debhuitt Asked March 2012

My dad fell one time too many and ended up in the hospital. My mom still thinks he will come home and she is going to take care of him. How do I change her mind?

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Dad fell twice in one day last week and then Sun. morning. This time put him in the hosp. He has Renal Failure, Low Sodium, and. pneumonia. He mind is way out in outer space somewhere, yet mom thinks she can take care of him at home. She's not totally able to do that. Proof is three falls in a couple of days. In home care service is not enough properly provided by the Long Term policy they've paid high bucks for. It wasn't worth the paper it was written on. Now he needs permanent care and she can't make logical choices. She's in denial about what's going on with dad. What can we tell the hospital and drs. about the conditions? And, what can be done to get them help?

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195Austin Mar 2012
You should not have to take her to the hospital every day it is too much for you tell her you need to be home more -she won't be happy about it but you have to think of yourself and I am surprised they let her stay at night once when my husband was almost dieing I could not go in to the ICU until visiting hours even though it looked like he only had hours to live. She probably is interfering with his care plus the doc said she is not to stay overnight so that will make him the bad guy when you tell her she is not allowed to stay during the night.
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golden23 Mar 2012
This is tricky and I think you are being as supportive to your mum as you can. I do agree with cattails that your mum will just have to get used to it. Can you speak to the doctor and nurses about her staying over against the drs instructions.It sounds like it is not good for your dad. Let us know how it is going!
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Sorry as I am to say this, I think you mom is just going to have to go through the process of realizing that your dad won't be getting better. Many of us who have taken on the care of our parents, stroke victims, dementia victims, etc, needing 24 hour care are also competent and compassionate control freaks. What we learn is that we become worn out and just a shell of our former selves. You are going through a tough time, but just keep taking your mom to the hospital/nursing home and let her have the time she needs to see the truth. The nurses, etc. that complain that she is getting in the way can just deal with it. They are supposed to be the professionals and they get paid to do what they do. Don't allow your mom to insist that you take on the care of your dad or both of them so they can stay together. Be supportive, but don't offer more than emotional support. Your dad is not out of the hospital yet, so he will probably go to a NH for additional care before the subject of coming home even gets on the table. Enlist the support of hospital and nursing home social workers to help your mom comprehend. But remember it is a step at and time and this is the biggest thing to rock your mom's world. So have some patience and compassion. Love and Hugs, Cattails.
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debhuitt Mar 2012
Mom does not seem to be willing to cooperate with anything we suggest. I feared this would happen. She has always been a control freak and she's been too proud to admit she can't handle things. Truth is, there is no way she can take care of dad at home. He has been in the hospital for 17 days now. He was in a regular room and then in ICU for four days. The doctors have said his kidney functions are at 50% and will be that way the rest of his life. His physical condition seemed to stabilize, but his mental state is still not good. She thinks since they have placed him back into a regular room that he is doing better. She is not telling people the truth because she doesn't want the truth to be so. He still must go to rehab for balance and strength training. Still, it is not for certain he will regain any of the brain control. I don't think it will get any better, I think it will get worse. When I try to bring her into reality, all she does is cry and then say she is waiting for her prayers to be answered. I too believe in the power of prayer, but I also know that God does not answer the way we want Him to all the time. She continues to say repeatedly, I don't know what I'm going to do. I tell her to take one step at a time and one day at a time. But she seems childish to me wanting to know what's going to happen in the end. Reality of life just seems to escape her reasoning. He spends a lot of time when he's awake, either staring into space or begging to get out of the bed and hospital. I know how hard it is for her after almost 60 years of marriage, but I know we must all let go sooner or later. It really concerns me that the doctor did have her limited to 4 hours of visitation with him and now that he is back into a room, she thinks all that has changed. She is spending the night with him again tonight, and I think she not only adds to his aggravated state but she has over ruled the doctor's orders. She has problems with all the nurses, which tells me, she is in their way and argues with them about his treatment. She does not have a medical degree of any kind. What else can I do to possible make her understand the situation and to reduce her time with him. I am wearing very thin going to the hospital each and everyday. I am falling asleep each time I sit down to do anything. I can barely see the computer screen through my tired eyes right this second. I need continued advise from all you guys about what to dod next. Thanks for any and all help. You guys have been wonderful with your adivse.
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195Austin Mar 2012
The rehab may not be able to keep her there if she is not making progress because medicare will stop paying for services she may have to be placed in a nursing home -you need to speak to the social worker at once to start planning how best to care for her if she can not be left alone-some patients never get to the point of being on their own.
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AgingCareCM Mar 2012
kat55snow,

Try just asking them to stay or putting her in a nursing home for a month at a time. You can also try adult day care... they are great place for your elderly loved one for the working caregivers or any caregivers who need respite care.
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kat55snow Mar 2012
Mom fell and has been in rehab since Feb. 17, 2012 . She is making progress but it is slow. What do I do if she can't stay in rehab, until she can walk alone and go to the bathroom by her self. I work from 7am til 6pm. How do I get the nursing home to keep her til she can be on her own?
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golden23 Mar 2012
Deb, if mum will change the POA, I think that would be great. However, it may be more acceptable for mum rather than totally changing the POA , to have one of you added as a back up on the POA, and then talk to uncle about the wisdom of who actually exercises it. That way of he is ill, or does not want to do it, there is a younger family member (or two) already on the document. I think it is always wise to have a back-up on a POA, as life can change very quickly for anyonel. One step at a time, one breathe at a time! ((((((((hugs)))))))
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195Austin Mar 2012
Deb we are not going anywhere- Cattails and others gave you good advice and we will see this through with you-one day you will be able to help others. About 4 yeas ago I was losing my sanity and somehow found this site and could not believe how supportive others with their owm problems would take the time to encourage me and now I am on the other side and am able to help others. Keep us posted and there is no question that someone here has not had experience with themselves God bless you.
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debhuitt Mar 2012
It's me again. So, my sisters came in from far away and we couldn't meet with the lady my baby sister talked to all week. Turned out, at our 1 o'clock appt. we learned she was off today. We got extremely upset at this, because she had been briefed on the situation. We ended up seeing her super an hour later. After about 30 mins of this lady being wonderful to us, my baby sister started asking her about herself. It turned out, she was one of our deceased sister's best college buddies. She had been to mom and dad's to pool parties and she remembered them all. So God planned it all the way HE knew would be best for us. We were able to make them understand about dad's condition and how mom could not take care of him and after our conference, we called in mom. That was done so she didn't feel we were trying to do something without her knowing what was happening. The lady helped us so much to explain to mom about how the steps to possible recovery would go. She never mentioned things that would upset mom, like if he wasn't able to come home. And, yes, we know we must take it a day at a time and let God and the powers that be do what is right for both of them. They both need to have their license taken away, but, I don't have time to take them to every drs appt. they have and all my appts. too. So I'm torn on this one. Mom did make it sound like their Long Term Care Ins. would allow her help, but, that's not the way I heard it. It was more like, it's not worth the paper the contract was written on. They'll all find out when the time comes. I only asked them not to send him to that terrible facility I'd been in before. So, it was written down not to contact that one about a bed. Tonight I feel like a part of the burden has been lifted from my shoulders, and I was so thankful to my sister for their sacrifices to come into town and thankful they knew and understood the true nature of this situation. I never knew we all felt the same way and that they knew everything that was happening down here. Their support was worth a million. Now I'm left to supervise and explain as well as be concerned over the rest of the journey. Please keep sending your wonderful input and guidance. This support group has helped saved my sanity. Or at least the rest of it. Just don't leave me yet, the process is just beginning. Again, thanks to all that sent answers and I'm open to any others. My all be Blessed.
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