My Dad has not slept in a bed for about 20 years. Any advice?

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After his major heart attack, he was afraid to lay down because "it might hurt." Fast forward to the present, pressure sores from h*ll on his buttocks. He actually developed varicose veins on his cheeks! He bleeds horribly, we ended up in the ER this June which led to a wound specialist, vascular surgeon and lastly a general surgeon who has done three rounds of sclerotherapy. Today, she released him, "he needs to get up!" We had a hospital bed with special air pad for one day. He couldn't get in let alone roll on his side. Dad is helpless. He seems to like all the attention that is given to his derrière and won't try to help himself. Oh yes, dementia is a part of our world. Lots of blood and laundry and he seems ok with all of it. The skin is so broken down that he can't feel anything, just likes the attention. Anybody else have the attention loving senior?

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59, your dad would be so much better off in a facility where he would be petted over by all the ladies and he'd probably behave like a lamb for the therapists.
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Well everyone my dad has lived with me for three years, I took care of him in his home for a year, one week a month. He hospitalized in 2012 for MRSA lymphodema, right leg, which he has had off and on. Doc gave him three choices, nursing facility, 24/7 in home help or move in with someone. That would be me. You know, I remember thinking, "It won't be so bad." He was pleasant at the time. And the sibs all pledged to help out, yada, yada. The realities are that dementia is taking his memory and ability to reason or process thoughts, and my brothers and sisters do not want any part of this. Add the negativity, stubborn behavior, well you guys know where I am going. We plan to take vacation for a week after Christmas. I will take dad to my sister's house, we do this once a year. Oh yes, went back to the wound doc today, he told my dad to make an effort to get up out of the chair every half hour so the sores can heal. Dad says "GD it, you sound like some else I know," and boy did I get the stink eye!
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59yroldchild, my Dad is stubborn that way in regarding to doing exercises. After my Dad had his heart attack, he enjoyed physical therapy when the therapists were around, but doing those exercises when they weren't there, forgetaboutit.
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59yroldchild, why is he in your home? After this hospital stay, why hadn't he gone to skilled nursing faciltiy?

(I guess I'm asking why you aren't using your get-out-of-jail-free card.)
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My dad lives with myself
, my husband and my 32 year old daughter. He has ankloysing spondylitis as well as congestive heart failure and a fib. Physical therapy is a joke, he has never wanted it unless you do the work for him. So he is stubborn, selfish, a big man with a big ego. He wants a magic bullet, impossible. I have tried to help, I get yelled at. This is the way he is, he calls the shots. My siblings are absentee, they know how he is. Then he asks why they don't call or come around. They have the get out of jail card!
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I am so very sorry about the situation you are in.

Your profile says his primary condition is heart/stroke, but from your description the critical elements now are the skin wounds and the dementia.

If I were in your shoes I would ask the doctors if they think he is a suitable candidate for hospice. Since he is apparently not in a lot of pain they will not have a reason to sedate him. (My husband was not sedated in hospice.) In fact, as his caregiver you would be in charge of giving him meds for pain, anxiety, and anything else that would make him comfortable. (Or if he is in a facility your wishes are carried out by the staff. I've dealt with both situations.)

He may not be currently ready for hospice, but if he is considered eligible I urge you to consider it.

If he loves attention, try to give him as much as you possibly can, personally and by arranging for others to visit if possible. Don't focus all of the attention on his backside. (Hospice volunteers gave my mother attention by putting lotion on her, fussing with her hair, polishing her nails -- nothing to do with her broken hip.) If Dad belonged to any organizations or a religious community see if anybody from those groups could pay him a visit. Did he bowl or golf or play poker with certain people? Let them know he needs visitors. Talk to the social worker about volunteers visiting.

Helping him over his fears twenty years ago might have worked. Now that he has dementia I suspect medications will do more to calm him that any talk therapy. It may be worth a try, but is is hard to counsel someone who has lost the ability to reason.

Is he back at home with you? Did the social worker talk to you about in-home care? You really need some respite!

My heart goes out to you and your Dad.
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I'd say be very careful with hospice. They could just sedate him until he dies.

I really like the therapist idea, or perhaps an antidepressant? I also understand his fear of not lying down. It sounds like he suffers from anxiety (which can also be medicated.)

I just think if his psych/dementia issues are given as much attention as his wound & vascular issues, he might show overall improvement.
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All I can recommend is Hospice.
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I can understand your Dad's fear of not wanting to lie down after having a heart attack.... it's like trying to go back to sleep after having a real bad dream, you're afraid if you close your eyes you will get that dream again.

Has your Dad tried any type of physical therapy to slowly get him back to lying down? Or seeing a therapist about his fear or would his dementia be in the way?
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