Geriatrician Questions Geriatric Medicine

My father needs help but doesn't want to live in a home - what can I do?

My father is 81. He moves around pretty well but has a ton of memory issues and sometimes forgets where he is. We live two hours away and I can't help him all that much. How can I change his mind? What kinds of conversations can I have with a geriatrician on his behalf?

3 Answers

Your father needs support. We don't want him to wander or fall. A
geriatrician is a great idea. Depending on the social services that are
available in your father's area, the geriatrician can better guide you.​
First, need to evaluate by a geriatrician to be sure your dad has dementia and evaluate for competence. If he is not competent, he cannot live alone and decide to live with you /nursing home/ group home/ assistance living?
This is a really tough situation. We always want to respect someone's independence for as long as possible, but if memory becomes a big enough issue then their independence often comes at the price of their own physical safety (and if they're still driving, possibly the safety of those on the road with them). I am not sure where you live, however if there is a Geriatrician nearby you should be requesting a complete Geriatric Assessment (should screen for physical and memory issues), including a cognitive evaluation and possibly a capacity evaluation too. Frequently there are local versions of Adult protective services or offices of the aging (in TX it's DADS) that can help set your father up with local resources to help keep him independent. Although these are all location dependent. Look into something called the PACE (Program for ALL Inclusive CARE for Elderly) program and if there is one in the area your father lives.