not aware that your brothers are completely against it. I'm so sorry that you are going through all of this. But I can assure you that there is someone out there that will work with you and your 2 dogs. I am an the owner of Elite and we have a client now that has 2 large dogs and we have a caregiver there working with this particular client. So there is someone out there that can help you with some relief. There is always dog lovers in this business that are great caregivers as well.

APFM Staff Answers

Nov 30, 2015 - 08:20 AM

Please feel free to give us a call at 866-568-2989. One of our knowledgeable Senior Living Advisors will be happy to explain go over options with you. Caregiving is a difficult task and our Senior Living Advisors are compassionate and would love to help you relieve some of the stress.


Dec 01, 2015 - 12:30 PM

I guess no one really read my question. Elite Senior: My father refuses to go to any assisted living facilities, even for a short period of time. We have had no contact with my brothers and they have said they would "absolutely not" take him even for one night. He does not have long term care insurance but it wouldn't matter because he would not go to any facility. We cannot get in home care because we have 2 very large dogs and no one will send anyone to the house because of them. So my situation is hopeless. I will just have to do what I can.

Dec 01, 2015 - 12:44 PM

Hi -

I apologize that I misunderstood your questions, I thought you were pursuing the assisted living option even though he was against the idea. We have several other caregivers who answer questions & offer advice in the community but sometimes it does take a few days for them to logon and see questions. You are in such a difficult situation and I wish I could offer better options. You didn't mention if he had a regular physician, if so have you told him of your dad's behaviors? Perhaps he may have medical options that may help. I don't know if you receive our newsletter but each week I highlight five Q&A questions so that our reader's can offer their experiences. I'd like to include your question this week so that a larger number of caregivers can see it.

Dec 01, 2015 - 04:15 PM

My father's regular physician sees this as just a complication of aging. He has also suggested assisted living but knows my father would never accept it and worries that it would kill him. I'm sure there are others in positions similar to mine so maybe it would help others to see the answers.

Dec 06, 2015 - 05:26 PM

I have worked in psychiatric field for 40 years. My most recent consulting work has been with the geriatric psychiatric patient In a number of states. I feel your desperation as I have personally dealt with it. There are a couple of things you can do. Call his PCP and ask for the name of a geriatric psychiatrist that you can consult with. If the PCP does not have one to recommend look online for one near you. You can also look for hospitals that have a geriatric psych program. Call the program directly and ask them if they have a geriatric psychiatrist that can help you. You should explain all the behaviors that your Dad is having. It is possible that he may need to be admitted for medication management. Good luck and keep trying.

Dec 27, 2015 - 05:06 PM

The psychiatric referral is an excellent suggestion. My 90 year-old mother has lived with my husband and I for the last 7 years and sounds so much like your father. My mother, however, has a mental illness that predates her elder years and complicates her aging. When she suffered from recurring urinary tract infections and falls that resulted in ER trips, we explained the problems we were having with keeping my mother clean, etc. One of the last trips to the ER resulted in her admission to a 2-week inpatient psychiatric behavioral ward. With strict rules about sleep hygiene, social activity, and medication management, we learned how to implement these standards in our home for her health and safety. We succeeded in getting my mother to participate in Adult Day Care three times a week, as well as her acceptance of in-home care on the remaining days. We have 3 large dogs, a horse, a goat, and a cat, but we have in-home caregivers that provide excellent care. Please don't be afraid to ask for help using the psychiatric route. We also, with the help of an elder law attorney, got Medicaid approved for my mother, which pays for Adult Day Care and a personal attendant during the week. Respite care is also available through the Adult Day Care that we use and is paid by Medicaid. The logistics to get the care that is needed can be overwhelming, but please know there is help available. Please let me know if you think I can help in any way.
Comments (1) | New Comment

By cary.pawela on Jun 29, 2016 - 01:40 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

Your response was very helpful. I have aging parents that I most likely will have to be dealing with issues that have been addressed. You gave me several avenues to file away for future assistance. Thank you so much!

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