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A very resistant FIL - clearly dementia but refusing to sign a POA, see doctor, etc
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2022 4:36 AM
Joined: 7/23/2022
Posts: 5

Hey all, hope you’re keeping well.
I made a post about being new to this situation recently and was super helpful and supportive. I was looking for some more advice if possible! We are in the UK if that helps.
My bf is looking after his dad at the mo who clearly has dementia. He wanders and gets lost in his two bed flat, struggles to dress himself, has been walking round naked, forgets who my bf and also my who my bf’s brother is. There has also been some hallucinations. Thankfully my bf’s brother has stepped up now and is looking after the dad for a bit, but it is still looking like my bf will be the primary caregiver.
In an ideal world, we would get the dad into his own small flat with caregivers coming in, however, his dad is being super resistant to ANYTHING. He is super paranoid. We are trying to get a POA but the dad is now convinced that my bf’s brother is trying to steal all his money and stick him in jail, is now asking for a lawyer and trying to withdraw all his stocks and bonds and money. He keeps talking about wanting to buy a 6 bed house. He is convinced nothing is wrong with him, and that everyone is trying to scam him, including the doctors. The only breakthrough we had is when the FIL had a scare - he left the house at 4am and got lost and was more on board with things.
We need a diagnosis and we have an appointment booked at a private memory clinic as there are big waiting lists. (Not sure how to get him there but it is a must).
I am close to losing my temper as every time I go round I am having to hang out with the dad instead of my BF. I am like - can you not see we want our own time?! I am scared I won’t be able to keep up being nice to him for much longer. Which I am sure won’t help and will only turn him against me, but I am tempted. We get on well so I am not sure if me being stern would help. I'm not sure how to get time to ourselves without just leaving him idk.
We don’t know what to say to him - whether to try and convince him he is ill and give a list of examples? Whether to try fibbing to get a POA sorted and sorting a house for him? (Any ideas of fibs?) The FIL has a house but it's very isolated, about four hours away from my bf. So that doesn't feel like an option. Otherwise I have no idea how we will get him out of the bfs house. Any ideas!? 
What do we say when he is convinced that we are trying to steal from him? My bf gets stressed and says that the dad can’t say these things, but then he still is convinced anyway.
I am just scared this situation of stalemate is going to go on for years. Please help - I don’t want to chuck my relationship away that we have been building for a grumpy old ill man. Is it just waiting for a scare and then swooping in with a POA then?
Thanks in advance xx

Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2022 6:17 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 3734

This sounds very difficult. I am sorry you have a need to be here, but glad you reached out for support. 

I have 2 concerns specific to your situation.

1) Where is your BF in all this? Why is he not the one here? It's his dad. Does he not see dad as an impediment to your relationship developing? Does he share your sense of urgency around dad's well-being and safety? 

2) It's really hard to give legal advice to someone living in a different country. In the U.S. laws and supports vary by state- some states have guardianship while others have conservatorship for people who are incapacitated but haven't signed a POA. My aunt obtained guardianship for her sister in one state and then had to go to court when she moved her to the state where the guardian resides. Some states offer a safety net of paid care in a MCF for those with low income and assets levels, some offer only skilled nursing in identical circumstances. I expect there are laws to help you protect BF's dad, but they make work very differently in the UK. Your BF needs legal representation. Perhaps this UK-specific site can point you in the right direction. 

Alzheimer's Society (

Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2022 7:12 AM
Joined: 7/23/2022
Posts: 5

Hello! Thank you so much for you advice and concerns!

My bf is concerned about his dad and us too. He's trying to sort stuff, whilst looking after his dad and trying to work. So I'm trying to help from afar where I can. The problem is we can't seem to sort things as his dad is so it resistant.

And thank you, will check it out. I have seen that there are elderly care specialist lawyers, so might be worth looking at it. They just seem to be feeling a bit hopeless at the moment as they've tried to get the dad involved and resigned to looking after him. But could be worth it if this is ongoing.

mommyandme (m&m)
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2022 1:28 PM
Joined: 2/16/2020
Posts: 672

I believe this will be ongoing.  I think legal advice should be attained and well worth it.
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2022 4:17 PM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 1364

Yes, see a elder law attorney in england with your boyfriend to see what possibilities exist.

 Sad as this is, the whole situation gives you a preview of how your bf will behave  when "life" occurs, he'll always have a job or school to deal with - will he step up or just defer and hope things change when a major issue arises in the future.

Now your hands are tied- Dad isn't your father or FIL-- it's on the sons, your bf primarily. And he's not doing much? Most guys will do all they can to get alone time with their gf at this stage in the relationship , but he is happy to have you Dad-sit?


Wendy Hughes
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2022 5:54 PM
Joined: 8/2/2022
Posts: 2

I am right there with you on this topic.  My husband and I rotate out every other week to monitor his mom's situation and progression as she lives 4 1/2 hours away from us and lives alone and won't move.  She refuses to sign anything; however, I handle ALL of her business with verbal authorization to all parties giving me consent to change, alter, etc.   My concern is that she needs to sign a Durable POA containing a Living Will but refuses and cannot comprehend the necessity for her benefit.  Please accept me as I would love to know how to pursue this successfully.  I have been through ALZ caregiving and it is unbelievably rough on all parties.  God bless y'all through his mission.
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2022 6:03 PM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 3202

When seeking a legal path in the UK, go for the process that gives you control over the person and financial/health decisions related to that person.  Here, it's called guardianship or conservatorship, where the person with dementia is judged in a court to be legally incompetent and someone is appointed to handle all their affairs.

Anything less than that, with a person like your boyfriend's father, is just going to be a waste of time and money.
Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2022 7:57 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18056

lake_disappointment wrote:

The problem is we can't seem to sort things as his dad is so it resistant.


His dad has anosognosia.  This makes him think there is nothing wrong with him.  If you try to confront him with reality, he will RESIST and become upset.  You will have to learn the work-arounds that the members talk about.  Read about anosognosia.

Iris L.

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