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Since we moved Dad to assisted living near us he's had to change all his doctors over, and he has a LOT of doctors. I've been having to take half days of work to get him, take him to the new doctor, help him with all the paperwork and medical history and insurance stuff and then take him back. But my plan was always that once he had an established relationship with a specialist he could make his own appointments and then use the AL transport van to get there (they do this all the time).


He is balking. He wants me to make the appointments and take him. But I just literally can't! I work full time, and while I'm self-employed so I have some flexibility, I am still drowning in deadlines thanks to everything that I'm doing for him (including cleaning out and selling his house).


He had a non-emergency medical issue related to a specialist he's already seen twice. I told him last week to make the appointment and use the van to get there. He clearly didn't do that because now the AL is calling me saying he's complaining about pain, etc.


If I wasn't self-employed I'd have been fired for all the time I've taken off to help him. As of now I'm calling in every favor I have with every client I have just to keep my head above water. And he just keeps saying it's "easier" if I make the appointments and chauffeur him.


I'm at my wit's end!

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Stick to your plan. If he is having pains and you get a call again, then tell them to have him transported to the ED. If he is cognizant and you set limits, I will bet this will only happen once before he smarten up
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Reply to MACinCT
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I have a similar situation with my mother. She has a doctor collection and believes that I'm the only person in the world who possesses the capability to take her to see them.
When I refuse to, she refuses to see her doctors. When there's an appointment that's actually important (most of them are entertainment and socialization for her), she asks a different family member and pays them (I never get a dime).
Explain to the people at the AL facility that you will not be taking your father to the doctor's appointments anymore and ask them to arrange the transport.
Then tell your father that you're not able to take him to appointments anymore because of work. He'll probably complain and refuse to go to his doctors, but he'll come around.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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lkdrymom Nov 9, 2021
I can totally relate. Most of my father's appointments were for socialization and entertainment. He told me that he would make his appointments for after work to make it 'easier' on me. I told him it was not easier and that I really did not want to sit through his dr appointments. I would compromise. He makes his appointment for 30 minutes prior to the end of my workday and gets a cab there. I would pick him up after work and bring him home. He could not understand why I wouldn't want to go to his dr appointment as it was such a source of entertainment for him, I must enjoy them too, right? I put my foot down and held firm on my compromise.

Then there was the time I was out of work and unemployment ran out. My father still expected me to drive him all over. Never occurred to him to offer gas money. In fact, when I said I couldn't afford to come down more than once a week he got offended that I implied he should give me gas money. Funny thing is, whenever my kids visited he gave them gas money.
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Your profile says Dad has a Dementia. If so, you can't expect him to be able to handle his life completely. I would talk to the Nurse at the AL and ask what would be easier. Her making an appt and scheduling the bus, or you making the appt and scheduling the bus.

I sent my Mom to an Adult Daycare, I would say she was in the 5th stage of Dementia. The AD supplied the bus. First day Mom said I had to take her, I said no. She continued to go by bus and called the bus driver her boyfriend.

I hope your Dad is not so far into his Dementia that he doesn't understand the word no. It maybe hard to reason with him but after the first or second time he maybe OK. Now will an aide stay with him or at least make sure he gets to the right office? Someone suffering from Dementia really needs someone with them. The dr office needs to be put on alert that Dad may not be able to follow directions so they need a call or email explaining what happened in the visit.

Does he really need all the doctors he has or go as often. As soon as Mom was stable, I cut down on visits. Sometimes a PCP can take over the care.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Did your Dad manage his own appointments before moving to AL? Or did you or his wife handle those for him? He may not be able to really manage his appointments for himself because he has had someone else do it for so long and he's old enough (and perhaps memory-impaired enough) the old dog cannot learn new tricks.

Dad may also enjoy the time spent outside the AL with you. Do you visit and take him out for a drive and a dinner every week or two?
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Reply to TNtechie
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Tell dad in no uncertain terms that you cannot transport him to doctor appointments anymore, period. If he is unable or unwilling to be independent enough to use the AL van to go back and forth to doctor appointments himself, then he may require placement in a Skilled Nursing facility. He may suddenly become able once he hears those words and if not, he may need a further cognitive assessment to see where he's at mentally. Once my mother got further along with her dementia, she was unable to do even the simplest of tasks by herself. I signed her up for the doctors who come into the AL only, and now she's in Memory Care with the same group of doctors.

Good luck and Godspeed to you
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Maybe he's not really competent and should not be in AL after all. Maybe a small group home would serve his needs better. Don't sacrifice your life here. He needs a competency exam.
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Reply to vegaslady
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You could always make the appointment then call the AL transportation service and let them know about the appointment so they could take him. My father's AL would make and take him to appointments or if I made one I would just have to call and make sure they could take him. Quite frankly if he refuses this he will just have to be in pain.

Prior to AL my father had no consideration for my time or the fact that I worked full time. He thought nothing of expecting me to take him to the same doctor TWICE in one day. The third time he tried that I wised up and put my foot down. Then he expected me to find someone else to drive him and I put that back on him too. The stress of dealing with his issues was killing me. He wanted me to take over total responsibility of his life.
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Reply to lkdrymom
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Maybe the wait for the AL van is long hence why he looks to you to take him.
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