Uurgh... where do I start. Well, I last contributed here some time back in March, I think, and now it is September, so that'll give you some idea of what sort of a year it's been so far. A reminder in brief; my father has Alzheimer's and my step-mother had terminal cancer and was expected to live no longer than August this year. In fact she had a stroke and passed away in June, much to her relief, I think, as she was really finding life difficult and painful. She made me an Executor of her Will, but also left me as principal carer for my dad. In between caring for him and my son in Bournemouth who's just moved into a new flat, I've also done all the administration for the funeral, the wake, and distributing some of the effects my stepmother left among her relatives and I don't know which task has proved the more daunting! My father, bless him, is very much in the doldrums for a lot of the time. He's 87 and struggling with both his loss and his disease, and is now also having dizzy spells. He has a CPN, and someone visits him every day in the morning, but he also has an active social life and plays bridge three times a week. We've kitted him out with a Lifelink pendant alarm system, but I called the other day unexpectedly and found he wasn't wearing it, in spite of big notices everywhere reminding him to do so. I'm now getting very worried. 86 miles and two hours remote from the immediate vicinity as I live in North Oxfordshire and he lives in East Hampshire, I feel out of contact with those who are supposed to be helping him. I go and visit him as often as possible, but the academic term starts in about three weeks, and I will only be able to visit once a week on my day off. To say that it's beginning to take a toll on me is a bit of an understatement, but I don't want to move him from there before time; he has a good life with his social contacts and the church in a small community where he is known; the taxi drivers know him and won't take him for any sort of ride other than the ones they are supposed to, and he has his cooked meal every day down at the pub where he enjoys a healthy banter with the landlord and his wife, who are a lovely couple. Practically everyone in the community has my telephone number in case of emergencies, but I still feel as though the Sword of Damocles is hanging over my head. I haven't even begun to look for accommodation for him close to us; I don't know even what sort to look for, whether sheltered, wardened, nursing or what... I have no previous experience of dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, and no benchmark to say where he is presently or how far along the road to complete senility he is. He still looks after himself pretty well; he toilets himself and although sometimes incontinent he also does his washing and pegs it out on the line afterwards. He still holds a good conversation, although he does forget what he's said a lot of the time. We sold his wife's piano a few weeks ago and her car yesterday, and on both occasions he cried a little. I love him to bits, but I also feel like I'm falling to bits worrying about what to do next, and where to turn to for help on a cross-border situation like this. To add to the confusion, his wife didn't leave him the house, but the right to live in it or any other accommodation (excluding care) bought from the proceeds. He has a pension of about £1200 a month, and his assets mean that he would have to pay for any care he might receive until such time as his careful prudence is reduced to (what is it now?) £12,500. So would it be fairer to keep him in his own home and his own surroundings, and employ a care firm to look after him there, or to move him into strange surroundings where he wouldn't know anyone - a factor which will become inevitable, I guess, but isn't at the moment. I'm totally at a loss to take the next step; I don't know what it is!