I’m my father’s conservator. He lives alone with about 20 hours of caregiving. I live 9 hours away. He has dementia and mental health issues, and a large deep basel cell cancer on his face that is getting deep and close to the inner tissue of his cheek. His MD and a surgeon say he will have a hole, eventually, in his cheek where drool and food will escape and it will be extremely hard for him to eat. He’s 80 and otherwise physically pretty healthy and very mobile. Mentally he has no ability to comprehend what is going on, except to assert that he does not want surgery. He had the BCC excised twice in the past but has been adamant about not letting anyone cut on him again.
When I asked how on earth I would do this against his will, the doctor suggested giving him a sedative at home before driving him to the outpatient appointment— which is 2 hours from his home at a hospital.
My dad has not showered in 8 months, has terrible hygiene. Caregivers cannot get him to change clothes or bathe. He is very combative and mean when agitated. He would have to be drugged off his butt to get him to walk into a hospital. I don’t think he would even take a pill for me or anyone. ( He takes no meds at all, has alway distrusted doctors and is paranoid, thinking people are trying to kill him— and this was before dementia).
When he totaled his car 4 years ago and was in hospital with a head injury he had to be restrained and drugged and have a sitter 24/7.
I just don’t see how this surgery is possible. And if he did go in and get it done, how would he recouperate at home with his refusal to bathe? The surgeon said he could go to rehab for two weeks but they wouldn’t keep him if he doesn’t want to be there. So clearly that’s not an option.
I’m sick to my stomach about this and overwhelmed. What would you do?