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Where does he go next?
An_246895 posted:
My father is becoming progressively worse with senile dementia. We just moved him from an assisted living facility to a skilled nursing home setting. His behaviors are so extreme, that I'm fearful they may call me one day and say he needs to go to a psych ward. He refuses his medications which according to state laws he can do so. Because of his failure to take his meds, which is his right, his behaviors are off the deep end. His dignity and quality of life are so miserable for him that I feel this is not the father I have known. He's in a beautiful nursing home which is extremely costly and beautiful, but he's not himself. I agonize over this horrible disease process. This is not the life I would've wanted for him.

Can anyone tell me other than medicaid, whom I can turn to to discuss his assets without it costing me an arm and a leg. I get different answers from medicaid specialists, and lawyers always want extreme amounts of money.
cjh1203 responded:
I'm sorry about the situation with your father. It sounds hearbreaking and frustrating.

Has he been diagnosed with a particular type of dementia (Alzheimer's, Lewy Body, etc.)?

Since he has dementia, he might be better off in a memory care facility rather than a regular skilled nursing facility. Have you checked into any of those? They only take patients who have dementia, so they may better equipped to deal with patients like your father.

I really think you need to see an attorney who specializes in estate/elder law. It may cost a bit up front, but can save you an awful lot in the long run, and you'll know you're getting reliable advice.

Did your father give anyone durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney, etc.? A durable power of attorney will give the designated person authority to make financial decisions on your father's behalf. A medical power of attorney does the same with medical decisions, which could address the problem of his refusing medication. Web MD has a good article about this. (You may know about all of these things -- I apologize if I'm telling you things you're already familiar with.)

If he didn't appoint people in those capacities, though, you will probably have to have the court appoint someone. As you can see, there are a lot of important reasons to see an attorney. You could start out by just making an appointment to discuss your father's circumstances and see what the attorney recommends. There really is too much at stake to trust advice you get from people who aren't lawyers, and the money you spend now could make a huge difference later.

Joining a local Alzheimer's support group could really help you as you go through this with your father. Being in a room with other people who have had or are having similar experiences can help you see that, isolating as it seems, you are definitely not alone. They can give you emotional and practical advice that can help you navigate whatever path your father's disease takes you on.

I hope you'll continue to post here, and let us know how things are going.


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