How to help Dad with Parkinson's, depression, and "do nothing-ism".

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Dad is 77 and was recently diagnosed with Parkinsons. He has also had lifelong severe depression. And. . .my mother (his wife) is end stage Alzheimers. So he is grieving her soon-to-be loss, is suffering from the same waves of severe depression he has had his whole life, and is now seeing himself decline due to the Parkinsons. I'm overwhelmed with my mom and my 3 kids and a full time job, but I'm trying to help him too as much as possible. Every time I try to talk to him about making plans for his future, he just takes the "do nothing" approach. He says "I don't want to think about that right now." Or he says, "I'll think about it later." Well, that way of thinking put our family in absolute crises mode when my mom's Alzheimers got really severe, and I refuse to go down that road again. Any advice out there on how to talk to a depressed, grieving, elderly PD patient? I'd like to get him pinned down on his wishes for treatment should he become incapacitated, get POA in place, find an Assisted Living facility, etc.

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Back in the day when I was involved in creating campaigns for clients, if we asked them what they wanted they generally - in short - didn't know. So the rule of thumb was to present three or four options: one boring, one wild, and one or two that we thought they might actually go for and that would work.

So in terms of the planning, that's what I'd recommend. The idea is that once you put the options in front of him, your Dad will at least be able to tell you what he *doesn't* want. Plus if God forbid the crisis does come you'll already have done your homework and you'll know what's available.
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I am very sorry about your parents. We went through the same thing with my FIL who stuck his head in the sand about my MIL's diagnosis of a neurodegenerative illness in the same category as the most severe forms of Parkinson's. FIL wanted to change nothing. He created problems where there were none and wasted precious time solving them instead of paying attention to what was really happening. He refused to talk about solutions to real problems. He denied those real problems even existed. He denied he need mental health counseling. This went on for almost two years. He complained about how his life was awful. Meanwhile it's his wife whose suffering from an incurable, progressive illness and if that weren't bad enough, her husband made her illness all about him and neglected her. It was a side of my FIL that shocked me because he had been the doting loving husband.

All that to say I understand where you are coming from and am so sorry you are going through this. The most important thing is to stay focused on your goal: no more crises and getting his affairs in order. Get an attorney to prepare any documents you need for him. If he has a financial planner, request a meeting. Start touring assisted living places. Show him the brochures. Keep bringing up the things that need to be discussed and if he refuses to talk about them, go home, calm down, wait a few days, and try again. And remember that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.
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Take a spoonful of what cwillie said and add a dash of what pamstegma suggested. Try not to be overbearing, consider your dad's feelings, but encourage him to be a participant in his life. However, if his depression is of the clinical variety and not the type associated with major life changes you may have an uphill battle as your dad won't be able to do some of these things due to the depression.

If your dad isn't enthusiastic about having a social life at least try to encourage him and help him get his affairs in order. Take it piecemeal. Prioritize what you'd like done and take it one item at a time as opposed to putting a whole list in front of your dad and asking him to take care of everything.
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Encourage his friends and family to visit him and cheer him up. What were his hobbies? If he liked golf, get him out golfing. Fishing? Have his buddies take him fishing. Get him back in to the things he liked to do.
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I'd start by going ahead and making an appointment with your lawyer to draw up a poa and update his will, the lawyer will talk him through his options and at least the part will be done. You can get the ball rolling finding the right AL by checking out the options in your area and selecting the most appropriate, or by narrowing it down to two or three he can pick from.
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