Parents situation nearing critical point.

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Mom & Dad live on their own and have cognitive issues. Mom is 89 and diagnosed with dementia, possibly Alzheimer's though neurologist did not see telltale signs on MRI. She cannot remember day/time, etc. Also has leaky heart valve, osteoporosis and is depressed (undiagnosed but obvious). Sleeps much of day. Doesn't go out. Dad is 84 and has memory issues, paranoia and is incredibly stubborn and cheap. He recently was in hospital for 4 days after a fall. He was dehydrated and was not treating his HBP. (Hadnkt been to a dr in many, many years) Spent 2 weeks in rehab and then was sent home. Has some symptoms of dementia, but has stopped using his Exelon patch and not informed dr. He will not allow anyone in appartment so no health aide or nurse for himself or Mom. Currently has funds for such care or ALF, etc but refuses since most of his assets are "hidden" from HUD certification for their appartment. I go 1-2 per week to drop off groceries because he is less able to go shopping. He reimburses me for purchases but is now requesting that I stop getting certain basic items bec they are too expensive, so their diet is getting worse. He is unable to understand most of the medical/ insurance-related mail so I am always analyzing EOB's and making phone calls to clarify and correct. Mom does not take her heart and other meds unless I call and have her bring pillbox to phone, get water, etc. I refill the box once per week. Not always successful as she sometimes can't comprehend current day over the phone. She has missed a couple of recent dr apptmts because she can't get ready and doesn't want to go. Says she wishes she would go to sleep and not wake up. She and my Dad hate each other. It is a toxic relationship and he is quick to yell at her. No phys abuse as far as I know but emotional for sure. County APS has been no help. Case worker made one attempt to visit and was refused entry or course. He returned to office and asked me if they would let him if I were present. Dad refused and case worker said not much they can do. Have consulted 2x with Elder Law Attorney and she states eventually may have to aplly for guardianship, which she described as a long, very messy and very expensive process. My company is being acquired and I may be out of work by spring so I rather not incur that kind of expense now. I have no siblings so this is all on me.


I am so sad to read your post. Wish I had a good answer but I am sure one the great folks on this board will be full of wisdom for you.

My first thought is calling the police and having them removed to a safer environment. That would probably require some sort of court order. You might check with you county as far as free or low-cost legal assistance available in these situations. This really needs to get started immediately before the situation becomes worse for them both.

Are there any friends or relatives that your Dad trusts and would be willing to listen to? You are doing the best you can under current circumstances, Our parents sometimes make their own bad choices and WE are not responsble.

Best wishes to you!
Thank you for your response and concern. My therapist has suggested that the police might need to be involved and that I should contact the county's domestic violence division for assistance, so that may be an option. To answer your question: Unfortunately there really are no friends or relatives Dad would trust or listen to. He has long since isolated himself from the family and never kept up with friends. They are in a coccoon (sp). No clergy, counselors, etc either.
In our State, Arizona, one can call police for a welfare check anytime you think someone is unsafe or in an unsafe situation. The police will call in APS and then the action is more likely to take place. Of course, they then try to get family first to be the ones to take over and make something happen. My parents sound similar to yours. I got home health in by telling my Dad...after police had been called a couple times, that if WE didn't have a plan for home care, someone was going to call the police and they would call APS, who would then decide on placement outside the home, so IF they wanted to stay in their own home, they needed to work with me to create a plan for some minimal home care to assure if APS got called, we could say, we have a plan. That worked....and my Dad was refusing to have people come into their home prior to that discussion. They still call me sometimes to ask, 'Why does that woman have to come here and invade our home?" and I just go over it again and again and they calm down and mostly work with the aide when she is there. I am lucky because my parents trust attorney's office affiliates with an eldercare program, so I had access to trustworthy assistance from the beginning, but perhaps you can get help via a 'council on aging' or even resources from the phone book by looking under aging or geriatrics or dementia or calling a geriatric specialists medical office for referrals. Also there are many right on this site just by putting in a zip code. I've done that and had calls come back to me within 24 hours and people were very helpful on the phone for me.
Excellent suggestions. Thank you so much. Did your parents know that you called the police and were you present when they went to check on them?
I didn't do the call every time, but twice when I called, I didn't tell them it was me and the police won't tell them who called...they will just say, someone was concerned and placed a call to check on you. Being in a different town, they never suspected it was me either. One time I was there when the police came, but I had not placed the call that time. My Dad had wandered while Mom and I were at the grocery. When I called, police were good about calling me back and reporting on outcome and situation though. Now that we have HH involved, the police will also call the case manager and she will go to the house, since I cannot. They've not had to remove either parent yet or call APS.
Thank you for clarifying. The information is much appreciated.

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