I have discovered that my 69 year old father has been lying about his health because he doesn't want to worry or burden our family. He's told told two people that he'd rather die than to have the amputation and insists that his alternative medicine practitioners will be able to save the leg.

He's staying with someone who offered him a guest room a couple nights a week so he doesn't have to drive from this clinic to his home every day, about 40 minutes. The clinic performed surgery on him over the weekend but today his blood sugars went so low he went into diabetic shock and an ambulance took him to the hospital.

To make matters worse he's leaned so heavily on his roommate that he'd effectively moved out over the weekend over the row. From what I understand his roommate was screaming at him when he showed up.

I'm not in a financial place to pay for caregiving for him and I doubt seriously that his sister is much better off than myself. I have these people who allowed him to sleep in their guest room asking me what I'm going to do for him. It doesn't sound like he can go home. He can't stay with these people. I live far away from his desired treatment facility.

If he had his own place I could try to stay with him but I can't do that long term without losing my job. If I could bring him back to my home it'd probably destroy my relationship in addition to him going septic or having to have the amputation.

I'm not prepared for this. The people who've let him into their home are suggesting the best thing is that the hospital admits him and provides him the care he needs for a couple days so that he regains some strength and continues on his treatment to recover.

Obviously that'd be wonderful except I know I need to put something into place in the event that's not what happens. Usually I'd have guidance from a medical worker as to what my options are but he's shunned his doctors to the point that they've dismissed him as a patient.

I'm going this pretty much alone, except for his sister but we both live several hours from him. I may be in worse financial situation than she is, I don't know. I'm going to be emailing my bankruptcy lawyer to see if this is a situation the court recognizes and may approve a new budget. I'm turning to this forum for guidance and advice.

I recognize my father is an adult man and is definitely of sound mind, even if I absolutely disagree with how he's managing his health, and therefore I feel like I can't force him to comply with the doctors. Further I don't even know if the doctors may be wrong or if he's let this go so long there's no options at this point.

Thank anyone for their time to suggest what I could do.

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What a very difficult situation. If your father is of sound mind, the chances are that neither you, the hospital nor any doctor can force him into any treatment, let alone amputation of a leg.. You would probably not get guardianship, even if you were prepared to take it on, and there may be no state interventions that would be available. If you think about the well-publicised prosecutions of parents who object to blood transfusions for a child, you can see the limitations of forcing any treatment onto an adult of sound mind.

You may have to accept that he does go to his home, does not accept treatment, and dies the next time he has a medical emergency. The advice to talk to the hospital social worker is well worth following up. You are going to need help yourself to cope with this, so it should have a double function.

You are not responsible for solving this problem, no matter how difficult it is to accept. Look after your heart and your conscience by making sure that you have done what you can, and then give the problem to God.
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zeta12 Nov 2018
Thank you, I feel like everyone is telling me what I should do next. I feel like a wreck for it. I'm hoping he's going to become more coherent and be able to direct me on his actual wishes or any contingency plan he has. Until then the social resources seem to be helping me out trying to figure out options in the meantime.

My father's generation of our family have been the ones more connected to god than me and I'm glad his sister is there to provide that kind of support for the both of us. Thank you.
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Read your last paragraph, Zeta. He is doing you a huge favor. Day to day when you are alone doing this causes resentment and guilt for these emotions. Everyone tells us take care of yourself. Now I am saying it- Ha ! It is true, however. We tunnel downward into despair as we try with love to help our loved ones. Now, if he is in the hospital, it is their social worker department who will figure out where to put him. Nursing home-rehab section, call it, as it doesn't sound so final. You will feel better knowing he is somewhere safe and taken care of. Then you see him when you can. They have activities and stimulation he can participate in. He will , at least, have staff to talk to and other patients and staff he can talk to. So don't take it on yourself at home. Once he is in the hospital they can and will take it from there. They do this daily. Susan .Retired nurse.
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I agree with Margaret; the hospital cannot force him to have treatment. However, they CAN assist with, say, getting him Hospice care, or admitting him to rehab which may be an entree into his being able to stay there as a long term care patient.

Please call the hospital today and get the social workers there to help your father.
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Zeta you have been told everything I am going to say.
A diabetic with a bone infection in a foot is just waiting to die unless the amputation is performed and even then may not survive if septicemia sets in.
It sounds as though your father has now gone into serious heart failure which makes an operation impossible at this point and may kill him anyway.
Giving honey to a diabetic is putting a nail in their coffin.
Make sure his business associates know how seriously ill your father is so they don't ask him to make decisions at this time.
If you have been on your antidepressant medications for a while do not stop them at this point, they will not cloud your judgement as you are used to them. Eat light easy to digest meals and drink plenty of fluids bt go light on the caffeine if you can..
Hard as this may be do not take responsibility for your father's care either by providing a place for him to live or helping financially
He has made decisions that are not in his best interests but never the less he was and is entitled to make. There is nothing you or anyone else can do to change that.
I do think you should let your aunt alert the family so they can visit if they so desire.
Also have your aunt round up oter family members to clear out Dad's apartment. That's something you don't need to be worrying about.
If you think this would be appropriate arrange to have a minister visit your father if he agrees. Most hospitals have a chaplain on staff.
Remember this is not your problem. You did not create it so don't take on responsibilities that other people get paid for doing. Blessings
Helpful Answer (7)

Is your father currently in the hospital? Call the social work department at the hospital and explain your dad's situation to them.
Helpful Answer (6)

Dear Zeta, as your father is deeply involved in alternative medicine, and his own business and his friends are all involved in it too, my guess is that there is a low chance of getting any mainstream medicine options dealt with reasonably. That is why his health has reached this point. All the normal advice will go nowhere, and will only frustrate you. Look after your heart, and just accept that he will go his own way.
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I was just about to update that I called the social resources department about 2 hours ago when Barb suggested it then I got the phone call. They've been the most helpful so far but we're in the establishing my identity phase.

He was admitted overnight and they said they said he'd likely be staying there for at least another night. His friends administered honey to him this morning, and you'll have to forgive me but, his blood sugar was in the low 30s this morning and is presently above 300 now or something like that. It's just hearsay from his friends until the medical staff will speak to me.
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JoAnn29 Nov 2018
Just have them ask Dad if you can be put on the HIPPA form as someone they can talk to. If this isn't done, they can't talk to you about his condition.
So, I personally would call everyone that he loves and that loves him. He needs to know that he has a reason to fight for his life.

Having everyone there will let him know he has support and love.

Don't listen to the nurse, most have hard hearts and do not give good advice. I get it, if they didn't harden up they would burn out in no time, but this is not there decision. People also can rally right before they pass.

Get his support group in place quickly, he will also get better care, proven fact that individuals who have involved loved ones receive better care.

Do not stop taking your meds, you do not want the full anxiety of dealing with this. Trust me, it took 10 years off my life.

May God grant you peace and comfort and lay His healing hand on your dad.

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Ok, so... I'm catching up with the doctors but it now sounds like this doesn't have anything to do with his foot, which makes me feel better but opens a whole bunch of unknowns.

I guess there's blood tests that can show markers for heart attack which is positively tested for. He has pulmonary edema, congestive heart failure, water on the lungs and decreased kidney output.

His doctor has come back again after giving me that news earlier and said that he's looking a lot better, which I can't tell but maybe because it's slow progress. He's being given a dieuretic which has increased his output, which is apparently good, but the concern now is not over taxing his kidneys.

I now have a new problem. I hadn't mentioned, I don't think, that my father is heavily into alternative medicine, being a practitioner himself. His associates want to come by and perform ultrasonic something or other on his foot, a dietian colleague wants me to go-to the health food store to get him food without surgar or wheat and his doctor who has been overseeing his care is asking for all sorts of information from his EKG and wants to guide the doctor here... Through me... Ugh... I don't want to be micromanaged.

I want to shut them down / out and allow one proverbial chef in the kitchen. I also unintionally missed my meds, so I'm going to follow everyone's advice and continue them after I find food :).
Helpful Answer (4)
zeta12 Nov 2018
Oh and the care worker, the person I got when I asked for a social worker, wants my father to go into assisted living / rehab. She says the care he needs starts at 2,000 a month but really needs 9,000 a month for full care. He says he only makes 1,900 total each month. She wants him and will help him to apply for MediCal. She said he may qualify and if he does the costs may be significantly lower for full care.

She did say Kaiser, his insurance, will cover rehab for a short period of time but we need to show the long term plan before he qualifies for benefits.
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Zeta, if you don't take care of YOU, there won't be anyone around to advocate for dad.

1. Talk to the SW about a place to shower and a comfortable chair to nap in.

2. Eat real food. Ask if you can order at least one meal a from the patient menu.

3. dad is there to heal, not work. Say no to requests that have you running around. If necessary, say it's doc orders, or that you don't have the car ( have your family come get the car!)

4. Check out Caring Bridge. Or send one person an email with an update ONCE a day. Ask them to forward it.

5. Ditch the healer folks. Isn't that how dad ended up in this shape?

Take care of yourself! (((((Hugs)))))))
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