Moving Dad to Assisted Living - Family Strife As A Result


Registered User
Aug 2, 2005
My father was recently moved into an Assisted Living facility. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimers and exhibited all the classic signs (hiding food, dangerous driving, wandering, severe memory loss, aggression, etc.). Just recently he was picked up by the police and found outside on a very hot day suffering from heat exhaustion, wandering aimlessly. The County Govt. was ready to get a court order to have him put in a home, his physician, lawyer and a psychologist all had the same opinion. As a family we were nearly unanimous (1 dissenter, subject of post) and the neighbors concurred as well.

When my cousin learned that my father had been moved, she exploded and said she would never talk to us again. The 4th caregiver which she had highly recommended (the 3 others we had hired) as a solution did alright for two days when I was there. On day 3 when I stepped back she lost control of Dad who started wandering again and I had to intervene to keep neighbors from calling the police. Dad was getting very belligerent as well, threatening to kick the caretaker and as before I knew he was eventually going to kick her out of the house.

My cousin thinks that a lot of the symptoms have nothing to do with Alzheimers but are stress oriented. She keeps insisting that if he had the perfect setup and the right person to take care of him that he would get a lot better. She also feels that he should stay until the end of his days inside his house where he will die with "dignity". She accuses us of rushing him into care, acting out of greed to grab assets, and not trying "hard enough". When I mentioned that the county would force the move she replied "that is because they don't know the truth and you aren't interested in telling them it could work out". FYI, county officials had been to the house many times and based on their observations said his life and others lives could be in jeopardy.

What can I do to help my cousin understand? I am hurt by these accusations and deeply offended that she feels entitled to direct our family around while doing almost nothing. While I spent 8-9 months feeding, driving, arranging appointments, and running the house for Dad and Mom (Mom was seriously ill and died two months ago) she did nothing but help out for a few evenings while I was away recently. My wonderful brother came often to help and without his support I could have never made it through the ordeal we went through. Even my mother recognized that Dad was in bad shape and often slept in other rooms as she was afraid. Thanks...
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Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
Hi f252853(?!),

Welcome to TP. You've been through such a lot this last year - the last thing you need is a relative taking this stance. :mad: Oh! for that 'perfect setup' that we'd all like put in place - your father staying inside his house and so-called 'dying with dignity' (what on earth is dignified about AD :( ) It's just not an option in anyone else's opinion (including the officials) - it's a false, idealised notion by your cousin who is in denial, as I expect you realise. Stress would be so much easier for us all to believe!

Hard though it is for you, with everything else you are going through, it might help to pity her in her ignorance. One thing to help your cousin to understand might be to direct her to this site, although she probably won't want to look - surprise!. You could trawl these pages, using the search facility, for symptoms that your father is displaying and print off other's experiences (and you'll be spoilt for choice) to show her in black and white.

Best wishes,


Registered User
Jul 5, 2005
Hello f252853(?!),
My heart goes out to you, as I know how hard it must be for you to deal with all you have gone through in the past few months.
When we first started talking about placing dad in care we also had an objector, How we managed him was to invite him to care for dad for a solid 48 hours, as in two full days and nights, and then to let us know exactly what his observations were. He lasted from 11.30am untill 8.30pm with several phonecalls in between for assistance on how to handle matters arising. From there he came with us to speak to dads GP, health nurse, and AD assessor. He told us later that he was suffering from Ostrich Syndrome, bury head in sand and it will all go away. He has since had councilling to help him come to terms with what is happening to dad, and now is our best voice when dealing with authorities.
He was the person who liased with respite while we were on holidays, and only for him we might not have been able to go.
Some people find it very hard to deal with the younger generation having to take control of the older generation, but with the right help and advice they will come to terms with it eventually.
Ask your cousin to come visit your dads health nurse, and his GP, and anyone else who would be able to explain what AD is, and how it affects the person and the carers, failing that you could always do what we did, and maybe then she would begin to understand what you are going through.
Good luck with trying to get through to her,.
Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.


Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
You could explain to your cousin that AD causes impaired judgement and ask if she's been tested :rolleyes:

In all seriousness, it is frustrating for familiy members to be so oblivious to what is going on. I spend more time with my Mom than any of my out of town siblings and when they do come for a visit they make comments like " I think she is just hard of hearing", or " she seems really good to me" sigh. They should stick around so they can be there when she taste the dog food and puts mascara on her eye brows :mad: Oh, and then they say how glad they are that I'm here to take care of everything.

Gee, it felt really good to get that out.


Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
Hi and welcome to Talking Point!

Just recently he was picked up by the police and found outside on a very hot day suffering from heat exhaustion, wandering aimlessly. The County Govt. was ready to get a court order to have him put in a home, his physician, lawyer and a psychologist all had the same opinion.

I think that information is key to understanding the seriousness of your father's condition. It sounds like your cousin has some serious "issues" facing the reality of this disease (and possibly some other issues regarding dynamics in the family???) and I doubt very much if there is much more you can do to convince her at this point.

Try not to let her "toxic" comments get to you. You are obviously doing your best as a family to see that your father has care that is suitable for his growing needs. If your cousin can't or won't see that, then you are perhaps better off without her unhelpful attitude for the time being.

Take care,



Registered User
Oct 17, 2003
How to get your Cousin to understand the situation.

Have her move in and let her take responsibility for your fathers care for one month with no help from anyone else.

I suspect she would soon come round!

Best wishes



Registered User
Jul 3, 2005
Mixed thoughts and feelings

I've had the opposite experience and in fact had been thinking of posting to plea for help as my cousins, who rarely see my relative who has alzheimer's but have EPAs, are trying to move her out of her house. I feel very, very distressed as I watch them exaggerate her current impairments and do nothing direct to aid her in care and support but seem to spend all day writing to each other or other people about how terrible it is for them. I posted on "Resources" to ask for help because I believe they do not have her best interests at heart. For example, one is actively discouaging former lodgers and friends from visiting my relative although she really needs this support. My husband and I are actively involved in trying to assist and support her. Furthermore, I cared for my mother in my home -- she had vascular dementia and I am an academic psychologist. So, I have a fairly good idea about the consequences of dementia but also how very vulnerable someone with Alzheimer's can become. I am horrified at what is happening to my relative and they have turned to me begging for help but i feel pretty powerless.


Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
West Sussex
Hi f252853, you certainly do have your hands full dont you. Lady has offered some good advice as have others, but as I can only speak from my own experiences, Lady says it all. I got my aunt who was in denial about her sister to stay for a few days. After that, she helped me make every decision in my Mum's best interest and there was never any agro. She went along with all I sugested. (Which was always with my Mum's best interest at heart) Love She. XX