Dad living alone, in anther state with dementia

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DADDYSGIRLS
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Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/27/2012 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Our dad moved from California 34 years ago, with the intent to never come back.

He is a veteran of the armed services, we believe he served during the Korean Conflict. Dad is 76 years old; living in New Mexico state where he has no family; and his list of friends are his landlord and adult protective services case worker. He has dementia with limited hearing and does not have medical insurance. His income is minimal and he denied medicaid part A and part B options.

Dad never expected to live this long, which is why he refused to accept medicaid. He has a very modest income and holds onto hope of saving most of his monthly income to purchase a small house for himself where no one will control him.

Dad's illness has him believing that our offer to help, is our means of controlling him and his money. He refuses our help! He has given his landlord $4500 advance rents, he has approximately $1200 of credits on his utilities.

His day to day activities: Sleeps on his bed under a rug; wakes up late. Walks to the local store to get food, returns home where he sits alone with no television, telephone, or radio. His afternoons are quiet. He spends the majority of his days alone with no human interaction.

The doctors have diagnosed dad as being competent to live on his own, as long as he has someone to help him manage his day to day living, cleaning, meals, and such. He currently does not have this type of support in New Mexico. Dad has refused social services offer of getting him in home help.

The state has placed dad under the care of Adult Protective Services. People are taking advantage of dad through forgery and forcing him to withdraw money from his account. Social services has assisted my sister and I with a durable power of attorney and their concern for his health and well being is causing them to push us to relocate dad to California where he has family. Again, dad does not want this.

We are more than willing to relocate dad, but he is refusing our offer to help.

We have the social worker telling us to come get him. We have a doctor stating that he is competent to live alone with assistance. We have a landlord saying that the social worker is making more of this than it is. My aunt and sister feel like the social worker is trying to get dad off her case load. We have neighbors forcing dad to withdraw money from his accounts. We have a ********** who he says is like a daughter and he gives her money from time to time for non services rendered. We have dad saying he's not going anywhere and if our intent is to try and relocate him, then we are wasting our time.

The state will not make dad a ward of the state. We're faced with him not being able to receive veterans housing benefits since he is not a California resident. The state of New Mexico only has one VA Home, which is 60 miles from his current residence, where he would have to share a room with 2-4 others.

How do I get dad to relocate? Social services says medicate him. What happens when the medication wears off? His being a resident of New Mexico means we'd have to house him in our home until we can either get him into a private residency ($2,900 per month) that he can not afford, while waiting for him to meet the CA residency requirements.

My sister and I both work full time outside of the home. Dad has a sister who lives 5 miles from me, who is willing to help. Unfortunately his dementia has him believing that his sister stole $67K from him; his dementia causes him to believe he can't trust her; and he says she's to controlling; and he isn't allowing anyone to control him or his money.

We are at a loss. We don't know what to do!!! We are waiting for his DD form 214 so we can confirm service during Korean Conflict.

SmurfyShadow
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 2/28/2012 4:20 AM (GMT -6)   
You are going about it the wrong way. If he won't relocate, then he won't. You, however, can relocate. Obviously he has dementia, and getting worse. Just tell him you want to come visit him. Move in. Or, hire someone to be a caretaker to him that he trusts. Like the landlord. Pay the landlord to help.

If you need to you can technically have him forcably removed by police and moved to you because you have power of attorney. If you do that, then you will have his hallucinations of not trusting you. If you manage to get him to you, you can turn to the VA for housing help. They have homes on bases for temporary housing, as well as homes.

And you can have him medicated down there. I'm sure if you call his doctor and explain he'd be happy to get him medical treatment. If the doctor doesnt help, you have a malpractice case then.
"The Walking Medical Mystery"

Too many Allergies / Too many RXs & DXs

A Rare Gem for Doctors and Guinee Pig
~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~

Lonie
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 2/28/2012 8:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry, I have to disagree. They have full time jobs that they cannot just up and leave. He chose to move to New Mexico and away from his family. I've dealt with this close to home and across the United States, so I can totally understand what you are dealing with. The hard part is trying to get them to do something they don't want to do. Remember; you are still children to them and they don't like us meddling in their affairs...trust me; been there done that. You need to take control by getting a power of attorney and asking the doctor and an attorney what you need to take control of your Dad's medical care and finances. I had to do that with my parents, and my husband with his. If you don't have funding for this, check to see if your company has some sort of employee assistance program. By doing this we were able to contact the doctors ourselves (you cannot per healthcare laws if you don't have legal docs in place) and let them know there is a huge problem going on. This way, they are tipped off when your Dad goes into the doctor and you can work with them to talk to him about issues and what's best for him. For some reason, they trust doctor's more than us, ha. I had to have a real heart to heart with my Dad and let him know that it was time for me to take over the finances -- Mom had dementia and wasn't paying the bills. I asked him if he wanted to wake up one morning cold and with no lights on. That really sent the message home. I tried to be as nice as I could and understanding, but sometimes you have to be firm....as hard as it is. We deal with this on the east coast as well and it's really hard to give tough love, but remember it's for their best interest too. My first suggestion -- get those legal docs in order if you haven't done so already. Good luck to you and keep talking -- it really helps.

DADDYSGIRLS
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/28/2012 4:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Smurfy Shadow & Lonie
Lonie’s response is right on point, my sister and I have full time jobs, mother with health issues, mortgages, children, grand children, and pets to consider. Like Lonie, my sister and I have two aging parents. I already relocated closer to my mother, where I can also assist her as needed. Unfortunately for our parents, the lives of both my sister and I were established long before the deterioration of our parent’s health. Moving in with dad is not an option.
Dad lives in a one bedroom rental. He lives very modestly with very few possessions. He owns 2 pairs of jeans, less than 5 t-shirts, 6 pairs of socks, 1 skillet, and place setting for one. He doesn’t own a television, radio, or computer, and he re-reads the few books he has. He does have a cell phone with service that I provided him with; unfortunately he doesn’t remember how to use it.
My dad has a giving spirit and people take his kindness for weakness. He has a neighbor who stole checks from his home, forged his signature on 14 checks equating to $3000. This same neighbor did something similar to another local elderly residence. This neighbor was arrested, and charges were brought by the State. My dad was the key witness. The neighbor, his friend let him know that he would be arrested if he showed up in court.
Needless to say, dad refused to go to court. He said he showed them, he wasn’t going to allow them to arrest him; he just didn’t show up. Sadly enough, the charges against his accuser were dropped.
Fortunately for his accuser, dad’s memory doesn’t allow him to remember any of this; it only allows him to remember her as his friend.
Our dad only has two people in his town who have shown themselves as trust worthy; one being his landlord and the other being his social worker. Unfortunately my dad’s case is consuming his workers time and making it hard for her to provide services to other elderly residence who are also suffering abuse.
As for trust; dad doesn’t trust any females. His dementia says we are all controlling and trying to take his money. My sister and I haven’t accepted a penny of our dads money. Our visits are fully funded by us, this includes taking him grocery shopping and purchasing things we know he needs. Dad says the local street walker is like a daughter to him. Dementia has caused dad to forget that his daughters don’t accept his offers for money.
My sister and I have a DPOA. The social worker has informed us that we may have to have the policy force dad to leave with us. Like Smurfy Shadow, I am concerned about the lost trust from dads hallucinations, but I am more concerned about dads safety.
We received news that a complaint was filed by dad’s bank. Apparently a woman forced dad to withdraw $100 for her. Today my sister and I reviewed dad’s bank statement from last month and noticed that dad has withdrawn $1600 in cash, where his usual expenses are about $300. This finding has raised a red flag.
As for the VA, we are waiting for his DD form 214 to be sent. California requires residency before the elderly are eligible for services. We are considering the services of the VA when they become available.
As for medical, dad currently does not have medical insurance. Dad declined the Medicaid options. He didn’t expect to live this long. Up until 2009, dad had not seen a doctor. I can count on my two hands how many times he’s seen a doctor since then.
Lonie’s posting is right on the dot… It’s hard getting someone to do something that they don’t want to do. Dad feels the road is narrowing, he is caught between two wagons, and his life is coming to a full circle. Dad is smart and a real thinker. .. He has given his landlord 1 years of advanced rents because he knows his condition is making memory harder. He’s done the same with his utility companies. During my last visit I had the utility companies put a do not disconnect note on his account with contact info for payments.
Dad has been evaluated by a psychiatrist. He has determined that dad can continue to live on his own as long as he has someone to take care of his day to day responsibilities, et. Al. meals, laundry, finances, medical, cleaning…
My sister and I are heading out to see dad in a couple of weeks. Again, Lonie is correct, dad does trust his doctor. The doctor is going to let dad know he can maintain his independence by relocating to California or he can become a ward of the state. The doctor has also name me as dads “Payee”.
I am named on dad’s medical directive, durable power of attorney, and now his social security. The social worker currently takes and schedules all of dads appointments. I am thankful for her help! This has been really tough. It’s tougher when you have miles separating you and others taking advantage of him with his dementia causing him to be unaware.
Dad knows that my sister and I are coming in on March 16th. That afternoon he will find out that he will be going straight from the doctor’s office to the airport; heading to California.
Dementia is interesting… Dad told the doctor that his named daughter is a trickster. Fortunately dementia prevents dad from realizing that my name is the name of the one he calls a trickster.
What happens next? I have a room in my home where dad will be until we can either relocate him. The doctor says dad is still competent and can live independently with conditions being met.
I know I will need to install pull bars and skid protection in the tub. A friend suggested I lock up all of the sharp objects and cleaning supplies. Dads’ familiarity is with a stove and not a microwave. He has a sister and brother in-law with Cancer who lives 5 miles from me. His sister has agreed to stop in and bring him meals while I work. Unfortunately dementia has him believing he doesn’t trust his sister. I am not sure how that will turn out. Dementia also has him not wanting to see or hear from my mother. This means splitting my time between both parents. Since the passing of my step father, my mom spends all of the major holidays with my sister and me.

Thank you both for your input, it means a lot. This is all new to my sister and me. Dad will be living with me until we can find him suitable housing. The doctor suggests we find him a place where he can have his own room; he is not locked in; and he can maintain his independence. locations for memory residents are secured. The VA doesn’t offer single rooms and the private residences charge more for this type of request.

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 2/28/2012 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm in California as well, and ironically I'm dropping some documents off at the local VA center for my friend who lives across town from me and the place is closer to where I live. She is an expert at the VA system, so if you have any questions, let me know. I know she would be happy to help if she can. Sounds like you are headed in the right direction by getting the doctor to tell him that he's going to move. He is in a dangerous situation for sure. Dementia is a tough disease, and I can assure you when I read what you are going through, I can feel the pain because I know how you are feeling. Keep remembering that your Dad will continue to deteriorate and by doing this now, you are saving him and yourselves a lot of tough heartache down the road. You are good daughters and should be commended for getting your Dad out of this situation. ((Hugs))

DADDYSGIRLS
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/28/2012 6:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Lonie, this is really tough. I just purchased my dad a 1-way ticket to California. As previously indicated, my dad is unaware. I sent a copy of his itinerary to the social worker and asked that she forward on to the doctor. I sent my dad the following letter via USmail today:

Hello Dad,

It is our understanding that the road is narrowing down; the wagons are getting closer; and your life has come full circle. Please note that we are your daughters and we stand before and behind you, right between those darn wagons.  Respectfully, we honor your dignity as our “father” and with that said, automatically grants you worthiness. Our purpose is to be there for you, not against you. We will protect you from any/all harm or danger! Your security, independence and self-control are just as important to us as it is to you. Together, we stand strong and can/will conquer this dilemma.
Please know that we love you and only want the best for you.
We will be in New Mexico on Friday.


Thanks again....

MT Lady
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 969
   Posted 2/28/2012 9:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Daddysgirl,
I hope for all your sakes that everything works out okay. I know how difficult this is your you and your sister and you both are doing a beautiful and loving thing for your dad. Dementia is horrible. It robs the person of so much and causes so much stress and heartache for the ones that care for the person with dementia. I just want to add one more thing. Besides memory loss and not trusting others, dementia also causes major confusion. My mom has dementia (Alzheimer's) and I find that it seems the confusion causes her more problems than the memory loss. My mom was diagnosed almost 9 years ago and still to this day is very aware of her memory loss. She will tell us "I'm sorry, don't ask me questions because my memory is very bad." If two people are talking, having a conversation, she doesn't understand, it is simply too much input. I'm sharing this with you because you might find your dad may also have problems with confusion and hopefully, this might help you. You and your sister sound like very loving daughters. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and I hope that all turns out well.
Miriam
Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, DDD L1/L2, L3/L4, L5/S1, sciatica, severe spinal stenosis L5/S1, severe facet joint pain syndrome, hypothyroidism.

Lonie
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 2/29/2012 8:07 AM (GMT -6)   

Excellent point Miriam. You are so right; my Mother says the same exact thing -- she doesn't know what's happening to her memory but the confusion is what causes her a lot of anxiety.

When we realized that she was experiencing the first stages of dementia, she would blame my Dad for hiding things or not telling her something -- the list was endless. Poor Dad was so patient and would tell me that he had a friend whose wife had Alzheimer's and he told Dad that you shouldn't argue with them, just accept what they are saying and move to another topic. What we think makes sense -- will not to them. It's a terrible disease and so many of us are dealing with it. Tough stuff!


DADDYSGIRLS
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 3/1/2012 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning Lonie and Miriam, I really appreciate your responses. I have experienced some of this already during my previous visits with my dad.

Here's an example: My dad has said multiple times that all women are controlling and each time I reply on this same topic, it makes my dad get upset. Monday the subject came up and it sparked a fuse, that's when I got it. I realized the mistake I had made.

Lesson learned from this subject is to change the topic and move onto something else.

Lonie, I found out that my dads military records were destroyed in a fire that took place at the National Archive Center in 1973. I have to complete a form that will enable to military to recreate dads records. Real bummer since dad is not able to remember. :-(

Thank you guys once again. Your input really helps.

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 3/1/2012 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh gosh, it seems like one thing after another doesn't it? Not just trying to help our parents but the paperwork is never-ending! I still walk around with three different file folders filled with different documents -- however, my list is getting shorter. You are doing an amazing job! wink

organic_sofia
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/8/2012 9:04 PM (GMT -6)   
There is a disconnect on what dad is entitled to. why was he turned down for medicare A & B? He automatically qualifies at age 65. Also, he doesnt have to live in California to get Veterans housing benefits. Those are federal. Also he can receive aid and attendance benefits in addition to whatever pension or social security he collects. Its usually $1600 a month.
Your father should not be made a ward of the state. He has familiy. If he wont come willingly then ask a court to compel him to do so. This can be done by having one or more of his children should also become his power of attorney and legal guardian. It is clear that he is NOT competent enough to handle his financial affairs.

The landlord is obviously going to tell you its all being exaggerated. the social worker may want him her caseload as it should be. He has family. And it is the familys responsibility to care for him. In the meanwhile, have his doctor refer home health care for him. They will go out several times a week to evaluate him, cook and clean if needed.

There are obvious and easy solutions to your situation. You just have to implement them.

Lonie
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 3/23/2012 7:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Daddy'sgirls -- just checking in to see how you are doing. Thinking about you!

SmurfyShadow
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 3/26/2012 4:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Daddy's girl, I'm sorry if I seemed cold. Unfortunally, I guess I am one of the extreme few who gave up my life I established to take care of my GMA with dementia. I moved 150 miles, within a week to move in with her. I left behind my "son" (not biologically, but he is motherless), my son's dad, I moved my pets, I did all that, because I know I needed to. I even quit my job. Now I work from home, selling Avon.
"The Walking Medical Mystery"

Too many Allergies / Too many RXs & DXs

A Rare Gem for Doctors and Guinee Pig
~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 3/26/2012 6:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Smurfy -- you are an amazing person and it's wonderful the things you have done to take care of your family. As we say on the UC forum, every one is different, and I suppose in these cases it's the same thing. Take care, and sorry for all of your losses...thinking about you.

SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 3/27/2012 4:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Lonie, thank you so much for the compliments. I really do try. Thank you for your condolences of all the fmaily deaths as well. It really is hard losing 4 people in the family within 4 weeks. I see the doctor in two days, and I am going to ask him to put me on celexa again just to be safe. I know its a matter of time only a matter of time before the shock gets over.
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