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Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:35 PM

 

How best to tell a father that his decisions are not the best he has ever made?

Age takes a toll on us all. And a time comes when one might give it over to a younger guard. My Father in his eighties is showing signs of Alzheimer's and is dealing with his wife who is now stroke ridden.

He owns a medium sized business that represents a lot of dollars and several jobs but for the last several months has been bleeding money. Due to some crazy ideas that may have faired well in a younger man's hand he has dumped his life's work into what is essentially a reinvention of a space heater.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:41 PM

1. Somehow set up illustrations of what has occurred,

and the results, in a style that he might accept? Hands-on type.
SORRY.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:42 PM

2. You are in a pickle. Have you tried to tell him its time to slow down. May he could

 

help take care of his wife now that she is bed ridden. There is no easy way especially if he doesn't think he is ready to slow down. You should call his doctor and see what you could do. I bet your doctor could help you. I know we talked with my mother-in-law's doctor when she wanted to keep driving around. She wouldn't give up driving. Finally she went out with some friends and she had alittle to much to drink and ended up in jail. My 85 yr old mother-in-law at the time. We sure had some problems with her. But finally with the doctor's help he told her no more driving. She lived to 89 but she sure wasn't the same woman I remembered when she was younger. Age does strange things. She did things she wouldn't have done if she had been of sounder mind.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:50 PM

3. Some men are afraid to stop working altogether because working has been such a

part of their identity. Without completely shutting him out, could you persuade him to yield control of the business to someone else? Needing to spend more time with his wife would be a natural excuse.

Has he been evaluated by a neurologist? If so, perhaps the doctor would be willing to express an opinion as to whether he should pass on some of his responsibilities to someone else. If not, he probably needs to be evaluated to be sure that Alzheimer's is truly his problem and to discuss ways to ameliorate his condition.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:57 PM

4. Admire his ingenuity and enthusiasm and then lovingly LIE

Tell him you will take the idea and run with it to the patent office or wherever and then encourage him to come up with more schemes.

Adjust to HIS " reality" as best you can to keep his spirits up, even though you know it is futile.

At this stage, kindness really counts -- been there with a Mom who insisted on telling us all about a fabulous trip she had never taken - but had wanted to.

One sibling insisted that she be corrected, I disagreed strongly in that such contrived "memories" on her part made her very happy. In a year, she was gone.

So what if it isn't " real"? Ask the docs and senility experts, but I think kindness rules always, especially near the end if dreams come true with loving and complicit assent.

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Response to elfin (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:06 PM

5. +1. Its going to be a short enough run while Dad is still lucid with Alzheimers that it matters


If the OP can take "ownership" with him of the idea, he can exert a LOT of control to mitigate damage while helping him transition (and preserve assets if that's important).

The OP will only have this short time to connect and be with him. Kindness at this stage will mean they can live with themselves in the later stages when the indignities really start.

My grandmother desperately wanted to see Israel - "the Holy Land" - at the end of her life. She had plenty of money and we did our best to try to persuade her to go, however she could go - with one of us, alone, with a tour, with a nurse, but we really wanted her to go and finish this big dream. She didn't. She worried and fretted about how it would diminish what she "left us".

Well, it was all taken at the end by the nursing home and I regret to this day that we didn't push her harder to GO.

"Dreams" and the elderly are a tricky thing but I see an opportunity for the OP to have a delightful end run with his dad by taking ownership of the "idea" - together.

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Response to Whovian (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:11 PM

6. go with him to a geriatric psychiatrist. for both his (and wives) memory issues as well as

to help you to transition into a role that will help him cope with what is coming next. they are amazing practitioners.
loads of coping strategies to share.

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