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I live far from them. I came in for the weekend to visit my parents and when I arrived I was shocked by my Mother's appearance. She's lost 45 pounds. She can barely walk and I had to assist her to clean herself when she was on the toilet! My Dad says she's fine and just needs a shot for hip arthritis. It appears that she's had a stroke. My Dad is 80 and surely he's in denial since my Mother takes care of him. He's basically ignoring he symptoms and how badly she's getting. I live in a different state, far away. What steps can I take to make sure my Mother is getting proper medical care. Apparently her sisters that live close by have been trying to get my Dad to let them help but he refuses stating that she's fine.

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So many wonderful suggestions. Thank you guys so much.
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Does dad have dementia ? Before you say no, are you sure? My aunt fell, broke her hip. My uncle, finding she couldn't walk, dragged her around the house on a throw rug for three days, because he didn't want anyone to "take her away". Um, that's when my cousins had to acknowledge that there was something seriously wrong with their dad.

Mom has had a stroke, you think? A trip to the ER might be in order. Is she dehydrated? Malnourished? I think I'd be inclined to treat this as an emergency, and not worry too much about dad's ruffled feathers.
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vstefans is right on. Contact your local council on aging.....see about a meals on wheels senior nutrition program. If you father is like mine, he is extremely demanding. I think mine worked my mother to death. Sounds like she is sick and exhausted. What would happen if after you got her checked out by a physician, you checked her into one of those "respite care" facilities to just feed and care for her for a couple of weeks and see if she experiences some improvement.?
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Would dad "let" you take mom for an "outing" that just happens to include a medical visit as well as a nice mother-child lunch? It takes some serious organizing to get it on the schedule from a distance but with luck and maybe a few bribes to scheduling people it can be done...
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Some things I did in similar long-distance circumstances were: 1) fax her medical doctor the things you have noticed and ask him/her to have Mom come in for a physical 2) tell the sisters to get the lead out and get going over the protest of the old man 3) call the local branch of Adult Protective Services to get them in 4) locate a nurse case manager that will go into the home to evaluate the situation and pay her yourself to see what needs to be done (they are masters at getting cooperation from seniors). I also thought about having their Sunday School teacher come to visit and encourage them to get specific help. Sometimes seniors will reject strangers but if a 'church lady' comes in to cook, do laundry and clean house, they will accept that as she goes to the same church. Depends on your folks. Otherwise, you do have to wait for some huge catastrophe to strike them...usually a fall with resultant fracture. Even that may not be enough. Report whoever is driving if they are unsafe in their driving. Good luck. Many of us have been there and done that, so lots of sympathy.
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Worriedformom, that seems to be common where a husband or wife doesn't recognize that there are medical issues with their spouse. When someone sees the same person day after day they wouldn't see a 45 pound lost where as someone else who hadn't been there in awhile would. Glad you stopped by when you did. It's all denial on the parents part, and even on the phone they could make everything seem ok, that they can manage.

My parents were doing the same thing. My Mom was asking Dad to fix things, climbing ladders, etc. but at 94 he shouldn't be doing that. Dad thought Mom [97] was ok because she was still getting him meals, cleaning and laundry.

Now what to do. I tried to bring in paid caregivers and Mom asked them to leave. WorriedforMom, would your Mom accept outsiders to help her? Or would your Dad be the roadblock since he wouldn't let her sisters help?

Sadly we have to wait for a serious medical issue to be a wake up call for our parents, and sometimes even that doesn't work. They still won't start packing for independent living or assisted living.
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