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I am the caregiver for both my parents. My Dad is 94. Barely able to walk, incontinent, unable to cook for himself or care for himself. Mom was his caregiver for years, but she has had a stroke. I left my job/apartment in N. Carolina to come to Colorado to be the caregiver for Mom. I only learned just how bad it is with Dad after getting here. So..my problems now is that the doctors have such a "don't care, they are too old to bother with any way" attitude. I looked at trying to get new primary care for them..but..no one is accepting new Medicare patients. For example, Mom has new heart condition, and it seems like she is exhibiting new serious problems almost weekly. Now she isn't sleeping through the night besides. She is up 6 to 8 times a night. No one is sleeping because of this. She is a fall risk, so I have to get up with her. The noise she makes wakes everyone. The doctors just "poo poo" this off. She cannot stay awake during the day. She falls asleep during meals, during therapy sessions, etc. I am walking around half dead most days now too. dad is cranky by nature anyway...now he is impossible to be around. What do I do? How do I get a doctor to deal with this..now. Not next month, not in a few weeks if she doesn't improve. This is critical now. I need sleep badly!

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Katiekate, it was extremely generous of you to go to Colorado to care for your parents. As you have learned, you cannot do this alone. Your parents need either in-home help, and lots of it, or a care center, where there is around-the-clock trained and well-rested help.

This is Not Your Fault. It is not a deficiency in you. It is about the nature of their impairments. The broken sleep/wake cycle is particularly difficult for one person to deal with.

Finding new doctors may be a great improvement. But no matter how wonderful the doctors are, one person can still not provide around-the-clock care in a private home for two people on different schedules.

Finances may strongly influence whether to try to bring in enough help into the home or to find suitable care in a facility. But you really can't do this alone.

Your parents are so lucky you have come to them and can help them get the care they need.
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Your parents would much prefer continuing to live in their own house. Who wouldn't? But as you've figured out, they will not be able to afford that for very long. Once they have spent down their funds they will be eligible for Medicaid, and that would cover some care in their own home. BUT ... in most states Medicaid wants to use the most cost-effective way to provide the care, and that is likely (in your parents' circumstances) to be in a care center of some kind.

You don't think you'll be able to find suitable work in CO. Have you considered moving your parents to a care center in NC so you can resume your work and visit them and advocate for them?

What your parents want and what they can afford are two different things. Alas, that is not at all uncommon! You need to help them come up with some viable solutions.

And, of course, you don't want to be in this situation when you are 90, so it is important that you build up your SS record and continue saving for your own care. No matter how generous your instincts, you do need to look after yourself.

If you do consider moving them to NC, do so before you need to start the Medicaid application process. Although it is a federal program, it is run by states and the approval does not transfer between states.
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Well...finally! A doc covering for the regular guy in the same practice tells me that Ambien has a long history of causing sleep walking! Ah geez. Would have been nice to know that before.

So...new sleep med. AND, we added medical marijuanna to the list. Everyone is sleeping again! Yea!

Having a decent night sleep is working wonders around here.

Having a doctor actually listen and offer help makes a whole world of difference
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Katie, the nursing homes from 50 years ago are not the "continuing care" facilities you find today. So I can understand your Mom not wanting to go live in one, those places were frightful back then.

If you get some free time [??] go visit the continuing care facilities in your area so you can see for yourself. Some are set up like hotels tastefully decorated. Others more like a hospital environment. Your parents could possibly share a room.

You will eventually crash and burn from all the work, as you are doing the work of six caregivers, each working an 8 hour shift, but you don't get to go home at the end of your shift to relax and get a good night rest.

As for doctors, once a person reaches a certain age, there isn't a lot that can be done except to make the person comfortable. My Mom lived to be 98 and it was a serious fall that took her at my parents house.... and Dad will be 95 and he's happy as a clam now living in Assisted Living where he feels very safe, he hated the house in his later years but Mom refused to move, refused to allow in caregivers, and refused to allow in cleaning people. Because of their refusals, I was only the errand person and their wheels, but after 7 years I became physically/mentally exhausted. My parents would have outlived me if I was hands-on 24 hours a day.
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I was in your situation a year ago. Two elderly parents both needing your attention. My dad is 98 and mom is 91. Up until a year ago I was driving in 30miles several times a week to help out in their own home. The VA was paying for a home health aide but dad would only let them come once a week instead of 5 times a week and mom refused to let me get anyone else in to help even though Medicare would've covered it for a while. Seems like I was constantly fighting for them and with them. Life was miserable for everyone including my disabled husband. The doctor's just didn't care. All they wanted to do was drug them up. I was worried about my dad because he was trying to handle the situation alone when I wasn't there and he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown or worse. Finally in August of 2015 I'd had enough and just started taking mom to the emergency room. She was there 3 times in August. The last time I told the ER doctor that I wasn't taking her out of that hospital until something was done to relieve her pain. Turns out she not only was suffering from low Sodium, low potassium but also blood clots in her legs. She had seen a blood doctor just that morning who told me the only thing wrong with her was she was old. I was so made I couldn't talk about it without crying for days. The end result is that mom was admitted into a hospital and then a long term care facility. Dad had a stroke and was admitted into the same facility a month later. My brother and I did a lot of research and visiting facilities and admitted them into one that is wonderful. It is set up like a house with the bedrooms are surrounding the outside of the living room and dining room. It is like a home and not an institutional setting. This is called a Green House living community. It has taken them a while but they are finally at peace with living there and with 24hr care I know they are safe. Hardest decision we ever made, but I know it is the best for everyone. Sometimes I feel I didn't do enough but I was so burnt out that even my best was not what they needed. Sometimes they are like children, we have to do what's best for them even when they don't like it.
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Kate
I'm sorry you're going through this - one elderly parent is too much to handle alone and you have two at a time

Not knowing what your parents' financial situation is try contacting your local area on aging to do a needs assessment for care - you need help - both custodial care and perhaps home health care - a visiting nurse or nurse practitioner and there are doctors who will take on new Medicare patients

Do you have a senior center in your city for referrals or a hospital with a senior care network ?
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Katiekate, I can understand your frustration, desperation, and burnout. It is the situation itself and your parents' impairments that make this so hard. I hope you will find doctors you will be more comfortable with. But that won't change the fact that your parents each need 24-hour care (=48 hours care) and they are not getting 8 hours of outside help cannot provide the other 40 hours PER DAY yourself!

If they have "too much" income and/or assets to be eligible for financial help, can they use those funds to supplement the 8 hours from their insurance?

Please don't put all your hope in finding a new doctor. That might be a good thing, but it really isn't going to remove the need for more care than you can humanly provide.
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Kate, I understand what you mean about doctors. If we're lucky we can find a good one that doesn't move away. It isn't like it used to be. My mother had the same doctor for many years. He had to retire because of his health. It was hard to find another doctor, because many didn't take Medicare or Advantage accounts. We finally found a good geriatric doctor, who promptly went on maternity leave. Then she came back for about a year before moving across the country. My mother's case was given to another doctor, who seems totally clueless. Navigating the healthcare system makes me wish for the old days of the family doctor who had an office in his own building. Everything now seems so unstable.
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Well, we had 4 days in a row that have been pretty good. Got Mom to take a walk outside yesterday. It was slow, but a good walk. With my hand on the gait belt, she didn't wobble even once. I let her off the hook on the speech therapy...it is hard work....so she had Sunday off.

Even my Dad went out for a walk. I think Mom going motivated him. He is much, much slower....we didn't get past the end of the driveway...but it is more than he has done in months!

Everyone ate well. everyone slept well. Dad didn't even complain about the oxygen.

Having doctors that listen and help makes all the difference.
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Katiekate, maybe you are looking to the wrong people for help. Have you considered something like "A Place For Mom"? I was lucky that, when my mom was hospitalized, I dealt with a social worker who was very. knowledgeable and honest. She opened my eyes to the fact that my mother was no longer able to care for herself, and due to also being a caretaker for my disabled husband, moving in with me was not an option. As my mom has slipped father and farther away due to Dementia, I have realized she was right. Of course Mom wasn't happy about going. No one who posts on any of the pages on this site has ever said, "My ____ was thrilled to have to go into a nursing home." Try researching Human Resources and Eldercare in Colorado. I know it's difficult and may seem selfish to go against your parents wishes, but there are options and there is help out there if you look for it. Good luck.
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