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.
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.
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.
What med is he supposed to be taking that is usually prescribed for schizophrenia?
Terie Novak - Author "Bold Actions for Helping Older Parents".
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.
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
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
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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.
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.