Follow
Share

Hello, I'm new to the forum and really need to talk to other people who understand that stress that I'm experiencing.

My father is 84 years old and a 20+ year survivor of prostate cancer. He used to be a heavy drinker, has high blood pressure, about two years ago was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and in the last month has been diagnosed with dementia, high calcium along with a cyst on his kidney that the doctor is not too concerned about.

About 2 years ago, because he suffered from slight hearing loss, he purchased hearing aids. He put the hearing aid for the right ear in the left and vice versa, lost one so he only wore the one he had. Long story short, he claims this is the reason he has "stuff" that speaks to him in his head and knots in his stomach and he has to "breakthrough". He tries to breakthrough by putting his hand to his ear and on his stomach and groaning loudly. He ends up saying different words and he claims it's not him saying it - its the stuff in his body. The stuff tells him what word to say in hopes of breaking through.

Along with that, at our last office visit after he had an ultra sound, we learned that he has a huge chunk of cholesterol in his aorta in his stomach that is about the break off so the doctor prescribed him baby aspirin in hopes of preventing a stroke.

My problem is he won't take his medicine for high calcium or the anto psychosis medicine the doctor prescribed nor is he taking his medication that is supposed to prevent angina or heart attacks. He still groaning saying random words for about 30 minutes about every couple of hours. He's in his right mind as it relates to everything except the stuff in his head and body that speaks to him that he's trying to break through. He's convinced the problem with the stuff in his head and body is an ear issue and goes monthly to an ear doctor who gives him shots of anti-biotics - which his primary care doctor says he does not need. With all of this, he is frail and continues to lose weight - he tries to eat but barely eats anything as he has no appetite.

My question is what do I do? I can't make him take his meds - and I'm guessing the doctor can't either. I feel like I'm watching him wither away and not doing anything to help him.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Can you guilt him a little? He told he'd take it once he broke through, and really, he needs to have faith that he can try it for a week and then give it up if it doesn't work. Also, you should tell him that you have health issues and although he feels weak you know how strong he is and he will probably outlive you, so you need him to fill out the paperwork so that HE will know what to do when YOU are sick. You can fill out the paperwork together. I was trying to find the name of the nonprof who I found last weekend, cant find it - they help you fill out ADVANCED DIRECTIVES. It is different for each state. Maybe you can talk him into it. Hugs!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I asked him the same thing today. He said that's the it's programmed. Now however, because he has not broken through he said he's giving up, life is not worth it, and he's going to die with it. I'm trying not to over react but if this get worse by any amount I'm calling an ambulance. I figure at least that way he'll be admitted, have full series of tests done and get medicated.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

How will he know when he breaks through? Maybe tell him these meds will help him breakthrough.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

He's supposed to be taking sensapar and seroquel one for mental distress the other for high calcium. He told me today he'll start taking them once he "breaks through". : /
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have to agree with those who suggest "slipping" his meds into food or drink. People who have serious mental problems often need help taking their meds.
BUT, always check with his Dr first. As Eyerish said, some coatings are there for a reason. Time release, etc. If the Dr agrees, maybe they can give him a smaller dose, more often. God bless and good luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Please do NOT crush up medication without discussing it with the Dr. first. Medication comes in certain coatings (enteric, gel, capsule, etc) for a reason and it has to do with the release time of the drug. If you crush up an extended release drug (for example) it will hit his system all at one time and could cause serious problems.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Crush his pills and put it in apple sauce, oatmeal, pudding what ever. He will never know. Then you will have peace of mind..
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

High calcium is caused by a magnesium deficiency. If you can't get him to take the drugs, then he probably won't take magnesium, but can you give him a diet rich in magnesium? Epsom Salt baths are rich in magnesium. If he would take a pill, ginko would be great for his arteries. I give it to my mother along with a 1/2 dose of Plavix with her doctor's blessings.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Tanya, I respect what you are doing. I understand it too. I agree that no one should be tricked to take medicine. I have a friend who is bipolar though and my experience with her has shown me that sometimes people do need to be forced to take medicine. Once she took it, she became herself again after a long period of strangeness that culminated with her running from us into the arms of the police grateful they would rescue her from us..... After she took her meds, the voices that were telling her to do things stopped, and she began to be herself again. She was grateful... Maybe your Dad won't be grateful, but the KEY is that WHEN SOMEONE IS HARMING THEMSELVES, someone else has to step in. If you think your Dad is harming himself, you need to let his doctors make the decision if he needs to take meds. Do that much, and your conscience shoudl be clear, though I KNOW that your conscience is not your concern now. You just want to do right by your Dad. Don't be the only one responsible for that decision. Find a shrink that you feel understands what is going on. Check with the county's Senior Care reps or the groups that look out for the welfare of elders, tell them the story and listen to their advice, if you can find such a group. I know they are out there, normally they look out for abusive situations, in this case it may be the abuser is himself.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This has worked for me. But we are just at the start of Moms (Delicate Condition). I just have coversations with her. She doesn't want to eat vegtables, fruits. Just Junk. I researched what each plant ect. had, and what our body needs. Then I told her Mom do you remember when you gave me Castor Oil. When I was little. I had to do lots of things I didn't want to.And the fact is her health does affect my health. I get so sad and depressed. Nancy Reagan said," its a long Goodby."I think Love And Attention is the best Medicine.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Tanya I'm so sorry for what you're going through, I know it's very hard to accept and deal with. Even though your dad wants to stay in control of his healthcare at this point, what happens when he's not able to say what he wants? That's when the Power of Attorney for healthcare kicks in. Does he want a feeding tube? Does he want his heart restarted if it stops? These are difficult questions, but ones that you need to discuss with your dad, so that you understand his wishes and help the medical professionals to honor them. And then get that POA put in place, so that the medical professionals will listen to you if your dad is unable to make his wishes known.

I have the medical POA for my mom and we also got a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) on her (signed by her doctor), as she doesn't want any kind of actions to prolong her life. When I worked in a hospital, I saw them try to revive a very elderly woman (10 people in the room, pounding on her chest) and I would never want that for my elderly mom as the way for her to exit this planet.

Do the best you can and realize that you don't control the world and you can only do what you can do for your dad. Hugs to you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

For loss of appetite, megace might be something he would be open to.

What med is he supposed to be taking that is usually prescribed for schizophrenia?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree he does have the right to refuse medicine and you need to go easy on yourself. If you are taking care of him in any way you are doing a great deal for him. Talking to hospice is a really good idea. Go easy on yourself and maybe dad will start to relax more. But all the talk of voices really is cause to have psychiatric evaluation. You would feel better probably if you realize there isn't much more you can do than that.
Terie Novak - Author "Bold Actions for Helping Older Parents".
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I truly appreciate all of the additional responses. I have been fighting my own depression for a while. My mom passed when I wad 13 so it's been me and him my entire life. He's determined to stay in control of the decisions made regarding his health and I respect that. All I can do now is try to make sure he understands his health issues be supportive and get him to all his appts. Trying to find the nerve to discuss power of attorney so that I can step in when absolutely necessary. Thank you all for your answers and positive thoughts and I wish you positive outcomes as well.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Bless you. All of us who care for loved ones with dementia feel like we're watching them wither away -- because we are! Your case is complicated by additional health issues. But on its own or combined with other illnesses, dementia robs us of our loved ones little by little. Know that you are not alone. If reading is your thing, there are lots of books about caring for loved ones with dementia -- some of them by the caregivers themselves.

Love your dad and make sure he knows it. Cherish the moments where his real personality shines through. Celebrate the good times. It may not seem like "helping" but it truly is. Accepting him with compassion is your gift to give him.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hi Tanya, im in a similar situation to you in that i'm finding it really heart rendering to accept my mum has Alzheimers. I keep going through every form of denial, kidding myself shes not going to end up 'brain dead' not my mother surely??
I've shamefully even gone through a period of trying to 'shake her out of it'. "(Now think mother, where did you put your bloody keys)". U wont shout at any more ive leaned my lesson when i see the sad, hurt look on her face.
I'm afraid, like you, we have to accept whats happening before our eyes and just give all the love and support we can.
If you're depressed you should get antidepressants. (I haven't yet, i hate taking medications unless absolutely necessary but know thats not the right way to go.
Knowing that other people too are going through similar situations help.
good luck. C
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I see that: you are caring for father, living at my home
YOU MUST see an elder affairs attorney who is familiar with Alzheimers and get relevant health care proxies, power of attorney's etc, set up ASAP. If you haven;t done so. You will find yourself in deep yogurt as his Alzheimer's progresses.

Call the alzheimer's support line for free counseling
ALZConnected user issues
e-mail: help@alzconnected.org

Alzheimer's Association 24/7 Helpline
Contact us for information, referral and support.
tel: 1.800.272.3900
tdd: 1.866.403.3073
e-mail: info@alz.org
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Tanya, while you might not be able to help your dad right now, you can help yourself by getting treatment for what sounds like YOUR depression. Please go see your primary care doc and tell her/him what's going on. Love and good thoughts.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thank you so much for your responses.

He says that if he takes the medication it will kill him. I don't even want to slip the meds in his food because I feel like it's his decision. He trusts me and I would never want anyone to "trick" me like that. One of the meds he won't take is actually for schizophrenia. :( I don't know, I'm just sad because I've lost my father (the man he used to be), I'm still losing my father, and if I'm this depressed I can only imagine how he feels at this point.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

He has the right to refuse meds. Ask Hospice to come in and talk to him, evaluate him. If that is what he wants, respect his decision.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You're right, we can't force people to take their medications.

What is his reason for not wanting to take the meds?

If he won't help himself there's nothing you can do to help him. Some people think that opening up a capsule of medication and sprinkling it in some applesauce is OK but never do anything like that without checking with the Dr. first. Medication comes in a capsule for a reason and it has to do with the release time of the medication. Without the dissolving capsule the medication enters the blood stream quicker. It can also be corrosive to the lining of the stomach.

Is your dad schizophrenic? From what you've described it doesn't sound like dementia or even Alzheimer's (although he may have dementia as well). It sounds more like schizophrenia.

Has the Dr. explained to your dad that he has to take his medication? Sometimes a male authority figure carries more weight than a daughter.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.