I've posted here before but things have been in a holding pattern. Dad is living alone, has PD and knows he needs to move. Would be best to stay in city he's been in forever, but he feels he needs someone to check on him DAILY in a nursing home, doesn't trust the care. I'm an only child...but he can't decide to move here or to another city with extended family. Telling me details, details, and more details about getting ready to sell his house. Won't entertain, consider or take suggestions so I don't make any. Well he just had MRI for leg and back pain and doesn't seem to be able to get from the doc what he can take for pain, so he suffers. Without too many extraneous details, my immediate family sitch is difficult at the moment and I know I can't take on local caregiving if just phone calls are causing me so much tension. Help!!! I know I have to set limits but what about only-child guilt???
Best wishes to you.
I'm not saying who should or should not have POA and health care proxy -- just suggesting that these matters need to be taken care of BEFORE NEED. Once they are needed it might be too late to set them up legally.
Hugs and best wishes,
PS Here's an example of a non-relative POA. A woman in my caregivers group told us she arranged for her husband's medical proxy to be her son's best friend. Various medical people were incredulous. What do you mean we have to wait for this person's decisions? He's not even a relative! But he had been a close family friend since childhood, he was now a medical doctor, and she felt he could make decisions objectively, in her husband's best interest, he could ask the right questions and understand the answers, and that his word would have more clout in a hospital or nursing home. It worked well for them.
I don't mean to suggest this applies to your situation -- it is just an example where the only child did not have medical POA, and the whole family was fine with it.
Might not work. Couldn't hurt, could it?
I see a lot of problems in you accepting the POA role or in having Dad live near you, expecting a daily visit. If he has shot you down all your life to the point where you now avoid expressing any opinion, how would you be able to make the hard decisions where what is best for him is not what he wants? He already wants you to do "wacky" transactions for him. Are they in his long-term best interest? Will they undermine his ability to pay his own way for future care? And if you thought so but can't even express that opinion, how would you handle it if he were clearly not in his right mind for making decisions?
How is his cognitive ability right now? At least 30% of PD patients develop dementia. Chances of a person 80 years old having dementia are 50/50. Does it seem likely he might be in early stage dementia? The inability to make up his mind, thinking he has cancer, wanting wacky business stuff -- none of these proves dementia and it depends greatly whether this is business as usual for him or a change in his behavior, but it is worth at least considering.
Get some counseling for yourself. That may help you sort out what you reasonably can and cannot handle, or how to move in a direction that would enable you to handle more. Until then, I suggest you discourage Dad from counting too heavily on you.
He is your father. No matter how he has treated you that is still a fact. I don't think you should abandon him. But participating in his care from afar may be the best you can do now.
It really is best for NH residents to have an advocate who looks out for them, straightens out issues that arise, investigates care complaints, etc. That doesn't necessarily mean a daily visit, but the advocate role is easier to play if the NH and the advocate are in the same city!
If your own circumstances make it impossible for you to be his advocate, be frank with him about that. If you think you could handle the role but not daily visits, be honest about that, too. These are things he should know as he is making up his mind where to move.
It sounds like he should have someone to go to doctor appointments with him. Or at the very least have someone who is authorized to speak to his doctors. Such a person could find out what the doctor has really said about managing pain.
Who has POA and Medical Proxy for Father?
Perhaps some counseling would help you cope with the anxiety and the guilt.
Good luck to you and to your father.