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He's 80, bad shoulders and back. Darn power wheelchair has made him lose muscle tone. I'm his caregiver and feel at his age, don't nag him, be understanding of his wishes, but is this best for his needs?

Last year my father took a bad fall and ended up in assisted living and then in a nursing care facility. He refused physical therapy even though I was encouraging him to do it. Now, a year later, he seldom gets out of bed. He occasionally allows himself to be put in a wheelchair, but his quality of life has really gone down hill. But I have to remember that he did this to himself as it was his choice not to refuse the physical therapy. It is very sad.
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Reply to Catmama4
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It's each elder's ability. My late mother did some PT just before she died at 94 years of age. And the Physical Therapy was tailored to someone of her age and if she couldn't do it, the therapist didn't push it.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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He can do his PT at home. No need to go anywhere. Great app my orthopedist gave me called “Mehab”.... 8 weeks, in 2-week increments. Do what you can...
all you need to do is register for 9.99 a month. You put the diagnosis code in (from a list) then start at your own pace.
Might be worth a try if he doesn’t want to “go” anywhere, or if he has a large co-pay.
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Reply to Rattled
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My husband (80) has Parkinson's, as does another close family member (73). Husband has always liked exercise and sports, and has been getting PT for over 18 months. Had OT and speech for a while too. He takes everything to heart, and is very dutiful about his home exerse regimen. He's actually doing better than when he was first diagnosed. Family member, on the other hand, has always been rather lazy and unmotivated, didn't exercise, and liked being taken care of and waited on. He's now wheel-chair bound and in a nursing home, though can walk with a walker if prodded. He won't even wheel himself around--says it gets him too tired. I suggested he just set himself small, manageable goals, e.g., wheel myself 5 feet today, then increase as he gets stronger. People keep trying to tell him that with Parkinson's exercise is essential, and it's really a "use it or lose it " scenario. He wants to go back to getting PT, but they have told him he can have it when he's able to wheel himself down the hall to the therapy room. Sadly, apathy is often a side-effect of Parkinson's, so that combined with his existing personality is causing him to deteriorate more rapidly than he might otherwise.
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Reply to newbiewife
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I am 84 and it is so hard to make myself go to exercise 3 times a week. Sometimes, the aching is so bad that I can barely make my body go through the door. I take 3 or 4 Advil a lot of days, that helps. Maybe a little pain medicine before he starts might help. It could be he has no interest in living anymore. When you can't do the fun things you used to do, sometimes you feel like what is the use.

I agree that if you are doing for him, perhaps you are inadvertantly contributing to the problem. You know, use it or lose it. My neighbor had his wife waiting on him hand and foot. She died and when he had to get up and do it himself he lost 30 pounds.

How awful for you to see him wither away. What does the doctor and PT person say he CAN do? Then make him do it. Don't do it for him.

I have had my 10 minute break, I need to put the ladder away and get out the vacuum. I can only work in short spells.
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Reply to MaryKathleen
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Tell Dad what Harpcat posted. Say, like Harpcat's Dad, that if he doesn't strengthen his muscles that you will not be able to care for him because he will become dead weight. That a nursing home is in his future.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I agree with one of the earlier answers - have the PT over and the three of you have a conversation. My husband is 78 and in a similar situation. But, amazingly, he is seeing both the PT and OT on a regular basis at home.

How did it happen? I talked with his doctor, who set up the home health OT and PT. They came over, one at a time, along with an evaluating nurse, and we talked about his abilities and goals. My husband found motivation when sitting with these ladies and decided to try. He asked questions like, it is possible to regain his strength, and they answered absolutely. Thus, it began.

It is often a struggle to keep it going. My husband doesn’t sleep well or feel well the whole day and tries to make me cancel the appointments. we’ve been down that route in the past. This time, I don’t tell him when they are coming. They just arrive shortly after breakfast a few times a week. “Oh! Look who’s at the door!” For some reason that seems to work, but not always. If he’s exhausted from not sleeping and still refuses to see them, I ask him if the therapist can come and take his blood pressure. He always says yes. Then, the PT or OT can decide how to proceed, but there’s always been something they can work on, even if he’s laying in bed.

I highly recommend getting for both OT and PT. They work with different muscle groups, and seeing 2 therapists adds diversity to the week. OT can teach him how to do things around the house and his hobbies, but she also works with muscles. For example, she massages my husband’s shoulder to increase range of motion, and he loves this, especially if he’s having a bad morning.

Good luck!
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Reply to JuliaRose
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Is this different from the way your father lived before?  Was he a person who enjoyed physical activity at a younger age?  If so, something else might be going on with him.  If not, why would it be surprising that he doesn't want to be active at his age?   A majority of people who experience pain, are afraid to move, since they believe it will cause more pain when, in fact, given the right activities the opposite is often true.  If you think it would improve his quality of life by gently prodding him to consider more physical activity, maybe he would consider an adult center that encourages gentle aerobic activity (swimming) or weightlifting? This may also expose him to a new social environment.  He may be bored with his current situation and suffering from mild depression?   80 does seem young to be giving up on a future that could be more fruitful.  Good luck to you both.
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Reply to wakankasha
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My parents have refused numerous rounds of physical and occupational therapy for the last 5 years or so. They insist they "don't need it". Can't make 'em do it. Both became unable to walk without cane and/or walker prior to turning 80. Now, in their minds, this all just sorta "happened" TO them, they seem to deny that they did have some control over their declining physical abilities. It's been tough to watch.
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Reply to Upstream
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I’m my moms caregiver. Sounds like what she does a lot of times. I try to put the ball back in her court. Sometimes I think it’s the fear of no control of their life anymore. Mom is very moody and can be a stubborn woman. But I’m her daughter and we are a lot alike. I don’t argue nor nag but I am firm. Is on her and that’s exactly what I tell her. Sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn’t. In the end, it is up to her.
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Reply to tmaurer60
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Hi77777 Nov 15, 2018
But she is making your caregiving harder by it. I pray for you both and God bless your mom
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Here’s what I learned from my dad on this front. He didn’t want to do it, felt he should be able to just enjoy his final years and no amount of telling him he will lose leg strength and fall would change his mind. I just decided it was a losing battle. They just either don’t care or understand. So therefore my dad kept getting weaker and has had lots of falls. The last one put him in a nursing home in a wheelchair. All due to his decision to sit all day. So sad but really nothing you can do.
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Reply to Harpcat
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When you say your father 'gave up', do you mean he refused the appointment or that he tried it and didn't like it?

Either way, I'd suggest discussing this with the therapist and your father together, and seeing if you can't between you encourage him to give it a(nother) go.

You are completely correct not to nag him, and to be understanding of his wishes. But you can encourage, you can praise, you can incentivise (a.k.a. bribe!) - all worth a try if there's a chance to improve his quality of life.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Consider enabling on your part as to why your dad has given up.
Are you compensating for his physical limitations? Is he expecting you or others to put your own lives on hold and care for him instead of doing the best he can for himself?
If he’s in pain, make sure he has pain relief medication in order to do the therapy.
If he’s depressed, there is medication for that. He may be afraid of falling. Whatever the reason that he won’t cooperate, try to address it. Therapy helps so very much. It’s inportant that you acknowledge that you are allowing him to run both your lives. If he is able to make good decisions that’s one thing. If not, then you have to take yourself to task.
Do make sure you thoroughly understand his physical condition and limitations so your goals and expectations are realistic. Therapy is hard work but it’s amazing how just a few weeks of work can enable a much more comfortable life for all concerned.
Have a straight forward talk with dad.
Be sure to read “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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My dad as well. He did GREAT in Rehab, but as soon as they sent him home, he didn't want to move anymore. Now he is lying in bed, motionless pumped up on Morphine and Valium...it's sad..we did the best we could to encourage him but he gave up as well...sometimes there is no getting through....
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Reply to Chemoangel1967
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Val3rie Oct 11, 2018
That seems to be a pattern. My MIL has gone the same route and my husband did so well when hospitalized, he walked and did all of his PT and speech therapy. Here at home he wants to sit and watch TV.
His mom is doing the same thing in her apartment and I am watching the both of them decline.
They don't have any initiative unless being prodded by a nurse or doctor.
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