What should I do if my dad refuses to go to the ER after the Doctor says he should?


My parent fell and I called the doc and he advised to take my dad to the ER. At first he didn't want to go and gave me a hard time. Well after a while he decided he wanted an ambulance but when they got there he refused them and I ended up taking him in. Even if the DR says to go should I leave it up to my parent when things don't look like an emergency or go into battle and make them go?

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Leisa, I think it makes a difference whether your parents are of sound mind. If they are, then they get to decide. If they are not, (or temporarily are not because of the trauma) then you have more responsibility for making decisions.

ERs are not friendly environments for dementia patients or for older people. (They are not a joy for anyone, but unimpaired adults can usually cope.) I would avoid them unless truly needed. For example, can you wait and watch, and go into the clinic during regular hours if that seems appropriate? That tends to be less stressful all around. It also means they will be seen by someone who knows their whole history and will treat them in that context.

I call the nurse helpline or the after-hours on-call service of our clinic for off-hours advice. I explain what happened, what I am doing, and that I plan to bring him in on Monday. I ask what I should be watching for and if there are any conditions that indicate I should go to an ER.

I certainly don't mean never go to an ER. Just explore less traumatic options if appropriate.
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Thanks for your answers. I really like this site since my mom who has Parkinsons and my dad who has lung cancer has just moved in with my husband and I. About two months now. I quit my job and my life has changed drastically, so it is nice to relate with other caregivers. Thanks again.
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Leisa - with my Mom (who was 89 with Alz when she passed last month and whom we had at home nearly 6 yrs), I chose to watch and wait -checking for any obvious physical injuries and (additional) mental confusion. As long as these were not present, and it was certain she had not hit her head, then we would just sit on the floor together for a period of time, and then go about our usual day.

With no obvious physical signs of injury, a trip to the hospital would have resulted in a lot of stress and tests and drama - not good for Mom, or me.

But I did - always - call and leave a message at the doctors office "Mom fell. She seems fine but I wanted to have a record of it" so that if she had any bruises - and she sometimes did - I wouldn't be put in the position of having to explain them to anyone if we did have to go to the hospital later.

I wish you all the best.
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It should be up to the person. If you feel that he needs to go you may want to say maybe, you should go to the hospital and have a doctor take a look at you. If he and you do decide to go, I would make sure that you make sure that the hospital is doing their job properly and giving your father the proper care that he needs. Do not allow haldol and ativan etc Those are extremely powerful sedatives that should not even be used on elderly people. If the hospital says they want to keep your father, find out exactly why and if it would really be necessary. Once my mom was recovering from a drug overdose and fell because she was trying to detox. She had been up for 2 days since she could not sleep while trying to detox. The only thing that happened was she had bruised her leg, the hospital kept her and I left for a short while and they drugged her into another overdose coma.She was in there for just a bruise. I realize now that they should have not kept her for just a bruise.They kept her so they could drug her and then she would appear to need to be placed in a nursing home.That seemed to be the plan.This was right after I had told the hospital that she was awake for a couple of days because she was trying to detox from a recovering facility that had drugged her into a coma after a minor surgery.She fell because of this.My mom was extremely surefooted before the drugging. Guard your father always and just say no to nasty sedative drugs.The drugs like haldol and ativan can make an elder person appear to have dementia or if they already have dementia it can make them appear to be getting worse. Drug induced dementia the perfect crime. Be very careful with him and the medical staff.
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