MCI, possible dementia, and still working - owner/manager of company

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by groot, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. groot

    groot Registered User

    Oct 11, 2015
    This post is about my father who live abroad and manages his own company still - in his mid 70s.

    He has been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment but with a suspicion (not confirmed) of dementia - with another appointment in 6 months to check progress. He is already right on the edge to dementia so if he scores one point lower he will be in the dementia range.

    Without boring you with the details there is a chance of letting go of his business now which would ensure a decent income for the next year and after that the chance to sell his business assets and invest the money or buy an annuity. He has some state pension but not much.

    I am worried sick... he has one big order which he can't fulfil (his vision is terrible and the optician says it's is brain can't process the images from each eye into a single image), we are trying to help him get it out but then what's to stop him accepting another order?

    In the country he lives in you can't be a company chairman or if you are mentally incapable but I can just imagine the betrayal if we went to court to have him declared unfit, he already suspects of something similar and it hurts so much for him not to trust us to take care of him.

    I think I inadvertently played into the situation by saying 'you only have mild cognitive impairment, it could be reversible, (hoping to encourage him to take things easy) now he thinks everything's OK and he can just carry on as before. This big order has been going on for months now and I'm sure the stress is contributing towards his cognitive symptoms - if he could just give it up and let us handle negotiations - even if the customer demanded damages for non-fulfillment I feel like it would be worth it (if we could afford it) to get him out of this situation and maybe get a few decent years with him. If he doesn't get out of this situation I foresee a swift decline....

    My siblings are playing down the symptoms a bit more, although they do agree he should give up this order.

    I hate being so far away when all I want to do is be there for my mum and dad... His symptoms get much worse with travel so am travelling there as often as I can but it's not enough....
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    Welcome to TP :)

    You have got a tricky situation. What does your mum think should be done?
  3. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    You desperately need your fathers local equivalent of Lasting Power of Attorney.
    This would allow you to run his business, as required.

  4. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    Do you know of anyone local to your Dad who would/could step in and help? You could pay the person a flat fee for their time? Not sure if that would be feasible-just thinking out loud!

    Lyn T XX
  5. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    Be very wary of employing someone to help him when you're so far away. For every true friend will be someone who sees an opportunity to get rich quick. I know, from the vultures who suddenly gathered round my father (who also lived abroad) as he declined. Luckily, he had about three true friends who closed ranks to protect him. Does your father have anyone similar you can trust? Who takes him to hospital appointments etc.?
  6. missmarple

    missmarple Registered User

    Jan 14, 2013
    Well said RedLou I had similar with my grandfather in France. One vulture managed to trick him and steal a valuable antique, the other wanted to move into his home when he had to go into care. It's scary how many creeps there are out there who would prey on the elderly when they start to lose their faculties.
  7. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    I would show to your siblings and your father's wife what can happen to a company managed with dementia. Risk of loosing his money. Risk of going to court ( if law say he can't be manager if has dementia).

    I would talk to them about which support a person with dementia has on his country or on any other countries he has citizenship. ( with and without his money).
  8. groot

    groot Registered User

    Oct 11, 2015
    #8 groot, Oct 12, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015

    Thank you for so many replies, it's wonderful to have a sounding board for this.

    My mum is there, and capable (although with a number of hospitalisations herself). In between hospitalisations she has started to take on duties such as talking to his customers. (She is in hospital at the moment which is why I'm feeling worried about it at this point.)

    Mum & I do have power of attorney papers signed, but the law there is clear that it should only be used when it becomes necessary, and as my father doesn't think it necessary at this moment, there is the danger that if I were to get too involved at this point, he would revoke it.

    How bad does it have to get before one is justified stepping in? If it were me I would want frankly want someone to step in and take over at this point, it would be a relief to me! But he is much more old school and wants to manage it all himself and thinks we are incapable - yes we would make some decisions differently but ultimately to protect him and his health!

    I'm going over there in a few weeks so hope to have a good talk with him and bring him round a little bit...

    It would be helpful to me to understand if anyone else has had the experience of watching/waiting for the situation to get bad enough -

    (There are other people around too - none that have the same overall sense of responsibility towards him but certainly people that can be called upon for the odd favour here and there when mum is in hospital.)

    P.S to answer the question what does mum think - Mum wants him to dial it down as it is a great stress on her (which contributes to her own health issues). She's in hospital this week and she actually sounds better in herself because she's not helping him every minute 'where's this, where's that, why can't I dial this phone no....)
    She wants to find this magic solution that allows him to complete the order, but I don't know if such a thing exists.
    Maybe after this last hospital stay she will be be less willing to be a hero at the expense of her own health...
  9. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    Is his business one which could be sold? It might be easier to persuade him to give it up if you can show him that he is passing it on and receiving something of value in return, rather than just winding it up.
  10. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    Groot - just be aware there will probably be no reasoning with him or 'bringing him round'. He would appear to be within reach of it, but actually the faculty to understand truly has gone. I had this with my father. Went out to reason with him about coming home. He acted as if he understood that he had dementia and that dementia is progressive, had a meeting with me and his financial adviser, went into all the logistics, and then said he wasn't going to move because he was going to get better in two years time. He became increasingly stubborn as the dementia progressed.
    Good luck, sweetie.
  11. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    You can continue working after a diagnoses of dementia in UK it would be against disability discrimination act i myself worked for eight years after diagnoses of Alzheimer's and five years after the diagnoses of frontal-temporal-dementia and retired aged 65
  12. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
  13. groot

    groot Registered User

    Oct 11, 2015
    Reading all the replies has helped me get things clear in my mind.

    I can see that MCI or dementia isn't necessarily a bar to working, but it doesn't change the fact that his judgement seems to be impaired (either that or he values the short term pride in being able to work over long term being able to support himself??).

    In my judgement, it would be sensible to step in now, but I guess this isn't about my judgement, since the company is still his, but about what he will entertain in the way of my involvement at the moment, and in future perhaps the law. Although I think his judgement is impaired by his condition I am not a doctor... and I have to abide by the laws of the land so I am thinking the next step is to research the local laws and possibly (if I can afford it) to take legal advice. I also need to look at the papers he has signed and work out which one entitles me to talk to his doctors as a medical opinion is important here to determine whether it's just stubbornness or his condition.

    I shan't be doing anything fast, I've just realized that I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself so need to give myself a couple of days to take stock and look after my own family a little bit.

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