The stress from his care is gonna kill her. My father is 89 yrs old. He's had three strokes a few years ago, he has severe dementia and can't get around very well. He can no longer do much of anything for himself. He'll be bed ridden for days, then there are days when he wanders around the house late at night,as best he can, and even wanders outside. His behavior is very erratic, to say the least. He soils himself, his bed, and his bedroom floor almost nightly. He's also terrified of the tub and hasn't bathed in months. My mother is 84 and is reasonably independent. She is his primary caregiver, even though I do help out around the house when I can. She has stopped taking him to his scheduled appointments with his doctor and coumadin nurse because she has too much trouble getting him out of bed. His doctor has suggested that he may need to be put in a facility, and to take him to the ER to be evaluated, but she won't do it. I'm afraid that the stress from taking care of him, and dealing with his erratic behavior might be taking a toll on her health. I don't want to lose her, too. She acknowledges the fact that he needs to be in a nursing home, but yet she refuses to take the necessary steps to make it happen. I'm not exactly sure why. For his own health and her's too, he has got to be admitted to a facility. Everyday he gives my mother reasons why this needs to happen. My question is-do I or my siblings have any options here? Is there anything we can do to make this happen? I would hate to go over her head on this, but I'm afraid HER health might be at stake, as well as my father's.

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One of my friends recently went through this. Her mom was killing herself taking care of dad but she would not put him in a nursing home. All of the siblings worried about the "next crisis". One daughter had an idea that worked. Through the nursing home (there is just one in their rural area) she found a wife who had recently put her husband in the nursing home and got this woman together with her mom for coffee. The woman talked about how the care was better for her husband - that there were more people, more highly trained people than herself to take care of her husband and that he was where he needed to be. She also talked about how she saw him every day - so it was not like she was abandoning him. She made it all about better care for her husband. In your case, if dad is not getting medication, bathing, or seeing doctor - he is not getting the care he needs. Good luck. Doesn't your heart just bleed for mom - trying to take care of her husband?
Helpful Answer (14)

You will probably get lots of advice on this forum. This is a common issue many of us share.

Your mom may not have dementia but her judgement is not strong. My mom is 84 and sounds much the same. The quickest route to resolving this would be to call 911 at the next crisis, ask to see the social worker at the hospital and explain that Dad cannot come home. If you get resistance from the hospital tell them you will call Adult Protective Services.

APS may be the only route if Mom is mentally competent but in denial. She still has the legal rights here until APS or a court says Dads health is in danger.

This is the worst time. That tipping point where our folks can clearly not deal with their own care any longer, are stubborn and in denial but still legally competent. I'm just waiting for the next crisis with my folks.
Helpful Answer (13)

You have a dilemma for sure. I can offer one observation that might seem to be "off" at first, but if you read it through it might contain a glimmer of an avenue out of this situation.

My wife is in a nursing home...For awhile she "insisted" on being in a recliner (LazyBoy) and never in bed. The nurses and aides graciously cooperated and took care of her anyway, and being paralyzed on one side, this included changing her several times a day. I could see how difficult it was for them and "knew" it would be better for my wife and the staff to have her in bed. She did not want to do it, however...Finally, I lied to her and said the doctor ordered that she MUST be put in bed for two weeks to see how her symptoms would react. She reluctantly agreed. After a few days she had gotten used to it and I lied again and said the doctor said it had to be that way for another month...She accepted it. Soon enough I said my Lazyboy at home had broken and I wanted to take hers home rather than buy a new one. She was fine with that..That was five years ago. She has been in the bed ever since.

Sometimes a lie is not all that bad as I see it.

I am thinking you may be able to have your doctor "order" that he try out a nursing home for its therapeutic purposes, whatever.

Grace + Peace

Helpful Answer (6)

If you just sit tight, something will happen. Then you call an ambulance and get him into he ER for an evaluation, or from the ER to a geriatric specialist. Take it from there.

The situation you describe cannot go on much longer--and it won't.

In the meantime, repeat the serenity prayer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Helpful Answer (5)

If your mom has a hard time accepting help with your dad, start with getting her help to clean the house. If the house is clean, her stress level might be lower and her thinking clearer.
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As it is right now only your mom can make the decision to put your dad in a facility. Waiting for a crisis, where your dad ends up in the ER, is an option many of us have had to count on. Once in the ER you or your siblings can contact the social worker and explain your parent's situation to him/her and the social worker can work with your mom to help find the situation that suits your dad the best.

It's not an ideal plan. Your dad may not end up in the ER and your mom may continue to not admit him to a facility. In that case give your mom all the support she needs. Her life isn't easy caring for your dad.
Helpful Answer (3)

If you can't get her to get him to a facility, with all of its resources and expertise, what about bringing the facility to their home? Do you know/have you talked to their doctor about what in-home nursing and personal care services are available locally?

If your mother's resistant to that idea, too - which she may be, because at this point her overwhelming fear is possibly that he will be "taken" from her and she's determined not to let that happen - then you need to point out that if she wants to stay in charge, she has to *take* charge by getting more help.
Helpful Answer (3)

If the father has severe dementia, he is not capable of naming a POA if he has not already done so. Unfortunately--and to their detriment--many people (and not just wives), think it's a personal failing if they cannot provide the care their loved ones need. Some also worry about the judgment of other people who may view a decision to admit individuals to a nursing facility as "not caring about" the family member. The find it hard to live with the guilt. Maybe you can eventually convince Mom that placing him in a facility IS caring--she is ensuring that he gets the care he needs.
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All of the above Is great advice. Bubt sometimes you get to the point where you must use tough love. You may just have to take things into your own hands and take action yourself. Call senior Protective Services now or call the social worker at your local hospital now and find out what can be done. Because waiting for the next emergency might be too late then might be the emergency where your father wonders way and is hurt or worse. And in the meantime your mother's life is miserable. She may be insisting I'm taking care of your dad. But underneath part of her might be praying for somebody to take this terrible decision away from her. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (3)

tjivey5, seeing your Dad's age and thinking your Mom is probably from his same generation, it is so very common to see the woman dig in her heels when it comes to taking care of Dad.... it is her "job" to take care of husband no matter what. And by jove she is going to it, come h**l or high water !!

I had the same issue with my Mom back when my Dad had a heart attack, she did not want him to go into a rehab center to get better, so she brought him home from the hospital. She found out quickly she couldn't pick him up when he fell [he was very weak] and couldn't help him up the stairs for the night so they slept in the living room, etc. She was 90 when this happened. What was she thinking?

Mom even made it difficult for the visiting nurses and the physical therapist. They all felt so very uncomfortable being in my parents house as Mom would be glaring at them. And she even didn't want grab bars placed in the bathroom, that would ruin the tile. First day Dad came home he could barely walk even with the walker, so I moved his recliner to be closer to the power room... good heavens, what a battle with Mom as the recliner didn't look good there. First time I ever raised my voice to Mom "this isn't about you, it's about Dad".

Dad did survive all this, whew. But I was on pins and needles waiting for the next crises. The next ER visit with Dad, he finally got into rehab for that condition.
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