What to do about Dad's increasingly agressive behavior at home?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 13, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My father who is 86 moved in with me and my family (husband and 3 kids) 6 years ago. I took him in when he finally retired, and needed constant care. He was diagnosed with alzheimers 3 years ago, and rapidly went from being an independent man, to being extremely demanding, unable to walk unaided, suffers from severe memory loss, and needs my constant reassurance. I gave up my job a year ago to look after him, and my husband who has a terminal brain tumour. I am at my wits end, constantly exhausted (my father keeps us up all night long, shouting and demanding my attention, or getting out of bed and falling over). My kids are also extremely frustrated, one is studying for a phD and another in her final year of undergraduate education, and equally exhausted. I feel terribly guilty at the thought of putting him into a care home, as he has been a great father whilst he was well, supporting me in many ways. I also know he does not want to be away from his family. However, as the situation is getting worse, I am desperate for some advice. Any ideas?

Expert Answers

As Founder and Director of Circles of Care, Ann Cason provides caregiving, consulting, and training services to individuals and public and private organizations involved in eldercare. She is the author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders.

I am touched by all the caring work you have done. Now you are being required to help your whole family. Look at a move to assisted living as a way to add many arms and eyes and good hearts to the care of your father. By caring for him, you will better be able to care for your husband and your children will be able to complete their studies. Too much is falling onto your shoulders. If you should get sick as a result of this exhaustion, then your family will have 3 sick people instead of two. You will be able to find good hearted and caring professionals who will give your father what he needs at this stage of his life.