Any advise on caring for my Grandmother?

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I don't know if I'm in the right place or not but I'm trying to get some advise as I'm not really sure what to do these days. So if I should be posting on a different website I apologize. This was just the only website I could find that I thought might help in some way.

My dad was an only child and passed away 7 years ago. My grandfather passed away 5 years ago. Now I'm 25 and have had my grandmother move into my house with me so that I can care for her as she is 87 and has difficulties doing a lot of things on her own and I no longer felt it was safe for her to live on her own. She's always been in pretty healthy. She hasn't even been to a doctor in over 20 years. Recently the past few weeks she's stopped eating. Occasionally I can get her to eat some yogurt or a shake but typically anytime I bring her food she won't eat. She hasn't been out of bed in the past few weeks either except to use the restroom. I had been doing some research and found that sometimes elderly people have problems chewing when it gets close to their time so I've been trying to get her to eat things she doesn't have to chew very much like soup mashed potatoes yogurt etc. But usually when I leave the room she ends up giving it to the dog. She also is not drinking very much fluids either. Typically she only has about 8oz of water a day and maybe a small glass of juice. I have bought her some Ensure to keep next to her bed for her to have if she got hungry while I was at work. She had told me she'd been drinking it but last night I found it hidden in her room and she had not been drinking it. She refuses to go to a doctor and at this point I don't really want to make her go. Only because if she found out she had cancer or something along those lines I know she wouldn't get treatment so I don't think it would be worth finding out. I also don't want to put her in any type of nursing home because I promise her I would not do that when I moved her in with me and sold her house. I'm the only family she has left since my parents were divorced a very long time ago. So I don't exactly have any help. I can't afford to pay someone to come over while I'm at work but I worry about her falling as she refuses to use a walker and fell a few days ago while I was not home. I guess I'm just looking for some advise on if I'm doing the right thing by not making her go to a doctor or if I should take her to the hospital so they can force feed her or something. I don't really want to go against her wishes since she still is of sound mind. But I don't know if I could handle her dying from malnutrition or falling when I'm supposed to be her caregiver. I already feel bad enough being gone for work during the day and now trying to finish school two nights a week. Any advise or recommendations would be appreciated.

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At some point, probably very soon, grandma is going to need much more help and care than you are going to be able to provide. The previous info is all excellent. You should think about the advice given. You are asking the right questions and so far doing the rights things but this is going to get much harder very quickly. Grandma may have to do go to a care facility, or hospice in spite of her complaints. At the least she needs to be examined by a doctor, not necessarily to extend her life, but to make her comfortable and treat basic medical problems.
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You need to start making phone calls - start off with your local elderly government program (if there is one.) In Jessiebelle's area it's under Human Resource Dept. In my area it's under a program for Disability but it also covers senior citizens. Also under this program, or co-existent to this program is - Adult Protective Services. I'd go first for the senior citizen program. I think you make enough income to fall into their category for 'low income' families. Other than asking if a social worker can do a visit, ask if there's other programs that she qualifies.

If that fails, then do the APS option. ASK for assistance, advice. My dad is bedridden, and was coughing up green colored phlegm, chest pain and refused to go to the ER. I called 911 and Begged for an ambulance - I told the dispatcher to atleast TRY. Ambulance came, EMS asked the usual questions which he passed with flying colors (Whooppee for me - to always have CNN and FOX news on all the time- dad was Up-To-Date on the current affairs.) They left without taking him because he refused to go.

I then called APS, they told me the same thing, that he cannot be forced to go if he doesn't want. They referred me to an elder law attorney - who was confused on why I was there since it's not their purview - but I was informed the same thing - that he can't be forced. I then tried his clinic but they don't do house calls. So, I went to his medical insurance to ask for an exception to the policy. The insurance agent was very firm and unsympathetic when she told me that they never send their doctors to home visits. She gave me a number to call - APS!

But, MissKS, I did this and left Paper Trail of at least attempting to get help for my dad. If he died at home due to no medical intervention, I have proof that I tried ALL options to get him to the ER and what was told to me. You need to do the same. Make calls, identify yourself and Your Age. It's very important you start making phone calls. Hopefully doors will open up to you.

As for my dad, the pain got so bad, he finally told me to call 911. His left lung was almost filled with fluid.
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This is an unfair situation you are in. If I were in the same situation I would make an appointment for her at a geriatric clinic. There may be one at your nearby hospital. Then I would tell her that she was going. You can make up some kind of excuse that you think will fly -- that Medicare requires it or that you could get in trouble for neglect if she doesn't do it. If you can get her to go to the doctor, be sure to make a follow-up appointment when you're leaving.

If there is no way to get her out the door to a doctor, talk to someone at the senior services with your county's Human Resource Dept. See if you can get a social worker out to evaluate what needs to be done.

If she does end up going to the ER, tell them the situation and that there's no one to care for her at home. I don't know what will happen, but the present situation could be seen as neglect even though it was of your grandmother's choosing. You don't want to go through that, so making your grandmother get some help could also be helping yourself stay out of hot water. You shouldn't have to go through this alone. There are so many people around that can help if you'll reach out to them. Please let us know what is going on with you and your grandmother.
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There might be some health issues that could be treated but if she doesn't want to go to a doctor, it does present a dilemma for you. I would agree that honoring and respecting her wishes is important, but on the other hand there may be something simple that's causing her to stop eating. Or it could be something else that only she recognizes and she's just planning for the end.

It's a tough choice. But with her low fluid intake, I think she's heading for some complications because of electrolyte imbalance, so you might have to take her to the ER fairly quickly. That would be your opportunity to get more insight on her medical conditions.

If she is in a terminal state, the hospital could assist with hospice arrangements without involving another doctor.

As to the falls, you could get a medic alert monitor, one that senses change in posture that might indicate a fall. And get a lock box that screws into the studs on the outsides of the front door so that emergency personnel can get in if necessary. I too would be uncomfortable leaving her alone.

If you could get her to a doctor, he/she could script for home health care.

I really don't have any good advice; this is a tough situation.
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I don't know how you could get any services with a doctirs orders. If you are at the hospice stage you need a doctors referral. Btw, hospice is wonderful. My only guess is your local council on aging. They may be able to point you in the right direction. You can probably go to a doctor and let them know you don't want to do any invasive testing, want no operations, etc. if you are able to find out where your grandmom is physically, this would help you a lot. Good luck. I commend a 25 year old taking care of a grandparent. It shows that you truly love her 😊
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