Planning an intervention, really need advice on what to say -what to do.

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My Mom is wheel chair bound except for bathroom needs and then she has to be very carefully guided and transferred and then helped throughout with the self care, She is almost 75. She had a diagnosis of Alzheimer's but her neurologist just recently said she may not have it as her cognitive abilities are not declining as expected. She took herself off Namanda (sp?) about a year ago and hasn't had any more plaque development on the brain so I guess that is good.
However her physical abilities have been non too slowly regressing. The neurologist said it is from a brain stem stroke. One that appears on her MRI but they do not know when she had it. She is taking blood thinners and had a very brief run of PT for the stroke.
That is all I know about her medical history because my Mom and Dad will not let me or my siblings ( one older sister -involved and one older brother -not very involved) know more. I ask to go to the doctor appointments but am blown off. I think there is something more going on with my Mom because she is declining physically. I know the doctor had wanted her to do more tests but my Dad did not think they were necessary. They tried a few different tests for awhile with no results and then they just stopped. They both get yearly physicals and as my Dad tells it everything is fine but I see my Mom is declining!
Here is the big issue, though, my Dad does not want to accept any outside help. He will allow me and my sister to come and sit with my Mom for a long weekend so he can go gambling but that is about all. My Mom's needs are pretty demanding and my Dad is going to be 80 in Feb. We tell him he needs to get a part time in home caregiver to help with my Mom's baths and to give him more breaks but he is refusing! I live 4 hours away and my sister lives 3 hours away or we would come every day and help.
They live in a big old house with lots of steps and narrow halls and tiny bathrooms. Now my Mom did get my Dad to put in a stair lift a year back but it is really hard to get her in and out of the lift and the only full bathes are upstairs. I suggest to my Dad that they convert the living room that is never used onto a suite for my Mom and put on a walk in tub on that level and he thinks I am crazy. I asked if they should sell the house and downsize and he said not until he was dead would he leave. I asked again if he would please use his after care insurance to get a nurse and he says he is doing just fine. But HE IS NOT!!
He drops my Mom a lot while transferring her and she is scared when he goes to help her because of this. She begs him to get a nurse but he won't! But the worst is that he yells at her all the time! He calls here names -Crap-I am starting to cry-this is hard-it has taken me days to work up the nerve to write this- and he blames her when he drops her. He says things like " SHARON-not her real name- GOOD JOB! LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO! " as she is lying on the floor. When she spills something on her lap-which is often -part of her disability, I think, he screams at her "GOOD GOING SHARON! WELL DONE!! YOU CAN JUST SIT IN IT! I AM NOT CHANGING YOU!!". I have had numerous discussions with him about how he cannot treat her like that and he says he knows, he knows but she just doesn't try hard enough. And these are the things I hear. What is he saying when I am not around? I ask my Mom all the time -do you feel safe? Does he hurt you? And she says "he yells but he takes good care of me" last time I was up , before he left for his trip, he was trying to get my Mom from her lift chair to her wheel chair and she fell and my husband heard him whisper( he whispers loud because he is very hard of hearing and refuses to get a hearing aid) "Sharon, you asshole. What is the matter with you?".
I keep telling him he needs help. He is overwhelmed but he is refusing! He has plenty of money. He even has insurance for home health care but he does not want to have to pay the 100 hour deductible. This makes me so mad because he will spend his money gambling but not on my Mom. He even told her to reuse her Depends if they are not messy!!! We told him NO WAY! I just found out he leaves her alone to go shopping. She should not be left alone! She has an alert necklace at least but still.
I love my Dad but he was never really a hands on Dad. He traveled all the time when I was a child and never really took part in raising the children. He is not a natural caregiver. Some people just are not. And he yells. He yelled at us kids growing up and now he is yelling at my Mom. But he is yelling at her WAY worse than he ever did at us kids. I wish sooo much we could move to them but there is no way we could sell our house or have my husband find a job by them. So my sister and I are planning an intervention soon to force my Dad to get help. The end line is if he doesn't Mom comes home with me. Any suggestions about how to do this? Any ideas? Please...

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it's a step. one of them at a time, and you have a plan!
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Well, just thought I would give an update. Mom is still the same. I really think she has vascular dementia but Dad won't look into it. He did, however, set up PT for my Mom twice a week!!!! YAY! That makes me soooo happy. He is still refusing to get in home care to help him but I do not want to push him right now as he just got the PT. The fact that he is allowing someone in the house twice a week really makes me feel better. My sister and I were afraid he didn't want anyone in the house for fear that they would say he was not doing a good enough job with my Mom or that she needed to go to a NH. I, personally, do not think she needs to go to a NH yet but I am still going to try and get her a in home caregiver.

My Dad just asked me if I could watch my Mom for a week in March while he goes to Vegas. I am a little put out by this as this means I will have to leave my daughter at home -for school- and my husband will have to work half days. my daughter is 16 with special needs and I am a stay at home Mom. She has been having a very rough time lately. In fact, we just got back, yesterday, from a psychiatrist for her to start her on anti-anxiety meds. Switching up her routine-by me leaving-right now is going to be really hard. She has a very set routine with me at home. Crap. Sorry-this is just bad timing. I wish my Mom could come down here but she gets very anxious out of her house and we have steps that she could not navigate to the bathroom. I would ask my Dad to change the week but it coincides with my sister having a conference in Vegas so he goes with her. I want to help him , give him a break, but a whole week away from my girl? And my husband's work has been crazy. Maybe I can ask my brother to watch my Mom for a few days and I can watch her for a few days. He lives 30 minutes away from them. Oh, I am rambling. Sorry. Really I just wanted to say that my Mom is getting PT now (YAY!) and we are still working on getting her in home health care. If I do go up for the week( which I probably will) I am going to just use my Mom's money -with her permission-and get a caregiver signed up for the month!!
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Thanks ba8alou! And a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours as well!
bookworm-wow-how nice of you and your sibs to do this for your Dad! I wish that we could do something like that -however -I lack the funds as do my siblings for very long. However if we did pay for a bit maybe he would see the value and, unlike your Dad, realize it is a good thing and pay to have it continue-or use his insurance that covers after the first 100 hours.

Well, blessings to everyone this holiday season. May we all have a peaceful and joyous holiday!!!
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Mishka, I hope your father eventually gives in. When I first presented to father about hiring a caregiver for Saturdays (I work), he was soooo against it. In frustration and in desperation, I asked bro and sis if they could chip in and share the cost of the cg. They both agreed. I hired someone. And I told father that I hired someone and that I am paying for her - not him. (So he can't fire her.) I told her straight out that I'm the one hiring her not father. He does not need to know how much I'm paying her (he would have a cow if he found out!) Let him continue to think I'm only paying her $50.00 for the whole day. It's been like 6 months since we have her and he still - weekly- wants to get rid of her because we don't need her. I have a feeling that he will Always be against it. So, I hope you're able to succeed.
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Great update! Will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. Have a lovely Christmas and hope the New Year brings health, peace and contentment
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ba8alou, hi, thanks! Visited them over the weekend and things seemed much better. Dad was much calmer and we talked a lot about my Mom's doctor's appointments and diagnosis. Still need to convince my Dad to get help that is for sure-but I do not , sincerely, think there is abuse going on. I really took a good look at the situation and though it is not perfect it is not as dire as I first imagined. I think Thanksgiving was very hard on my Mom-me making the dinner without her being able to help other than be a taste tester and add some advice- and so she was very very obsessive and demanding with my Dad for days previous to the holiday and I think, by the time I got there, he was at his wit's end. This by no means(!) excuses his behavior and name calling but it does shed a little light on the situation.
Mom was very obsessive ( she has OCD-has had it all her life) about her sewing machine and trying to get it to work this time and my Dad was frustrated after going out to buy parts for it and trying to fix it and reading the on line manual and all and it still not working( she really got it messed up-she can sort of sew still-little bags for Christmas goodies- (funny thing is ( not haha) I remember my Mom getting frustrated with her Mom -my Grandma-for trying to sew and breaking HER sewing machine when she had Alzheimer's) -anyway- Dad was frustrated but he did not yell and he seemed to totally understand that Mom needed to be able to do something still that made her feel , well, normal. It was good to see him being empathetic.
We are still going to talk with Dad to make him see he needs help. My sister is spending Christmas with them and she is going tell me what she sees and then after the New Year we will have our intervention/discussion. I feel confident that we can wait that long. I would not wait for after the holidays if I was not confident that we could. In fact I told my sister that if I saw ANYTHING that needed addressing while there last week I was going to go ahead and force the issue (my sister could not make it up this last weekend ) without her. But after talking with my Dad , getting more info about Mom's health and diagnosis and watching my Dad transfer my Mom without too much difficulty I feel that the intervention can wait. Still I pray every night for them both and for guidance.
Thanks again to everyone who posted -it really helps!!! And I will keep you all updated.
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Mishka; I am hopeful that your situation has improved...keep us up to date on what has transpired if you can.
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God bless you , Mishka. You and your sister need to travel to your parents home, and stay in an apt. or hotel until this situation is resolved. First, contact an Assisted Living Facility and get on their list. Second, call Social Services for an outside evaluation of your mother, your father and the living conditions under which they now live. Contact your parents doctor, PCP, or internist. Let them know of the situation and ask for their opinions. Eventually, you know that something must change. You didn't say how old your father is, but I believe that your mother must leave their home first. An outside "aide" is only a temporary solution. You may ask for this immediately, but you have to work on a permanent solution , a move for your mother to an ALF or an Independent Living Facility. It's tough, but life is full of changes, some nice, some not so nice.
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Hi all
Took a day off to let things sink in a bit and focus on my daughter. You all have been so kind with your advice and concern.
Chimonger- I just do not know if my Dad has any dementia. My first instinct is to say no but , honestly, until a few days ago I just assumed he didn't because all the focus has been on my Mom's health. I did not think that his anger could be a defense mechanism against his own failing mental abilities. I will watch for this. I do know that stress itself can have a very adverse effect on mental health. I kinda thought that was why he was acting the way he has been. But it could be something more serious.
Agingconsultant - I really do not think that their debt load is more than their savings -and I think that their insurance is ok but the key word is "think". I know so little about these details in their life and have no clue how to get to that information. My dad is of the mind that he would not have to pay for anything-that Medicaid should take care of it but the fact of the matter is if you have money you will have to pay. I think that is his problem. He is mad that he will have to pay for services for my Mom. In the mean time my Mom sits there with no care outside of what he can give her ( which is not great ) and whet my I sister and I can give her ( which is limited by distance).
Ruralwannabe- my head is spinning too! So much to think about and I feel like I don't have time on my side. Thank you for giving me your opinion! The more views I get, the more info, the better prepared I hope to be when we go to talk with my Dad.
It is so strange ,-my Dad. He can talk like he is just fine with the whole situation. I sat with him one night and asked him how he was. I said "BS aside, Dad how are you? Really? ". I reminded him that I know just how hard it is to have to take care of someone full time( my daughter's special needs) . To always be watching out for them.( more than a typical Mom) - Helping them with their personal self care.--- Having life pull the rug out from under you. And he just acted like he was just fine. He said God gave him and my Mom many many good years together and he was thankful for that. BUT -see- in his head he believes that but I think in his heart he is hurting. And tired. And frustrated. His words do not match his actions.

OK-thanks again all for the great info. I am definitely considering it all. I will be making some calls to some agencies and then making decisions. I will let you all know how it goes. Please pray for my Mom and my Dad. Please pray that we make good decisions. Blessings to you all!!
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MishkaM...to anwer your questions...Concerning gaining access to medical records and health care for others...this isn't something that can be handled over the phone. Doctor's offices need a printed and signed document to place in medical records of their patients, so that they can check to see who is allowed access. Therefore, you need to go to your parent's doc's office to get the blank form, complete it with your name and your siblings' names if you also want them to be allowed knowledge of your parent's health care, and then each parent has to sign it (a separate document for each parent), approving that the doc & office share info about their health and health care to you and whoever is listed on the document. Then the document has to be returned to the doc's office for them to include in your parent's med records. I wouldn't be surprised if your dad refuses for himself and he may also speak for your mother. That's why I suggested approaching her first (before he's had a chance to talk her out of it) and when he is not around to influence her. Secondly, if both parents or just your mother allows their health care info to be shared with you, you will be better able to help her/them get the care she/they need and be better organized in an approach. The more you get involved the more you will realize that there will be many decisions to make, paperwork to complete and hurdles to jump. To do it well and clearly (and hopefully better than they can/are doing for themselves) you will need to have doctor's/nurses share info with you and you be able to make decisions for them. Without your mother's approval or both of their approvals, your efforts to help them will be hindered.

It's a possibility, from what you've told us about your father's attitude, that you may need to be more forceful in the future to help them. If it does come to that, it will be to your advantage if she/they have approved your access to their records. This tells authorities that you do have the right or position to be involved.

Finally, both of my parent's signed the "access" document but my mother was reluctant. While she never stated why, I think it was a concern that control would be taken away from her. At first though, my siblings and I thought there was something in her records she didn't want us to know. Come to find out...there wasn't any secrets. So, It must have been the control thing that concerned her. But, we assured her our intentions were to help by asking questions, getting answers, interpreting medical lingo (which they didn't always understand) and to be an advocate & liaison for them. "We will go with you and be another set of ears to receive the information. We can discuss it, if you wish. But, YOU will make the decisions." There was never any concern or regret shown by my mother again concerning allowing us access to her medical records. I think she, both of my parents, realized it was the right thing to do and actually brought them some peace.
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