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My Dad 76, started eating everything sugary at the beginning of this month. he used to try to eat some of the healthy stuff I cooked. Now if he does manage to eat a meal I cook, about an hour later he eats 3 to 4 sugary snacks plus gets up twice during the night to eat more. He doesn't have a doctor and is not able to leave the house because he is homebound. He had hospice for 2 days and it didn't work out. He was diagnosed with dementia through their evaluation. The thing is he has several other problems that they didn't notice although I told them what they were. His health problems range from dark orange urine with excessive urination probably due to dehydration and possibly an infection, cold extremities, low blood pressure, sleeping all the time, confusion, memory loss, sometimes incontinence, very thin and bony guessing he may weigh 75 to 80 lbs, being in a daze, not listening and communicating with me. Just to say since he refuses help.. I guess I will have to wait until something gives and call an ambulance and then he will have no choice but to have help. It's getting ridiculous.

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BTW, advanced vascular dementia has a slow, short-step shuffling gate that goes along with it. My father walked with a walker for many years. I remember hearing the rhythm of his walk going up and down the hall to the bathroom.
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Angel, if he goes back to the hospital let them know that you're not able to care for him at home anymore because he is too weak. He sounds so much like my father, who had mainly vascular dementia, though he also had some Alzheimer's. I wish my father had gone to a facility, but he wanted to stay in his chair and not be around any other people. It's nice to be able to grant someone the life they prefer, but not fair to us to have to go through it alone with them.
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He has been using a walker for 2 years now, He shuffles his feet and for about the same amount of time that he has been doing all of this what I call sugar bingeing he has been trying to hold on to his walker and hold on to all of the furniture in the house too. It will be 76 degrees in the house and he walks around with a thick sweater and says it is so cold. With so many things going on with him there are just so many different possible illnesses. That is what I ended up doing with Mom. She was hospitalized for 1 month then they moved her to a skilled nursing facility and then to a nursing home. Medicare allowed for 20 days in the skilled facility and 20 days in the nursing home. All it took for me to get her help is 2 times she was too weak to stand and then she called the ambulance herself. The cancer and a kidney infection and a chemo drug made her very weak. So, I am thinking with Dad's health something may happen soon to be able to make that call for an ambulance. I don't want it to be like the last 3 trips he made to the hospital. They kept him in the emergency room for about 5 hours and then sent him back home every time and each time both me and Mom couldn't get him back in the house by ourselves. He was too weak even at those times to walk.
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JessieBelle, Yes he has pain in his legs that is mainly coming from his knees. last year at the time of that one hospital visit when the ambulance came to get him he had suffered a TIA for the 3rd time. The first TIA was bad and each one after didn't affect him long before he was back to normal again and was diagnosed then with osteoarthritis and his knees had been getting bad for 5 years before last year but he never went to the doctor to see about that either. He has a lot of swelling in his right foot and it is somewhat reddish pink and his hands are cold to the touch. The blood sugar readings I did ranged from 135 to 145 each time but before the beginning of this month he never ate the sugar stuff, in fact he ate my cooking every night,, usually consisting of a meat and two veggies or a fruit like canned apples or pears. He has never been on any medicines in his life that were prescription. He watched Mom take so many medicines and he didn't like the fact that she did. The one thing I noticed before Mom passed away is that she liked her sugar too even though she was a diabetic and with her illness her blood sugar went crazy high and low. They say that the sugar taste buds are the last ones to go when you get older and therefore it could be true that he could be approaching the end of life. Yes.. I have watched both of my parents suffer a great deal and days before Mom passed away I said to her I know you are suffering and I suffer with you. Don't be afraid to be in peace because you wont be in pain anymore and she agreed. Do you know now that her spirit comes to me and even calls my name when she knows I am having a tough time with Dad or with something that is causing me a lot of distress. I never thought I would have that experience but it's happening and some people think it's crazy but it isn't. It is something special to have that experience in someone's lifetime. I recently talked to Mom and for all I know she has a plan in works for Dad.
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I don't want to sound like the voice of doom here, but if his blood pressure is so low, I don't know if I would want to start guardianship procedures. Angel, is his body temperature also low? How well does he walk? If his bp and temp are low, it may be that he may be in the hospital sooner than you could get guardianship completed. People in the hospital could help you place him in a skilled nursing facility if he does go there. It is hard to know what to do.
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It sounds like getting through to him or convincing him of anything about health and nutrition is not productive. With dementia, it's not that he's being difficult or resistant. His brain may not allow him to process the information, nor to reason. So, I don't know that begging, pleading, etc. is helpful.

Does your friend litigate Guardianship cases? I'd find an attorney who goes to court in his jurisdiction. They would know what the court requires. I'd ask for a candid opinion, so you know what to expect. I'd ask about having some other person appointed to be the Guardian, if it is not possible for you to do it.

Also, I'd consider what a huge, full time job, being his Guardian might be. You may have to hire someone to provide supervision for your dad or place him in a facility, if that is not possible. Depending on his condition, he could need insulin injections and multiple blood sticks throughout the day. It's a huge responsibility, so, I'd consider what all is involved as you go forward.

I would consider if you wish to not intervene. Some people take that approach. It's a personal decision. There are many things to consider.
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angel, I know a lot of what you're going through, because I went through it with my father. My father was a lot older. He died right before his 91st birthday. In his last two years of life he didn't want anything much but sweets. My father was a very peculiar man. He had what we would now call Asperger's and had become almost completely autistic before he died. He didn't want to see a doctor and the times we got him to one were sheer agony for all involved. It was hard to watch him sit in his chair day after day, slowly decomposing. He sat in that chair for almost 20 years before he died. It was torture for me to be around the two years that I was here.

Your father sounds like he could be diabetic and in need of insulin. If that is so, it may be one thing that contributed to his dementia. From what you describe, it probably isn't reversible at this point. It sounds like he could also have vascular disease. Does he have any pain in his legs? With his blood pressure being so low, he may be very need to crossing over from his life here on earth. There may not be enough pressure to get enough blood to his brain. I wish it were different.

I read that you did get a blood sugar reading. Do you remember what the number was?

I would try to get some blood sugar readings and see if you are dealing with diabetes. If you aren't, then I wouldn't worry so much about the sweets. What you may want to do is make sure the sweets have good nutritional value. Ice cream snacks are good. Fruit cookies and fruit cups. There are so many choices that offer nutrition and calories together. He may also like the sweet sparkling water. I would make a whole assortment of sweet and nutritious snacks available to my father so he could just walk in and pick what he wanted. He was near death, so I worried more about his comfort than his future.

I sympathize with you so much. I became so worried and stressed that I finally came to the decision that it was in God's hands. That took a lot of pressure off me just realizing that no matter what I did, it wouldn't make it better. So I just tried to help him be comfortable.
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Sunnygirl1, Yes both of my parents have been a struggle for me I am the youngest of an older sister that I have not seen or heard from in over 20 years. I do have a friend who I can consult with on legal issues and I will bring this up when I meet with her when she gets back in town. At this point there looks like there are no other options,
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I have given him bananas, pears, peaches, veggies, fruit cocktail and he will eat it but not long after he claims he didn't eat it and raids the sugar. The thing is if I take the sugar away then he will not eat anything. He looks at me in resent and gets angry. I am still thinking with everything that is going on. The only option is for something to happen and I already tried to get that through his head but it doesn't click. Some people call it tough love but I have tried and tried with that man and he doesn't understand. I went through tough times with Mom the same. She wasn't any different,, so this is my second round of dealing with this.
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Angel,
I would suggest that you explore what your goals are. Even if your dad was discovered to have cancer or some condition that requires surgery, treatments, procedures, etc., is that something that your dad would have wanted? IF there is no way that he would accept treatment, then, why is it important to get a diagnosis?

To me, there's a difference in a competent adult, being left to make their own decisions about their healthcare and an INcompetent adult, being left to make their own decisions, because they are not mentally capable of doing it. That's why, I would consult with an attorney to see what evidence is required in court to have him declared incompetent and a Guardian appointed. I'd see what your jurisdiction requires in court. Some places you have to prove that the person is unable to manage their own affairs, make proper healthcare decisions, keep themselves safe, etc. Memory may or may not play a role in whether they are deemed competent to make their own health care decisions. Only you can decide if it's the right time to take this step.

I realize that you say that he refuses to see a doctor, but, if you or someone else is appointed his Guardian, then, he will be required to get the medical care that you deem appropriate...even if he resists. People who are dementia often do not understand what their medical condition may be and they have to be cared for in the most humane way as possible. It sounds like insisting on medical care for your dad may be a very big struggle, so, I can see why you may not force the issue at this time.
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I had hospice last week and here is what happened. There were no tests and he is unable to get tests outside the home. He is permanently disabled and extremely weak. I finally got hospice for Dad last Tuesday and by Thursday I ended up revoking them. An RN was sent out along with the account executive the first day to see if he qualified. The next day he was under hospice. The RN came out Wednesday and took his blood pressure and said it was good and then I asked her to take his blood sugar. She said she didn't have a blood glucose monitor so I gave her the one my Mom had. The monitor was about 2 years old so it wasn't a newer one. The nurse took a needle out of my case that belonged to an insulin syringe and asked me how to do it. She had the wrong needle in her hand and I had to show her that you use a lancet to take blood sugars. I ended up testing his blood sugar while all she did was hold his finger. Then she left. After she left, I took his blood pressure, It was 84/54..well doesn't sound good to me. Thursday dad was to have an aide come to give him a bath. I was asked if he wanted one morning or afternoon. He said mornings. He was up at 6:30 that morning and it was 15 after 11:00 when the aide was coming. He had gone back to bed and refused a bath so I called the bath giving off and he also said he was not going to take any medicine because they wanted to give him medicine for his dementia. Well .ok but dad has about 8 other things wrong with him outside of the dementia. Just seemed that hospice was not the answer for me because I still end up doing everything myself and what is he supposed to do about all of the other things that are seriously wrong with him that they aren't giving him any medicine for.
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Angel, the problem is that Hospice needs medical records (test) that prove his kidneys are shutting down. They are required to have a letter/form from a doctor stating the patient is expected to live six months or less. Get those medical reports so Medicare can approve Hospice.
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Often sugary foods is all they will eat. Have you tried having fruit around? That would also help with dehydration. My mom diagnosed with Alzheimer's ten years ago is a sugar addict. I think that the amount of sugary foods she ate actually was one of the contributing factors to her disease. Why, she even put sugar on sliced tomatoes, a habit of hers that I was able to stop. It was a battle. And then those relatives that send her pound boxes of Fanny Farmer for every holiday and birthday! It only got hidden. Then the sugar consumption effected her behaviors, like a child on a sugar high.

Juices? Sugar free candy?
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We have learned to hide the sweets somewhere my mom can't see or reach and dole them out sparingly.
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Dad refuses care. He doesn't have a doctor whose care he is under. Therefore he has had no tests whatsoever done. He is one of those stubborn people who have never had any use for doctors. Neither one of my parents would give me any control over their healthcare decisions leaving me to figure out on my own what to do. The things that concern me is if there is something terribly wrong with him inside that I don't know such as possibly having cancer because of the dramatic weight loss or possible diabetes, infection, etc. Sugar can wreck havoc on his body and cause something fatal. When he refuses help I don't have any power over him to make him accept help. He has been homebound for 3 years now with his last trip to the Hospital in April of 2015.
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I suppose that I would try to figure out if this is going to the thing that causes you to get him under a doctor's care, official dementia diagnosis, proper diet, etc. Is he truly incompetent, so that you would prevail in court to be appointed his guardian? If so, then, you might seek legal advice on how to take that step. If appointed Guardian, you can then insist that he receive medical care and also supervise his food intake so that he is not allowed to consume so many sweets. If appointed his Guardian, you would be able to control what food comes into the house and what he is served. That's something for you to decide.

Normally, I support the right of the senior or dementia patient to eat which treats they want, in moderation. I mean, if they want cookies everyday, what is the harm, unless the doctor forbids it. I suspect most doctors don't do that though. I mean, as long as they are provided the option of a balanced diet, then, they are getting enough calories. I don't see the need of depriving a senior of their favorite treats, but, that's my take on it.

Has he been tested for diabetes? It could be causing the weight loss.

If you believe that he is malnourished, then, I might take steps to get appointed, so you can try to take measures to put some more weight on him. Does he have a healthcare directive? Are you his healthcare POA?
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