My father is currently in rehab, following a hospital stay for a MRSA infection. He does not like going to physical therapy, but he goes. The therapist reports that dad can do everything he is ask to do: walk, climb a few stairs, put on his shoes, button his shirt, etc. But, when he is in his room, he lays in bed completely helpless. He makes my mother do everything for him. Dress him, cut his food, change his Depends, everything! He will not even walk to the bathroom. He asks her to hand him a urinal, which she does, even though we have stressed to her he needs to get up and walk to the bathroom. Let me add, he was making these demands of my mother even before the hospital stay. They live at home and she tends to his every need. She is 90 years old and not in perfect health. She refuses to leave his side, even when family offers to sit with dad so she can take a shower or a nap.
He probably will be released from rehab later this week. Since he demonstrates to the therapists that is able to do things for himself, they will probably say he can go home. Going home is what mom and dad both want, but family does not think they are capable. We have looked at assisted living, but it will be a battle to get them to move.
My question is - why won’t he do the things for himself that we know he can do? We know mother will continue to wear herself out doing everything for him once they get home. No reasoning with her about it. They are not mentally incompetent, but are definitely showing cognitive decline.
Any insight is appreciated.