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I am caring for my 77 year old mother and 83 year old dad. We also have a 12 old son with a physical disability who uses a wheelchair. My dad has severe arthritis and multiple injuries from his younger years and uses a power chair. Also early stage Dementia. My mother has COPD and is constantly going to the ER, once every 2 weeks...or this week, 2 days in a row. We have been to gambit of doctors and nothing! I’m not even sure the COPD is real based on her O2 blood gases and numbers. My dad refuses to take a bath...because he’s afraid of falling. Their house is not accessible at all and my mom is a pack rat. She doesn’t clean and it’s so bad. Like I don’t want to touch anything when we go there bad. My hubs and I have begged them to move in with us. They (mainly my mom) refuses. Dad really can’t/shouldn’t stay alone but when she gets admitted to the hospital, I can’t always go get him. My hubs took dad to the Dr not long ago and convinced them to get home health to come out. We were told that would get eyes on the situation....but nada. If I reach out to the RN, would that help?


Also, mom only drives locally and can’t get dad in and out of car, so they expect me or my hubs to take them back and forth to appointments. We made them use transport but now they are refusing to do that. What do we do with that???


Any help, insight or wine greatly appreciated!

Your Dad, how is where he bathes set up? First, is it a tub or a shower. If a tub and they have the money may want to have it replaced with a walk in shower. There should be bars on the walls and one for stepping in and out. The contractor who put Moms shower in, recommended not putting in a built in chair. Customers had complained about it being too close to the wall and making it hard to wash their backs. You can buy shower chairs for $30/$40. Then get a hand held shower head with a long hose. Dad can then sit down to shower. I went to the $1 store and got a soap dish, a dish for a cup and toothbrushes and a bottle holder all with suction cups. Put them on the level of the shower chair. The glass toothbrush holder was used for small bottles and disposable razors.

Have husband help Dad with bathing.

You have to set borders which seems you did if Mom was using Senior transportation. I know you have probably already told her this but...you cannot be at their beck and call. My local Office of Aging has a booklet explaining the services they provide. See if yours does. If so, hand the book to Mom and tell her she needs to use the services available. That your responsibility is to your son. That if she goes to the ER, she is on her own. She will need to find transportation home. Maybe if she has to pay out of pocket for a transport, the ER visits will stop.

This is one of the downfalls of HIPPA. You are not able to find out from her doctor if she has COPD. Not fair when they use something like this to control a child and they are lying. I would call the doctors office. Tell them Mom is constantly going to the ER. Explain that she is using a COPD diagnosis over you head and is it possible to just verify if she does or doesn't have it. Maybe the doctor will take pity on u.
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MommY2J May 3, 2019
Thanks! So the setup for bathing is a mess. They have a very old house with a claw foot tub. His ability to get in and out was gone years ago, so they got a lift for it but that doesn’t help any when he’s too big for it. I have set many boundaries and have stopped gone and getting her from the ER. She is blowing thru the other family members now.
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IF they are judged self directed then let them be. Every one is entitled to make their own poor decisions and you are continuing to enable them. Let them figure how to get to the doctors and if they cannot, then someone will get sick. One day there will be a medical crisis and hospitalization. One that happens, speak to the social worker so that they know if discharge will be safe.
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MommY2J May 3, 2019
So their figuring out how to get to the dr is browbeating me and my hubs to do it. Or in my mother’s case, calling the ambulance. I’ve talked to many social workers and gotten no where.
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Thank you....I’ll look at that for sure! I wish I could say this was her cry for help...but this has gone on for 15 years. Ever since I moved out. This is when she started her “illness”. She always had something “wrong” growing up but constant ER visits weren’t a thing until I moved out. Honestly, the more reading I’ve done, the more I have come to realize my mom is a narcissist.
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Here is the link you want, I think:

http://goea.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=directory&tmp=category&catid=39&pnid=0&nid=9

goea = Governor's Office of Elderly Affairs, and this particular page gives contact details and information for all kinds of services. What you're looking for initially is a way to get a formal assessment of your parents' care and support needs, and I hope you'll be able to access that through your local office.

Is it possible that your mother's repeated trips to the ER are a kind of cry for help? It's a hard thing to admit that life, and your husband's care, have got beyond you; maybe this is her way of doing it?
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