Is calling APS a sure fire way to get help for your loved one?

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My mom had a cat scan, ( normal), blood work, (normal), urinalysis ( normal). She is not normal however, verbally abusive to my dad, accuses him cheating, poisoning her, moving things, etc. He tries overlook it. I want to get help, but does dad have to make the call? They live at their own home & are 76. She also thinks house is bugged & people follow them.

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Hi Joannes, I am facing opposition from mom for help & dad protecting her at his cost of peace. She just begged me to believe her that he took her pills out of her Fri box, injected her in her sleep with drugs to put her in deep sleep. Then, 5 shots in her neck & ea leg. This us every day conversation. They have an 80 acre farm. He rents the land now. She thinks the share croppers are after the farm & their wives are having affairs with dad. I am calling area agency on aging as soon as the baby takes a nap. This is my next step. I like the idea of an aide in there for housework. They both are showering fine right now on their own. I hope your mom follows her friend to AL. It's too lonely to be old & live alone. I talked to mom about AL & she said she wouldn't know anyone. She doesn't exactly have a social life now. They are only 76 & I'm 53. Wish I had gotten more good years out of them. But, Dementia goes when & where it wants.
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Theresa53....We never have our own ducks in a row, I do not think! I can suggest, teach and reflect on how I walked and how many corners I turned and came full circle before I found something that worked, but, believe me, when I am in the middle of the crises, or one of Mom's outbursts, I just want to sit and cry like everyone else! And the steps I mentioned, were NOT an easy list. I've been doing this with my folks for 3 years now....and still feel like I am treading water! I can suggest what I wish someone would have listed to me in the first year because there was so much wasted time, energy and tears to get these few things to work. RE: help in the home....it was DAD who needed help but said he didn't. I worked with Mom to say that SHE needed help 'with cleaning'. She didn't want to even pretend to say she needed help. I can see now, that even three years ago, her resistance and communications were her dementia already showing up! Anyhow, finally...after months of talking and arguing and calling me with every crises....calls from Mom: " Would you call your dad and tell him he didn't take his medicine this morning." "Would you call your dad and tell him he needs to take a shower". And my Dad would say that Mom was crazy.... and, in so many ways, he was right! I couldn't tell the manipulations between them from what was real. And I live 5 hours away! Anyhow, finally they agreed to try a helper for 30 days. And, one of the selling points they grabbed on to, had to do with someone calling APS. We had had police there several times over one summer, due to them fighting and yelling with the windows opened. One time I actually called from here for a welfare check. But lawyer suggested I use those calls as a way to say, that if the neighbors called APS, we ....me, them, the lawyer, would not have any say so about decisions made if APS didn't think they were safe. Lawyer said if WE had a health care helper coming in and we were contracted with an agency, then APS would not remove anyone from the home, or put anyone else in charge. NOW it was a bit of an exaggeration because if APS can find family who will take charge, they won't take over...but, as the lawyer, said, why not just give them the worst case scenario because it COULD happen, especially when I was out of town and could not take them in. Well, that got their attention! AS with most their age, they wanted NO involvement with any gov't agency prying into their lives. So I stressed, " Well we create our own plan. We have a helper for the minimum number of hours that the agency requires and if you still hate it after a month, we'll stop it and think of something else." The gal we got (AND you can request a MALE too!) was amazingly experienced with dementia and she understood how to befriend dad, AND help Mom and help Mom see that she could handle Dad and stop the bickering. At the end of the month, Dad's dementia was such that he didn't remember she had not always been coming....and Mom started to appreciate the 'help' she was getting too. That person stayed a year, including 5 months after Dad was placed because Mom was lonely alone and needed help adjusting. Then the caregiver got ill and had to quit and we've been with no one. Another suggestion....call the local council on aging, in your town, or senior center. I got a group of volunteers involved in coming to do chores, mow the lawn, wash windows, minor repairs. They could be helpful to your Dad. In our town, they take donations, and no charges. They also now bring Mom fresh veggies weekly and call to offer to take her to activities to get her out of the house. She generally refuses....but at least it's an invitation. I even called the VA and the VFW to try to get a volunteer from there just to stop by and visit with my Dad, cause he loved then to talk about his war experiences and he didn't drive anymore, so couldn't get out of the house unless Mom took him somewhere. My dad was in a paranoid state for awhile and he accused Mom of meeting men at the grocery store. She did leave the house every day at approx. the same time, and go do runs to various stores to look for 'specials' and often came home with nothing, so could see WHY he wondered about her trips. He would call me, totally anxious...and even tell me that he had followed her and yes, she went into the grocery, but then she came out and followed a man away in both cars. And he wasn't driving so I knew he had not even followed her and misinterpreted what she was doing! He needed meds. I didn't understand until he first got placed and got involved with a geri psych office. The meds didn't zonk him out or anything....just helped him feel more normal and sleep better at night. He could have come home again with some caregivers....but Mom couldn't help him with anything at that point because she was going downhill too much and they always negatively fed off each other anyhow. My Dad is now 93 and my Mom is 89....so you can see where it would be much harder for one to care for the other. I am 70 myself...and life is getting harder for me everyday! My long term goal for them both, if they live much longer, is to move them both into a full service AL in Phoenix....where I have a daughter and family living. That is only 3 hours from me, plus I would be staying with daughter then, and not at Mom's house, with an endless supply of things she wants me to do while there! And in between my visits, my daughter could visit them and be my eyes and ears. It would need to be a place that had Memory care for Dad....and eventually, I am sure Mom would also need memory care anyhow... But then, they could visit each other as much as they wished, and Mom would not be driving and they would have increased assistance as they needed it. Mom would have others for friendship and socializing. She's not hearing of any of it at this point, so it's help in the home, but just this week, she's learned that her close friend, who is 94 has been convinced by her sons to sell the house and move into assisted living. Mom is going with her friend to look at places. Her friend has asked Mom to think about moving in with her too...we'll see! But at least another friend is going through the same issues in old age, so that might help Mom come around and think about it more. It is all very hard. For them...and for us!
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Wow Joannes you have spelled it out for me & I so appreciate your time. I am going to sit down with dad & tell him these options. We are at the beginning of trying different things to help her. I do have to walk a different path now because nothing else has worked & she's getting meaner every day. She is suspicious when I phone dad & often yells at him to hang up. I don't think an aide would work because she thinks he's cheating with every woman they see & even men occasionally! I still want to try for an aide to clean. I live 80 miles away & take care of my grandson full time. Dad does all the housework, cooking, & outdoor work onthe farm. It's a load for a 76 yr old man. I have no sibs nearby to help or relatives close enough to drop in. So sorry your hubby has Parkinson's. You are really overloaded. It sounds like you have your ducks in a row. Thanks so much for sharing. I have felt so hopeless lately.
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Went through this in reverse with my parents before we got my Dad placed in Memory Care. You won't get much fixed without a diagnosis, so everyone knows what your Mom is dealing with. Meds will help. IF Dad wants to try to keep them together, then you and he need to be together on a plan. If her doc is approachable, even set up a private app't with doc to discuss the help you need and/or fax him a detailed paper. He needs to refer for a neuro psych exam or to a geri psych doc as others suggested. Current doc would still be her doc. The geri psych would just handle diagnosis and meds. It sounds like dementia to me...but other ailments can affect brain as can meds reacting with each other as another suggested. A doc has to look at the whole picture. A diagnosis with some meds to calm down her brain may enable her to be home with Dad and happier. Is there a chance of getting someone to come in a few hours a day to buffer and help Dad? Another set of eyes and ears even for you? We eventually got help in home for Dad, but I had to pretend she was there to help Mom and got him to initially agree to a '30 day trial' By the time a month was up, everyone was happy together. A daily helper is also a sane person to communicate with Dad and give him ideas. My Dad would shower and change clothes, take meds, etc for the helper, where he would fight over everything with Mom. Once Dad can understand a diagnosis, if things don't get better, its easier to get him to look at other solutions. Long term, would be Mom placed, and either Dad at home and goes to visit with her or take her out for dinner and social activities, or both in AL with possibly Mom in Memory Care at the same facility. What I had so much trouble with in the beginning, was coming to the realization that my job, first and foremost , was to keep them both safe. I could not keep them both happy because all the things they wanted were not safe, and they were past the point of having intelligent discussions. And finally, do you have POA over either of them? You may need to work with Dad, who is still able to think well...and see an eldercare attorney to get this in line, before Mom is so out of it she cannot legally sign for this. Either that or Dad should have POA over Mom at this point. I needed to use my POA authority several times to get done what my parents needing done. Otherwise, unless they both agree, you cannot force a doctor visit or use their money to pay for an in home worker or move them to AL. Whoever has the authority to spend the money, can say yes or no to these decisions. So either Dad has it for Mom and you and he get on the same page, or you should have it. Actually you can have POA on both parents but not invoke it for the parent who can still make sensible decisions. That's how it is right now for me. Mom can make some decisions so I consult with her, but I pay all the bills for both and assume medical decisions for both, but where Mom is able, I ask what she wants to do and try to get her involved in the decision. Currently trying to get her to see that if she wants to stay home, it's time for a helper in there again for her. And we have to decide what investment we pull from next for money to pay for this. She's not on board, but I have an attorney who will call her in for a meeting and he will be more of the tough guy who lays the choices out, short term and long term and then says, " If you want to stay home, we have to start selling things and cashing in investments aside from your house...but as you get worse, it will be moving you and hubby into AL living together, with him in memory care (and maybe her as she gets worse!) and selling the house to pay for it all. That's where I am. It's all very rough for all of us here. Worse for those who are the direct care givers and have had to give up lots of their own lives to do this 24/7. I think GOD had a plan when we had to move out of town 9 years ago, because I do it long distance, but now have a husband with Parkinson's too....and no way would I have survived this, with 3 in my home, or me having to go to their home to help daily, and leave hubby at home!
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We had her right there at E. R. being evaluated by Meridian Services ( mental health) & he still took her home! My hubby says he needs to man up because she is suffering too with paranoia & delusions galore.
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Yes, CentralMass she has always controlled my dad thru their 58 yr marriage, but always makes herself out as the victim. Now it seems with this condition all thosebad traits have magnified to a nasty intolerable level. Perhaps, I could keep her 2 weeks & dad keep her 2 wks. He won't agree to calling 911 & taking action. I tried it once & he wouldn't follow thru. He needed to say he didn't feel safe going home with her & he wouldn't do it. I was crushed.
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Call 911 and the hospital can do a social admit until she is placed .. Just say you can't take care of her at home and they will have to admit her
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Dear Theresa53
First, let me say "don't call APS" - they will only make things worse, secondly, if I may, don't tell her she needs help as that will only make her more agitated. See if you can get some help from another doctor. Has she always had the tendency to be aggressive? If not, diseases like Dementia, Alzheimer's, and others can sometimes change a person's personality. I don't think a psych doctor is the answer either. Maybe like cameo2014 suggested, some meds to calm her a little. It would also help to get them away from each other for small breaks - like dinner, movies, shopping, etc. - if that's possible. Also, you need to take care of yourself and give yourself a break because it wouldn't be good if you got run down or sick because then you wouldn't be able to do all you need to do for them. So sorry you are having to deal with all of this, but it will get better eventually. Good luck and God bless all involved.
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Gladimhere, I didn't know the VA would help a spouse. I've got some things to look into. Yes, Babalou dad did step out about 40 yrs ago. She never forgot it & has been suspicious of his every move since. I'm sure this dementia or paranoia feeds on it. Your advice on getting them to the psychiatrist might just work. No, her Dr. is not geriatric. She's had him for years before she was old.
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I would concentrate on getting your Dad safe. Look at assisted living for he and Mom, separate units, memory care for her. Then plan their move the next time Mom stays with you. They may not like the idea, but sounds like the best option to me. Your Mom, as his spouse is also entitled to Aid and Assistance thhrough the VA and it would help to pay for facility living whether it is a VA facility or another.
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