I hope I can write this clearly. I apologize if it is confusing, but I feel really overwhelmed.
My spouse and I have two older parents we are very concerned for. I will call the first one "PID" for parent-in-denial. PID could have been up front with us about the other parent's (PID's spouse) declining mental condition for years, but this is clearly terrifying and confusing for them, too. The other parent (who I will call "DP" for Dementia Parent) has been increasingly acting strange. It has been gradual and we only seen them several times a year so it was easy for us to miss at first. It's really clear now.
Without going into too many specifics here, we are positive they at least need some kind of in-home caregiver. From the little we know, DP has recently (but *finally*) been diagnosed with dementia.
DP suffers from paranoia, has injured PID by accident (at least once, but I suspect it's happened several times), had car accidents (which PID tried to shush DP from talking about), and tries to randomly leave the house alone without giving notice.
PID has a lot of their own health problems which have escalated over the year. PID is a smaller person than DP. We fear for PID's life as we know that the stress of caregiving kills, but PID strongly protests that "everything is okay" and is afraid to let go of control. I'm sure it does not help DP's paranoia makes it difficult for new people to visit their house.
We are afraid for them, but PID only talks to one of us a little about PD's health (this puts a lot of pressure on one person to get information) and was angry that we recently opened up to other concerned family members. We want to respect their privacy, but we don't want to hide this anymore.
My spouse and I decided that we want to come up with an emergency plan. We are almost positive PID will end up in the hospital first and could possibly die. PID has no friends and has cut off local family in fear of them noticing DP's condition. We are their only children and live a day's drive away.
We tried bringing this up to PID over a year ago, but PID has not been able to talk with us about a plan. We were told if an emergency happens we are expected to drop everything to live with DP until we find 24-hour live-in home care. When we tried to explain how unreasonable it was, there were tears and accusations we just wanted to put them in a home and forget them.
I have seen how hard it is for friends and other family members to find live-in care for *local* relatives with dementia (all ended up in a facility after going through 1-3 hired caregivers). I fear we won't be able to do this well at all remotely when an emergency happens.
This is really frustrating and scary. It feels like watching someone slowly and painfully commit suicide with the expectation that we, too, should ruin our lives the same way while silently caregiving.
It's really clear at this point, we may to have to come up with a plan ourselves without their consent. We're planning to switch gears to do that very soon if PID doesn't come around.
What are things we need to cover to be prepared for the worst? What can we do on our own to help things along if they don't/won't/can't help us put together a plan?