The background is that although relatively young (66) my dad has Parkinson's, dementia and various other issues like arthritis and diabetes. The past year and half have been rough, with a couple hospital stays and a rehab stay. He'd been doing very poorly at home with caregivers coming every couple of days. He refused to take his meds properly and was completely unable to participate in his own care, simply because he's stubborn, doesn't care, and is completely unrealistic about his abilities.
He did not have any POA docs in place before all this started. After the dementia set in, he became paranoid and always refused to sign any POA, until one day last October when he really needed some help with bills and I refused unless he signed for me. Unfortunately, I didn't have a notary available that day. I consulted with an elder care attorney who drew up a better, more solid document, and she made a house call and could have signed as a notary, but my dad refused to sign and has continued to refuse ever since.
So after this last hospital stay in December, I told them flat out I was absolutely not taking him home. The docs & social worker agreed, and helped me admit him to a nursing facily, where he stayed until yesterday.
The entire time, he kept threatening to leave, and the staff told me that they could not physically restrain him if managed to make it out the door. Typically he will threaten to call a cab, but will forgot/be unable to follow through. Yesterday he actually did it, and he left and made it home. I didn't find out until this morning while at work. I feel so sick to my stomach right now.
The nursing home did call the police and APS. The police called and told me that he appeared ok. The officer made a number of extremely frustrating suggestions, like calling APS, getting POA or consulting with an attorney. Guess what I've been doing for the past year and a half? Exploring every option I can think of, and look how much it's accomplished. My dad's right back at home where he will deteriorate and be unsafe and there's nothing I can do about it.
I have asked varioius professionals about guardianship (social workers, and the elder care attorney) and my understanding is that my chances are not that great. He has not been declared incompetent and doctors are reluctant to get involved. Although delusional, paranoid, incapable of reasoning and suffering from occasional hallucinations, my dad can tell you who the president is and can really talk a good talk for 10 minutes or so, which is apparently all it takes to deem someone competent.
I have been arranging payment for all bills, working on his taxes, taking his calls and working with each nursing home, hospital, social worker, home health aids, insurance company, etc. My life has really been turned upside down for the past 1 1/2 yrs and I've missed a lot of work due to all the emergencies he creates, not to mention neglecting my own son, my house, and suffering from depression. So to my real question, what if I walk away? Stop doing everything I'm doing? That's what my dad wants. He's nothing but mean & nasty to me. And according to the current system, he's able to make that decision.
People will think I'm horrible, I'm sure. So what? They already do, and only point out what I should be doing better. So I feel like I don't have much to lose.
BTW there are no siblings or family. My dad has one sister who is not local and has stayed uninvolved although she asks for occasional updates. Without any help or anyone with the ability to force him into a facility, I believe there's a reasonable possibility he may actually die at home, relatively soon. But, that's what he wants. He has stated he wants to die at home. And he has shown repeatedly that he does not care about taking care of himself.