What to do with aging parent that can't live alone, but siblings won't support you?


My father is 85, lives in his own home, but has caregiver, nurses, clergy come in a few times a week. His doctor from the VA suggested he go on hospice back in August of last year. He has many health concerns, on oxygen full time, takes numerous medications (or is supposed to but doesn't). The problem is, I live 14 hours a way, my younger brother lives the same distance and my 1/2 brother is about 7 hours away. Hospice has been in contact with me from the beginning, because my father choose me to be the contact. I do not think my father has filled out any legal paperwork to appoint any of us for his wishes. I saw my father in September and was with him for about 2 1/2 weeks and also met with most of the Hospice people at that time. In the last three years I have seen my father about 3 or 4 times and each time I notice the decline in his health and well being. I talk with my father regularly on the phone and some times he's very coherent and other times he repeats himself multiple times. He always knows who I am and asks about my family by name, so I think his mind is still pretty sharp. My worry is his health, he can't care for himself properly. He has someone who comes and helps him take a shower a few times a week. He has someone who helps him with meals. He also has someone who organizes his medication too. When I was with him in September I had to remind him to take his medication, even though he has a timer to notify him to take it. I do know he doesn't like taking his meds, because he informed me of that fact. I told him please take them because we need him, he assured me he would, but I'm pretty sure he's not doing that and my fears have been confirmed by the visiting nurse. Now to the problem, the hospice nurse and caregiver have both called and told me that Dad needs to be moved to assisted living where he can get around the clock care and that his health is declining rapidly. I am not financially able to go see my dad at this point, so I called my brothers to see if one of them would go assess the situation. Basically both brothers have informed me that they will not let me "Control Dad's Estate" and they will fight me if I try to get additional help for him. My father has no "Estate", and believe me that is not my motive and never has been. My motive is to care for my father in his final days and keep him safe. I have tried to get my father to move closer to me, but his health (lung issues) would be compromised if he moved to our climate, plus the fact he has refused. He would like me to move closer to him, but that isn't an option either, although I wish it was. So now, I'm trying to do what's best for him from afar which isn't easy. Has anyone out there run into this, and if so what would you suggest I do?

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There are some good suggestions above. I do think that you'll need to go to the situation yourself so that when you proceed with requesting help for your dad, you can say that you've observed the situation yourself. Plus, you'll have the word of the nurses and caregivers, but, I would want to have seen it for myself so that I could sign affidavits, testify, etc.

Have you asked the healthcare professionals involved if Adult protective services is aware of the matter? They may be able to step in, if dad is deemed incompetent or at risk of neglect. He may be neglecting himself by not getting a higher level of care right now. Another option is to petition with the courts to have a Guardian appointed, such as the county. You may have to travel to court for this though.

I hope you can find some solutions for your dad, so he can be as comfortable as possible during this phase of his life.
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Gosh, you poor thing. On top of that bad news about your father, the last thing you needed was such a cold - and deeply unhelpful - reaction from your brothers.

Let us charitably assume that they have just failed to grasp the seriousness of the hospice nurse's and caregiver's warnings, and managed to misunderstand what you were getting at.

What did either of them say, exactly, when you requested that they visit your father to assess his situation? Did they just duck the question?
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I can only think of three possible solutions. The first is that one of you need to go to his home to help him locate a facility that he can afford, then help him move into it. Or two, you can hire a companion for him that will live in the same house. Both of these solutions require that he have enough money to pay. The last solution is, if he is unable to relocate, then petition the state to accept him as a ward of the state. I'm not sure how this works. You can contact the aging services in his county to see what can be done. Leaving him there alone doesn't sound like the best thing for anyone involved. Good luck.
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